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Quiet but Busy Times At Oregon St. During Bye

Luke Del Rio will be the next quarterback up behind Sean Mannion for Oregon St.; will the offensive line make that a moot point for a while?
Luke Del Rio will be the next quarterback up behind Sean Mannion for Oregon St.; will the offensive line make that a moot point for a while?
(Photo by Andy Wooldridge)

It's been a quiet 2 weeks around Oregon St., about as quiet as a bye week can get, but a busy 2 weeks, and that's a good thing; it means there hasn't been anything major disrupting things as preparations for fall term (Oregon St. is on the quarter system, and classes haven't started yet) and this weekend's home "Black Out" against San Diego St.

(Remember to come early so see the Cosequin XAD Collegiate Pro Dog Tour that will be performing in Parker Plaza pre-game; it should be an interesting thing to see pre or post Beaver Walk.)

Quiet means not a lot to write about (whereas busy getting ready for fall term means not a lot of time to write; ask my BTD co-contributor RVM about busy schedules!), but it also means things are going fairly well when the biggest news to come out of the last 2 weeks is that head Coach Mike Riley says Luke Del Rio has moved ahead of Brent Vander Veen in the competition to be the backup quarterback (not so sure about this decision, based on observations, and there are sizable implications for next season, though that's NOT a given; ask Arizona St. who will be embarking on at least the beginning of a daunting stretch without starting quarterback Taylor Kelly).

Sure, the offensive line remains a concern, with Isaac Seumalo still out for some time (though he is working his way back into shape), and LG Garrett Weinrich back practicing, but not starting (Roman Sapolu did fine against Hawaii, so this is more an issue about depth than the starting lineup), but beyond that, the best thing that could happen is the most of the same guys have practiced at the same positions for 3 weeks now.

The offensive line is vital to both protecting Sean Mannion (so we don't have to worry about who the #2 quarterback is until next year), and opening running lanes for Storm Woods and Terron Ward, a more complex task than usual against the San Diego St. 3-3-5 defense, and head coach Rocky Long's exhaustive package of blitzes.

It's bound to be the key to the game, as the Aztecs are simultaneously looking for revenge for last year, where the Beavers got a big game from Mannion, yet still had to come from behind with a pair of late 4th quarter interceptions to pull out the win, and wary of how that happened.

Here's a preview of the game from the Mt. West perspective.

It's hard to disagree with their assessment that this should be a very exciting game, and probably not just in the early going!

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com