Anderson Hot During OSU Football Scrimmage
April 20, 2002
CORVALLIS- Oregon State's defensive unit continues to flex its muscle, but Beaver quarterback Derek Anderson put on an impressive passing show Saturday at Reser Stadium as OSU completed its second full-scale scrimmage of the spring.
Anderson, the 6-6 sophomore quarterback who will be replacing Jonathan Smith at quarterback for the Beavers this fall, put together a very strong performance against OSU's No. 1 defensive unit on Saturday. Anderson completed 19 of 28 passes for 228 yards, including an 8-yard TD pass to tight end Tyler Ross. Anderson was intercepted on his final pass of the day, which was about the only blemish on his performance.
During 15 drives during the morning scrimmage, in front over 2,000 people, the offense accounted for one touchdown a pair of 29-yard field goals by Kirk Yliniemi.
'The offense looked better today than it has all spring,' said OSU Coach Dennis Erickson. 'Sometimes the scoring is not as important as what you did to get there for an opportunity.
'We made some strides protecting the quarterback and blocking up front,' said Erickson. 'Derek (Anderson) had an outstanding day at quarterback, the receivers did a good job of catching the ball, and Steven Jackson had some room to run for a change. I am happy where the offense is right now, the unit made big improvement over the last week.'
On the first offensive series, Anderson moved the No. 1 offense down the field to the 26-yard line and Ryan Cesca missed on a 43-yard field goal attempt. On Anderson's second series, he moved the offense from its own 30 to the 12-yard line and Kirk Yliniemi made good on a 29-yard field goal, capping a eight-play, 58-yard drive.
On Anderson's third possession he moved the offense to the 16-yard line of the defense and Cesca missed once again on a field goal, this time from 33 yards.
Anderson's fourth possession was the best drive of the day as he moved the offense 70 yards in 14 plays for a touchdown. The TD came on an 8-yard pass to tight end Tyler Ross.
Anderson's chief target for the game was junior flanker James Newson who hauled in eight passes for 126 yards.
All told, 13 different receivers caught passes from Anderson and backups Adam Rothenfluh and Ryan Kanekeberg. Steven Jackson rushed for 32 yards on 13 carries and backup Dwight Wright added 34 on nine attempts.
The offense produced 378 net yards during the 87-yard scrimmage. The total plays did not include punts for field goal attempts.
The defense contributed eight sacks during the scrimmage to take 54 yards away from the 98 positive yards gained on the ground.
'Defensively, we have had a great spring, that is the strength of this team,' said Erickson.
'We have many starters coming back on defense, and as I have said before, I thought our defense was as good as any in the conference at the end of last season,' said Erickson. 'If we continue to improve, I think we will have one of the better defensive teams in the league.'
One of the areas that continues to be a battle, and also a bit of concern is the place kicking.
'The competition will continue throughout next week and into training camp this fall as well-hopefully somebody will emerge,' Erickson said. 'The battle is real close right now, we just don't have anybody who is real consistent, and that is a concern.'
All told, OSU had four kickers attempting field goals during the scrimmage. Cesca, who was the Pac-10 All-Conference kicker in 2000, is attempting to regain his starting role. The challengers are Kirk Yliniemi, walk-on Mike White and freshman John Dailey, a pitcher on the OSU baseball team. Dailey was an outstanding place kicker at Jesuit High School. Daily is redshirting as a pitcher.
Erickson has been very impressed with the progress of Anderson this spring.
'Derek is just an intelligent person,' said Erickson. 'He is what I like to call a gym rat. He always likes to be around the game. He studies a lot of video, so he has a lot of athletic sense-he understands what is going on around him. Playing him last year has made a huge difference in his development.'
Oregon State will return to practice on Tuesday and will conclude spring drills on Saturday with a 1:00 p.m. intrasquad game at Reser Stadium.
RECEIVING (No/Yds/TD): James Newson, 8-126-0, Jayson Boyd, 3-20-0, Shawn Kintner, 2-21-0, Kenny Farley, 2-16-0, Cole Clasen, 2-13-0, Jermaine Jackson, 2-33-0, Seth Trimmer, 2-50-0, Steven Jackson, 1-5-0, Pat Loney, 1-6-0, Floyd Wade, 2-7-0, Tyler Ross, 1-8-1, Dan Haines, 3-25-0, Dwight Wright, 1-4-0.