16.Aug.2014 Scrimmage Notes

Thank user SilverStream for these.

The Plays

Mannion passes to Villamin over the middle, the ball bounces off Villamin’s hands, high up in the air, is intercepted (I think by Zack Robinson), and run back for a TD. It’s a ball that was thrown hard, but it’s a ball that Villamin has to catch. Mannion and the coaches will be talking to Villamin about this one quite I bit, I’m guessing.

Del Rio in. Hawkins with a fly sweep to the right — got outside quickly and turned up towards sidelines. Didn’t get many yards, but that’s because the blocking wasn’t there. I think XH already runs the fly sweep well. With both Hawkins and Boldin available this season, the fly sweep will likely be an important part of the OSU ground game this season.

On the next play, Del Rio lets the snap go right through his hands, and then fails to pick up the ball, allowing a defender to scoop the ball and run into the endzone. Del Rio looked slow and unsure of himself on the play

Del Rio pass to the left side to Ricky Ortiz — it was a well-thrown pass, but Ortiz dropped the ball (a ball he could have and should have caught)

Del Rio pass downfield on the right side, picked off cleanly by Justin Strong, RS Freshman safety, and run back. Del Rio threw the ball into tight coverage, and Strong made a nice play on the ball, cutting in front of the receiver (who I think was Malik Gilmore, although I may be misremembering this). Ill-advised pass by Del Rio. Not clear whether Del Rio saw that the receiver was tightly covered — looked like Del Rio was throwing to a spot, regardless of the coverage.

VanderVeen in. Nice run by Chris Brown to the right side for 8+ yards, good job finding a hole through multiple defenders and getting upfield quickly.

VanderVeen rolls to his right and hits his receiver on the numbers for about 8 yards. VanderVeen looks comfortable rolling out and throwing on the run — also seems good at avoiding the rush and extending the play

VanderVeen throws a screen pass to Chris Brown on the left side — Chris Brown was covered tightly on the play and the pass was incomplete; VanderVeen probably should not have thrown the ball at all

VanderVeen throws a long pass down the left hash to Xavier Hawkins; pass falls incomplete; Hawkins was fighting the defender downfield (I believe it was Larry Scott), and I don’t think Hawkins even got his hands on the ball at all (it’s the kind of catch that Brandin Cooks was so good at making despite tight downfield coverage — but Hawkins is not able to fight through a defender to make this sort of play, at least not at this early point in his career)

VanderVeen dropped the snap, and didn’t make much of an effort to recover the ball, which was picked up and run back for a TD by the defense. Not VanderVeen’s finest moment. Seemed like he just gave up on the play, treating this as a scrimmage, and not wanting to get hurt or anything. VanderVeen will hear about this later from John Garrett, and won’t enjoy watching this on film.

Ward on a short cutback run to the left side, up-ended by Justin Strong on a beautiful form tackle just past the line of scrimmage. Justin Strong looks like came to play today.

VanderVeen rolls to his left away from pressure, throws on the run, and hits Caleb Smith down the left sideline for first down yardage — nice poise, footwork, and throw by VanderVeen.

Damien Haskins bounces a play outside and picks up 8+ yards. Quick feet and good vision by Haskins to turn a nothing play into a nice gain.

VanderVeen drops back, moves around in a collapsing pocket, and then pulls down the ball and gains about 10 yards up the middle on a nice scramble. VanderVeen again shows nice footwork and decent footspeed, as well as good poise and football IQ.

VanderVeen is too slow getting off the play, and is hit with a delay of game penalty. Yelling ensues from coaches on the sideline to VanderVeen, saying he has to do a better job of getting the offense ready to run the play and getting the play started on time

VanderVeen tries to hit Xavier Hawkins on a long pass down the right hash. VanderVeen threw the ball before XH made his cut, and XH cut outside while the ball was thrown inside. One of the coaches on the sideline (I think it was John Garrett) loudly yelled “No” as soon as the pass was thrown.

Draw play to the middle-right of the field, and Chris Brown picks up good yardage again (8+ yards, maybe more); CB again shows good vision and quickness in picking and hitting his holes

VanderVeen nicely sets up and completes a middle TE screen to Caleb Smith, good for about 10 yards. Caleb Smith is hit hard and dropped quickly by Brandon Arnold (another guy who came to play today, and recorded a number of good hits).

Chris Brown up the middle for nothing. Nolan Hansen, playing OG, got blown up on the play (and got yelled at by Cav from the sidelines).

Kendall Hill, WR split to the left, jumped offsides.

