August 24, 2007
Defense dominates heading into final week
A day after head coach Mike Riley announced the two-man quarterback system will be implemented for the first game against Utah, the Beavers worked on many different schemes on Thursday. Overall, the defense looked very strong and was making plays from every position. Sean Canfield had his best day throwing the football since I have covered the fall camp practices. He seemed to be a little more comfortable and was hitting his targets. Early in practice, he faced the first team defense and completed two of five passes. Lyle Moevao worked against the second team and obtained the same statistics, and both quarterbacks had a beautiful pass dropped by their receivers. Talk about an equal race, but today, it looked like Canfield had the momentum in the quarterback race. Ryan Gunderson completed all three of his passes in the drill but struggled the remainder of practice.
While facing the offense, the defense did some sets that Utah uses and the offense seemed to hold up pretty well. There were a lot of blitz packages from the linebackers, and the offensive line managed to hold their ground. I was also impressed with the second string linemen, they are young but I think there is a lot of potential and talent from that group. They looked very poised and confident for a young group, but they will need some experience.
Brandon Powers and Chris Johnson looked pretty inconsistent at times catching the football today, and Riley let them know that they need to make the catches. I'm hoping they will get the drops out of their system before next week. From the backups, Sam Oltman made a really nice grab in traffic on one play, and has had a great week of practices. Gabe Miller also looked sharp blocking and rolling out to catch passes today.
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