NOTEBOOK: Too few snaps for Beavs

OREGON STATE THIS SEASON has run a lot of plays for a team that doesn't run a high-paced offense. But that changed against USC, said Mike Riley and it wasn't difficult when reviewing the game tape to spot the two areas that hurt the Beavs most on offense.

Coming into the USC tilt, the Beavs were averaging 77.8 plays per game. That's a lot for a traditional, huddle-type offense where so many others have moved to a go-go-go, snap it quick style.

But Oregon State ran only 61 plays on Friday night and to Mike Riley, it felt more like about 50.

"What hurt us the most offensively (were) the red zone turnovers and our third down conversions," said Riley.

Riley said Sean Mannion had all year long thrown the ball away when the situation called for it and hadn't tried to force it into difficult windows. But that changed against USC. On the first costly interception, Mannion stared down his receiver too long and the safety came over. On the second pick, it simply wasn't there and Mannion needed to throw it away, especially on first down.

But Riley was also confident Mannion will come back strong against ASU after the Beavers' bye.

"He's watched the film and he knows, he's a great critic of what he does with the ball…He'll be fine -- and he'll be better in the next game," said Riley.

OSU IS BANGED up and the bye week will allow for some much-needed rest.

Linebacker Joel Skotte (concussion) will go through the concussion protocol until he's cleared. Riley said more should be known on both linebacker D.J. Alexander (stinger) and defensive tackle John Braun (shoulder) later in the week. He seemed optimistic the Beavs could get both back before ASU on Nov. 16.

DT Mana Rosa (elbow) and OL Grant Enger (shoulder) are both scheduled for MRIs but Riley was hoping both would be okay in time for ASU. OL Garrett Weinreich (concussion) should be back at practice this week.

Tight ends Caleb Smith and Connor Hamlett should be ready for ASU as well. LB Michael Doctor, out all year, has done a little bit more in recent weeks but Riley was non-committal at this stage on him being available towards the end of the season. Doctor has a redshirt year available.

Oregon State didn't execute at certain points and they'll be down about that, Riley said, but he also felt certain they'd bounce back strong against ASU. Riley also said the Beavs didn't play smart against USC.

"I think they'll come back and practice well, they'll be ready to go. It's disappointing because they had a lot at stake the last two weeks, and I know this is hard for them. Particularly in this last game, we didn't play as well as we could have -- or as smart as we could have. And it cost us."

NOTABLE NOTES:
  • Riley told the players to get away from the game for a bit with the bye week, though some of them were still getting in some voluntary lift sessions. OSU will return to the practice field Tues-Thurs, take Fri-Sun off, and then start normal game prep on Monday.

  • Riley was asked about the lack of a no-huddle towards the end of the game when Oregon State needed three scores. He said while there's a point you need to have a greater sense of urgency, the Beavs do better when able to sub in. "If possible we like to stay where we can sub personnel groups so we have more protection options, like with more tight ends. That's been the issue the last two games," said Riley.

  • Asked about positives they can build on, Riley named some players and said he was particularly proud of some special teams units. "I thought Siale Hautau and Edwin Delva played pretty darn well … Jabral Johnson played a good game. Offensively, I thought Malik (Gilmore) went in and while he might not have made big plays he wasn't disruptive. He was good on his assignments and performed pretty well. There were some positives with Terron Ward and the run game. I was really proud of our punt team -- USC had been averaging some big time punt return yardage. Our punt protection was good, and our punting was excellent."

  • Riley also said the Beavs did better in pass protection and that the coaches found some protection things they can use going forward. Ward stood out more than did Storm Woods but Riley is happy with both running backs. "I consider us to have two No. 1 running backs… and I think that's good for us right now."


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