OSU NOTES: Looking back at CU, ahead to Utah

THE BEAVS DON’T play again until a week from Thursday, which will give them a chance to rest up and get some guys healthier. Mike Riley, though, says Oregon State is in pretty good shape injury-wise coming out of the Colorado win.

Mike Riley said Gavin Andrews has a sprained ankle, Jabral Johnson has a toe injury and Obum Gwacham will probably need a split to be put on his thumb. Zack Robinson, who missed the Stanford game, should be back in time for Oregon State’s game on Thursday, Oct. 16, against Utah (Fox Sports 1, 7 p.m.)

Oregon State will practice Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday this week, be off on Sunday, and then go Mon-Wed ahead of the Utah game.

OSU, Riley said, did not have a good halftime in the locker room the week before against USC after giving up a Hail Mary pass. They corrected that some this week, after going into the break down 21-20 to Colorado.

"I really thought that the halftime reaction was good. I think I made the point after the game, I was worried at halftime. (Colorado) had momentum. We didn't appear to have a lot of life in the locker room and there had to be a super response here, now… They're going to be giving it their best shot, so we had to match that emotionally and physically and make plays. And I think that that is good for you,” said Riley.

Trevor Romaine began the season appearing he would leave the program. On Saturday, he went 3-for-3 on field goals with a long of 47, and was perfect on extra points. He also excelled on kickoffs.

"I've been very impressed with his demeanor and his productivity. He's handled it all professionally and done a nice job. The touchbacks were big in the game yesterday, every kick he kicked was a touchback. And then he made big field goals. It was like a perfect game for him,” said Riley.

Riley said Victor Bolden, who returned to his receiver sport from a dislocated finger but did not return punts, is likely to be ready to add that role for Utah. He also said he was pleased with his co-running backs Terron Ward and Storm Woods putting up nearly identical stats:

Ward has 59 carries for 343 yards, Woods has 59 carries for 342 yards.

"Yeah, isn't that interesting? That is a picture of what we were trying to head for. In the rankings of rushing and all that, we're still not very high, but we are way better than we were. Those kids are playing well and the production between them is working out as we would envision when you're rotating two backs,” said Riley.

The o-line is part and parcel of their totals, and in Sean Mannion’s performance. Riley said he thinks o-line coach Mike Cavanaugh has been stellar in dealing in getting the most out of an injury-depleted line that was thin to begin with and one that has played without star center Isaac Seumalo.

“(Sacks are) always gonna hurt us, so I'm not always overly concerned with that total, but I am concerned with how are backs do. We're going to get sacked a couple times and take some yardage away and we're not going to get (QB running) production. But it's what our backs are doing that's most important, and their average is good and their totals together are pretty darn good.

"I think (Cavanaugh) is doing his best job ever coaching. I think those kids, we're getting a lot out of them and they're playing tougher. That part of it is encouraging."

Riley said Brandon Arnold, flagged and ejected for targeting, led with his shoulder and that there was no helmet-to-helmet contact.

“I don't think it was a tremendously cheap shot or anything I would deem like that - it was hard,” said Riley. “He just tried to rip through him and cut him off, but the guy wasn't in great position, so he took it hard and that's the way they're going to call it. That's what we teach him. Just to rip through and don't hit in the back, and all you have to do is make sure you're on the right side of the player.

“I don't know. It was a tougher call than I think ... don't you think in looking at it? That is an issue in college football, so you've got to learn to deal with it."

Riley said Kyle Peko may play in the game against Utah. But…

"We won't count on anything for sure, but there's a chance when he passes this class, and I say that with a question mark, on Tuesday, that he could play in the next game. Again, I'm going to be like you: When I see it, I'll believe,” said Riley.

Riley said the Pac-12 is so close top to bottom this season, there’s very little difference between teams. He also said he uses at least one thing from the other Pac-12 games as a teaching moment for his squad – be it the Hail Mary passes or a critical penalty from the Ducks’ game.

“That's why you can't look ahead. There's no need to do that. I told the staff, 'Hey we only have to win one game in two weeks. That's all we have to worry about,'" he said.

"I don't know that (Oregon’s penalty for a DL bowing) that was anything that was malicious or anything like that, -- I don't know that it needed to be called, frankly, but that's the way they're calling it and so it was obviously a huge, huge play in that game."


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