No mail carrier emerges in spring game
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Ryan Gunderson completed 7-of-14 passes for 142 yards and freshman Sean Canfield showcased his own quarterback potential as Oregon State held its annual Spring Game Saturday at PGE Park.
The renovation of Reser Stadium moved the game the traditional end to spring practices up to the Portland area for the first time since 1999.
Officially, the final score was Black 34, White 12. But with the scrimmage format, the score wasn't very important.
Four quarterbacks took the bulk of the snaps in the 108-play offense vs. defense set-up, which was necessitated by a lack of healthy offensive lineman.
Gunderson, a redshirt sophomore from Portland's Central Catholic High, has battled UCLA transfer Matt Moore for the starting quarterback job.
Moore, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound junior, seemed to pull ahead of Gunderson toward the end of spring drills, working with the first-team offense for the most of the final two weeks.
Gunderson said he was pleased with how he threw Saturday, but acknowledged he was tired of worrying about who was going to win the job.
"I can only control myself," Gunderson said. "I can't control what the coaches think."
Moore was more bad than good, completing just 4-of-11 passes and throwing two interceptions along with two scores.
Oregon State coach Mike Riley said he was going to wait until fall to determine the starter. A crowd of 6,708 watched the event, dominated by big plays on offense and defense without much of a running game.
Yvenson Bernard carried the ball nine times for 26 yards. Jimtavis Walker and Charles Burnley tallied only seven yards rushing apiece.
"That wasn't where we want to be right there," Riley said. "I hope that's more a reflection on how our defense played."
The Beavers have been hurting on the ground since Steven Jackson jumped to the NFL after the 2003 season. They were worst rushing team in the Pacific-10 Conference last year and Bernard, a third-stringer last season, is the only tailback in the mix who has carried the ball in a game for the Beavers.
Canfield, a 6-4, 210-pound true freshman who throws left handed might be the biggest surprise of the spring. He finished 7-of-16 passing for 167 yards and connected with Mike Hass for a 64-yard touchdown. The native of Carlsbad, Calif., graduated high school a term early to participate in spring drills with the Beavers.
The defense scored twice, on interception returns by Andy Darkins (40 yards) and Keenan Lewis (85 yards).
Riley praised his secondary, which lost both starting cornerbacks, Aric Williams and Brandon Browner, to the NFL.
"There's no doubt we are making progress there," Riley said. "Every one of those guys has improved."
Work at Reser is scheduled to be completed by the home opener against Portland State over Labor Day weekend. Oregon State is coming off a 7-5 season capped by a 38-21 victory over Notre Dame in the Insight Bowl.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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