Derting out 2-4 weeks; Other injury news

Derting is officially out for at least 2 weeks, and possibly up to 4 weeks with an MCL sprain. Xrays are still pending, hopefully they won’t reveal anything else. Greg Trent, Brian Hall, Jason Stripling and Chris Baltzer are all candidates to take over in the middle.

Derting’s injury was “ugly” on the videotape, said Doba, as the Cougar defensive line got knocked back on a Beaver quarterback sneak. Derting’s foot got stuck in the turf underneath a mass of big bodies.

Trent is considered the favorite to replace Derting, but Doba said he is still overwhelmed at times with all the responsibilities that come with playing MLB. Doba also singled out Stripling as showing some serious ability at MLB and has a chance. He also said that all of those guys might play at some point vs. Stanford so they can see where they are with each of them in game situations. By the way, Dildine and Davis will absolutely not move to the middle. They are too good, per Doba, to monkey with not only moving them inside and dealing with how different it is, but in essence, they could be weakening two positions by doing something like that, depending on the OLB that would replace on of them sliding inside.

Better news on Jason Hill – he’s probable for the Stanford game, although he probably won’t practice this week. He’s having trouble bending the knee, but it should improve drastically as the week goes on. At worst they’ll hold him out for Stanford and he’ll for sure return for UCLA.

Alex Teems has a sprained shoulder and is extremely doubtful for Stanford. Don Turner played pretty well though, so it might not be too huge a difference.

Doba said it will actually be good to not have Hill in the lineup during the week, therefore the offense can work on getting others more involved and not be so reliant on Hill.

Doba said flat-out that the reason they didn’t run much in the fourth quarter was because they brought both safeties into the box. They had 4 guys to each side they wanted to run, so in Doba’s words, they were outnumbered. He said a QB’s eyes light up when they see that, as they are basically dared to go deep and burn that strategy.

Doba said the decision to squib kick was made to try and force some of the big linemen to pick up the ball and to keep it away from dangerous Beaver return men. The strategy fell flat as Oregon State had kickoff returns of 39, 28 and 24 yards and had oustanding field position most of the entire game. When the wind was with the Cougs in the second half, the coaches told Siderius to kick away. The senior responded by booting the ball out of the end zone.

The team’s mood was somber after the game and during sprints today, but they worked hard Sunday, said Doba.”They’re down in the mouth,” said Doba. “They’re looking for leadership from us, the coaches….We’ve got to be positive, tell them what they did wrong and make those corrections and try to get better.”

If Ropati is able to participate in contact drills be Wednesday, he will return to field Saturday albeit in a limited role. Doba said if he isn’t ready for contact by Wednesday, it “wouldn’t be fair” to toss him into Pac-10 action and he’d wait another week to bring back the starting defensive tackle.

Doba said in hindsight the Cougar coaching staff should have gotten Woolridge into the game for a few carries. Harrison graded out the highest he ever has as a Coug, excelling at both running and blocking.

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