“We certainly don’t want to end our season on a bad note,"
Riley said. "We already ended our regular season with a loss, which is
very disappointing. There will be some residual effect on that."
And Riley is hopeful that his players can exercise some of that residual effect
out of their systems quickly in hopes of the program grabbing their fifth consecutive
bowl game victory.
"This is no time for babies. We can’t whine about that anymore,"
said Riley who is 55-42 at OSU. "I have a sense this team will do a great
job with that and will have had time to get a mindset for the preparation for
But before they turn their focus to Pittsburgh the players must focus on finals
as they start their final exams Dec. 8. After Dec. 13 it's back to the practice
fields as the Beavers hold its first of 16 practice sessions.
Twelve of the sesssions will be for the veterans while the freshman and walk-ons
get an extra four days of work - one of the major benefits of qualifying for
a bowl game.
“A bowl game helps our program so much as far as younger players getting
a chance to progress," defensive end Slade Norris said.
"Going into a bowl game there is a lot more national exposure as far as
recruiting, so being able to go to a bowl game helps the program out tremendously.”
The Men in Black have qualified for a bowl game in eight of the last 10 years
while their four game bowl winning streak is the longest in the Pac-10.
Norris says there are two reasons why OSU has finished the season with a win
in its last four tries.
“For one, we always finish well at the end of the season. That is part
of what we build this program on," Norris said. "Second, a lot of
teams go into bowl games and get distracted by the different surroundings, but
coach Riley and the staff really do a great job of keeping our goals in mind
and getting down to business."
Quarterback Lyle Moevao will be making his second career bowl
game start. Last year in the Emerald Bowl he completed 5 of 9 passes for 40
yards before being knocked out in the first quarter with an ankle injury.
“It is definitely exciting being in my second bowl game that I can participate
in," Moevao said. "I am happy for the seniors, being able to have
this chance to go out with a win. I’ll be happy to help them out with
that and hopefully everything works out.”
The last time OSU visited Texas they turned in one of the most exciting bowl
victories of the year as running back Yvenson Bernard plunged
in for the two point conversion and the win with 22 seconds left.
Following are OSU's final drive of the game and the winning two point conversion.
The final drive
Two point conversion
- RB Jacquizz Rodgers is expected to play. “I know
Quizz is getting better,” Riley said. “We’ll see. That decision
will be made as we go – how he feels and how much he can do.”
- Pittsburgh head coach Dave Wannstedt and Mike Riley first met in San Antonio when Riley was the head coach of the
WFL's San Antonio Riders and Wannstedt was the defensive coordinator for the
NFL's Dallas Cowboys. "I was excited for him when he got the Pitt job,"
Riley said. "I have a good feeling what kind of a team he’s got
going there. It will be a very tough, well-coached and physical football team,
- Despite the less than stellar reviews from several fan bases about El Paso
OSU offensive tackle Andy Levitre has positive memories from
the Beavers trip in 2006. “We had a great time. We didn’t really
know what to expect, we flew into the airport and I remember they had a big
celebration down there. It is pretty exciting and I am looking forward to
having fun out there again."