SPRING BALL DAY 2: Defense likes the cold

CORVALLIS -- It was a cold and blustery day in Reser Stadium on Day 2 of Spring Ball at Oregon State. And that resulted in an advantage for the defense in the helmets-only session. But there were still some highlight reel performances on offense in the session, many of them turned in by Jordan Bishop and the receivers.

The offense struggled at times in the full 11-on-11 drills on the second day of spring practice but as far as the quarterbacks went, redshirt freshman Ryan Katz was the cream of the Oregon State crop on Wednesday.

Katz made a number of impressive and accurate throws during the session, and one of his favorite targets was freshman Jordan Bishop.

Katz completed three of four passes in the first seven on seven drill, and then drilled a spot-on pass to Aaron Nichols -- right in the numbers and between three defenders.

Katz also later fit a pass in between two defenders to Bishop, who had a very good afternoon. During red zone drills, however, a risky pass in the end zone by Katz resulted in a Brandon Hardin interception and nice return.

While the weather severely affected most of the deep passes, senior wideout Damola Adeniji was able to pull in some nice grabs, using his size to his advantage and showing a good pair of hands. During the first seven on seven drill, Adeniji took a Sean Canfield bullet pass and brought it in over two defenders.

In the second 11-on-11, Adeniji took in a Katz pass near the sideline, going up for the ball and extending his long frame.

The real trench warfare won't begin until the pads come on but the Beavs still went through some thud and the offensive line knocked the d-line around a little bit at times. However, the defensive ends, including Ben Terry, gained the corner on a number of snaps.

Running with the ones on the o-line on Wednesday were LT Colin Kelly, LG Ryan Pohl, C Alex Linnenkohl, RG Gregg Peat and RT Mike Remmers.

The twos were LT Timi Oshinowo, LG Mike Lamb, C Grant Johnson, RG Burke Ellis, RT Geoff Garner. Ellis also got in some work at the No. 2 right tackle and Nathan Hannah got some reps with the second unit and right guard.

Another receiver making an impression on Wednesday was freshman Geno Munoz, who displayed vice-like hands during the receiver drills in extending to make a fingertip grab on one pass that drew cheers from teammates. Munoz also made an acrobatic over the shoulder catch during QB/WR drills. Casey Kjos also had a nice showing -- crisp route running by the junior slotback.

With the loss of senior Jeremy Francis at the tailback position, there are some fresh faces in the backfield getting reps -- particularly with Jacquizz Rodgers sidelined until further notice. Having a chance to make his presence known a bit today, even without pads, was sophomore Ryan McCants.

At tight end, junior Brady Camp showed nice hands and good quickness -- he made a number of catches during the 11-on-11 drills. Sophomore H-Back Joe Halahuni also showed some good route running and hands.

Defensively, cornerback Patrick Henderson was able to disrupt a Canfield to Darrell Catchings pass, the second practice in a row Henderson was able to break up a would-be Catchings reception.

Junior linebacker Keith Pankey was disruptive as well, breaking up a play near the sideline during skelly -- he stripped the ball after the catch moments after being pulled aside by linebackers coach Greg Newhouse for some tutelage.

Surprisingly, the special teams did not seem overly affected during the early part of practice by the inclement weather. Johnny Hekker displayed a strong leg, booting 40 and 45 yarders into the wind. Ryan Allen didn't fare quite as well, shanking a 25 yard punt to the left on his first attempt before turning it around with an impressive 50 yard rocket into the wind.

Junior kicker Justin Kahut, who struggled indoors on the first day of practice, went 6-for-6 in attempts on Tuesday.

Mike Riley was pleased with the first two days of spring ball practice. In addition to being pleased with the atmosphere and enthusiasm, Riley was pleased, for the second practice of the spring, with many of the performances.

"Not a lot of garbage," quipped Riley.

NOTABLE NOTE:
Jacquizz Rodgers tested out his shoulder as he soft tossed with one of the team managers on the sideline. Quizz seemed to be in good spirits, smiling as he threw lightly. He had an MRI on his shoulder Tuesday afternoon with the results yet to be known. But Riley has said there will be no spring contact for Quizz no matter what the results are, and he'll be limited, if and when he gets the all clear to suit up, to getting his timing down with the quarterbacks and running routes.


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