There is some good news, but more bad news, on the Oregon St. injury front, after the Beavers took a beating in more ways than just on the scoreboard in Thursday night's 29-23 double overtime loss to then 20th ranked (and now #19) Utah.
After the training staff evaluated a record (according to Head Coach Mike Riley) 5 MRIs over the weekend, updates were provided on several of the injuries from the game.
WR Richard Mullaney's elbow injury, sustained while he was recovering a loose ball that was an incomplete pass, but could have been ruled a fumble, in the second half, will keep him out at least most of the rest of the season.
It could be a situation similar to last year, when Kevin Cummings went down against Stanford, and only returned for the bowl game.
Jordan Villamin will take Mullaney's spot in the starting lineup, and freshman Xavier Hawkins, who also backs up Victor Bolden at the flanker spot, will begin to do some work at split end.
TE Kellen Clute will also miss about a month with a knee injury, which probably means it will be at least the trip to Washington before we see him on the field again, if not the Civil War. Jacob Wark will see more action as a result.
The offensive line also took a hit, as one of the MRIs determined that the sprained ankle offensive tackle Gavin Andrews suffered also includes a hair-line fracture. Andrews is expected to be out 2-4 weeks as a result, and Dustin Stanton, who had moved to TE (that's why the stoppage Thursday when he came in, as he had to be announced with a jersey change), will continue to operate at right tackle, and Sean Harlow will stay on the left side.
"It's unfortunate. Everybody, at some level, goes through this," Riley said. "It's always disappointing for the team, for the kids individually. We have to just take the information, though, and put things together and get ready to try and win."
Fortunately, both TB Storm Woods, and DE Jaswha James, both of whom left the Utah game with knee injuries, are expected to be able to play Saturday afternoon at Stanford, though both will be limited in practice.
It's particularly good news, given that Woods had his knee in a brace post-game, and James was on crutches.
DT Siale Hautau, TE Connor Hamlett, and RB Terron Ward all also were forced out of the game, but were all also able to return to action later in the evening. All were in need of the 3 day weekend the Thursday game afforded, and may not participate in 100% of the drills this week either, but should all be able to go against the Cardinal as well.
Riley also addressed the inconsistent nature of the Oregon St. offense, which sputtered at times, even given the disruption of the injury issues, in his Sunday teleconference.
"I feel like we're just kind of hit and miss," Riley said. I like the fact (that) if you take away the sacks, we rushed for over 4 yards per carry, against a real good defense. So I like all that. But we're just not real sharp throwing the football, and I'm not talking about the quarterback. I'm just talking about the passing game in general. It's just not what it has been in the past, and we've got to execute better."
"And then the other thing that is killing us is the penalties. We've gotta quit doing that. And the procedure of the game. If you give yourself a chance without penalties and just getting a good snap, now you can make some plays. We end up so bad on 3rd downs because we play behind the odds all the time. We had 21 first downs in the Utah game, we out-gained them. The difference in the game was penalties and turnovers. Then you're battling uphill, and we're certainly not good enough to overcome a lot of that. So we've got to execute better, but it starts with just the procedure of the game. We hurt ourselves."
Oregon St. will be the Homecoming guest for Stanford on "The Farm" Saturday afternoon at 12:30 PM, when the Beavers will attempt to break a 4 game losing streak against the Cardinal.