EVENING PRACTICE: O-Line takes back trenches

CORVALLIS –- Wednesday's second practice saw many defensive starters sitting out. Meanwhile, James Rodgers has what you could call a good night for some, but a bad night for him. One of the QB's had simply a rough night, Ryan McCants got a little redemption, the o-line owned the trenches for a change and Lance Mitchell made one of the most incredible grabs, interception or otherwise, of camp.

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Two days ago Ryan Katz was misfiring all night and seemed a little frustrated. Wednesday night? Katz was on target all night. However, whatever Katz had, he must have passed it on to his backup, Cody Vaz.

Vaz was wild most of the practice and continually threw high. It didn't appear anything was wrong, just seemed like it was not his night.

Meanwhile, the wide receiving crew was short one man for the scrimmages, as Markus Wheaton (shoulder) sat out of the 7 on 7's and 11 on 11's. Wheaton did participate in punt returning drills and route running, but that was about it.

On a good note though, junior wide out Darrell Catchings, (groin) was running stairs and doing some rehabilitative drills on the sidelines.

Senior James Rodgers, who is about as sure handed as they come, struggled a bit tonight -- it was more on the end of punt returns, as Rodgers dropped 3 punts. At receiver, he was running precise routes and had a great play where he burned sophomore cornerback Jordan Poyer for a deep out route, but he also dropped two passes and lost his footing a couple times.

THE TIGHT END position was quiet tonight. Joe Halahuni wasn't thrown to at much and Brady Camp had three catches out of all the scrimmages.

John Reese still looks like he could be a nightmare for some linebackers this season, as he appears to be the quickest tight end.

IN THE BACKFIELD, it was a great night for James' younger brother and Heisman hopeful, Jacquizz Rodgers. Rodgers made big plays on the receiving end of things, and had some very good cutbacks. He scored three touchdowns in 11 on 11 drills.

THE BATTLE for the backup running position? Once again, very competitive.

The last two night practices the advantage has definitely been to sophomore Jordan Jenkins, but tonight it had to go to junior Ryan McCants. Indeed, McCants stepped up big tonight.

McCants ran the ball very Stephen Jackson like and pounded the d-line in short yardage drills.

Jenkins had a few good plays, but also dropped the ball a few times when thrown his way.

Jenkins did start with the 2s and even saw some action with the 1s. McCants mostly played with the 2s and 3s.

AND HELPING McCants and QUIZZ find the end zone tonight was the offensive line.

On this night, the o-line stepped up, especially when the Beavers were running the ball or setting up screen plays.

On pass plays the D got the better of them on occasion, but the d-line is also shaping up to be a pack of wolves when rushing the quarterback, specifically the 1s. Overall though, it was a good night to be an o-lineman.

The Offensive Depth Chart was as follows for Wednesday night's practice:

Split End: Aaron Nichols, Kevan Walker

Slotback: Jordan Bishop, Micah Hatfield, Aaron Nichols

LT: Wilder McAndrews, Timi Oshinowo

LG: Grant Johnson, Michael Lamb

C: Alex Linnenkohl, Joshua Andrews

RG: Burke Ellis, Colin Kelly

RT: Mike Remmers, Geoff Garner

TE: Brady Camp, Colby Prince

H-Back: Joe Halahuni, John Reese

QB: Ryan Katz, Cody Vaz, Jack Lomax

Tailback: Jacquizz Rodgers, Jordan Jenkins, Ryan McCants

Flanker: James Rodgers, Obum Gwacham

FB: Will Darkins, Clayton York

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ON DEFENSE, it was business as usual – quick, strong play.

Starting safety Cameron Collins sat out the whole practice, as did DE Taylor Henry (back). Starting cornerback Brandon Hardin (quadriceps strain) participated in drills but sat out of the scrimmages.

But at least participating in drills tonight -- DT Stephen Paea.

The All-America candidate, who had been limited with a sore knee, had on his helmet and shoulder pads and a wrap around his leg, but he did not participate in the scrimmages. Good, preventative call by the coaching staff too, because there was plenty of full contact in the middle tonight.

Kevin Frahm filled in for Paea with the 1s during scrimmages, but was not as successful in getting in the backfield as he had been in previous practices. Nevertheless, the entire line put solid pressure on Katz and Vaz.

But when the offensive wanted to run the ball, the d-line was handled pretty well. The pre-season depth chart backup to Paea, sophomore Castro Masaniai, also got some looks with the 1s and mostly with the 2s.

FILLING IN FOR right defensive end Taylor Henry was Andrew Seumalo. He played okay in Henry's absence, but there is definitely a change with Henry in there.

THE LINEBACKING CORPS saw senior Keith Pankey looking very good tonight -- he was moving well and looked to be the leader out there for the entire defense.

Shaking things up a bit with 1s was sophomore MLB Rueben Robinson, who had sat out the last several practices with an ankle injury. He saw plenty of action with the 1s and 2s.

It seemed like the coaches wanted to give Tony Wilson a little rest tonight and get Robinson back into what's shaping up as a good battle for the MIK spot. Either way, Robinson played well and read a couple screen plays perfectly.

IN THE DEFENSIVE backfield, plenty of backups were getting their chances to show what they can do with the 1s.

Filling in for Brandon Hardin was sophomore Jordan Poyer. Poyer, who is noticeably smaller than Hardin was being muscled by James Rodgers all night.

Stepping in for Collins and playing the entire night with the 1s was senior Suaesi Tuimaunei.

The play of the night though, hands down went to junior free safety Lance Mitchell.

Mitchell prevented a touchdown reception by Aaron Nichols and instead of just knocking it down, he somehow grabbed the ball one-handed, falling out of bounds, and managed to keep one foot in for the INT.

The entire team -- including the offensive members on the sidelines -- all went crazy. Just an incredible play.

The Defensive Depth Chart was as follows:

LE: Gabe Miller, Devon Kull, Andrew Seumalo

LT: Kevin Frahm, Castro Masaniai, Evan Hull

RT: Brennan Olander, Ben Motter

RE: Andrew Seumalo, Scott Crichton

SAM LB: Keith Pankey, Uani Unga

MLB: Tony Wilson, Rueben Robinson, Feti Unga

WILL LB: Dwight Roberson, Zane Norris, Michael Doctor

LCB: James Dockery, Rashaad Reynolds

Safety: Lance Mitchell, Josh LaGrone, Dax Dilbeck

Safety: Suaesi Tuimaunei, Anthony Watkins

RCB: Jordan Poyer, Keynan Parker

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Special teams didn't practice as much as the previous night session. They only did three simulated field goals and a few punts. The staff did have them practicing their kickoff responsibilities, however.

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OUT WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Cameron Collins, Taylor Henry, Sean Martin, Mana Rosa

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The next practice is the first scrimmage of the Beavs' fall camp -- Thursday at 2pm.


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