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Playing with swine flu? It’s a joke, people

Oregon St. captain Keaton Kristick is back with another installment of his column for the Sporting News Today, with thoughts on the Washington game, the prospect of snow in Pullman, and his bout with the bug.

The Washington game was kind of nuts for us. It was my last home game at Oregon State. It was really neat running out there for the last time and getting all the support from the fans. It was really special to me and my family.

As far as the game, the defense played really well. I had an interception early in the game. I made some eye contact with the receiver and quarterback and put myself in a position where I thought something was going to happen, and it turns out it did. It was a quick throw to the flat. I thought it would be uncatchable but decided to dive and just caught it

Kristick also had thoughts on Washington's quarterback Jake Locker, and the overall performance of the defense.

Washington's quarterback, Jake Locker, is a good player. You can just tell by the way he carries himself around, and he's got a really strong arm. We limited that a little bit. I think the pressure up front really disrupted his timing, and they couldn't get a run game going, so it made him one-dimensional. I think our defense was really clicking on Saturday, and it's that time of the season.

Everyone talks about the familiar theme of strong late season play by Coach Mike Riley's teams that gives the Beavers another shot at the Rose Bowl again this year, and Keaton is no exception.

Oregon State teams do the best this time of year, October to November. I'm not sure what it is, but it's kind of neat. I'm pretty sure our fans are just as excited as we are. It's the same excitement as last year going into the last couple of games, and we just have to capitalize.

We still have a shot at the Rose Bowl, and to be in a situation like this is pretty much what you play the game for. Now we just have to have a solid week against Washington State in practice and out on the playing field. And you never know what's going to happen. That's what's good about the Pac-10. Anything can happen, especially this year.

But the immediate subject is of course the Washington St. Cougars, and in a stormy November, snow seems likely, something an Arizona boy doesn't have a lot of experience with.

We haven't really seen too much about Washington State. But at this point, we're going to brace for a not necessarily warm game. It should be cold from what I hear. It might be snowing a little bit, and I've never really played in an atmosphere like that. From what I hear, it's just wet. I've seen snow on campus at Oregon State probably three or four times, but I'm not all too used to it. It should be a lot of fun.

I probably will be wearing a long-sleeved shirt beneath my jersey. But the linemen who go sleeveless, I see what they're going for. When you get into the game, weather doesn't really impact anyone.

We'll see about it not impacting anyone. Fortunately, it sounds as though Keaton won't have to play in the snow while still suffering from the flu.

I'm feeling pretty healthy now, but I've been sick the last few weeks, and I lost a little weight. I've been fighting a virus or something. I had about a 101 temperature against USC and a 100 temperature last week. It's not swine  flu, of course. But I was telling people I was playing, ‘Hey I have swine flu right now, be careful.' Only as a joke, though.

-      As told to Jim Ryan