INJURY UPDATE: RB Jacquizz Rodgers' ankle is still sore, but he's not expected to miss as much practice time this week as last. WR Casey Kjos (back) missed the Cincinnati game and is questionable for Arizona. TE Joe Halahuni (knee) did not run Sunday, but is expected to practice later in the week.
OPPONENT LOOKAHEAD: Arizona managed just eight first downs in a 27-17 loss to Iowa on the road. RB Nic Grigsby paced the Wildcats with 75 yards on 11 carries while catching three passes for 14 yards. Arizona opens as a three point favorite.
“I’ve got a lot of faith in Sean and where he has gone with this thing," Riley told The Oregonian. "how he has quarterbacked our team from the end of last season when he was playing, then into the spring and (into this season) and one game is not going to disintegrate that."
SACKS: With only two sacks on the year Oregon State ranks last in the Pac-10. Only four teams in the FBS have less than one sack and only 11 other teams, including Arizona State, have only two sacks this year.
Despite the lack of production in the boxscore, Riley feels that his defense took a step forward against Cincinnati.
"Even though we lost the game, I thought defensively we took a step forward in a lot of areas because I think that's a pretty good offensive team," Riley said.
Heading into the matchup with the Beavers, the Bearcats were averaging almost 50 points a game and over 500 yards of total offense
NOT GOOD: The Beavers are last in the Pac-10 in allowing sacks with 10. In fact, only nine other FBS schools have allowed more sacks than the Beavers this season.
THIRD DOWN: Despite not giving up 100 rushing yards in a game this year, the defense is struggling to stop teams on third down. Currently the Beavs rank last in the Pac-10 and 93rd in the nation in opponent third down conversion (43.9%).
THE RODGERS MACHINE: James and Jacquizz continue to fuel the Oregon State offense as the duo combined for 259 total yards while touching the ball 47 times.
Through three games the Rodgers brothers have combined for 448 rushing yards and 349 receiving yards or 68-percent of the team's offensive output.
With teams keying on James and Jacquizz, Riley is looking for someone to step up.
"We definitely have guys that should be involved more," Riley said. "We didn't take a step forward with some guys tonight, I'll just say that."
KEEP ON: No matter how you cut it, 2-1 is better than 1-2 and with Arizona rolling into Corvallis for the conference opener it is time to put up or shut up.
“This week right here will be very key for us,” James Rodgers said. “We can either go forward or backwards.”
CornerbackTim Clark agrees.
“We know were better then what we just did," Clark said. "We need to get back in the film room and correct the mistakes we made today. It’s a learning experience.”
TIME TO STEP UP: Despite the missed opportunities in the redzone, the missed blocks and the lack of a deep ball, Riley remains upbeat.
“I’m encouraged, because we are finding out more things about this team,” Riley told The Portland Tribune. “I found out our team can compete with what is a top-20 team."
And while he normally doesn't like to talk about his team's potential, he mentioned that he believes his team has plenty of room for growth - and victories.
“We can do better than compete, frankly," Riley said. "I don’t really like announcing that – I’d rather prove it (on the field).
"And we’ll have to start next week.”