VanderVeen completes a short pass to Chris Brown on the left side — good pass, good catch, decent, safe yardage.

Inside the 20 yard line (red zone), Caleb Smith ran a seam route up the middle and got behind the defense, but VanderVeen’s pass was a little high and to the side, and Caleb Smith juggled the ball but could not hold on. Almost a nice TD connection between Caleb Smith and VanderVeen.

Del Rio in at QB. Storm Woods gets a few yards (but goes down quickly after contact — too quickly in my view).

Same thing, this time to the right side — a couple of yards, but Storm goes down quickly after initial contact.

On 3rd and 5, Del Rio’s pass is blocked by a defender (not sure who did it) and batted high up in the air. May have been caught on the way down (not sure by whom) but I wasn’t watching that — I was watching Del Rio to see his reaction — Del Rio looked frozen in place.

Del Rio comes back with a nice pass to Jordan Villamin for about 10 yards — good pass, good catch in traffic by Villamin.

Larry Scott has been defending aggressively all day — LS and Jordan Villamin appeared to have some sharp words, and a little pushing, after the last play, but were quickly separated.

Good pass by Del Rio just short of the goal line, dropped by the receiver in tight coverage (I think it was Villamin who dropped the pass, but I’m not positive).

VanderVeen back in. First play is pass to Wark for about 5 yards to the right side. Pass was a little bit behind Wark, who reached up and out to grab the ball and secure it. (Wark impresses me as a solid, reliable receiver with good hands who continues to make plays. Not flashy, but solid.)

VanderVeen back to throw, the pocket collapses quickly, VanderVeen buys time by moving around, and then throws the ball away to avoid a sack. Good footwork and poise again — made the right decision to avoid the sack here by throwing the ball away.

Chris Brown runs to the left side for a couple of yards — bad blocking by the second-string O-line, and no holes at all. Brown did what he could by just plowing forward and trying to push the pile to gain what he could.

Rinse and repeat. Brown for a yard or two, with no holes to run through at all.

High punt, good coverage, T. Ward tried to make the catch, and fumbled the ball. Ugh.

Del Rio in again, this time with the first string line and the first string backs (Ward and Woods). Feels like the coaches are giving Del Rio this chance to redeem himself by moving the offense down the field. First play was play action, Del Rio dropped back, and overthrew a receiver who was covered loosely about 8 yards downfield. Pass floated — Del Rio lucky it wasn’t picked off.

Naked backfield, Del Rio threw a ball downfield about 8-10 yards into tight coverage that fell incomplete, but Murphy was close to intercepting it. Ball probably should not have been thrown. Looks like Del Rio may be pressing, knowing that he has to do something with this opportunity.

Damien Haskins back in. Runs to the left, uses a nice stutter step to get around a defender and pick up about 5 yards. Again, makes something out of not much.

Another run to the left by Haskins, again for about 5 yards. Haskins is hit, but does not go down easy. Tough kid.

VanderVeen back in. VanderVeen scrambles around to buy time, and sees Jacob Wark open down the left sideline. VanderVeen throws a decent pass (not a perfect spiral, but good enough) that just gets over/past the defender. Wark manages to stay focused, catches the ball, turns upfield, and runs 50 yards down the left sideline for a TD. Celebration ensues.

VanderVeen again. Play action pass on right side to Ricky Ortiz. Throw is a little high, but Ortiz makes a nice catch for a short gain.

VanderVeen throws the ball into the dirt rather than forcing it into Xavier Hawkins on a short screen play; good decision, since XH was not open at all.

VanderVeen drops back, overthrows Wark 15 yards down the middle of the field. Wark was open, VanderVeen simply overthrew him.

Chris Brown on a draw play gets a few yards on a solid run.

VanderVeen nice pass over the middle for about 10 yards (not sure of receiver — perhaps Iona Pritchard).

VanderVeen quick pass to the right sideline to Xavier Hawkins (bubble screen type play); Hawkins caught the ball cleanly, and got upfield quickly for a 7-8 yard gain. Nice play on both ends (good throw by VanderVeen, nice catch and run by Hawkins).

Chris Brown with an excellent run to the right side for first down+ yardage. Found a hole, hit it, and got upfield fast.

Chris Brown takes the ball right, cuts back left, and then heads upfield for 5+ yards. Another nice run.

Chris Brown to the left side for zero — no hole at all.

