By Jonathan Okanes
Wednesday, October 29th, 2008 at 8:36 pm in Mid-week.
Looking at the offensive line Wednesday night, it was hard to believe this is the same team that lined up against Michigan State for its opener. Center Alex Mack was the only starter taking first team reps that did so at the beginning of the season. Donovan Edwards took reps at right tackle for the injured Chet Teofilo and Matt Laird, and Justin Cheadle took reps at right guard for Noris Malele. Malele has a sprained ankle, but coach Jeff Tedford said he will play on Saturday.
Also, it looks as though Pac-10 Player of the Week Mike Mohamed will get his first start of the season and second of his career. This is not surprising. Not only is Mohamed playing well, the strength of his game is his speed, which is an asset against Oregon’s spread offense. Mohamed will replace Eddie Young in the starting lineup.
Kevin Riley and Nate Longshore continue to split first team reps, but there is nothing happening to suggest Riley’s status as starter will change. Both have looked sharp in practice.
The Bears got a brief scare when wide receiver went down hard after making a terrific, acrobatic catch. He missed a short period of practice then returned. Tucker had an excellent practice, which is becoming commonplace.
Tedford said even though Jahvid Best is starting to feel closer to 100 percent, he still won’t re-assume kick return duties this week. Jeremy Ross will continue in that role.
Speaking of Best, he said the injury that is affecting him is actually to his left foot, not his ankle. He said it’s getting closer to 100 percent but still a little sore. He said his elbow feels “perfect.”
I posted earlier about Mack being named one of the finalists for the Drabby Award, given to the top football scholar-athlete in the country. It’s considered a pretty prestigious award.
“It’s so deserving for a guy who ahs been so accountable and responsible in all areas of his life, when it comes to academics, football, socially. It couldn’t happen to a better guy. He’s exactly what you want, a well-rounded person.”