The Beavers are 2-2 coming off a loss to Arizona State last week, but now the Beavers face a UCLA team that has a history of stumbling over their own feet. The lost miserably to Utah a few weeks ago, a team the Beavers handled in their season opener. Here's what coach Mike Riley had to say on the upcoming week:
I think that we have our work cut out for us. UCLA is very talented. I think it Is one of the best defensive teams in the Pac-10. Last year they played some outstanding defense. Of course we played them and they did a pretty good job against us and they appeared to just get better. They have 10 starters returning, so we have our work cut out for us there. They have also been running the ball extremely well offensively. They have also been very balanced. So they had their one clunker against Utah but besides that they have played good football, really rebounded and played a very good game against the Huskies last week.
On the matchup between the Beavers offensive line and the Bruins defensive line
They are there. They are talented guys and I think as people watched them last year they realized how active and athletic this whole defense is. Bruce Davis is kind of a cornerstone guy, he is so athletic and a good player. I think this is a game that really has to be a balanced football game for the Beavers. We can’t be one dimensional. They will do a good job of loading the box if all you are trying to do is run and if all you are trying to do is pass they can rush the passer and they have a number of different coverage’s and blitzes to go with what they do. It’s going to be a game for us that we have to be very detailed and we have to be balanced offensively.
Does the tough road schedule home games such as these must win games?
There is no doubt it’s big. You always want to win at home. I think that as you look at who you are and what your football team is about they are all important. As we get ready for the week they are all must wins, but it is good to keep that continuity at home and that confidence at home. What we have to do is win at home and build what we need to do on the road. We obviously have lost two games on the road so far this year and I am disappointed in that. Now we are playing at home and it is important to establish that home field advantage.
On the defense going into this game and UCLA’s quarterback situation
I’ve seen some of their run totals in ballgames, and it is phenomenal. I think they had 300 yards rushing last week. And both of those guys (UCLA quarterbacks) have played quarterback for them, they are not new guys. I know Ben Olsen is going to play this week and Cowan is not, so we will prepare that way. We are in no position to salivate because of that, that guy has played and played well, played in some big games. On the other side of the ball we are going to have to be balanced, we are going to have to play run pass for sure. They have always had some nice play action passes, I think they had a reverse pass for a touchdown. We have to not only play the play but we also have to be sound and alert and aware. All of those things are going to come into play against the Bruins.
On special teams
"We need to do a better job during the kick return. They kept running by our blocks. We had a couple decent plays early, but as the game went on I was not impressed by with them, and we need to do a better job blocking."
"In the punt return area, Sammy Stroughter is trying too hard sometimes to make something happen. We have caught two fair catches inside the 10, which is a mistake, and then we fumbled two balls. Those were two major mistakes. We need to start making the plays when they are there, and be sound in what we are doing."
OSU’s offense at Arizona State
"It’s about the bottom line, but then we have to take it from where it is and look through to making some good plays, but then we take the bad plays and improve those."
"Everybody else can sit there and be upset about the game for a week, but we can’t. As disappointing as that was, and as mad as we were and upset, we need to take it back to the players and tell them what we did well and what we need to work on."
On the turnovers that have occurred so far this season
"You have to look at each one of those turnovers and evaluate what happened and use them as teaching tools so you can eliminate them."
On Sean Canfield and his development
"I am really impressed with Sean in the way he handles it. When you talk to him on the sidelines he understands and he is honest with me with what he saw and what happened, and then we go onto the next play."
"I want Sean to be able to get back in there and stick the ball where it needs to be, I don’t want him to be scared."
"He needs to be resilient and get back in there. How he handles it has to do with his own personality and I don’t really care how he does it, as long as he can go back in there and play."
GO BEAVERS! --JB--