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Player Notes As Preparation For BYU Proceeds

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RB Malcolm Agnew returned to practice this week, after struggling for over a month with his pulled hamstring, and ran at full speed Tuesday. Today, we'll learn more, depending on how he comes back.

With the lingering uncertainty about Agnew, and the concussion-like impact the Jovan Stevenson experienced in the fourth quarter of the win over Arizona, Oregon St. coach Mike Riley had Ryan McCants working with the offense again, primarily catching passes out of the backfield. While Stevenson is expected to be 100% Saturday against BYU, its clear there's concern that the Beavers can't have too many options ready at running back.

OG Josh Andrews returned to practice as well, after suffering a knee injury, and is working with the second line. Which is a story in itself. C Geoff Garner, OG Michael Lamb and Andrews were the only subs working with the second unit, as offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh was rotating starters in with the second string in Tuesday's practice.

Safety Lance Mitchell and WR Jordan Bishop did very limited work, as Mitchell protects his groin, and Bishop his ankle, in practices. Mitchell clearly was prepared adequately for the Arizona game, earning the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honor, so there's no concern there.

TE Connor Hamlett continues to work in game preparation, so his weekend off for the MIP party during camp apparently won't come this week.

The Dominic Glover saga seems to be over though, as he still isn't eligible, and is now reportedly out for the season.

Riley said "The goal now is to get him his degree."

Offensive preparation will be interesting, given that BYU favors a 3-4 alignment, something Oregon St. hasn't seen much of. Production out of the running backs, both rushing and on edge passes and screens, is an important part of the plan against a defense such as the Cougars', and the execution needs to be rather precise in order to pressure this type of active defense.

The game will also mark the first time BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall, who is an Oregon St. graduate, and was the Beavers' defensive coordinator under Jerry Pettibone in 1995 & 1996, has set foot in Corvallis in 15 years.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com