FC DAY 14: Kjos, Bishop in tight battle

CORVALLIS -- Sean Canfield finds a groove, cornerback Brandon Hardin was out of action for the evening, but running back Jovan Stevenson was back with the 2's. The Oregon State o-line continued a better showing but pads continued to pop thanks to an aggressive defense. Casey Kjos and Jordan Bishop continue their battle plus more.

Skelly Drills:
Sean Canfield continued to look great here, then again there was no one coming after him. Canfield dropped back, looked deep to Geno Munoz who was double covered, and checked down to a wide open James Rodgers for a significant gain.

Rodgers was found two more times in the next three plays, with passes put between the numbers by Canfield.

The secondary had a good showing, and while not many balls were batted down in the session, often quarterbacks were forced to check down and hit their outlet route.

Casey Kjos was working hard to try and separate himself and win the slot position outright over a pressing Jordan Bishop. Kjos ran a crisp route, Canfield found him outside the numbers and Kjos pulled the pigskin in as Lance Mitchell somersaulted attempting to break up the pass. Precision route and precision pass.

Peter Lalich had an open Munoz, but threw the ball so hard that Munoz had no chance, partially because the ball was five feet behind him. Safety Anthony Watkins dove to make the pick, but the bullet bounced off his hands and fell incomplete.

Team Drills:
Jovan Stevenson was back with the second team and running hard with no signs of soreness in his Achilles tendon. Midway through the first team session, Stevenson bounced and streaked down the sideline exhibiting good speed.

There were glimpses of the defensive pressure that's been a common theme throughout this fall, however the offensive line did a better job harnessing the speed off the edge.

Coach Mike Cavanaugh emphasized communication on the o-line; "Talk...make the call!" he reminded his starting unit consisting of, L-R, Michael Philipp, Grant Johnson, Alex Linnenkohl, Gregg Peat and Mike Remmers.

After the great block earlier in practice by Will Darkins, he failed to pick up a blitzing Keaton Kristick -- perhaps too eager to get into his pass route. Kristick was untouched and had a bee line to the quarterback. Danny Langsdorf and Cav let him know about the missed assignment, followed by a slap on the back of the helmet as if to say "Let's go!"

Ryan Katz had a so-so day, completing more than half his passes, but missing badly on quite a few others. Katz skipped a few throws that would have found wide open receivers had they been on target.

Katz was helped out by Jordan Bishop on one of those -- Katz delivered low but Bishop slid to make a nice catch 15 yards down field.

Quite possibly the most recognizable voice on the field, coach Greg Newhouse stressed the importance of up-tempo practice to his defense. Banker followed him up with "Finish the play!" on numerous occasions to the secondary.

With Brandon Hardin sidelined with what looked to be a sore leg, David Ross saw time with the second team and performed admirably. Ross was in great position on two occasions to pick off the pass, only to have the ball clang off his hands -- but pass break ups nonetheless.

As the session wore, on the offensive line and Jacquizz Rodgers gained confidence. Rodgers kicked it into juke-mode on a few plays and defenders did all they could to get a hand on him.

So how do you stop such a quick moving back like Quizz? Defensive end Gabe Miller figured it out, he busted into the backfield and wrapped Quizz up before Canfield could get him the hand off.

While Cavanaugh is concerned about his starters and their production, he's always especially tough on the second team offensive line, which was showing their inexperience today.

Another year will benefit greatly, the second group is littered with red shirt freshman and sophomores, and on the line in the Pac-10, experience is vital to success. Still, in the her and now, not where they need to be in observing Cavanaugh's reactions.

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