FALL CAMP DAY 10: Defensive clamps

CORVALLIS - The passing game was rather sloppy in the early stages of practice, but coverage by the secondary also played a part in the equation, shutting down passing lanes and slapping away footballs that would otherwise have been reeled in. Keith Pankey, Brandon Hardin, Suaesi Tuimaunei and others all had their moments.

Junior wideouts James Rodgers and Casey Kjos both sat out of practice today, allowing some of the younger guys to that a shot at making an impression in the passing game.

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Rodgers sitting out with a swollen knee after knocking knees with a teammate in on of last night's sessions. The injury doesn't appear serious, but precautions are naturally taken with a little over two weeks before the opener.

Kjos sat out of practice with a sore lower back. The soreness occurred after workouts earlier this morning. The junior will be fine, said Mike Riley, he was just given a day off to rest up.

If you missed it earlier, Darrell Catchings may be back sooner than was projected -- much sooner. Click HERE for the story.

Skelly Session No. 1
Opening up the first session of skelly senior quarterback, Sean Canfield found senior Taylor Kavanaugh wide open and delivered a pass right into the wideout's hands, but the typically consistent Kavanaugh was unable to reel it in and the ball bounced off his hands.

On a Ryan Katz pass, sophomore cornerback Brandon Hardin displayed great coverage, as he has much of camp. Hardin stayed tight on redshirt freshman Geno Munoz over his entire route and slapped away the pass, and nearly pulled in the interception.

Junior linebacker Keith Pankey continued to show why he is the best coverage 'backer on the squad, sticking like glue to sophomore running back Jacquizz Rodgers and tipping away a Canfield pass that was then nearly pulled in by the running back.

A few plays later, Canfield found redshirt freshman Jordan Bishop, delivering a spot-on pass to the numbers before he was laid out by junior safety Suaesi Tuimaunei -- but Bishop held on.

Munoz showed off his athleticism in diving for a Canfield pass, bringing it in while falling to the grass. The young wideout has had an impressive fall camp.

When the third team hit the field, junior quarterback Peter Lalich connected with junior wideout Aaron Nichols near the sideline.

Freshman safety Jordan Poyer didn't react quite quickly enough, leaving Nichols wide open and able to reel in the pass cleanly.

Team Session No. 1
Redshirt freshman Colin Kelly stepped up into a first team role on Wednesday, and played a key part in the heavy protection of Canfield.

Solid protection from the offensive line was countered by the even better coverage by the secondary, forcing Canfield to step up in the pocket and throw the pass away rather than force the issue.

More tight coverage was seen later, with seniors Patrick Henderson, Tim Clark and Keaton Kristick locking down the receivers, giving Canfield no real options and forcing the senior quarterback to once again throw passes away.

With freshman wideout Markus Wheaton going deep downfield, Canfield delivered an off balance throw, which showed in the trajectory and wobble of the ball. Tuimaunei and redshirt freshman Josh LaGrone were in coverage and broke up the play.

LaGrone came up a bit lame after the play, favoring his right knee. The injury didn't seem too serious, he iced it up and was walking around on it for the remainder of practice.

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