Riley optimistic on Collins, Stevenson return

MIKE RILEY said Tuesday he is very optimistic about Cameron Collins and Jovan Stevenson returning this week.

While Cameron Collins and Jovan Stevenson are probable, Feti Unga is questionable, said Mike Riley.

Jordan Jenkins is questionable.

Joe Halahuni and Grant Johnson are probable.

Riley had no update on Josh Andrews and if he or Grant Enger would start.

Riley said the penalties are an area the Beavs need to clean up, though he questioned whether some were valid. He said the chop block was inadvertent and of one of the holding plays, "I'm not seeing it."

Riley said the consistency of the running game against WSU was key, and running against the Utah defense poses significant challenges. USC had a hard time, Riley noted, as did most other teams.

Riley said Scott Crichton is really, really playing well. "He's a good athlete who is just growing," said Riley. The Beavs were tempted to play him last year but Riley said he's glad now they didn't.

Riley said Terron Ward had a good game, as did Rashaad Reynolds.

Riley said Sean Mannion is a microcosm of the team growth OSU has experienced this year and cited his poise in particular.

"Our big challenge this week is going to be to protect him," Riley said of Mannion.

Riley said protection is a multi-faceted thing and that the TEs, RBs, WRs and QB all played a part in addition to the work done by the o-line last week. The o-line, he said, did a nice job assignment-wise, being sure to block the right guy.

Riley said Utah, despite being winless in-conference, have played better than their record and playing teams for the first time is a factor compared to the other teams in the conference having some familiarity to build on. He mentioned the scores against Cal and Washington as not representative.

Riley said Utah and Colorado coming into the Pac-12 will affect recruiting, particularly in California.

Riley said Utah has one of the most physical defenses that OSU has seen this year. He also said they are very physical running the football and on special teams, they're as athletic as OSU has faced.

"This is a very capable football team, it will be all the physical matchup we need, for sure," said Riley. "…Their defensive line is an impressive looking group of guys."

Riley said Utah's defensive ends are bigger, making the d-line the biggest they've faced.

Riley said the Utah corners can bait you into picks. He said Utah does a great job of recognizing quick pass plays.

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