DAY 3 - Big Plays Continue on Both Sides of the Ball

Aug. 12, 2009

CORVALLIS -

The players donned shells for the first time today ... and with the added padding comes more hitting. And the speed and excitement.

“We’ve had good speed but when you put the pads on, especially for the first time (the pace) picks up a bit,” head coach Mike Riley said.

James Rodgers, who continues to have a strong fall camp and has a exhibited his speed each day this week, got behind Keynan Parker again today for a long touchdown pass from Sean Canfield. Later, Rodgers caught a ball crossing the middle and turned upfield quickly splitting the converging defense for another long touchdown.

Several other young receivers enjoyed big moments as well. Markus Wheaton outjumped Brian Watkins and Zeke Sanders for a ball in the middle of the field. Jordan Bishop got behind the defense for a long touchdown and then came back on the next play to get wide open along the sideline for consecutive scores from Peter Lalich. Later, it was Geno Munoz making a great catch on a deep ball from Lalich and then ran through a diving tackle.

The defense wasn’t without its successes too. Lance Mitchell recorded an interception during “red ball” for the second day in a row. Ben Terry showed great pursuit speed chasing down Jacquizz Rodgers on a run to the other side of the field. A slew of defensive ends – Terry, Kevin Frahm, Matt LaGrone and Taylor Henry were noteworthy – are getting incredible jumps at the snap and are keeping the quarterbacks uncomfortable ... to be fair most of the plays were pass plays today, which didn’t exactly keep the defense guessing.

Today was a great day for one Beaver. Tonu Tuimalealiifano took several reps at defensive tackle early in practice today. It was the first time he’s been on the field for 11 vs. 11 since spring ball in 2008. Tonu has struggled with injuries and bad luck since his arrival in Corvallis, but appears to have ample strength and determination to make an impact once he returns to playing shape.

Kickoff for the season opener against Portland State, Sept. 5, was announced today ... 11:35 a.m.

TEAM BUILDING

The Beaver football team on Tuesday night was privileged to have motivational speakers H.D. Wedell, Jerry Hackenbruck and Leon McKenzie on campus. All three are former student-athletes at OSU. Tonight it’s the annual scavenger hunt and the team building activities continue throughout the week.

Today’s hairstyle update – Geoff Garner, who might have had the worst of all of the hair-dos given to the o-line, gave up and showed up today with a shaved head. Garner had previously been sporting the bald look on top with haircut around the sides.

MEDIA STUFF

Today’s media remained a smallish group. Paul Buker of The Oregonian cornered Jovan Stevenson, Cliff Kirkpatrick of the Gazette-Times was after Michael Philipp at lunch and Stephen Paea after practice, while GT cohort Kevin Hampton spoke with David Pa’aluhi.

SI.com offered its Top 20 along with a scouting report and has Oregon State ranked No. 18 ... Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian had a nice article in today’s paper about Joe Newton’s training camp with the Seahawks.

SIDELINE VIEWS

Mitch Singler made a magnificent one-handed grab during the “young guys” period ... Mostly good news on the injury front today. Geno Munoz and Markus Wheaton were back to participating throughout the day – minus the limps of yesterday. Munoz was able to get behind the defense on one play, while Wheaton caught touchdown during “red ball” ... Keynan Parker came down hard on his shoulder after breaking up a pass intended for Damola Adeniji. Parker sat out the rest of practice strapped to a bag of ice ... Anthony Watkins (hamstring) remains out.

Practice resumes Thursday at 2 p.m. when the Beavers will don shells again for the final time before putting on all the pads on Friday.

Support Oregon State University Athletics by making your tax deductible donation to the Beaver Athletic Student Fund. For more information follow this link or call 541-737-2370.You can make an 'everyday champion.' Follow Beaver Athletics on twitter.

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