PRACTICE REPORT: Paea, d-line lead the charge

CORVALLIS -- As doubles came to an end, and game prep begins for TCU, the defense made the case they're ready for the upcoming season -- Stephen Paea truly is a great DT, and the battle for MLB continued in scrimmaging action. Meanwhile, the offense started crisply but ultimately couldn't match the performance of the Beaver stop corps.

******

Indeed, the o-line got beat all night and the wide receivers had a bad case of the drops.

Wednesday night was the last time the Beavers will have doubles the rest of the year, and it's safe to say that the offense probably would have liked to go out on a better note.

At the start of 7 on 7 scrimmages, Ryan Katz was picking the defensive backfield apart. Specifically, sophomore Jordan Bishop was getting wide open looks and Katz was booming the ball into his chest.

As the 11 on 11 drills began, Katz continued his good play even though the defensive line was starting to assert their will, and getting through just about every time. Katz showed great poise under pressure and made the right throw every time.

It was a great sign for Beaver nation – both units doing well.

Katz' backup, Cody Vaz, came in and played decent, but nowhere near the level of Katz.

Vaz had his moments of very good plays and ones he'd like to forget. He didn't throw any interceptions, but came awfully close a few times.

Trying to protect both Katz and Vaz, the offensive line struggled mightily.

With Stephen Paea participating in 11 on 11 drills tonight, it spelled trouble for LG Grant Johnson and C Alex Linnenkohl. Both had to take on the All-America candidate 1 on 1, and neither fared well at all.

On the right side of the line with the 1s, RG Burke Ellis struggled to keep both senior DT Brennan Olander and junior DT Kevin Frahm out of the backfield. Both d-tackles took turns going against Ellis with the 1s.

In the backfield Wednesday night, Jacquizz Rodgers had a good overall night, catching some passes and ripping off some good cutback runs.

Quizz looks to be ready to go against what is expected to be a highly ranked TCU defense.

Continuing the battle for the backup TB position was junior Ryan McCants and sophomore walk-on Jordan Jenkins.

Tonight, McCants started with the 2s every time they went onto the field. However, it was Jenkins who saw more snaps with the 2s.

Both played with the 2s and 3s.

At the wide receiver position, Jordan Bishop used his track speed to break away from corners and safeties, running precise routes and working his way open several times.

On the opposite side of the ball, seniors Aaron Nichols and James Rodgers.

Both ran good routes, but both had some drops, particularly Nichols.

Two momentum killers came when Katz threw a 20-yarder perfectly to Nichols that bounced off his hands. Then Nichols again got a perfect strike from Katz on a 10-yarder, but it too found the turf.

Markus Wheaton finished doubles off strong on Wednesday night -- the sophomore WR had some good catches, including a 40-yard jump ball that Wheaton went up and grabbed.

Wheaton played with the 2s and 3s.

At the tight end position, both Joe Halahuni and Brady Camp played fairly well.

It was the backup pass catchers who would like to forget the night most.

Both Colby Prince and Mitch Singler both had several dropped balls.

Singler, who started with the 2s, ran great routes, but just could not hold onto the pigskin.

The offensive depth chart for Wednesday night's practice:

Split End: Aaron Nichols, Darrell Catchings, Markus Wheaton

Slotback: Jordan Bishop, Markus Wheaton, Micah Hatfield

LT: Wilder McAndrews, Timi Oshinowo, Michael Philipp

LG: Grant Johnson, Ryan Pohl

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

TB: Jacquizz Rodgers, Ryan McCants, Jordan Jenkins

Flanker: James Rodgers, Micah Hatfield, Markus Wheaton

FB: Will Darkins, Clayton York

******

The offense didn't actually play all that badly, all in all, rather it was how impressively the defense played that stood out.

The defensive line was the position to watch Wednesday night and most importantly, senior DT Stephen Paea, who participated in full 11 on 11 scrimmages.

Paea showed why so many pro scouts can't wait to see him this season. He was bull rushing into the backfield with ease all night. How so?

There were at least four different times Paea would have gotten the sack had the session been live and had he been able to tackle Katz.

With Paea making an impact and eventually drawing the double team, it opened up things for the other d-lineman.

Sophomore Taylor Henry was seen sweeping past the o-line and into the backfield as well.

Henry definitely benefits from Paea's presence.

Also benefiting were both Brennan Olander and Kevin Frahm. Both players played with the 1s, but Frahm also saw some time with the 2s.

At the linebacker position, it was another night of battling for the starting MLB position between sophomore Rueben Robinson and sophomore Tony Wilson.

Both saw time with the 1s, but when coach Banker yelled out for the 1s to take the field, it was Robinson, not Wilson who got the nod.

Neither made incredible plays, but Robinson seems to be a slight favorite for the coaches.

The battle is likely to continue into the future practices, and it's still looking like it's too close to call.

With the d-line and linebacking corps putting pressure on both Katz and Vaz, it helped the DB's cover better and prevent a lot of big plays.

In the defensive backfield Wednesday night, senior Suaesi Tuimaunei filled in for junior Cameron Collins at the safety position.

Collins, coming off a groin injury, practiced and participated in scrimmages but he played with the 2s, along with limited reps with the 1s.

At the cornerback position, senior Brandon Hardin, who was limited the early part of camp with a quad pull, got in and played with the 1s, and sophomore Jordan Poyer started over senior James Dockery.

Dockery practiced, but was in and out with Poyer and the rest of the 1s.

The defensive depth chart for Wednesday night's practice:

LE: Gabe Miller, Mana Rosa

LT: Stephen Paea, Brennan Olander, Castro Masaniai

RT: Brennan Olander, Kevin Frahm

RE: Taylor Henry. Dominic Glover

SAM LB: Keith Pankey, Uani Unga

MLB: Rueben Robinson, Tony Wilson, Walker Vave, Feti Unga

WILL LB: Dwight Roberson, Michael Doctor, Zane Norris

LCB: Jordan Poyer, James Dockery, Sean Martin

Safety: Lance Mitchell, Josh LaGrone

Safety: Suaesi Tuimaunei, Cameron Collins, Anthony Watkins

RCB: Brandon Hardin, Rashaad Reynolds, Keynan Parker

******

Special teams were quiet during Wednesday night's practice.

******

The next practice for the Beavers is Thursday, August 26 at 2pm.


BeaverBlitz Top Stories