PRACTICE: Riley like a kid in candy store

CORVALLIS -- While much attention was dedicated to the reports surrounding Mike Riley and Wisconsin's head coaching gig, there was also an actual practice that took place. And as Oregon State prepares to take on Texas in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29, Mike Riley looked like he was having the time of his life on Friday calling the plays for the Beaver offense.

And when certain schemes found repetitive success, it was not hard to hear Mike Riley whooping and cheering his players on. Riley and his staff appear very excited for the Alamo Bowl, and it is showing on the field.

Both Sean Mannion and Cody Vaz had strong outings on Friday – Riley was working them hard, and the pair shared looks on the 1's all day long.

Vaz had particular success tossing the rock up in the red zone, connecting cleanly with Markus Wheaton and Richard Mullaney on a few routes.

Mannion had minimal issues with ball control from the shotgun formation but the sophomore appeared a little off on his release time, and it lead to an interception on a severely underthrown ball intended for Connor Hamlett.

But on balance, Mannion made good reads – he was also involved in in-depth conversations with Riley on the sidelines, their body language indicating they were discussing methods of making plays/routes more efficient.

Much of the offensive detailing for the afternoon focused on classic downhill ball movement with Storm Woods and Terron Ward.

Subsequently, the Beaver D (on the 1's and 2's) displayed a heavy focus on defending specific types of runs.

The secondary went head to head against the wideouts, with their work tailored against specific types of routes.

Riley only worked the younger guys for about 35 minutes today, but Richie Harrington and Chris Brown were the offensive standouts, accompanied by Joel Skotte making some solid defensive reads.

NOTABLE NOTES:
  • Brandin Cooks sat out of practice today. All signs indicate that he is simply resting.
  • He won't play in the bowl game but redshirt freshman defensive tackle Desmond Collins was dressed and practicing (apparently for the first time since a leg injury in fall camp.) Riley and Co. looked very enthusiastic about the young man's return. Riley was heard joking with the defensive line squad toward the end of the day – "Desmond is playing football? How does he look in a jersey?"

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