NOTES: Injury update; Canfield now No. 2

MIKE RILEY HAS won 5 of the last 8 games vs.ranked opponents since 2006. That number will not come into play this week. The Beavs are a 30-point favorite against Washington State (1-5) and if things go the way oddsmakers are predicting, Sean Canfield is likely to see his first game action this season after Lyle Moevao has an early night. Injury updates on Hughes, Afalava, Stroughter and more.

Mike Riley said he would like to get Sean Canfield, who moves up to the No. 2 this week, some playing time if the situation allows but has no plans to go with a two-quarterback system. If Canfield plays against WSU, it will most likely be because the Beavs have the game well in hand, (or if Moevao were to get dinged up.)

Moevao has completed 63 percent of his passes this season, with 10 TDs against four interceptions.

Canfield, who had offseason shoulder surgery, has been practicing regularly for the last couple of weeks. Other Beavs have injuries to contend with, the most glaring one to CB Brandon Hughes.

Hughes tried to practice on Monday but eventually came out. Riley was still optimistic on Monday that Hughes' hamstring would allow him to play by kickoff.

Sammie Stroughter (hip) and Al Afalava (groin) both practiced Monday, though Stroughter was limping. Riley said he hopes both will be good to go by Saturday.

Hughes did not play against Utah, Stroughter and Afalava each played partial games.

Brandon Hardin and Mitchel Hunt (broken bone in hand) will each play Saturday with a cast.

RILEY SAID HE expects Washington State to blitz and pressure based on what the Cougs have done so far this season. He also said he doesn't anticipate being a 30-point favorite will be cause for a letdown by the troops in black and orange.

"We put no stock in any of that," said Riley. "That's not what the game is about. It will be good competition and they will play hard."

THE BEAVER LINES have made considerable gains, said Riley, with defensive ends Slade Norris and Victor Butler in particular having breakout games against Utah and USC, respectively. Norris was especially effective on first down against Utah. On the offensive line, two of the younger players have upped the level of their play.

"I think we've made a ton of progress in the last three games...I think Mike Remmers, a redshirt freshman playing right tackle, was scary (to open the season but) I think he's going to be a really good player. I think Alex Linnenkohl is doing a nice job at center. He's a very tenacious player," said Riley.

"We're not necessarily where we want to be as a finishing point, but we're getting better and that's encouraging to me."

One of the reasons for the improved defensive play is due to working better as a unit and because the Beaver staff has again been able to rotate as many guys as they have, and those players have been effective.

"Keith Pankey, Dwight Roberson, guys that haven't played a lot before, are doing better,: said Riley.

NEW OSU QB Peter Lalich is getting in some work on the Beaver scout team with Ryan Katz, along with Zach Anderson. A scout team quarterback throws "off cards" meaning he throws to a designated spot in order to give the No. 1 defense a look, and not necessarily where he would if the route was covered. But while decision making isn't a skill that the coaches can yet quantify, Riley said he likes what he's seen so far.

"It's early to say too much but he is impressive throwing the ball out on the practice field," said Riley.

RILEY SAID all losses are tough ones and that Utah was no different.

"It's hard to look back on a close game because there are a number of plays that could have changed the outcome that you keep going back over in your mind," said Riley.

  • Washington State ranks at or near the bottom in the Pac-10 in several statistical categories, including total offense, total defense, rushing defense and turnover margin.

  • Andy Levitre was named one of the semifinalists for the Draddy Award, given annually to the athlete who excels on the field, in the classroom and in the community. The next round of cuts will result in the finalists being announced on Oct. 29.

  • The deadline Riley talked about last week with regard to Simi Kuli joining the team for this year came and went last Friday and it is looking more and more like a Kuli arrival would now move to a January time frame. The defensive lineman was expected to contend immediately for a starting spot but with school begun and the Beavs approaching their sixth game on Saturday, it would appear his redshirt season he has available would be spent getting all the academics requirements in place to complete his transfer.

  • The Corvallis Gazette Times reported TE Kevin Pankey has been suspended for reasons undisclosed, though he is expected to rejoin the team soon.

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