DAY 11: Light morning focuses on teaching

CORVALLIS -- Coming off yesterday's 132 play scrimmage, the Beavers held a much more relaxed, low key session for the earlier part of Friday's two-a-day. But exempt from said atmosphere was the offensive line, who got some extra motivation from coach Mike Cavanaugh. Things got kicked off with the "middle drill," a starting d-end continues his return to action from injury and more.

First, however, it should be noted there was a lot of going through plays, pass protection -- teaching moments on the morning session, and only a small portion of practice was spent in scrimmaging and skelly.

The purpose of the "middle drill" focuses on the offensive and defensive line more than anything, but it was the shifty moves of junior running back Jacquizz Rodgers that gave the defense fits from the get-go.

Center Alex Linnenkohl combined with guard Burke Ellis to open a huge hole on the right side, beating senior defensive end Gabe Miller in the process, which allowed Rodgers to hop through the hole and take off, untouched by the defense.

THE D-LINE picked up the intensity during the first team session of the morning, with the ball placed at the one-yard line. Defensive tackles Kevin Frahm and Brennan Olander were daring Rodgers to take the ball up the middle throughout the drill. "Not in THIS gap! Hell no!" Frahm yelled at the junior running back.

Quizz took back to back handoffs, bounced both of them outside and outran the defense to the corner of the end zone.

SOPHOMORE DE Taylor Henry rounded out the defensive line rotation this morning, going for the second straight day after sitting out a few practices with back tightness.

Sophomores Rueben Robinson and Tony Wilson continued to rotate at MIKE. Riley isn't ready to name a starter there, simply saying; "It is close." Feti Unga is also in the mix.

Seniors Dwight Roberson and Keith Pankey rounded out the first string linebackers.

cornerback Brandon Hardin and safety Cameron Collins sat out with dings, but Jordan Poyer and Suaesi Tuimaunei played well in their absence.

Poyer certainly doesn't have the size that Hardin does, but his coverage abilities and athletic ability as a whole have allowed the sophomore to get in with the first team defense and play steadily.

ON OFFENSE, Cavanaugh was entirely dissatisfied with the o-line work on gap protection and pass blocking schemes. And on Friday, that meant a crab walk for 200 yards if any were to mess up the blocking scheme on a particular play.

Nobody did.

IN THE SECOND team session, Quizz looked to be in midseason form, putting the two-step to Roberson, bouncing outside and gaining a few extra yards.

James Rodgers showed off his speed later on in the session, burning past redshirt freshman Rashaad Reynolds in the secondary. Quarterback Ryan Katz made a play-action fake, stepped up in the pocket and delivered a deep ball that Rodgers ended up nearly outrunning. Reynolds brought him down before he could make the end zone.

Wide receivers Darrell Catchings, Markus Wheaton, and defensive tackle Stephen Paea all sat out of practice, although Paea was the only one dressed down.

Check back with BFC later this evening for the recap on the second of today's practice sessions.

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