Here are some stories of interest as we head into tomorrow's game with Portland State:
One of the more interesting and heart-warming story lines is what's going on regarding the Kavanaugh family this weekend. Taylor, the senior wide receiver/holder/punt returner will suit up for the Beavers tomorrow, while brother Connor will be on the visiting sidelines as Portland State's back-up quarterback. Parents Dan and Jenifer Kavanaugh have made a spreadsheet in order to catch as many games as possible this season, but this weekend, their location is an easy one.--Saturday's game marks the first time that Taylor and Connor will play for opposing teams. Lindsay Schnell has the full story in the Oregonian:
"It would have been great to play with my brother, but the whole time he kept telling me, 'Do what's best for you,'" Connor said.
That turned out to be Portland State, where Connor backs up starting quarterback Drew Hubel.
When he signed, Connor said he never imaged matching up against Taylor. "It never really crossed my mind," Connor said. "When I first heard about us scheduling them, I can't even describe it, what it's like playing against your brother."
Taylor, who is now on scholarship at Oregon State, has published his first diary on OregonLive for the upcoming season. If you haven't read the first installment already ("Of Building Blocks and Brotherhood"), it's definitely worth the read. An excerpt:
Ask anybody on this team, and they will honestly reply that there are always opportunities to take the short cut and "come down" from our hill. But I know I speak for many when I say it has simply become the culture of this team to ignore those many distractions and continue to do great work every day. (And sometimes twice a day, but thankfully those are over!)
Carl Sommer, the Wilsonville High School graduate, also has ties to both programs. Sommer signed his letter of intent to play for Oregon State, then left the program a day before the Beavers upset USC last season after developing a poor relationship with defensive line coach Joe Seumalo. Sommer was expected to be a difference-maker on the defensive line, but as Jim Beseda notes, his NFL aspirations are still alive at Portland State, despite his potential to have played at OSU:
"When you lose a guy like that, it's always like a failure," coach Riley said. "He was a redshirt freshman at the time, and we were looking at him just like we do with all our guys' development. To me, there was no doubt he was going to find his way in this program."
With Darrell Catchings still nursing a hand injury, Damola Adeniji will start at split end for the Beavers in the opener, completing a journey from walk-on to starter. Cliff Kirkpatrick has more on Damola, as well as another player who could make a difference: Brandin Hardin.
Hardin will likely play in the secondary in Saturday's game behind cornerbacks Tim Clark and James Dockery. Clark, who is the leader of the secondary, expressed on Tuesday that he fully expects to be tested by Drew Hubel and Portland State's offense.
PSU will come right after the Beavers' secondary, Clark predicts.
"We have the most inexperienced group on the defense, so we expect to get attacked a lot,'' said Clark. "I hope we respond to that.''
Keaton Kristick, the leader of the linebackers, is nervous yet excited for Saturday's game, but also knows it will be no cakewalk:
Said Kristick, "it's football. Anything can happen on any given day.'' Kristick is nervous. Expects major butterflies Saturday as he begins his senior year and what he hopes is the launching pad to an NFL career. "Reser's gonna be rocking,'' he said.
Quotes like these from the Beaver defense were the norm at Tuesday's press conference, as the Beavers said all the right things heading into Saturday's game.
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