Riley Meets the Press: Sept. 1

Sept. 1, 2009

Oregon State head football coach Mike Riley and several players met with members of the media on Tuesday morning in the Valley Football Center. Coach Riley answered questions from the assembled media contingent for approximately 25 minutes. Media represented Tuesday included: Paul Buker, Mike Tokito and Molly Blue of The Oregonian, Bob Clark of the Register-Guard, Cliff Kirkpatrick, Kevin Hampton and Steve Gress of the Gazette-Times, Ron Callan from KPAM 860, Mike Parker and Jon Warren from 1240 KEJO, Brian Brooks and Casey Grogan of the Official Sports Report, as well as KMTR, KVAL and KEZI.

Mike Riley - Head Coach
On opening against Portland State...

'We are excited and anticipating this game. It will be interesting to get going and to start forging an identity with the Beavers. That will be an interesting thing with quite a few new faces playing in the games, and some returning guys that have to provide stability. We're looking forward to getting going.'

On the health of the team...
'Health wise we're actually getting some guys back. If you look at the safeties that were out - Lance Mitchell was out for a time, Anthony Watkins and Cameron Collins - have all reentered. Probably there's four guys that would probably be playing right now that are not. Lyle (Moevao) is one of them. You know Lyle not only isn't back playing full speed, but he is also sick right now. Then you have Darrell Catchings who we anticipate back at some point but I can't tell you when that is. Keynan Parker is back but won't be playing in this game, maybe against UNLV. Brandon Olander will be back but won't play in this game.'

On excitement coming out of camp and starting the season...
'I think camp has been outstanding. As far as what we wanted to get in and the work we've been getting, it couldn't have been any better. As far as some guys who needed more and more time to practice and who didn't get it we're probably not where we'd like to be right at this point or where they would like to be physically. It's been a little disruptive. Guys like our safeties who are young and who could have used all the work, (Cameron) Collins, Anthony Watkins, and (Lance) Mitchell, in particular. We lost some continuity at receiver but we've also gained some ground there with the emergence of Damola (Adeniji) who I think has had a really good camp. Geno Munoz has had a very good camp; Jordan Bishop has had a very good camp. But with all of our guys we've missed a lot of practice days and that's probably just a coach worrying, but those are things that I think are real.'

On Portland State quarterback Drew Hubel...
'We watched Drew a lot and we had him in camps. We were very impressed and we encouraged him to come and when he got the offer from Portland State we encouraged him to take it. It was a better deal for him at the time. I'm excited for his success, I think he's a heck of a guy and I think he's very talented. He's a good thrower, a natural thrower, threw a great ball and still does. He's gotten bigger and stronger. They've been very effective throwing the ball. It'll be a very good test for our brand-new secondary. It's a very good matchup that way.'

On what he might see against Portland State...
'Whatever they've done since Mouse (former offensive coordinator Mouse Davis) left to tweak the offense or emphasize something else is an unknown to us. We have a pretty good idea of how they throw the ball and now what they're going to add to it will be very interesting. We'll prepare for the kitchen sink and I'm sure they'll throw it at us.'

On not over looking Portland State...
'We hope to win. That's the first thing we've got to try to do is win the game. We do want to be efficient. If you're going to be a good football team then handling the game itself with procedure and communication, playing smart football, making good decisions (is important). All those parts have to be in place to be a good football team and that can give you the best opportunity to win.'

On Michael Philipp starting as a true freshman...'He has a lot of talent and what I expect him to do is to learn. He's done a good job through camp; he's had his hands full with our defensive ends which have been good for him. With his ability and work ethic this guy should see weekly improvement once he gets into a game and see what he gets and takes those experiences and go from there.'

James Rodgers - Flanker
On getting back on the field coming back from an injury...
'I'm really anxious. I've been out so long and finally coming back during fall camp and being with my team and getting batter, I'm really excited about the game on Saturday.'

On not overlooking Portland State...
'You have to take every team seriously because you could lose a game to a team that you were supposed to beat. I don't take anybody lightly and the team doesn't either.'

On setting goals for this year...
'I do have goals, but they're personal so I'm keeping them to myself.'

On leadership role...
'Just teaching a lot of the young guys about my position not only makes them better but makes me better too.'

On being more prepared now...
'I think I'm further along. My freshman year the only thing I knew were the plays and the routes I had. Now I know pretty much know what each receiver has on each play and the concepts. I know everything.'

Keaton Kristick - Linebacker
On the defense...
'Our defense is going to have a lot of speed. That's going to be the key, just hustling after the ballcarrier. It's going to be a team effort and we're really looking forward to developing some chemistry over these first couple of games.'

On starting his senior year...
'I'm going to be nervous like always. I always get those butterflies before a game but this is going to be special I think, for all the seniors. It's going to be a big game, an in-state game, and Reser's going to be rocking I'm sure. It's going to be fun.'

On the Portland State offense...
'It's a very potent offense. They have a lot of passes going on. They're strictly passing, for the most part. It's really going to come down to how we align the passing routes and if we pressure the quarterback.'

Jacquizz Rodgers - Tailback
On coming back from injury and getting touches...
'The carries are up to the coaches. Whatever the play is called is what I'm going to run. Whether I get seven carries or 20 carries is up to the coaches.'

On breaking a long run this year...
'This year I'm going to have a lot of long runs, that's what I focused on during the offseason: to get that breakaway speed. That is one thing that I was missing from my game last year. I feel like I can get the tough yards and get like 20 or 30 carries in a game but I need to break the long one. I feel way faster. Last year I did it with natural ability. Now, I have a year of college experience under my belt. I have a year of college workouts that will help me out a lot.'

Stephen Paea - Defensive Tackle
On the defense...
'Our defense is a fast defense. We just have to show up with attitude. We've been doing that all year long. We're a young defense but we're going to do the same thing we did last year and the year before because we're fast.'

On being more prepared this year...'I think this year is so much better. Last year I didn't understand all the schemes and blocking but I think it's going to be an advantage for me this year. Going into the season, I understand more about what the offensive line is doing and where the offense is going. As long as I stay healthy, it'll be a good year for me and my teammates.'

Damola Adeniji - Split End
On preparing to start a game as opposed to preparing for a backup role...
'I'm going to prepare like I've always prepared for a game, both mentally and physically. This game, Portland State has a different defense: they run a 3-4, so figuring out the coverage's will be a little bit tougher.'

Sean Canfield - Quarterback
On starting the season...
'I've take nothing for granted this time. It's going to be a great opportunity for me and the team so I'm excited to get going.'

On having an early game time start...
'Last year against California we had around a noon start, but I didn't play in that game. It's just a matter of going to bed early the night before.'

On not overlooking Portland State...
'It's definitely a common theme when you're playing a team in a lower division. An upset is something that everyone is kind of thinking about. We've seen upsets over the past couple of years around the nation. For us, the preparation stays the same. The focus stays the same week after week. We approach this just like any other game.'

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