OSU Defense Dominates Oregon State Offense

Aug. 19, 2002

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CORVALLIS-For the second straight scrimmage, Oregon State's potent defensive unit put a blanket over the Beavers' offense in a dominating performance at Prothro Field Saturday afternoon.

The second OSU scrimmage was similar to the first scrimmage, only the defense was even more dominating Saturday, which brought a concerned response from Head Coach Dennis Erickson.

'It was a great defensive day, but I was very disappointed in how we played offensively,' said Erickson. 'We have improved offensively in some areas, but not enough. We have to make great improvement on offense over the next 10 days or so to have the opportunity to be as good as I hope we will.'

It was until the sixth offensive series of the scrimmage before the Beavers were able to produce a first down, due to a powerful defensive effort.

'Defensively, we are playing well enough to compete with anybody, but offensively we are not,' said Erickson. 'Again, I'm personally very disappointed with our offense. We showed no consistency on offense. We made some big plays, but frankly I'm having a problem finding something positive to say.'

OSU's first three offensive units combined to rush for only a net 53 yards on 41 carries and a trio of quarterbacks completed 20 of 49 passes for 208 yards, which included a pair of touchdowns and two interceptions. A total of 261 yards in total offense on 90 plays is not what Erickson was hoping for on Saturday.

'I really hope the lack of offensive execution is a result of our defense,' said Erickson. 'We are a defensive football team, and I hope it's one of the better ones in the country. I guess I really don't know for sure until we play somebody, but I certainly hope our defense is making our offense look bad.'

In addition to a strong defensive performance, special team units had a strong showing Saturday.

'I think our place kickers are doing a good job,' said Erickson. 'I have confidence in both Ryan Cesca and Kirk Ylinemi. I want to make a decision on our kicker and stick with one.'

Cesca converted three of four field goal attempts from 38, 38 and 32 yards and narrowly missed from 38 yards. Yliniemi made both of his field goal attempts from 38 yards.

Starting quarterback Derek Anderson completed 9 of 22 passes for 75 yards, including a 4-yard TD pass to Kenny Farley. He was also intercepted for the first time in two scrimmages. Backup Adam Rothenfluh completed 8 of 19 passes for 100 yards, with one interception and a 2-yard TD strike to tight end Dan Haines. Freshman Anton Clarkson, No. 3 on the depth chart, connected on only 3 of 8 passes for 33 yards.

Rothenfluh was sacked four times by the hard-charging Beaver defense and Clarkson was sacked three times.

OSU defenders also had four tackles for loss. All told, the Beavers rushed for a 119 yards on 41 carries, but sacks and tackles for loss amounted to 66 yards, giving OSU a net 53 yards on the ground.

Sophomore Riley Jenkins scored the only rushing touchdown on an 11-yard run.

OSU's longest drive of the day was a 13-play, 70-yard drive engineered by Rothenfluh against the No. 2 defense.

Josh Hawkins (27 yards) and Haines (59 yards) each caught three passes. A total of 13 receivers caught passes for 208 yards.

Oregon State's final scrimmage of fall camp will take place at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday at Reser Stadium.

Erickson emphasized the Beavers need to improve a great deal on offense between Saturday and Wednesday's final scrimmage.

Oregon State opens the 2002 season on Thursday, August 29 at Reser Stadium against Eastern Kentucky. A total of 231 tickets remained available as of Friday morning for the season opener. The Beavers are sold out of season tickets and have a limited number of individual tickets left for two other games-UNLV (646) and Arizona (423).

Oregon State escaped Saturday's scrimmage without picking up any serious injuries.

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