Riley Meets The Press

Sept. 16, 2003

(On facing a Boise State team that has a 13-game winning streak) 'I think it means a lot. A team that has won a number of games in a row has confidence in winning. They expect to win. They have a good tradition there right now, from the time Dirk (Koetter, former head coach) was there, and then of course Dan (Hawkins, current head coach) took over. They've got a good football program. They're used to winning games and they have a good, solid football team.'

(On Boise State quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie and tailback David Mikell) 'I think their running back is a good player. He's productive, he's just one of those guys who is very, very good, and I think their running game, combined with their passing game, gives you the kind of balance a football team needs. They can do whatever they need to do to win. I think Dinwiddie is a good, solid quarterback. What he does is, he makes plays. He can ad lib, or he can run the offense and make it go. I think with that balance, that's why they win. They can do whatever they need to do in a ballgame to win games. It's run the ball effectively to control the game, it's pass the ball to score points and get big plays - I think they're good.'

(Is Boise State's offense a hybrid of some offenses you'll be seeing during the Pacific-10 season?) 'I think it would be. And I think as far as football teams go, it's very good preparation for what we're getting into. This is a solid football team that has beaten teams. They beat Iowa State in a bowl game, a ranked football team. So you know they're very, very capable. It probably is a hybrid of what we'll see, which is good preparation. The thing about it is, the approach for our team is, every game is preparation for the next thing to follow, but the focal point is this ballgame and what we need to do. We obviously got better this week, we did some good things, but we're not hitting on all cylinders. It's very crucial for us to improve.'

(Do Boise State's offensive statistics get the attention of Oregon State's defense?) 'They sure do. I think our team already has pretty good knowledge of what this team can do. Everybody watches the games, especially the bowl games, and then we see them on tape not only from this year but from last year, so they've beaten good opponents and I think they'll have every bit of our attention and respect.'

(Does Boise State have any vestiges of the Fly offense that Dan Hawkins coached at Willamette?) 'A little bit. They do a lot of stuff. They've got components of probably many different thoughts and ideas and history - that's the way coaches do. I'd say there are still some remnants of that.'

(On Oregon State's running backs behind Steven Jackson - Dwight Wright and Ryan Cole) 'I think Dwight Wright - and possibly in the future I can say the same thing about Ryan Cole; he hasn't been in there quite enough to know - but I'm impressed with both of them as football players. I think Ryan's done a nice job of moving into the fullback spot when we call for it. And I think Dwight Wright can be a starter in a lot of places as a running back. We're very fortunate there; I think we have talent and we have depth. And we've got another young kid (Yvenson Bernard) that's going to come along there that's going to be a good player that we're redshirting, so I'm excited about that crew.'

(On Oregon State reducing its penalties against New Mexico State, and whether a team can continue to play both penalty-free and aggressively) 'I think it shows how important it is. When we got behind in that game, had we disintegrated into committing penalties and not controlling ourselves a little bit, we'd have had the same result as the week before. Hopefully, there's a valuable lesson there. It's really important to keep your poise and focus in a football game, because it's never going to go all right. I would hope our team learned from the fact there was a vast difference in our reaction to adversity in this last ballgame from the week before. And it made a major difference, because once we got a couple of those early penalties behind us, when we had to come back and get in that ballgame to win it, we played pretty good football for a long period of time without penalties.'

(Is tailback Steven Jackson 100 percent? Is he definitely going to play?) 'We'll look at that during the week. I won't say that he's 100 percent by any means at this stage, but I hope he feels like that by Thursday. But I can't say it right now; we'll watch it closely during the week.'

(On other injuries) 'The word right now on (linebacker) Seth Lacey is that it will be day-to-day and we'll see how he improves. I think the same thing goes for Kanaan Sanchez - that it will be day to day with him. And Kirk (Yliniemi) - the kicker, that's the best way for me to say his last name - he will probably be okay. If (last) Saturday was any indication of how he's coming along, then I would think he would be ready for this coming Saturday, but we'll watch that. I want him to be very comfortable the next time he kicks in a game.'

(What is the key to Oregon State getting more balance out of its passing game?) 'Efficiency, totally. It's just a matter of throwing and catching the ball and running the right routes and making the good throws and protection - it all fits together. We made some progress in that ... but we're averaging 460 yards (total offense) per game and I really believe we're just doing average. Those two things don't fit together necessarily, but that's how I feel about it in general and I think obviously the passing game has to balance that out.'

(On wide receiver Mike Hass) 'It's one of those stories you get once in a while in college football. It's uncommon, but we all hear about them. I think it's a great example of a guy earning a spot through production. I think he had an average spring. I didn't really notice him that much; he made a few plays and I knew who he was, but he came back in the fall and stood out as a playmaker and continued to do that. He's continued to do that well enough that we changed his position and gave him a chance to start. You all have to recognize that and we're certainly proud of the fact he's made that move and done well. I think he adds to our offense because he makes plays - he catches the ball and he gets open.'

(On quarterback Derek Anderson) 'I think for our whole team and specifically for Derek, the week-to-week improvement is crucial. It's crucial to our success this year. Wherever you start - and our goal was to start solidly, that's the best way to describe it - but the key from there on out is to get better. And you have to get better during the year; you have to get better, if you can, game to game and feel better about it in order to be a contender. And we sure have an opportunity to do that; it's right there in front of us to improve. This will be a tough opponent for us to go against, for sure, to do that - but they all will be from here on out.'

(On the performances of cornerback D.J. Coote and offensive guards Brent Bridges and David Lose when they were called on against New Mexico State) 'I think every one of those guys went in and played for us and we didn't skip a beat. D.J. - I was happy for him, excited for him; he had to make a couple of plays during the game. It wasn't a real test of the passing game against us but he played solidly. He's a good kid who works very hard and did what was required of him in the game. Brent Bridges really loves to play football, and I really like how he approaches the game. He went in with enthusiasm and again he played well in that group. David Lose has been a starter here and has played a lot of football, and we expected him to go in and be able to carry on in our offense without missing a beat. I think all those guys were able to go in and help us.'

(On Carl Tobey making some good holds on point-after kicks) 'I think that goes unnoticed a lot, how important that whole facet of specialists are. There's almost two phases of special teams - the guys everybody talks about, the punter and the kicker; and then there's the returners and everybody sees that. But there's another whole part of that that's kind of hidden, because we talk a lot about our punt coverage and our punt protection and kickoff return guys. But people take for granted - until you see a bad one - the snapper and the holder. That's a job that really requires tremendous efficiency to be good. We probably all remember some circumstances in football that stand out - I guess the playoff game last year with the Giants and the snap situation there; all of a sudden, bang - you just expect that to happen and you just wait for the kick, but it doesn't always happen. I notice it because I watch every bit of it; I know what can happen on every play, and I told Carl after one of them, 'That was the difference right there,' the way he held that ball and got the ball up for John (Dailey) to kick it. Those guys have time in practice to work all that many, many times because it's a funny life being a kicker or a full-time snapper or a holder and a punter. Once we get special teams done, they're on their own for a while and we give them certain projects to do but they work a lot on their specialty. I'm glad you made note of that, because I think it's a special art and it's crucial to the success. Some guys can't handle a different holder, so you're playing with the psyche of guys who are going to try to win the game for you. It's big.'

(Do you anticipate Brian Kilkenny playing some offensive tackle this week?) 'Yes, there is, and that will be determined as the week goes along. He will work both spots.'

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