Riley Meets the Press: Nov. 10

Nov. 10, 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, Ken Goe, Mike Tokito and Molly Blue of The Oregonian, Bob Clark of the Register-Guard, Cliff Kirkpatrick of the Gazette-Times, Gary Horowitz of the Statesman Journal, Ron Callan from KPAM 860, Mike Parker and Jon Warren from 1240 KEJO, Casey Grogan of the Official Sports Report, as well as KMTR, KVAL, KEZI and KATU.

Mike Riley - Head Coach

On facing the Washington Huskies this week...
'It looks to me that we are along the same line as last week, another good, tough Pac-10 team. This is a team that has been transformed. They had some good athletes these past couple of years, and those guys are older now. If you look at (Washington's season) closely, at least three games if they were a couple of plays away from winning. Their record could be vastly different with the help of a few other plays. I think this is a very solid football team that has an outstanding football player at quarterback (Jake Locker), who has become a leading passer in the conference. They have three receivers who have caught overall 30 balls, so those two weapons offensively will be in their favor ... On the defensive side, every team seems to have one of these guys, and Washington has Daniel Te'o-Nesheim. He is an outstanding player, who gave us fits last year.'

On how well is Sean Canfield is playing and is he in a position for postseason awards...
'As the season has progressed Sean has moved into the position where more people need to look at what he has brought. Sean is the leading the league in passing yardage; we are ranked high in third-down percentage. He has improved dramatically, but if you are looking at it as the big picture, I truly believe he could stack up against anybody.'

On the offensive line and how it has developed this year...
'One of the keys to our development this year is the growth of our offensive line. There has been a great job done by our coaches and we do have some good weapons, our great running back and a lot of great receivers. Also we have a great quarterback, but none of these great players will matter unless we have our line doing their job and blocking.'

On whether the Beavers could overlook Washington because of its record...
'I try to remind everyone all the time that it's all about that game, and the game starts with the respect of the opponent. It will not take our team long to realize how good this team is and that they have a lot of great football players. Like I mentioned, before they could easily have exactly the same record or even better than we do now. It is very important to live in the moment, and I would be very surprised and disappointed if we did not maintain the focus we need to prepare for this game.'

On the development of senior linebacker Keaton Kristick...
'Keaton's development is due to Keaton Kristick. He is the type of guy who you just need to show him where the weight room is, and he is going to do well; you show him the classroom, he is going to do well; you show him the film room, and he will study the stuff. Our coaches have enhanced his ability to put himself into the position to make the plays because he is a playmaker. He can run, slash to the ball, a great hitter and also has the love and passion for the game. I look at him as a great example of a Beaver football player.'

On quarterback Lyle Moevao, his injuries, and the possibility of gaining a sixth year of eligibility...
'We could not have any of the success that we have had over the past three years if it wasn't for Lyle (Moevao) and Sean (Canfield) and how they have handled this (starting) quarterback deal. I know there has been big disappointment when one guy has been picked (to start), and also major disappointment when a guy has been hurt. The way they have handled it, has been truly amazing. Lyle had come back from a shoulder injury, and then gets hit with the foot injury. It has been a dramatic series of events for him. With his injury and being on crutches, he was still out by the bus as we were leaving the other day. You can definitely see the heart and soul he has for the team and his teammates.

Sean Canfield - Quarterback

On how this time of year is similar or dissimilar than those of past years...
'I think it feels a lot different just for the fact that I'm a senior and I have a different role than in past years. But it looks like the way we're playing it is similar to the past. So its similar in that sense.'

On the improvement of the offensive line and having more time to throw...
'It's been great. I said in camp I'm never worried with Coach Cavanaugh at the helm working with those guys every day. It was just a matter of time until I thought they were going to really get going and they've been great for a long time.'

On Jordan Bishop's touchdown and if the play was meant for him...
'I guess you could say he was the first read on that. He's made some great plays, I could have hit him for another one later in the game. He's a tremendous athlete and I think he has a great future ahead of him.'

On how he feels about the state of the offense...
'It's been great. It's just a combination of all kinds of athletes, which goes with recruiting. I mean getting some young guys started with Markus Wheaton or with Michael Philipp on the offensive line. There are just so many weapons and distributing the ball is always a good thing when you have that kind of talent across the board. Along with that too is Coach Langsdorf and Coach Riley coming up with a game plan that's been consistent throughout the weeks. I think the offense has bought into it and we are developing that continuity.'

On this being his last home game...
'I haven't thought about it too much but I know that with it being my last time in Reser and Senior Night it will be a big deal to me. It will be a big deal to the team as well considering that the Huskies are a great team and we've had a pretty decent rivalry with them. I'm sure come game time there will be a lot of emotions.'

Keaton Kristick - Linebacker

On Jake Locker, and his potential to run...
'He is a running quarterback; he is a really good quarterback. We will prepare for him just like we prepare for any running quarterback.'

On the Pac-10 being shaken up, and the Beavers strong play...
'It's just the way that things have gone. We always seem to do better this time of year, I'm not sure if it's the weather or what. It's just our time, and we've got to make the most of it. To have this many teams vying for the title makes it more suspenseful, and every game has that much more meaning involved.'

On playing his last game at Reser stadium...
'This Washington game is our last home game, and that's really important to us. I'm going to prepare for it like a normal game, but at the same time, deep down inside I know it's my last game here, and I'm going to make the most of it. I'm sure you'll see me running around, you know more so than in the past ... a little wild, I'm sure.'

On the growth of the defense...
'To be honest, I think we've been playing this way the whole year. It's really important whether we can convert on third down. That's what's been important these past couple of weeks. We've been getting the offense back on the field, and they've done an awesome job moving the ball down the field.'

On being focused for the game...
'This is the last home game. That means a lot more than most people would think. It's the last game of the year at home. We've got to make the most of it.'

Gabe Miller - Defensive End

On being back in the Pac-10 race...
'We have to think about what the Pac-10 is about, the regular season is always a rush, which makes it a race to get to the finish line. Coming into our last few games we are going to have a shot, so if we do our thing and win out, and then we'll let everything else just unfold.'

On his thoughts about not playing tight end anymore...
'I was telling Keaton (Kristick) early in the game, that I'm glad I switched to defense because I did not have a shot at H-Back, because Joe (Halahuni) has been showing off a little bit.'

On his conversion to defensive end and the learning curve...
'It actually felt pretty natural, aside from getting all the play calling down. I have been taking things in stride, but overall I feel very confident and excited that I made the switch.'

On whether the Beavers are over confident going into the game...
'Coach Riley definitely keeps us where our heads should be, and lets us know that this is the important game of the week. We should approach every game the same. It's another Pac-10 game, whether it's USC or Oregon, we use the same approach and diligence. Getting better week by week, and continuing to progress with how well we are doing. Stephen (Paea) has been doing an unbelievable job of giving pressure. It's just one of those things that as the weeks go by, we will learn something and know where to make changes.'

On Jake Locker as passer...
'He is a great player. Our defense knows that we need to respect him in every aspect of the game. He is definitely a weapon, and we need to find a way to contain him.'

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