UofO’s Ducks and OSU’s Beavers Bugged By Injuries
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Injuries are as much a part of the game as the very rules themselves.
In Corvallis, though, they’re particularly troublesome this week because the Beavers face USC on Saturday night. Unlike with the Ducks, there’s no bye week.
Beavers wide receiver Victor Bolden, the sophomore saddled with the expectations of succeeding Brandin Cooks and Markus Wheaton, won’t play against the Trojans. Riley told reporters Sunday night that Bolden underwent surgery for a finger injury incurred against San Diego State, and on Tuesday, the OSU coach suggested that Bolden might be back the following week, Oct. 4 against Colorado.
Riley said Tuesday dealing with the loss of the offense’s clear deep threat will be a collective effort, although he expressed optimism that sophomore Rahmel Dockery, another flanker, might be in the mix soon although he has yet to practice this season.
“I think the crew is going to have to do it together,” he said. “It’s going to be led by Richard Mullaney, Hunter Jarmon, Jordan Villamin and Malik Gilmore.
"With those guys, it’s going to be important and then what our tight ends, our H-backs, do is going to be vital to our production.”
Another Beaver who has yet to practice is junior center Isaac Seumalo, whom Riley labeled his offensive line’s best player in August. Of course, he was referencing Seumalo in regards to the unit’s lack of cohesion - Seumalo, an all-conference performer who has started all 25 games since arriving on campus, is recovering from a broken foot.
That situation remains fluid as well.
“He’s continuing to progress at what I would say is an expected rate, but I have no definition of a timeline of when he might play,” Riley said Tuesday.
Easier For U Of O
By contrast, Mark Helfrich has it easy.
Nothing seemed that way against Washington State, when the Cougars harried and harassed Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota for five sacks. The blame, of course, fell on a decimated offensive line described by a reporter Tuesday as “makeshift.”
Helfrich didn’t quite bristle at that characterization, but he did point out things weren’t exactly as they seemed.
“There were a lot of self-inflicted issues,” he said. “A lot, as I said right after the game, was the ‘veteran’ guys leading to some breakdowns. It wasn’t always the new guys. It’s just a matter maybe of human nature sometimes - when a guy is missing at a certain position, guys try to overcompensate and do too much and that’s the worst thing. Now you’ve weakened two positions instead of just one.”
Oddly, after reviewing film, Helfrich seemed almost encouraged.
“Our guys battled through, did some good things toward the end of the game,” he said. “A bunch of the stuff was disappointing in the basic nature of some of the mistakes - really a bunch of Day 1-type of issues, whether it was pad-level assignment, simple things that are very correctable and we got that done between yesterday and today.”
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