PRACTICE: Beavs take a hit at DE

CORVALLIS--The Beavers continue to prep for TCU and with the opener just over a week away OSU has some kinks to work out. A big name d-lineman was carried off the practice field this afternoon, giving Oregon State head man Mike Riley reason to worry about the lack of depth there. Sophomore quarterback Ryan Katz continued to air it out, and a senior wideout made a quick return from injury.

On the defensive line, sophomore end Taylor Henry was carried off the field by trainers during the second team session with his right leg up in the air.

The initial prognosis was a right sprained ankle but how bad is unknown. After practice Riley said there's no way to tell yet how long he might be out, and could not say whether he would be back in time for the Sept. 4 opener against TCU. But it didn't look promising given that he didn't walk off the field on his own steam.

Dominic Glover looks to take Henry's place as a starter if he can't go but Andrew Seumalo stepped in for Henry with the 1s today – likely in order to get some valuable turns since he could potentially become a key cog in OSU's d-end rotation if Henry is out.

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Bad news aside, the defensive line stepped up and owned the line of scrimmage during that second session of the afternoon, with Stephen Paea and Brennan Olander clogging up the middle.

Olander kept the mood light, shouting "Make sure Stephen looks good at all times guys, remember?"

Offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh was in fine form throughout today's practice, basically looking for a reason to curse.

Cavanaugh pulled guard Burke Ellis, barking at the junior starter, in the team session in favor of fellow junior Michael Lamb.

Ellis later joined former first-teamer Michael Philipp on the second team offensive line. It would appear a permanent move would be unlikely but either way, Cavanaugh was unhappy with the unit's performance.

Later on the offensive and defensive line participated in a pass blocking drill, working on the anticipated defensive fronts they will be seeing next week with TCU. And Seumalo made an impression.

The sophomore defensive end bestedguard/tackle Colin Kelly with a slick move that quickly allowed him access to the backfield.

Middle linebackers Rueben Robinson and Tony Wilson continued sharing snaps with the first string defense, but Robinson took the majority of snaps during the team sessions.

Riley continues to leave this position battle up in the air, and with this being one of the closer position battles in recent memory it looks more and more likely that a decision will not be made until sometime next week.

The rest of the first string offense looked like this:

DE: Taylor Henry (pre-ankle injury) / Andrew Seumalo (post-Henry injury)

DT: Stephen Paea

DT: Brennan Olander

DE: Gabe Miller

OLB: Dwight Roberson

ILB: Rueben Robinson / Tony Wilson

OLB: Keith Pankey

CB: James Dockery / Jordan Poyer

S: Lance Mitchell / Josh LaGrone

S: Cameron Collins / Suaesi Tuimaunei

CB: Brandon Hardin

Offensively, Katz continued to look sharp throughout practice, connecting with senior wideout James Rodgers on a number of occasions. Rodgers, who suffered a shoulder bruise during yesterday's practice, was back on the field today after sitting out a majority of yesterday.

During the red zone team session Rodgers got turned around by Poyer in the middle of his route, but somehow turned his body and reeled in the pass from Katz inside the five. Later on in the session Katz delivered a pass in traffic that zipped past the secondary and into the hands of Rodgers in the back of the end zone for a touchdown.

Rodgers was not the only receiver with the secondary's number on the day. Sophomore Markus Wheaton continued to prove why he could be the next great offensive weapon for the Oregon State offense.

The speedy wide receiver burned past the entire secondary, beating LaGrone deep down the sideline and Katz hit him perfectly.

The only mistake made by Katz, if you can even call it that, came on a Lance Mitchell interception deep in the red zone.

To be fair, the pass careened off of H-back Joe Halahuni and hung up in the air for what seemed like forever, then was picked out of the air by Mitchell, who had nothing but green in front of him.

Junior running back Jacquizz Rodgers, however, ran the safety down and the pair did the two-step down the field -- as Mitchell made a move, Rodgers followed.

Before the interception the first string offense had no problem moving the ball down the field and Katz was super-effective in his passes.

The rest of the first string offense looked like this:

QB: Ryan Katz

RB: Jacquizz Rodgers / Jordan Jenkins / Ryan McCants

FB: Will Darkins

WR: James Rodgers / Markus Wheaton / Aaron Nichols / Kevin Cummings

TE: Brady Camp

H-back: Joe Halahuni / John Reese

LT: Wilder McAndrews

LG: Grant Johnson

C: Alex Linnenkohl

RG: Burke Ellis / Michael Lamb

RT: Mike Remmers

Sidenote: Sophomore wide receiver Jordan Bishop sat out of this afternoon's practice with what was called a "tight back" by Riley.

There was hardly any news on the special team's front, as the usual suspects continued their workout regimens before the actual practice got underway. Kicker Justin Kahut continued kicking with the first string ST despite a back injury he has been battling throughout camp. Wheaton and Rodgers practiced returning kicks and punts, and punter Johnny Hekker continued to hold for Kahut.

The Beavers continue their practice schedule tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon with their season starting barely a week away.

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