August 27, 2009

Fall Camp breaks...bring on Portland State

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Well now we know why the team was in such a great mood during this morning's
practice session, Coach Mike Riley decided to end Fall Camp a couple days early
in an effort to protect any of his players from injury as the season is a little
more than a week away. Tonight's practice saw the players show up without pads
on and as all of the onlookers would come to see, practice was dedicated to
preparing for opening day game against Portland State.

Practice was a series of walk-throughs as practice began with the usual special
teams work, punt return, punt coverage, kick-off return, kick-off coverage and
finally field block and field goal work. Again, there was an emphasis put on
the special team play as they worked on several different ways of blocking field

I couldn't help but notice that both punters Johnny Hekker and Ryan Allen boomed
punt after punt, as most were traveling more than 50 yards in the air. What
made this even more impressive was that they were punting towards the Valley
Center and coming from someone who has kicked and punted down there, kicking
in that direction is the harder direction as most of the time the breeze inside
of Reser blows towards the scoreboard endzone. There were plenty of oohs and
awes with every boomer off the foot of Hekker and Allen.

To be honest the punting session might have been the most exciting part of
practice as after the special teams work had been completed, the team broke
up with the offense heading up out of Reser to the Prothro and Truax practice
facilities, the defense and a majority of the incoming freshman, those that
would go on to serve as the scout team, remained down in Reser.


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