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The Defense Strikes Back On Day 4

Sean Mannion had the more solid day today in the Oregon St. quarterback derby.
Sean Mannion had the more solid day today in the Oregon St. quarterback derby.
(Photo by Andy Wooldridge)

After being abused a bit yesterday by the offense, the Oregon St. defense asserted itself at times today, in day 4 of the Beavers' preparations for the 2013 football season, which opens in 22 days, when Eastern Washington comes to Reser.

And while defensive coordinator Mark Banker and secondary coach Rod Perry were pleased to see their charges make adjustments, and doubtless are glad to see aggressive, physical play, it wasn't all exactly what head coach Mike Riley wanted to see. At least while practice had to be stopped for several minutes while trainers checked out TE Tyler Perry, who had been blasted after breaking into the open after a catch.

"All those deals in space, they scare you," Riley said. "I'd rather avoid some of those collisions in the secondary right now. Even when we've got full gear on. We just have to find every way we can to practice as fast as we can and still keep everybody healthy. They're also one of the key elements in what people are studying with penalties now."

Fortunately, Perry made it to his feet, and back to the where the offense was working from, and isn't thought to be too worse for wear.

He was the second key member of the receiving corp to take it easy at that point, as WR Kevin Cummings spent the day observing, Cummings "tweaked a hamstring" according to RIley, after having had a rather productive first day of offense vs. defense yesterday.

Riley didn't have any news on the situation with the 3 JC (hopefully) transfer defensive linemen to share today, and also still hasn't given any indication as to who he will go with at quarterback, continuing to alternate Sean Mannion and Cody Vaz as the team works through various drills and play installations.

Safety Ryan Murphy might have tipped the scales slightly though, with 2 interceptions of Vaz today.

A substantial part of the day is being spent this week taking a look at the freshmen in the program.

"We won't waste a freshman's year," Riley said. "We've got to make sure he's going to be ready to play in a game if we're not going to redshirt him."

Overall, it was a relatively uneventful day, but anticipation is building, and not just among the on-lookers, for tomorrow, when full pads go on for the first time, and the intensity is likely to take its next step up.