RILEY: On Oregon, the Civil War and more

MIKE RILEY OFFERS his thoughts on the Civil War, injury updates on Will Darkins, Joe Halahuni, Keith Pankey, Brennan Olander, Michael Philipp and more.

-- Mike Riley said he wouldn't comment on Oregon's Cliff Harris' comment that Saturday's game is like big brother versus little brother in the backyard, with the Ducks being the older child. But then he went ahead and commented a bit anyway. "The reality is it's been a very, very good football game for a while now and there is no doubt this year, they are in a tremendous spot and they've earned that spot. And we're going to go after it, and go swinging at ‘em," said Riley.

-- FB Will Darkins (sprained MCL) is out for Saturday, but he will not require surgery, said Riley. Darkins should be back ready to go for spring practice.

-- As for TE Joe Halahuni (head) and Keith Pankey (ankle), the jury is still out. "We'll see where Keith Pankey is today, we'll see where Joe Halahuni is today."

-- DT Brennan Olander (pectoral muscle) has not been medically cleared as of this morning. OT Michael Philipp (ankle) is questionable.

-- On DT Stephen Paea, Riley said "he's an outstanding player, lots of ability and frankly learning more and more of playing within a scheme and making plays within a scheme." -- Riley said both a fast start and a great close are equally important against Oregon given their ability to score quickly. Tackling in space must be in place against Oregon.

-- Riley said the motivation for the Beavs is to win and go to a bowl game, not to stop Oregon from playing in the national title game.

-- Riley said he wants to be as well rehearsed while still being fresh for the game.

-- Riley said with it being five teams played who were in the top 10 at one point in the season, the regular season finale provides the biggest challenge of them all.

--This is, however, the first of those teams that Oregon State will play at home. "(But) I don't talk to the team or put a lot of stock in home field, I think that's a bad approach. I think the approach you can make is it's great to play in front of our fans…but I think if you make that a theme, I think you're missing the boat..if you're going to be a good team, you have to win on the road..we're obviously going to have to find our best game this week," said Riley.

-- How does Riley plan on slowing down the Oregon offense? "The plan has to include some variety, and it has to include great execution behind it. These people stretch you in every way and they have a number of tremendous weapons," he said.

-- "This is big for a lot of reasons," said Riley of Saturday's game.

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