Riley post-California quotes

Quotes from Oregon State head coach Mike Riley following the Beavers 41-13 loss to California Sept. 20, 2006.

On the game:
It’s two fold they just did a great job in the first half making plays with their playmakers. I look at third and 15 early where they hit us on a long one when we blitzed them and got a touchdown. Then I look at the drive right after that when we drove the ball pretty well down there but didn’t do anything with it and fumbled the ball. That’s probably just the tip of the iceberg, but that’s how the games started and then it snowball and their a pretty good team too.


On Longshore:
He’s got a very quick, sharp release so he can get you quickly on a blitz by just snapping the ball out of his hand. And then he’s got a good arm too.


On turnovers:
It’s probably just the tip of the iceberg and I don’t want to minimize how they dominated in the first half, that was real, but you look back on things in ballgames and make an assement on what happened and that’s what it is. We’ve got an opportunity with the good character guys that we have to keep working. We have a lot of new guys that mix into the deal … we can’t lose faith in them or what’s going on.


On his team:
We have a chance to get better. I don’t like to draw on bad things from the past, but we had a defeat from Cal that was worse than this a couple of years ago and our team ended up fighting back and they ended up being a pretty good football team. It’s the longest in Oregon State football history and it is way too early to drawn any lines or go gloom and doom on it. We got beat by a good football team today. We’ll take the good and keeping going and take the bad and try to improve it. That’s where we are at.


On the offense moving the ball well between the 20s, but not scoring:
We had some things that were going that were pretty good. And had we been in a closer ball game … I did not want to get in a drop back passing game against that defense, those guys can rush the passer and blitz, so what we have to do is be balanced. I thought we had that going, but because of the course of the game it was really hard to make that happen.


Did Matt look better today?
Some things. He missed, it is kindof a microcosm of the team, some throws that I know he would love to have back. I know he had one to Eve down the field that was a big timer.


On the secondary:
I don’t think there were many busted coverages. I think there were areas where we were getting beat with a man making a play. Cal is good, they have great receivers with great speed and that was obviously much more of the test. They utilized Marshawan well today. We got a couple of bad matchups.


Strategy going into the game and how did it change:
The thing we knew we needed to do offensively was take care of the football. Then we fumbled a chance to score early which hurt us. And so the game changes a little bit as the lead grew. And then we needed to be able to mix it up defensively. But no matter what avenue we seemed to take they made a play. And they made a lot of third down conversions, I bet their third down conversion deal was pretty good (8 of 13). That’s where the game is.


Why kick of field goal in the third quarter?:
I wanted to get some points. I had just given a message to our team about the fact that is was very important that we come out and start the kickoff of the second half like the kickoff for the rest of the season and build on some things that were doing. I wasn’t looking at the score too much but I was looking at something that was a positive from the first drive. And the positive would be playing the game like we normally would, get some points and come back. Because if you don’t get those points … if you are going to come back in a game like that you will probably need a field goal or two along the way anyway, why not take the points while they are there, instead of losing that opportunity by not making it on fourth down.


On coming back from a big loss:
That’s going to be big. We will find out more about us. That’s where we are at with this football team. Basically the ability to show our character and come back to work and not blink. I have been around a lot of different teams and just about every team has some kind of adversity during the year. This is big adversity now we lost our first Pac-10 game. So, we got show what we have have to do to come back. I am sure if we play a good football game we will give ourselves an opportunity to beat Washington State.


Do you see signs of the same stuff in this team as the team in 2004 that bounced back?:
This is a good character football team. Sure I think it is possible, but is has to be proven. It is a subjective thing. I don’t want to say that just because we did it before we will do it again. But I think the character is here to do that. Weather we make it good enough to do it, we will find out.


What happened to Bernard on the TD, holding his hand:
A very mild sprain.


Go for it on fourth and short or not going for it:
When you are backed up like that you are getting into the psyche of your team. I just told to my team, don’t think about the score let’s just go out and play the game. And then you start going for it on the minus 30 yard line and then you don’t make it. Then you give them an opportunity to just pile up the lead. The more that piles up the more demoralizing that can be so you make that decision with a lot of things that come into play.

I was just going to play the game. When you are on the minus 30 you don’t go for it too often on fourth so we punt the ball. We keep working on all parts of our team and we see if can get back in the game, but also see if we can improve. For us to get back in that ballgame we certainly had to play a ton better than the first half. And we did a little bit of that. We got a field goal and touchdown and some drives that were pretty decent.

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