Riley Meets The Press: Sept. 29

Sept. 29, 2009

CORVALLIS, Ore. -

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, Gary Horowitz of the Salem Statesman-Journal, Cliff Kirkpatrick and Kevin Hampton of the Gazette-Times, Ron Callan from KPAM 860, Mike Parker and Jon Warren from 1240 KEJO, Casey Grogan of the Official Sports Report, as well as KATU, KMTR, KVAL and KEZI.

 

Head Coach Mike Riley

On Arizona State...

'This looks like another tough conference game. I think it's going to be a great opportunity and challenge for our team to go to Tempe. I've been told we haven't won down there for awhile. It's a new team and a new opportunity. Arizona State is playing very good football. Offensively, Danny Sullivan is playing good at quarterback for them and making plays. They have some good receivers obviously, and they have a strong running game. They look like a balanced team, and I think they have a really good defense. We've seen these guys before, and they've always played good defense. Now they're older and they've added some new guys.

'The freshman middle linebacker, No. 7, he is a really good looking player. They've been impressive all year, but especially against Georgia last week. That was a very good job. Their special teams are full of good athletes and the kickoff return team is one of the best in the nation. It could be a similar game to last week with a tough defense and efficient offensively. They have a real focus on running the football, but they'll take their shots. They're high in the league in rushing offense, and we need to control the run and get pressure on the passer.

'For our offense, we just have to continue to grow. We need to strive for consistency and not have any lulls in the game. We've had a lot of good drives, and I think we lead the league in first downs. We're pretty high in third down percentage, I think we're third, and we're high in red zone efficiency, but there's still something missing there. We need balance added to consistency of play, and we need to eliminate those bad plays. We had a debacle at the end of the game with three sacks, but up until that I think we handled the pressure pretty well.'

On a slow start...

'I think you're right in saying that you can't assume anything. Just because the teams in the past have been here and were able to turn it around, doesn't mean it's automatically going to happen. It takes a lot of work, and there's a mental part that's important. You can't let discouragement or frustration become the key issue. You make perseverance come alive and make the attention to detail come alive, and then you can improve. If you blank out the negativity, and just go to work, then you have a chance. But that's all it is, a chance. You have to get past that mental part first, to make it real.'

On Damola Adeniji's game play...

'Demola had some big plays in the last game, and he has risen to a spot where he can use his athletic ability to be a big factor. Like everyone else on the team, he needs to keep going and work hard. He needs to continue to take pride in what he's doing and pay attention to the details. An example was that last route that got intercepted. On an in route like that, you should never let a corner back cut you off on that ball. You're downhill to the ball, providing an open lane for the quarterback. He's a lot like our team in general. He had some good plays, and everyone can take something away from that game and improve on it.'

On Canfield's intensity and leadership...

'Everybody has to be careful with comparing personality types with being a competitor. I don't think that because Sean is relatively quiet, and not the loud and outgoing type, that that means he's not competitive or not a leader. I think that is a false way to look at it. I know how competitive he is by how much time he spends getting ready for games on his own. After practice every day and on the off day, watching film and all those parts; I know what kind of a competitor he is. When moments like that come and everyone sees his emotion come out, they're surprised by it, but I'm not. I know what he puts into his preparation and what he puts into his life as a quarterback and being a part of our team at Oregon State. '

On Jacquizz Rodgers not getting to 100 yards against Arizona...

'We'd love to have about 100 yards from him and about 60 more on the fly sweep from James (Rodgers). That's a pretty good start to a day probably. I think we're getting some good fly sweep stuff, but we should have run it more, after we looked at the film. I think it's very important for us to always have our tailback have a productive day.'

On Arizona State's defense and protecting the quarterback...

'I think we have a big chore in both areas. The whole defense at Arizona State looks good and the front seven presents a lot of problems; whether they're playing straight up and their front four are coming after you, or whether they're blitzing. Their linebackers are tremendously aggressive and gifted and we just need to do a good job. First of all, we need to get all of our assignments right during the week, in order to block the right guy and to be able to adjust to what they do. Then physically, you have to play like crazy because it's a challenge not only to get it right but then do the job. This group provides us a tremendous challenge in that way.'

Sean Canfield

On the mentality of the team and if the leadership and emotion is there....

'Yeah I think so. It's just a frustrating thing especially after two losses in a row. It's something you don't want to go through but we had such high expectations coming into the year and we still do. I think the spirit of the team is good and we're not discouraged about the rest of our year.'

On the quality of protection and the decreased number of sacks last game...

'I thought it was good. There were a few plays at the end where it was unfortunate that we couldn't get the ball off. It's a lot of different things that you don't see but you go back on film and see what it is and I thought as a whole throughout the day it was really good.'

On the subject of his interaction with the younger line...

'It's good we have a healthy relationship with the young line, and like I said before, a lot of it sometimes is me not getting rid of it or whatever the case. The whole protection, a lot goes into that and with a young line it's important that we just keep working, and every week they do that with Coach Cavanaugh. It's not like it's a lack of effort so that's a good sign.'

On what he sees in the upcoming game...

'They're good. Arizona State, if anything - they look fast. Faster than last year and they're very athletic. We'll look and see what we think we can do against them. They played a good game at Georgia, and probably should have won the game had that field goal not happened. Like I said, a very athletic defense and any time you have speed on defense it's something that I think is kind of overlooked at times.'

On the losing streak in Tempe and the last time OSU played there...

'That was the weirdest game. We were up and then the wheels fell off and we don't want to let that happen again. We're anxious to get down to Tempe and get going.'

