Oregon State offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin was in a brighter mood than the showery day was today after practice, terming the practice "The best the Beavers have had."
It's hard to know what to make of that, not having actually seen it, with the limited opportunities to observe that's the current norm, but Baldwin's point was he felt that the players were "getting it". That would be quite the accomplishment, especially given all the shakeups that injuries and the quarterback shuffle have necessitated.
Practice the last couple of days has had Isaac Seumalo moving all around, and don't be surprised to see that this Saturday night in Salt Lake City as well. Seumalo, normally the starting right guard, can and has played left tackle before, and could see some snaps there, and at left guard as well, if Fred Lauina can't go the distance, after being dinged up once again against Colorado.
Will Hopkins, just back from a bout with mononucleosis himself, did a good job in relief of Harlow last week, and will get a shot at solidifying the important LT spot, but could need some relief. Drew Clarkson has been the one to fill in for Lauina, but against the very big, physical, and active Utah front 7, depth can be needed. Seumalo being moved around is possible in part because Kami Delp has been able to handle the right guard spot.
There was some good news on the injury front, as Storm Barrs-Woods practiced fully today, an important development after being only able to go for a couple of plays against the Buffs, especially with Chris Brown out for the week.
Oregon State was down to just Ryan Nall in terms of an experienced RB for the latter part of the Colorado game.
"Thank God for Ryan Nall," Bakdwin said, "because we were down to one running back. I was upstairs trying to think, 'OK, do we have to put Victor (Bolden) back in there? And what do we do if we do?' Ryan Nall was a true horse. We handed him the ball and he was our big-play guy."
WR Hunter Jarmon also practiced, though with a red no-contact jersey. His status is up to "probable" for Saturday night.
Baldwin reiterated that though the Beavers will again use a 2 quarterback system, Seth Collins remains the starter, but Nick Mitchell will also be in at times, in part to pass, but also to prevent Utah from being able to stack their defense with 8 or 9 in the box. It did prompt Colorado out of such alignments.
The linebacker group could see some more of the regular rotation of players defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake and linebackers coach Ilaisa Tuiaki prefer, and both Jonathan Willis and Kyle Haley are likely to get some significant action against the Utes.
The Beavers will use both a 3 man front and a 4 man front again against Utah as well.