CORVALLIS – Mike Riley on Sunday night delivered the latest injury update on the Beavs coming out of the bruising battle with Stanford. But there's no time to ponder missed opportunities -- it's a short week and the Beavers play host to USC on Friday night. Accordingly, OSU's practice regimen leading up to Southern Cal (TV: ESPN2, 6:00 p.m.) will change in a couple of different ways...
D.J. Alexander's injury on Saturday has been chalked up to a stinger that will leave him day-to-day as the week progresses.
Senior slotback Kevin Cummings injured his wrist and will receive an MRI Monday morning in order to determine his eligibility moving ahead.
Sophomore TE Caleb Smith is suffering from back spasms, and he is also a day-to-day decision.
Senior DT John Braun has pain in his shoulder, and he too is day-to-day.
Riley also said senior H-back Connor Hamlett is getting better as the days go by, and Riley was cautiously optimistic that he may see action against USC
A Slight Change of Pace
Riley said this week's practices will take on a new look as a result of the shortened week heading into Friday's bout with USC. Each of the week's four practices will be an average of 15 minutes shorter, and Thursday's practice will essentially be a walk-through.
Riley also noted that due to the physical battering that both OSU and Stanford underwent, practices this week will also be a little less physical. That's for two reasons -- in order to ensure the continued health of the team and at this point of the season, headed into Week 9, you are backing away from physical work during the week and focusing more on technique and staying mentally sharp.
The blocked PAT, said Riley, simply was a case of the ball coming out way too low off of Trevor Romaine's foot. Riley said in looking at tape, the guy who blocked it was nearly on his knees -- though that might have been a little gallows humor from the head man.
The loss, in a nutshell
The Beavs, Riley said, primarily "gave it away in about a three-minute span" at end of first half and beginning of second half. At the same time, Riley said the Beavs had a lot of opportunities they just didn't take advantage of against the Cardinal.
Riley did note some positive aspects of what the Beavs did against Stanford, chief among them that his team should more prepared for overwhelming physical defenses. Riley likened USC's defense to Stanford in regards to physical talent across the board, and agreed that his team should have learned a solid lesson from what Stanford accomplished defensively Saturday. In effect, now the Beavs get to show what they learned.
The crown jewel of the Stanford post-game film rests with OSU's defensive production and their ability to mostly limit Stanford to just a run game on offense, said Riley. The Beavs' head man praised his stop corps for "really good, sound football" and for playing smart and being in the right position so much of the time. What OSU missed most, something they had done all season until Stanford, were the big plays.