QUOTES: "We've got to play smarter"

S Greg Laybourn

Quotes from Mike Riley and his players following their 36-28 loss to Stanford Aug. 28.

Head coach Mike Riley

On the Darrell Catchings fumble on the Beavers' last drive: "I didn't see it very clearly, I was trying to get a picture of it. It looked like he reached for the end zone with the ball and got it knocked out before he scored. I had hoped that he stepped out of bounds. That's what I asked them to review, but he didn't."

On the game overall: "We made way too many mistakes to win a game. Stanford minimized their mistakes.They didn't have turnovers and a lot of penalties. We had a million penalties and we fumbled the ball. Even though we didn't turn it over early, we didn't look very smooth. It was pretty evident we can make plays and we can make some plays defensively. We gave up big plays defensively by not tackling them a couple times when we had them stopped for either a loss or no gain. You know it will be a hard game to watch on film because of the opportunities we missed, but it will be a good game to learn from. The kids will learn, and I'm proud of them, that even though we didn't play very good tonight, I thought they never quit."

On the game part II: "You can't do the things we did and win games. Four false starts, two special teams penalties, 12 penalties overall. And five fumbles - we only lost one, but we had five fumbles! I don't think we fumbled a running back-quarterback exchange all camp, but we had one in the game.  You can't do that very often and expect to win.  We already know that. It's always been our M.O. to stop the run.  The penalties, fumbles and run defense -  those are the things that hit you right between the eyes."

"We've got to play smarter. At the end, there was no reason for Darrell to put that ball in jeopardy - we've got 47 seconds and a timeout left. We had already gone 70 yards in about 60 seconds three times in that game. We could probably have taken care of that last yard  in 47 seconds with a timeout.' But there was a ton of good football, and a lot of good defense.''

On the team: "Our situation we'll get better and better. I think that guys will learn from this tonight. There were some young guys in there a lot of first-gamers, first-starters that went into that deal and they fought. We'll be a good run defense by the time this thing goes, but we'll have to take the lessons we learned tonight and improve."

On what he thought was the game's turning point: "When we had the penalty on the kickoff return when the score was tied up, and the ball backed up. Then Andy [Levitre], and this is life, gets a cramp right during the play and can't stay with the block and we get sacked. Then we throw the swing pass screen for a safety…that turned the game totally around. Those three plays, the penalty, the sack, and the obvious swing pass safety, to me that was the real turning point."

If they would have scored at the end:  [With a wry smile] "We had our two-point play ready that was going to work."

On the run defense: "We'll get better and better. There are some young guys in there — a lot of first time starters. They fought, but we weren't perfect. We've had moments in the run game in past worse than that. We'll come back. We'll be a good run defense by time this goes."

On Morales and Rodgers in the slot: "There's plenty of football for Shane and for James They do what they do well and there can be situational use with them.  James could play every down, but Shane does some things in the passing game very well, and has a good feel for that slot position. They both contributed tremendously."

On relying on the pass: "Our quarterback played very well, and I think he knows he can make some more throws - we felt we left another 200 yards on field after watching film But we don't want to live like that, throwing 54 passes in a game.  That's really not our style, and I don't think that's where we're at our best. We started off so poorly without any rhythm that it made it tough for those young backs to get going."

 

WR Shane Morales
On the final drive of the game: "On that last drive, I thought we were going to score. I have faith in every one of my teammates. I'd put my money on Darrell every single time. I trust Darrell. He'll be fine. He's a great receiver."

On being compared to Mike Hass: "Just to be in the same sentence as Mike Hass is a thrill.  He's one of the best receivers ever. He's the best receiver ever at Oregon State, one of them anyway."

On why he was successful:  "It's my senior year. Play is more instinctual.  Coach teaches to recognize coverages and when we recognize coverages, it makes it a lot easier on us. The coaches put in a great game plan. They implement it and we just learn from there and we see what they run and we do that and it just falls into place.  I was pretty big,.  I got a little faster and cut down my body fat."

On Sammie Stroughter: "Sammie played great. It helped a lot.  He helps everybody. Everybody plays good and makes everybody's role easier. Keying on one person all the time opens stuff up when everybody's on their game."

 

WR Darrell Catchings
On his fumble:  "I was just trying to make a play for our team.  Unfortunately, that's not what happened. I'll just watch film, try to learn from it and next week try to make better decisions."

 

QB Lyle Moevao
On Catchings' fumble:  "I told Darrell, ‘You have to be smart.' He made a mistake, but everybody makes mistakes. I made mistakes tonight. It's just one of those things we have to learn from and build off of."

On the team never giving up: "That's the one thing Coach Riley always talks about. We never quit until the final whistle and we didn't."

 

LB Bryant Cornell
On the game:
"It definitely stings.  It's a game we knew we could win, but it didn't happen tonight. We learned who we were as a team today, and now we have to fine tune some things. It just didn't go our way.  We let some opportunities get away on offense and defense. It's unfortunate it was a Pac-10 game.  We knew they felt they were rejuvenated with their run game and had some good front guys. There were some runs that shouldn't have happened. Those are things we'll have to solidify before we go to Penn State."

 

OG Adam Speer
On the game: "It was a rough star.  The only thing we can do from here is get better and keep fighting. And get some wins. We have to get ready for Penn State now."

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