THE INDIVIDUAL MATCHUPS, said Mike Riley, will be huge in determining a winner in Oregon State’s tilt with UCLA on Saturday. Oregon State’s head man also talked injuries, Jordan Bishop on the curl route and much more.
-- Mike Riley said UCLA has had “some outstanding moments” in their season. “If you just look at them player to player…it’s going to be a physical test…their offensive line is huge.”
-- Riley said the toughest matchups he sees heading into the UCLA game, are found up front – on both lines.
-- On injuries to WR Jordan Bishop (shoulder) and OG Grant Johnson (stinger): “We’ll see how they practice today. We’ll look at some lineup deals if they’re not able to practice.” TE Joe Halahuni (bruised knee, sore wrist), “is fine,” said Riley.
-- DT Castro Masaniai (dislocated shoulder) is definitely out for UCLA, said Riley.
-- Other injuries to keep an eye on this week, how or if they practice and if so, how much, are TE Colby Prince (bruised knee), LB/ST Feti Unga (bruised chest muscles)
-- C Alex Linnenkohl (ankle) looks good to go, though it wouldn’t be a surprise if they limited him a bit early in the week.
-- “It’s maybe the individual matchups, more than ever, that will determine how these games go,” said Riley.
-- UCLA’s defense “has always been a problem for us,” said Riley. “..That matchup in itself is a focal point for us going in.”
-- On Markus Wheaton and others replacing all that James Rodgers brought to the table, Riley said Wheaton stepped up big time in the fly sweep and in other areas, and other players contributed as well in various areas. And that’s what they need, one guy isn’t going to replace all that Quon did, they need a group to do it, said Riley.
--Jordan Bishop is “getting good at it,” -- i.e. running the curl route, said Riley.
--Riley said TE Brady Camp remains very doubtful for this week, and thought he might have more on his outlook later today after a doctor’s appt.
-- “I’ll make no announcement on who we’re going to be at this time. Those kinds of announcements are made in December. We’re making strides is what I’ll say about that,” said Riley.
--On kickoff depth and angles, Riley said Justin Kahut did a very good job in his directional kicking, with hang time, and coverage was good.
--On the defensive emergence this past week. “I think out defense has been growing…the key for us now is the day to day and week to week improvement,” said Riley.
--Riley was loathe to talk about Rose Bowl race or anything else beyond this week.
--Riley said in the Pac-10 this year, if you don’t play well you’re going to get beat and you could get beat badly. If you do play well, then you are probably in for a tight game. Such is the competitiveness and how teams are capable of beating or losing to one another on any given week. He said it is really only about that particular Saturday.
-- “I’m very pleased with the work ethic of that line,” said Riley of his o-line. Riley went on to point out offseason and preseason injuries/surgeries, such as those to Grant Johnson and Michael Philipp. With a reporter’s reference to Jacquizz Rodgers “calling them out” a couple weeks ago, Riley was direct. “They don’t need to be called out in any way, shape or form.”
-- Regarding walk-ons, “When we have a guy come in the door, he’s no longer considered anything but a football player,” said Riley.
-- “When people are running the ball and you can’t do anything about it, that’s when you have problems,” said Riley.
-- “Some of those (defensive) guys (at UCLA) they’re as good as we’ve seen…what they’ve proved they’re capable of, like at Texas, is a very impressive thing,” said Riley.