MONDAY NOTEBOOK: One game at a time

WITH FATE IN their hands the Oregon State football team must focus on one game at a time. Plus, injury updates, focusing on Washington and the final (?) word on Simi Kuli.

INJURY UPDATE: CB Brandon Hughes, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, and S Al Afalava, who sat out against WSU with a groin injury, are both expected to be back in the starting lineup against Washington.

CB Keenan Lewis, who sat the second half with turf toe, is also expected to play. OG Jeremy Perry has apparently "taken a step backward" according to Riley and he is out indefinitely until further notice.

WR Shane Morales bruised his quad and is suffering from back spasms but is expected to start.


RUNNING IT UP?: The 39-yard touchdown by Sean Canfield to Damola Adeniji with over seven minutes to play has been hotly debated by Oregon State and Washington State fans.

A couple of Washington State players said the touchdown was "classless" while coach Paul Wulff's greeting at midfield with Mike Riley after the game was cold and brief.

“I’ve never had to answer that question of running up the score before,” Riley said. “I don’t like them feeling like that. Just a few weeks ago we were on the other side of the coin. I know what that’s like, so there is no disrespect there.”

Plus, you add in the fact that it was the backup quarterback who hadn't played all year, it was the second and third string offensive linemen, the game was already over so another touchdown didn't make a difference, two other Pac-10 teams had already scored 60 on WSU and it was to a third string walk-on receiver - the Cougars really don't have anything to complain about.

“I feel bad they feel bad,” Riley said the day after the game“With the bottom of my heart, I did not do anything to disrespect that team. I talked with Paul before the game with the admiration Paul is trying to do there.”


STILL LEADING THE PAC: Freshman RB Jacquizz Rodgers continues to lead the Pac-10 and ranks 10th nationally at 119.7 yards per game. Junior QB Lyle Moevao also continues to lead the Pac-10 and ranks 18th nationally in passing yardage at 264.7 yards per game.

Rodgers is on track for 1,436 yards which would be a school freshman record and rank fifth on OSU's single season list. Moevao is on track for 3,176 yards and 24 touchdowns which would fourth and second, respectively, on OSU's single season list.


ONE GAME AT A TIME: There is a guarded buzz about the Beavers chances of making the Rose Bowl this season. If the Men in Black win out and Stanford loses one more game OSU would finish 8-1 in conference play and earn a berth in the Rose Bowl for the first time in 44 years. But, as coach Riley explains, the team must take one game at a time.

“It is really about us. We have so much going right now," said Riley who picked up his 50th career win at OSU Saturday. "We’ve won three of our last four, and we’ve played four straight games of pretty good football. It’s really important for us to keep that thing alive and growing.

“We’ll look at what the Huskies are doing and who they’re doing it with, but it’ll be about us getting ready to play. And we have not won on the road this year. We have something to prove in that regard, too.”


TOO MANY TURNOVERS: Despite finishing -2 in the turnover battle Oregon State still managed a 53-point win, but Riley doesn't want Lyle Moevao throwing four interceptions again.

"We had a turnover barrage we haven’t had all year," Riley said. "That can’t be a common-place occurrence if we want to be as good as we can be. You can’t stick a square peg in the round hole in the passing game, and he tried to do that a couple times.”

On three of Moevao's interceptions he could have dumped it off to wide open receivers or ran it, but he got greedy and paid the price - a lesson Moevao says he will learn from.

"I've got to take care of the ball a lot better than I did," Moevao said. "Leading up to this game, I felt I did a good job of doing that, so tonight was an eye opener and helped me to stay humble.


FOCUS ON WASHINGTON: The last three times Oregon State has visited Seattle the Beavers have left the Emerald City with a victory. This year's Husky squad hasn't won a game yet, but Riley and company are telling their players to take the Huskies seriously and prepare for Washington the same way they would prepare for USC.

"I'm preaching the same message this week,'' said Riley who is 4-3 versus Washington. "Respect who you are playing, practice like crazy, and try to get better. It's one game at a time for us, and that's all that matters. It doesn't matter if we're favored, or if we're the underdog in the rest of our games.''


THE FINAL WORD: One chapter of the Simi Kuli saga can be closed as he won't make it to Oregon State for this term. The coaching staff still hope he arrives for the winter term in January but Kuli can sign with another school.

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