Oregon State practice report
Washington State week
Tuesday, Oct. 25
Shells (shorts and shoulder pads)
Prothro Practice Fields
Last 20 minutes open to the media
Offensive players and coaches available for interviews
During 11-on-11 work where the first-team offense matched up against the second-team defense, Kyle White played tight coverage on Seth Collins down the left sideline and then jumped up to intercept a floated Marcus McMaryion pass.
1. Starting running back Ryan Nall was out of his boot but did not participate in the portion of practice open to the media. Backup Artavis Pierce, however, was taking the first-team reps while wearing a red no-contact jersey and said he expects to play Saturday against Washington State. Tim Cook, who amassed 108 yards and a touchdown last week at No. 4 Washington, worked with the second unit.
"Everything feels good," Pierce said. "I feel 100 percent."
2. McMaryion, who was pretty self-critical of himself after the game Saturday, said his performance was not quite as bad as he thought after a deeper film review. But co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Kevin McGiven was glad to see his quarterback critique himself hard, noting that McMaryion "did some really good things" against the Huskies but missed on a couple key reads or throws.
"Had he gotten to some spots that he should have gotten to in the pass game, it could have been much more effective for us and been a decent day throwing the ball," McGiven said. " ... There were some definite opportunities there that really in my mind had nothing to do with Washington."
3. What helped spring Cook's breakout performance against a stout Washington defensive front? A halftime adjustment to call and execute some quicker-developing interior run plays, based on the way Washington was playing to stop the Beavers' fly-sweep game.
"We wanted to have something that was a little bit faster hitting downhill where we could kick out the edges," McGiven said.
4. Overall, McGiven said he's pleased with how the Beavers' new-look offensive line has developed over the past month, as OSU only allowed one sack against the Huskies in addition to helping propel Cook to his big rushing performance. Still, the types and volume of pass protections the group can execute are still a bit limited while they let the inexperienced players like freshmen Blake Brandel and Gus Lavaka settle in. That group's continued development will be instrumental in the Beavers establishing a more effective pass game down the stretch, McGiven said.
"You can only be so good throwing the football when you can only run certain types of concepts and get two and three guys out (at receiver)," McGiven said. "There's too many things that defenses can do to take it away. But once we can start to get back to where we're getting four and five guys out on routes and being able to protect consistently, (we'll improve).
"Those guys are working their butts off at it, but I really think that things will start to get better from there in terms of throwing the ball."
5. McGiven said injured starting quarterback Darell Garretson is back in Corvallis after having surgery in Colorado last week and was rolling around on a scooter during practice.
McGiven on Washington State's defense: "To me, they're selling out to stop the run and their statistics show that. You watch clips of that Oregon game, there's guys in the backfield all night long in that game, in the run game and the pass game. I think they're much better on defense and definitely not getting enough credit. And credit to the coaching staff, because some of the early games that they played they do not look like the defense that they look like right now."
I'll be writing more about McMaryion, who is getting to settle in with the first unit while preparing for his second consecutive start for the first time in his career.
-- Gina Mizell | @ginamizell
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