In red zone, VanderVeen finds Hawkins in the left corner of the end zone for the TD; good route by Hawkins to break left from his defender; when VanderVeen saw the break, he just lobbed the ball over the defender to Hawkins in the corner; nice play by both guys.

Kyle Kempt in for the first time. Completes a pass to Datrin Guyton. Well-thrown ball (nice spiral, good location) on the money.

Ryan Nall’s first carry — decent run to the right side for a few yards. Nall runs upright, but he’s a big strong guy who perhaps can get away with it, at least sometimes.

Kempt looks for Guyton on the right side (an out pattern — about 12-15 yards deep). Looked like a well-thrown ball, but Guyton slipped and couldn’t get there.

Kempt throws another nice ball, this one to Drew Kell, caught for about 10 yards.

Yet another well-thrown ball from Kempt, this one to Kendall Hill, up the left-middle, for about 10 yards.

Kempt throws high to Jaylyn Bailey (Soph RB) in the right flat, Bailey can’t catch it

Handoff to Nall, who slipped and didn’t gain anything.

Kempt pass to Guyton — hit Guyton right in the numbers, and Guyton dropped it. Nice pass. Bad drop.

Kempt came out at this point.

Next up at QB was Nick Mitchell for a series. He moved the offense down the field against the third string defense.

Then Marcus McMaryion came in for a couple of series. He moved the offense well, too. And that was the end of the scrimmage.

Both Mitchell and McMaryion performed surprisingly well. In fact, the only QB who under-performed today was Del Rio.

I took notes on the plays run by Nick Mitchell and Marcus McMaryion. I may transcribe those later tonight, if I get time.

15.Aug.2014 Practice Notes

From 8/14, thank user Bone for these:

I’ve been able to catch the last half of most of the morning session of practice and here are a couple of notes that I’ve noticed the last week and a half and how I see each position panning out.

  • Most noticeable difference from a practice stand point is that this year is much more physical.   I can’t remember the last time where they were going live tackling each and every day, usually about 10-20 live plays a day, which is still a major increase compared to last year.
  • The Defense overmatched the offense the first week.  No running lanes for the running backs, little to no time for the quarterbacks to throw, breaking up passes in the secondary.
  • Offense finally settled on an offensive line after trying out different combinations the first week.  They have started to gel with the combination of Gavin Andrews at LT, Weinreich at LG, Mitchell at C,  Harlow at RG, and Stanton at RT.
  • Only a two true freshman are receiving meaning reps are Xavier Hawkins are receiver and Daryl Williams at corner.  Both have received a much higher number of reps due to players above them on the depth chart sitting out, and have taken advantage of them by playing well.  I don’t see either of them redshirting.  The rest of the class I see all redshirting.
  • Practice usually ends around 12:30 for the older player.  The younger players then get to do a lot of the drill that they don’t usually get earlier in the practice.
  • Noting too major on the injury front (knock on wood) just pretty standard camp injures.  Isaac has been out of his boot since yesterday, Hunt is slowly working his way back into practice. Boldin and DJ have been held the longest, Those two along with Isaac I can see being held out of Portland St.

Some offensive positional notes


  • Mannion is looking really sharp, even with the young receiving group; he continues to make all the throws.  Today is the first day that I have seen him throw an interception.  He is also showing a little more athleticism in the pocket and a little more willing to take off when there is a chance.
  • Del Rio takes most of the second team reps, he shows some flashes, but throws quite a few interceptions.  Vanderveen also getting reps, looks a little more comfortable finally throwing the ball down field.  Still unsure of who will end up getting the backup job, my guess is Del Rio.
  • McMaryion, Mitchell, and Kempt all receiver little to no reps.  I don’t see Kempt staying past this season.

Running Backs

  • Ward and Woods are both splitting first team reps, both playing well and have looked better as the offensive line has improved.  My prediction is that we see split carries between the two, with Ward carrying slightly a heavier load.
  • Chris Brown has looked pretty pedestrian compared to Woods and Ward, not to say he is looking bad, but he is not at the same level as Ward or Woods.  Haskins is the most intriguing runner to me; he is built like a tank and moves fairly well, and after missing camp early he has made a few plays, showing off his speed and power.
  • I haven’t seen much of Nall, I don’t see him getting much time at running back, but apparently kick returner is an option for him, if he ends up not red shirting.

