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‘I’m just going to focus on getting healthy’ in bye week

Oregon St. linebacker Keaton Kristick opens his weekly column for the Sporting News Today with an acknowledgement of Stanford running back Toby Gerhart, and the Beavers' motivation heading into last week's game with the Cardinal.


For SN Today

We have a bye week coming up, and it was good to get a win going into it. Stanford was a pretty good team, and we're excited about being 4-2.

Toby Gerhart is one of the best backs we're going to play this year. To contain a back like that was awesome, and it said a lot about our defense. We practiced a lot, and we knew how much this game really meant to us.

They beat us in our first game last year, and it really served as motivation. We didn't want it tohappen again, looking back at how it really affected our schedule. Gerhart is a really good player,and we wanted to make sure he didn't gas us like he did in 2008.

The Wild Beaver formation that Jacquizz Rodgers used to have a career night in the Beavers' 38-28 win continues to create a buzz, including with Kristick, who looks at why it's effective.

The offense came out firing, and that helped us out so much. We unleashed the Wild Beaver,where Quizz Rodgers would take the snaps. I think that could be a deadly package for us. When you have that many athletes in the backfield, I assume it's pretty hard to stop. Having the quick snap, being able to run right off the snap, you don't really know which way it's going to go, and it eliminates the reaction time.

Kristick also updates us on the condition of his shoulder.

My shoulder was good after I aggravated my stinger in the Arizona State game. I got some extra padding on it. Have you seen those Nike commercials with Adrian Peterson, and at the end he's looking at you mean and all? I was giving my teammates the same look at halftime, because I was wearing that stuff.

On the subjects of cross-country motorcycling and freshem, Kristics says:

During the bye week, I'm considering going cross-country on my motorcycle. No, I'm kidding. I'm just going to focus on getting healthy. But we'll be practicing, for sure. Coaches usually use the bye week to get the younger guys involved and help them adapt.

We didn't redshirt quite a few freshmen, and I'll tell you the truth: Ever since I've been here, the recruiting has only gone uphill. We started out with a solid class in '06 when I came here, and every year you have more and more athletes who are looking to contribute as freshmen and sophomores.

Kristick wraped up with a look ahead to watching some football, and then USC.

Oregon State really is an up-and-coming program. It should be kind of neat to get Saturday and Sunday off. We get some time to relax, watch football and go about things as if you're a normal student for a little bit. But then we've got USC, one of the biggest games of the year. So there's a lot more focus than you would imagine, but at the same time, you do get some rest.

- As told to Jim Ryan