Feature: Beavers in Week Two of Fall Camp
Aug. 15, 2007
By Frank Hoaglin
OSU Daily Barometer
August 15, 2007
Corvallis, OR (CSTV U-WIRE) -- With the Utah Utes coming to Corvallis in a little over two weeks, the quarterback situation is still up in the air. While both sophomores Sean Canfield and Lyle Moevao have stood neck-and-neck since spring practices, both are still looking equally capable of the Oregon State Beavers' quarterback position. Head coach Mike Riley and the rest of the coaching staff, however, are still not convinced, and say it will 'still take some time.'
'There's some tangible things that we look like,' Riley said. 'We keep all the stats. Every throw they make is documented. There's a little more to it that comes out of the stat book though. So we have to put some of those tangibles and intangibles together and say that it's right.'
The offensive line, however, has little question going into the season with two of it's five starters with preseason accolades. Senior center Kyle DeVan is a nominee for the Rimington Trophy while junior guard Jeremy Perry is nominated for the Outland and Lombardi awards. Add senior guard Roy Schuening, who is the No. 16 top offensive line prospect in the 2008 NFL Draft, and that makes for a beastly offensive line that could give the backfield plenty of protection. With all the teamwork it takes to be part of an offensive line, it's important for the team to be close.
'I think we placed a lot of emphasis on that last year coming out of a season where we struggled in the beginning,' DeVan said. 'We really came together in the end, we built off that, and we had a lot of team activities throughout the summer and the winter time. Ryan Gunderson put on a big barbecue for players only just for us to be together. I think that really helped us carry over what we had last year, and we're building on that right now.'
As for what they need to work on between now and Aug. 30, DeVan thinks that the team should leave no stone unturned, and focus on every aspect of development.
'I think we have to work on everything,' DeVan said. 'There's not one area of the game where you can focus on. You have to be equally as good on run blocks as pass blocks. With the acknowledgments and accolades we have gotten, that's a target on us. At the same time that's great, but at the same time we're going to have to work that much harder.'
With star wide receiver Sammie Stroughter missing his sixth straight day on Monday due to personal reasons, Riley has had no choice but to move on without him. He has, however, started to work his freshmen into the fold. While he looks for the veterans to lead by example, he has become rather surprised with the talent that two certain freshmen in particular have displayed.
'I'm not surprised with my veteran players,' Riley said. 'I know what to expect from them and that's been pretty consistent. I feel really good about our freshmen. Our two young receivers in particular, James Rodgers and Darrell Catchings, have made a lot of plays. We have a pretty good overall receiving core.'
On the defensive side of the ball, there has been much improvement displayed with the already deep amount of talent the young, yet experienced defense has. Senior linebacker Derrick Doggett earned preseason nomination for the Bronko Nagurski award, and senior defensive lineman Jeff Van Orsow earned a Lott Trophy nomination. And with the amount of talent the Beavers' defense has, there will be a lot of surrounding players to make a play.
'Defensively, I think William Vea is really explosive and playing well,' Riley said. 'Dorian Smith and Jeff Van Orsow look like they are in better shape than ever. Gerard Lee has really elevated his game on the interior. Plus, we have a lot of good linebackers, and that is a very good group overall. I think the corners are playing as well as any time I have been here.'
With plenty of time until the end of the month, the Beavers have a lot of practices to work on things. The improvement, however, is being made, and with the hard work they are showing, good things are sure to come.
'We're just coming together,' DeVan said. 'Trying to all be on the same page when we come out here and trying to get the kinks out.'
(C) 2007 OSU Daily Barometer via CSTV U-WIRE