Riley Meets the Press; Paea Practices
Dec. 28, 2008
Sunday El Paso, Texas. Beautiful day and it’s back to practice at Canutillo High School.
If you haven’t had a chance to look at Beaver Nation Online we recommend it. Quarterback Lyle Moevao grabs the mic and KEZI’s Kurt Richter is behind the camera as the two tour Adventure Zone on Saturday night. Both the Beavers and Pitt Panthers enjoyed the amusement center. The Go-Karts looked more like bumper cars, but nobody was injured during the racing and lots of mini-golf was enjoyed despite the chilly, evening temperatures.
The first real press conference for the 75th Sun Bowl was held before practice near the team’s hotel. Not a lot of revelations came from Beaver head coach Mike Riley or Pitt head coach Dave Wannstedt as they addressed the approximate 20 media members.
Today’s practice brought more sunshine, chilly air and a minimal breeze. Special teams were the primary focus early in practice. Everybody expected to play Wednesday participated ... yes, that means Stephen Paea donned shoulder pads and a jersey for the first time since the Civil War.
A nice feature in today’s El Paso Times about OSU offensive linemen Andy Levitre and Adam Speer, who were a big part of the team’s victory in the Sun Bowl two years ago against Missouri. You can find all the latest media under Beaver News, located below this story.
Oregon State head football coach Mike Riley and Pittsburgh head coach Dave Wannstedt with members of the media on Sunday morning at the Hawthorne Suites in El Paso. The coaches answered questions from the assembled media contingent for approximately 20 minutes. Oregon media represented Sunday included: The Oregonian, the Register-Guard, the Gazette-Times and KEZI-TV.
Mike Riley, head coach
“It is an honor to be here to represent Oregon State. We are certainly excited about the game and appreciate Bernie and all the folks who work so hard to make this the great event that it is. All the stuff you hear about with the Sun Bowl from years past, it all comes to real life when you get here – the hospitality, the friendliness of the people. Just going to the high school to practice and to see the high school kids and coaches out there hanging around, it’s a lot of fun. Like I said, it’s great to be here and an honor to represent our school in this game.
I think we’ve got a great match-up here. Dave’s (Wannstedt) got a really good team so it’s going to be a real hard game for the Beavers. But we’re looking forward to it and it appears to be a great match-up.”
On quarterback Lyle Moevao…
“(The position battle) started a couple years ago and was a very good competition for the job and actually Sean (Canfield) won the job coming out to start the season. Later on Sean got hurt and Lyle (Moevao) took over. Sean’s injury was a long-term injury and barely got healthy by the end of our fall camp this year. But Lyle has had a typical progression for what you hope for in a young quarterback in your program – that they learn and get a better feel for it and then become more efficient as they go. I think that is what (Lyle) has become – very smart, efficient and he’s got those intangible parts of playing the position that are real important. If he walked in the door right now, you wouldn’t pick him out as the prototype quarterback, but that doesn’t necessarily matter if they have some of those compensating factors which he has. He’s smart and tough, very tough and can get rid of the football. We led our league in the least amount of sacks (given up) and a lot of that is good, quick decision-making by him and also a good job by the line, but all of those pieces fit together.”
On what to expect with the extra practice time before the bowl game...
“You have to always expect the unexpected in our game. In ways, the bowl game is a season unto itself. You’ve got the extra practice time, you go through finals and Christmas, so everything is different. You want to try to be as prepared as you can and hope you don’t get stale at the end and be able to play your best game. And that’s what it’s going to take for us in this game is to play our best game. That’s what you hope for at this stage of the year. But there are those unknowns of how you come off of that period of time, you find out as the game unfolds.”
On whether the Beavers are itching to get the game over with...
“No, I’ve been impressed with the practice, the enthusiasm for practice and how we’ve gone about our business. That’s really all I can look at. I can read a bunch of other stuff into it, but I really try not to do that and just see it for what it is.”