Wide Receivers

  • This might be the most fun group to watch in practice because it seems like there are a different group every day.  A lot of receivers missing practice due to injury, so there are a ton of reps for all the players.  There are also a lot of different types of receivers each with different strengths.
  • Xavier Hawkins has easily gotten the most first team reps out of any receiver, because he has stayed healthy.  He has gotten better each day and impresses me more and more. I like him more than Boldin, but during the first week Brennen said that Boldin was playing the best out of all the receivers.
  • Mullaney had a slow start to camp but looked really good today.  Villiman is a big receiver who has been really consistent I see him getting a lot of playing time.  Jarmon was making moves up the depth chart and looking good until he was held out of practice yesterday.  I don’t see anything really special out of Gilmore so far.
  • This is a very young group that could be a lot of fun to watch grow together.

Tight Ends

  • Hamlett and Smith are both playing at high levels, both look good catching the ball.  Smith’s body has changed since his freshman year when he was a big kid to now where he has a man’s body.  If he can eliminate some of the air-headed plays, he could have a really nice season.
  • Cute and Wark are solid backups.

Offensive Line

  • During the first week, the offensive line was a disaster. During team sessions, there was no running room, sacks nearly every play.  But much improved this week.
  • Weinreich moved from tackle to guard after losing some athleticism.  That moved helped with the o-lines improvement.  Also moving Stanton to RT and Andrew to LT.
  • Stanton no longer looks like a tight end, put on some good weight over the summer.
  • This group still needs Isaac back healthy as soon as possible.

12.Aug.2014 NCAA Futures (Sean Mannion Heisman Odds)

Sportsinteraction.com have some early Heisman Trophy odds. Sean Mannion is currently 10th, which seems a bit high to me. Mariotta is projected 2nd and Brett Hundley 6th, so the Pac-12 is well represented this year.

The Pac-12 championship odds look about right. +3300 to win the conference outright, and +1200 to win the North. Oregon is the favorite across the board. I think a nice long shot might be Arizona State and/or Washington.

07.Aug.2014 Power 5 Autonomy

Obviously it’s good for these schools and players to get away from the NCAA (worst. institution. ever.), but this is going to quickly result in paying players at the biggest schools in these power 5 conferences. This will be done under the guise of helping student athletes, equality, and other populist rhetoric, but the real story here is that the most powerful schools were threatened by the TV contacts over the last few years leveling out the playing field. Now they need new rules to override that. After all, they can’t have lowly OSU raking in 25mil a year, with which they might be able to compete for a conference title once a decade.

The timing of all this is no coincidence.

The NCAA were the old status-quo gatekeepers. Now the status quo is more disguised under “autonomy”, a pleasant word that makes it sound like everyone has a say and there is no overseer. But make no mistake, we are now guaranteed Ohio State, USC, et al will continue to buy their way into big games. Cool. I don’t know about you guys, but I am so drawn to this word “autonomy”. It really makes me think Oregon State has some power to make their own rules. /Sarc

Also, what does this do for education, which was already hyper-inflated (i.e. a Harvard student from 1950 is not nearly the same intelligence as one from 2014) to have dumb, multimillionaire jocks dominating campus with their cars, off campus mansions, etc. I’m a few years ahead of myself with that, but it is the direction we’re headed. Why? Good question. If equality was the actual goal, the way to make it happen is through scholarship reform. Such as (a) limiting the number of scholarships for top 25 programs (b) limiting how many athletes a school can sign from a given State/area, etc. Yes it punishes success, but if that success is founded on nothing more than serendipitous location, do we really care? Reducing scholarships for top teams makes them feel the pain of lower tier schools. But the goal is not parity; it’s to maintain the status quo. We know ESPN, the SEC, et al are all behind keeping things as is, and there is no better way than giving their conferences the ability to make rules.

Bill Snyder realizes this, as he ironically speaks about it on said ESPN.

You could say ESPN and boosters have now taken over for the NCAA.  I might not watch a single game this year. Last year I watched only OSU games and noting else, but I don’t want to support this train wreck of a sport in any way. The fan is now faced with a moral dilemma whether to support their team or support the machine. We cannot do the former without the latter.

More Fall Camp

Rivals has a bunch of free videos up:


VanderVeen, Mamma Machado Day 3, Riley, etc. Just go through them all.

Looks like they’re trying to have Bolden replace Cooks. Haven’t heard anything great about Hunter Jarmon (this guy says he’s not elite). Depressing. Bolden is okay, but he lacks body control/has crazy legs. Depressing Larry Scott is beating out Hunt, too. Malcolm Marable in the dime package? No. This guy cannot see the field. Period.

Riley looks tired/old — hard to envision this guy innovating or doing anything great at this point.

Also, Ryan Nall getting looks at RB.

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