D.J. Alexander is another step closer to returning from his knee injury.
Alexander gave the Oregon State football team a lift on Wednesday when he got in gear for practice and went through some of the work.
“It’s really neat to see him from where we were that one day in practice,” OSU coach Mike Riley said. “Kind of scared to death and to see him out here with pads on and running around, that’s comforting.”
Riley said that Alexander is not going to play this Saturday against Hawaii.
Alexander will probably get more work in during practice next week to see how the knee responds.
“Then we’ll have to make a decision and I won’t be part of that,” Riley said.
It’s possible Alexander could be ready when the Beavers play at Utah on Sept. 14. The next game is at San Diego State a week later.
The Beavers gave up 448 yards and four touchdowns through the air in the 49-46 loss to Eastern Washington.
OSU defensive backs struggled in coverage all game.
Hawaii coach Norm Chow made his reputation by utilizing the pass, so the Beavers need to shore up their play.
“The No. 1 thing is confidence and that’s where they’ve got to go now,” Riley said. “You can’t play that position scared.
“I think the other thing is we were misaligned as far as position on receivers and overreacted to some stuff, lost our patience, lost our position. Just about all the parts that you could say were issues there, were.”
Riley vs. Banker?
It was the matchup that could have been.
Banker went after the Hawaii job when it opened up and nearly landed it.
Chow wound up getting the nod.
“That’s the coaching world, the possible twists and what might have, could have been,” Riley said. “It’s a funny business that way.”
Riley said he expects offensive lineman Josh Mitchell and punter Keith Kostol to be ready for Hawaii.
Mitchell stepped in last week when Isaac Seumalo was a late scratch at center, but Seumalo should be OK for the Rainbow Warriors.
Kostol hurt his right ankle the week before the EWU game and Tim McMullen punted.