SCRIMMAGE 2: Canfield to Catchings, Part II

CORVALLIS--In Oregon State's second scrimmage, the inconsistencies of the Beaver rushing attack were overshadowed by just how well the defense played the run. But the big story was again senior quarterback Sean Canfield -- he and junior WR Darrell Catchings connected early and often, seven times to be exact, for 172 yards and two TDs. All told, Canfield threw for 271 yards and four touchdowns.

It was the rushing attack that suffered the brunt of Oregon State's defense. Redshirt freshman Jordan Jenkins led the beavs with 53 yards on nine carries while true freshman Jovan Stevenson ran for 33 yards on 10 carries. Sophomore Ryan McCants had 11 carries for only 29 yards.

Stevenson also beat the coverage and took a Canfield pass to the left side of the field for a 12-yard touchdown reception about halfway through the scrimmage.

Senior strongside linebacker Keaton Kristick was all over the field this afternoon, making a slew of open-field tackles and bringing redshirt sophomore running back Ryan McCants down for short gains or losses on multiple occasions.

On the first team's second possession of the scrimmage, Kristick was in on three of the first four plays, either tripping up McCants or wrapping up the running back.

Beavers' coach Mike Riley made it abundantly clear after practice that he is depending on Kristick to hold a prodigious leadership role for the team's defense, and again alluded to the opinion that he is one of the better players in the Pac-10 conference.

BUT CANFIELD NEARLY MATCHED his previous output in last week's scrimmage, coming just eight yards shy of exceeding his passing total. And Catchings again went deep, one of his scoring grabs covered 70 yards.

The senior quarterback matched his touchdown total from the first scrimmage, however, with the aforementioned passes to Catchings and Stevenson and a play action deep ball that was brought in by senior Damola Adeniji.

The athletic Adeniji was able to get behind sophomore safety Lance Mitchell and junior cornerback James Dockery to make a leaping grab and bring in the touchdown grab.

Canfield completed 15 of 21 passes and looked to be in midseason form on Friday.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Ryan Katz split time leading the second team offense with sophomore Justin Engstrom, and completed 18 of 33 passes for 193 yards. Engstrom was 10 of 13 passes for 78 hashes.

All told, the three quarterbacks directed the offense to 657 yards in the 105-play workout.

BUT MIKE RILEY WAS nevertheless pleased with the first team defense.

Quarterbacks are off limits in scrimmages and some good stops were made, despite the eye popping yardage totals on the day.

"We will have to look at the film and look at all the different parts. I thought there was some really aggressive defense, particularly early on in the scrimmage with the ones. There was still some good playmaking going on, some guys made some plays, but overall, all day long it was hard to run, which is always a good sign of what we want to do defensively," said Riley.

Both backup quarterbacks threw interceptions during the scrimmage, with the more impressive pick coming from sophomore safety Cameron Collins.

In the red zone, Collins put his hands in front of redshirt freshman wideout Jordan Bishop to pick off Katz' pass, stopping the potential scoring drive. Two plays prior to the interception, however, Bishop won the battle, beating Collins deep and making a leaping, full stretch grab on the ball from Katz.

Bishop hauled in five receptions for 92 yards on the day.

Later on in the scrimmage, junior middle linebacker Walker Vave stepped in front of and tipped an Engstrom pass, redshirt freshman defensive back Brian Watkins picked the ball out of the air. On the second drive attempt, Watkins recovered a Geno Munoz fumble, stopping the second team offense again.

NEAR THE END of the scrimmage, Engstrom was looking for Munoz in the end zone but the pass attempt was tipped by redshirt freshman safety Josh LaGrone. Still, the freshman wideout was able to bring the pass in nonetheless for Engstrom's sole touchdown pass of the afternoon.

Justin Kahut booted 47 and 35-yard field goals on the day.

YOU WOULDN'T KNOW it to look at the air yards but the Beavs' defensive pass rush was pretty ruthless this afternoon, putting constant pressure on Oregon State quarterbacks and forcing quite a few rushed throws.

Junior defensive end Gabe Miller, who Riley continues to laud for his work ethic and motor, was able to burn by offensive linemen on many plays. He showed excellent pursuit on Friday, particularly on an Engstrom swing pass to freshman running back Jordan Jenkins.

On the play, Miller sprinted upfield and caught the running back, and not giving up on the play until the ballcarrier went down. The defensive end was also seen coming off the edge, beating sophomore right tackle Mike Remmers to break up a pitch to Stevenson and bring the running back down for a big loss.

THE OFFENSIVE LINE does not seem to have found their collective stride and it's looking more and more like an issue that will not be resolved possibly until the fall with the left tackle position still seems up in the air.

Junior Timi Oshinowo has not seized the LT job and although freshman Colin Kelly hasn't either, the latter seems to have made an impression on offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh.

The two tackles were sharing time with the first team offense, and taking turns on second team, as well. Oshinowo also took time at the right tackle position on the second team.

The scrimmage marked an end to the Beavs' fourth week of spring practices and OSU heads into their fifth and final week of the spring on Monday. The annual Spring game will be held Saturday, May 2.

Riley on senior linebacker Keaton Kristick:
"Keaton is one of the most solid and gifted players that we have had. He exemplifies the position of linebacker. He has grown into it.. I think he is one of the best players in our conference."

Mike Riley on the Canfield-Catchings connection:
"I think that they have worked together very well, and there is no substitute for that chemistry between a quarterback and a receiver."

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