On his connection with Damola Adeniji...

'He was coming into the year a new receiver as far as a starting role and all throughout the spring I thought we connected at times. I love throwing to him. I've never had the luxury of throwing to a guy who is 6'4' even in high school or anything like that. I think over the weekend we did some good things and he was running some good routes and getting open. Any time you have a target like that it's not easy to miss. I enjoy throwing to him and he's a good contributor to the offense.'

On OSU's record and how leadership plays a role in improvement...

'I think we've always had, ever since I've been here, great leadership and I don't think the practice changes, I think we've practiced great up until this point. Whatever the reason is, we've started the way we have. I don't know why that is but I think the leadership is a big part of it. We've always had that and I think that's a good reason why we've been able to kind of bounce back the last three years when we've had slow starts. I think it's important to say that just because we've done it in the past doesn't mean that it's just going to happen again. We have to prove it.'

On how he's holding up physically...

'I'm good. A little sore after games but I've never been quite this sore on Sundays. That comes with the territory, you're going to get beat up.'

 

Tim Clark

 

On the mindset of the team after two tough losses...

'Our mindset is pretty much the same thing; we have to get better every week. We're showing good improvement but at the end of the day the only stat that counts is the win. We have to get back to the basics even if it's just making everyone hustle to every play in practice, whatever it takes we have to get back to the basics and start pulling out wins.'

On what it's been like previously in Tempe...

'Just the whole atmosphere, they have a crazy student section and us going up 19 points and the whole crowd would silence. I think we got too comfortable and once we start getting comfortable we start eating away at ourselves and digging ourselves a hole. When you're playing a team like Arizona State, their quarterback's a play maker. He came back to get us. It was a tough loss but hopefully we'll go down there and we won't get too comfortable and we'll play all four quarters.'

On the issues that need to be worked on...

'I don't feel like we need to work on any internal issues. We have good players and we put them in positions to make plays now we just have to finish them. We're right there we just have to finish them; it's just getting over that hump as a defensive. We're going to focus on finishing, hustling and pursuing the ball. Getting back the basics of Beaver football which is what we do.'

On preparation for Saturday...

'Getting the lead right before halftime is a good momentum builder. I didn't feel like the defense came back in the second half with the chip on our shoulder and that's something we need to do, we need to play with a chip on our shoulder every play. We don't have certain guys that we used to have like (Al) Afalava and Victor Butler, Slade Norris. We don't have those guys any more to depend on so we have to depend on ourselves and until we've proven ourselves we have to play with that chip on our shoulder. We're not established and that's big. So as long as we come out, play hard and play with that chip on our shoulder every play we should be fine.'

On what needs to be done on Saturday...

'We've been here before. We've been here the last four years and we know what it's like to play behind the gun. I think everyone on our defense knows what it feels like to have a slow start. We try to avoid that but it seems like we fall into the same thing all over again. We're just going to get back to our basics, gridiron hard football, and we're just going to compete. Regardless of the score, as long as we come out and compete every play, we can look up at the scoreboard and the score will take care of itself in the end.'

On his thoughts on his leadership role...

'As a senior on this team I feel like myself and Keaton (Kristick) both are going to take part in pushing each other to the limit, along with everybody. We're not going to let anyone slack off anymore, no more jogging to plays, no more taking plays off, none of that any more. We're 2-2 and that's 50 percent. That's an `F' and we can't have that; that's not acceptable.'

David Pa'aluhi

On Oregon State's defense...

'The effort is there right now. We're giving it all we have and are trying our best right now. I feel like pretty soon everything is going to click and we will start making more plays. I'm not too worried. We've been practicing hard and everyone knows what they have to do and what they need to improve on.  I think we'll come back and get things done.'

On going on the road...

'I don't see any difference in traveling, going from place to place.  I think our defense has it and we're going to get it done.'

On the mentality of the team...

'Everybody is looking on what they need to improve on. I think everyone knows what they need to do to start making more plays. I think we'll be okay.'

James Rodgers

On the consistency of the offense and what to do to make it better...

'Just execute; it starts in practice.  The things we do in practice translate to the game so if we don't execute in practice we won't execute in the game.  I think that's a great pinpoint on what Coach Riley touched on about finishing drives and all it is is execution.'

On a new team on the road...

'All games are going to be tough on the road or at home; all Pac-10 games especially.  We're just going to go out there with great focus - better focus then the past four weeks - and go out there and try to get a win.'

On him and his brother helping with the offense...

'It's not about us it's about everyone else on the field.  We have 11 guys on offense and 11 guys on defense.  We're just a part of the team.  Everybody has to make plays in order for us to win.  It's not just on us, it's on everybody.'

On the team's mentality...

'Just focus, a great amount of focus, is what we're going to work on.'

Damola Adeniji

On the team's mentality...

'I think as a team we need to come together, work hard every day and start each week as a new week.  Start over focused and get ready for Arizona State and just do everything that we can.'

On him personally improving his game...

'I feel like I'm improving each week and stepping up a little bit.  I definitely feel like this week I can make a bigger contribution in practice and staying after, just doing my share and a little bit more just to help us out.'

On the last interception of the Arizona game...

'I feel like I could put a lot of that responsibility for that last interception on me.  If I were to have run the route a little bit harder, cut a little more at the top, I definitely would have been there.  It's a learning experience. 

On being 2-2...

'I think it becomes a reality.  I mean we're 2-2 and we're playing a very good team on the road.  It's a huge game for us we just need to lock in, do more, do a little extra and we should have no problem.'

 

 

 

 

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