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Oregon State spring wrap-up

5/8/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
1. Canfield can get on field: With 2008 starter Lyle Moevao out with a shoulder injury, Sean Canfield took advantage of the opportunity and showed he's good enough to start. While he was off during the spring game, tossing three interceptions, Canfield ran the huddle well and was in sync with a rebuilding receiving corps.
2. Catchings on: Speaking of receivers, Darrell Catchings turned in a strong spring, and the unit as a whole eased worries about losing Sammie Stroughter and Shane Morales. Jordan Bishop, Geno Muoz and Casey Kjos, among others, showed that the Beavers appear plenty deep at the position, with lead Beaver James Rodgers coming back from a shoulder injury in the fall.

3. Reload at LB: While the defense lost eight starters, there are few worries at linebacker. Keaton Kristick was the known quantity going in, while sophomore middle linebacker David Pa'aluhi was one of the breakout performers this spring. Keith Pankey and Dwight Roberson will continue to be a two-headed monster on the weak side.

Fall questions

1. Corner questions: The Beavers are replacing two cornerbacks who were drafted by NFL teams. Their high-pressure defense requires the cornerbacks to be able to lock down receivers one-on-one. For much of spring, the new guys didn't do that -- they got burned. Over and over again, though no-hit rules on the quarterbacks might have skewed things a bit. The pecking order here feels unresolved.
2. Sack men: Ben Terry, Kevin Frahm and Gabe Miller looked good this spring at defensive end. But they are replacing Victor Butler and Slade Norris, who combined for 22 sacks last year. Yes, big shoes to fill. And, with green corners, it might be even more important for the pressure to get to the quarterback as fast as possible. This is a wait-and-see until the games begin.

3. Who's the QB? It should be a positive that the Beavers have two capable senior quarterbacks with starting experience. That's the way coach Mike Riley sees it. But it also becomes a tough issue, because there is only one starting job. Does Moevao slide because he missed spring while Canfield played well? Or does Moevao prevail if things are close because of the way he played last year? And will the loser of this competition be able to keep it together and be a "team" guy?