We got a little while with Oregon State coach Mike Riley today. Here are his thoughts on coming to Husky Stadium on Saturday as a two-touchdown favorite.
"We've talked a lot with our team about not worrying about the point spreads," he said. "We've been on both extremes as underdogs and as favorites, and so we try to say that that doesn't matter to us. We know it's going to be hard, every game in the conference is. We always try to preach that the game is about our preparation and getting ready to win, so that's the focus and all that other stuff is really for people that aren't playing in the game."
An early look at the Beavers:
OREGON STATE (3-3 OVERALL, 2-1 PAC-10)
4 p.m. Saturday, Versus, at Husky Stadium
Coach: Mike Riley, 50-41 in eighth season at OSU.
Against the Huskies: Washington leads 57-31-4 overall and 32-18-2 in Seattle. However, the Beavers have won four straight, their longest domination of the series. OSU won last season, 29-23, in Corvallis; and took the last meeting in Seattle, 27-17, in 2006.
Last week: Oregon State mauled Washington State, 66-13, in Corvallis. The Beavers ran up 548 yards of total offense including a season-high 323 rushing yards. The attack was led by Jacquizz Rodgers' 168 rushing yards and Sammie Stroughter's 116 receiving yards. Quarterback Lyle Moevao threw four interceptions, but even at that the Beavers won so dominatingly that there were postgame complaints from WSU that they had run up the score.
Washington connections: Eight players from Washington high schools appear on the OSU roster: freshman P Johnny Hekker (Bothell), freshman WR Geno Munoz (Tacoma/Mount Tahoma), freshman DB Brian Watkins and WR Anthony Watkins (both Burien/Highline), freshman PK Matt Barker (Sprague/Gonzaga Prep), sophomore OL Alex Linnenkohl (Olympia/Capital) freshman OK Colin Kelly (Kelso) and freshman TW Joe Halahuni (Orting). OSU running backs coach Reggie Davis is a former UW Huskies tight ends coach and letterman.
Scouting report: There is no love lost between the teams, especially after a rough game last season in which Jake Locker was taken from the field by ambulance after suffering a concussion. Rodgers, a true freshman, leads the Pac-10 win an average of 119.7 rushing yards per game. Moevao leads the Pac-10 in total offense (252.8 yards) and passing average (264.7 yards). Stroughter had six catches against WSU and became the fifth Beaver to top 2,000 career receiving yards. OSU defensive end Norris Slade had two sacks in each of the last two games and ranks fourth in the Pac-10 overall. The Beavers lead the Pac-10 in time of possession (32:53) and fourth-down conversions (5-of-9; 55.6 percent). Johnny Hekker is the lowest-ranked punter in the conference. OSU is 3-0 at home, 0-3 on the road.