Erickson Pleased With Final Scrimmage

Aug. 22, 2002

CORVALLIS-Oregon State ran through a short 52-play final preseason scrimmage at Reser Stadium on Wednesday and Head Coach Dennis Erickson was pleased with the results.

Although Erickson rested his entire first team defense and several key offensive performers, the Beavers' execution was much sharper on Wednesday.

The offense scored three touchdowns, two coming on long drives. Quarterback Derek Anderson hit Seth Trimmer on a 30-yard scoring pass to cap a 70-yard, five-play drive for the first score and freshman tailback Ryan Cole scored on runs of 3 and 1 yard, capping a 11-play, 70-yard drive and a 14-play, 70 yard drive.

'This was a little different scrimmage than we would normally have the week before the first game,' said Erickson. 'We didn't scrimmage our No. 1 defense because I didn't feel we had to do that today. We ran our No. 1 offense against the No. 2 defense, and the No. 2 offense versus the No. 3 defense. I thought that went well. It was the best we have moved the ball all fall. It was a good scrimmage. We got a lot of things done.'

Erickson went into the scrimmage wanting to see his running game improve and the Beavers rushed for 147 yards on 32 carries. Riley Jenkins had 50 yards on 10 carries, while Cole added 44 on 10 with a pair of touchdowns to lead the rushers.

Anderson completed only 4 of 13 passes for 61 yards, but he had several passes dropped and James Newson and Jayson Boyd were held out of the scrimmage. Backup quarterback Adam Rothenfluh connected on 5 of 7 passes for 56 yards.

'Until you play an opponent it's hard to tell where you are as a team,' said Erickson. 'I do like where we are defensively, we have a chance to be darn good on that side of the ball. Offensively, we have improved everyday in camp and I expect we will continue to get better and better all the time.'

There continues to be a big battle being wagged between senior place kicker Ryan Cesca and junior Kirk Yliniemi. Yliniemi had the better of it Wednesday, kicking successfully on seven of eight live field goal attempts, ranging from 32 to 45 yards. Kirk's only miss came at 41 yards. Meanwhile, Cesca made only three of eight from the same distances.

'We had a lot of kicking opportunities today and that is important,' said Erickson. 'We haven't made a decision on who our top kicker is as of yet, that is why we put them in those situations today. Whoever is the most consistent over the next several days is the person who is going to kick Thursday.'

Oregon State got out of Wednesday's final scrimmage without any injuries. However, the Beavers got bad news about the condition of junior defensive end Dan Rothwell who was injured Tuesday morning. A MRI exam revealed a tear of both the ACL and MCL of his left knee and he will have season-ending knee surgery. OSU lost backup defensive tackle Henry Anderson (broken right arm) in the first fall camp scrimmage last year.

The Beavers will open the season next Thursday at Reser Stadium with a 7:00 p.m. contest against Eastern Kentucky, and as of Wednesday only 162 tickets remain available for the contest.

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