Will Beaver trio be ready?

WITH A TOUGH Thursday night road test against No. 15 Utah fast approaching, Mike Riley may have some juggling to do. The head man of the Beavs says three key starters, with varying injuries, are all "questionable". Today's practice could be key to determining the starting lineup that takes the field against the Utes, and/or how much the trio might play. And another game has been picked up for TV.

Among the players Mike Riley and staff will be watching closely in today's practice -- S Al Afalava (groin) and CB Brandon Hughes (hamstring) on defense, WR Sammie Stroughter (hip) on offense.

"I think they are all questionable at this point," said Riley on Tuesday. "They all dressed for practice (Monday) but they were very, very limited in practice. Personally I didn't get a great feel for where they were yesterday and we're already into what is a normal Thursday so we're getting closer to having to make final decisions about starters and their ability to at least play in the game.

"I can't say any of them will play now, but I'm sure not ruling them out either."

In the season opener where Afalava sat out the game, Suaesi Tuimaunei started in his place, with Cameron Collins and Lance Mitchell also getting turns.

At corner, Tim Clark would appear likely to slide into the starting spot on the island opposite Keenan Lewis if Hughes can't go.

At receiver, Chris Johnson would seem a likely choice to start if Stroughter can't go although the Beavs have a number of receiver options and packages they could implement.

But having any of the three unable to play or limited against Utah will leave some large shoes to fill, all were instrumental in the USC victory and have been key all season for the Beavs.

ON THE OFFENSIVE line, Riley said this may finally be the week Beaver fans see guard Jeremy Perry get some snaps -- but no promises.

"He's getting closer, he's been practicing for a number of days in a row. And this might be the week that he can break in. We've got good feelings about where he is physically and he's progressing all the time. I'm not ready to cross the line and say he'll play this week," said Riley.

Perry has seemingly been a possibility, each week up until the last moment, since Week One. But the recent play of the offensive line unit including RG Gregg Peat and LG Adam Speer, and particularly against USC, has been impressive.

THE WSU-OREGON STATE has been picked up for broadcast -- it will be televised on FSN-Northwest and will also be available on Fox College Sports (FCS). The Oct. 11 game from Reser Stadium in Corvallis is slated for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff. It is the 10th guaranteed live broadcast of the 12-game regular season schedule for the Beavers.

Approximately 1,300 reserved tickets remain for the WSU game. Tickets may be purchased by clicking to osubeavers.com, calling 1-800-GO-BEAVS or visiting the Gill Coliseum ticket office between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Kickoff time and potential television appearances for Oregon State's games at UCLA (Nov. 8) and at home against California (Nov. 15) are still to be determined.

The Beavs were named the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week for their thrilling victory over No. 1 USC.

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