Riley expects Beavs to come out strong

MIKE RILEY TALKED about what he expects to see this practice week, the Beavs' last home game this season against the Huskies, Taylor Henry and more...

Mike Riley said the loss of junior defensive end Taylor Henry that he couldn't talk about his reasons, but he did say he was feeling overwhelmed with everything he was trying to do and wanted to focus on his schoolwork and getting his degree. Riley said he tried to get everything out of him that he could in their discussion and said the football parts of it, being beat out by redshirt freshmen, etc., were never brought up.

Riley said he is not closing any doors on Henry and if it was a sudden, emotional decision, one that he later regrets, he said that was definitely an option he could return next season.

"I think it's going to be a big week to see if we can get anything going in the running game," Riley said. "We're not going to stop doing that for this game. If we're going to win, we're going to find more balance than we have in the last few weeks."

Riley said there is a lot of carryover from last year on what the Huskies do on offense.

Riley said if Nick Montana is the starter, they don't change a lot of what they do.

Riley said Feti Unga was having a good year but also a growing year before he got injured. Riley said he has the natural middle linebacker instincts, such as shedding blockers. Riley said he's hopeful he can play more this week.

Riley agreed losing is contagious, and the way to attack that is preparation, to get that momentum and confidence back. The staff has tried to be with the players as much as possible, particularly on Sunday to keep the players up and motivated. He said he expects a great practice week, which he points to as the key to winning.

Riley said the difference between OSU giving up a long gain and a one-yard loss, on occasion last week, was positioning, pointing to two players being outside one blocker.

Riley said Grant Johnson will be evaluated Tuesday, with the expectation he will be ready to return for Saturday's game.

Riley said Mike Remmers, who had an MRI, should be okay to play.

Riley said Rueben Robinson (concussion) is doubtful.

Riley said Burke Ellis should be good to go.

Riley said Geoff Garner should be good to go.

Riley said Marcus Perry is unheralded because you only hear a long-snapper's name when something goes wrong. He said he definitely has a shot at the NFL.

Riley said he doesn't see motivation as being a problem in a year where the Beavers have few wins, citing the veteran leadership on the Beavs.

Riley said he doesn't anticipate Ryan McCants suddenly getting some carries in the last two games, though he went on to praise his play and attitude as he shifted over to be a special teams player this season.

Riley noted the Beavs years ago signed Mike Wallace out of New Orleans. Wallace didn't qualify, eventually played for Ole Miss and went onto the NFL. A sportswriter this week called Wallace the best receiver in the NFL recently. Riley said there are a number of very good players the Beavs are going to be going after in recruiting the next couple of months.

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