Beavs in game prep mode

CORVALLIS -- The Oregon State football team continued to learn more about their Saturday opponent, TCU, today. The first string offense started slow, but sophomore quarterback Ryan Katz and the O picked it up in the second hour of practice. Over on defense, a d-lineman took yet another step towards returning to the starting lineup on Saturday.

Practice kicked off with special teams work, and senior kicker Justin Kahut was blasting them through the uprights with consistency.

The individual position work began with pass, ball, bingo, as the cornerbacks, safeties and linebackers took turns with the drill. Afterwards corners worked on their footwork as secondary coach Keith Heyward shouted to keep their hips down.

Next came the red zone skelly session, and things didn't start as planned for Ryan Katz.

The first pass out of his hand was a near-interception for senior cornerback James Dockery, who had locked down James Rodgers on the sideline.

The sophomore quarterback quickly then marched the offense down the field, culminating in an Aaron Nichols touchdown grab, with Dockery lunging in vain for the pass.

While Katz has impressed this fall camp, the sophomore did something today spelled out big-time.

With a massive pass rush closing the pocket around him, a poised Katz waited until the right moment and delivered a deep ball for Rodgers, who then waltzed into the end zone.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Cody Vaz was hands-down impressive today. Among the highlights, burning defenders on back-to-back plays with deep balls for scores, one to sophomore wideout Markus Wheaton and the other to junior Darrell Catchings.

While words and results are two completely different things, neither the offense or defense came out on top this afternoon – a big play from the offense was answered by the defense seemingly the play after.

The offensive depth chart, with the Beavs just a few days from the opener, is seeing fewer and fewer changes from one day to the next:

QB: Ryan Katz / Cody Vaz / Jack Lomax

RB: Jacquizz Rodgers / Jordan Jenkins / Ryan McCants

FB: Will Darkins / Clayton York

WR: James Rodgers / Aaron Nichols / Jordan Bishop / Markus Wheaton

TE: Brady Camp H-Back: Joe Halahuni / John Reese

LT: Wilder McAndrews

LG: Grant Johnson C: Alex Linnenkohl

RG: Burke Ellis

RT: Mike Remmers

Defensively, the starting middle linebacker position still has yet to be determined, sophomores Tony Wilson and Rueben Robinson both took snaps with the first string defense, continuing the trend established throughout fall camp.

"We have not announced it, we have not said it to them, so we are not saying anything yet," said Riley.

On the defensive line front, sophomore defensive end Taylor Henry continues to take small steps in returning to the field. The first string defensive end ran stairs in Reser Stadium throughout practice today.

"It's Tuesday, he has his pads on, he's doing a little running.. It's a good sign," Riley commented after practice.

The rest of the defensive depth chart looked like this today:

LE: Gabe Miller

DT: Kevin Frahm

DT: Stephen Paea

RE: Dominic Glover

LOLB: Dwight Roberson

MLB: Rueben Robinson / Tony Wilson

ROLB: Keith Pankey

LCB: James Dockery S: Lance Mitchell

S: Suaesi Tuimaunei

RCB: Brandon Hardin

Note: Cameron Collins is playing as a hybrid LB/S in certain packages. That in turn has Tuimaunei listed as a starting safety. How it works in actual practice will be seen more on Saturday.

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