Ore­gon St. at­tempts to stay on right track


Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - Year Texas C BOWL HIS­TORY Mike Ri­ley, in his 12th sea­son at Ore­gon State, guided the Beavers to a 9-3 record this year af­ter suf­fer­ing through a 3-9 sea­son in 2011. JEFF CHIU / ap Ore­gon St.

Re­cent bowl re­sults for the Longhorns and Beavers: 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 and give up. They went to work.”

Now it’s time to go to work again.

It would be easy, af­ter a mis­er­able 3-9 cam­paign in 2011, to be sat­is­fied with 9-3. But why stop now? Ore­gon State has two of the best, and most un­der­rated play­ers at their po­si­tions, in re­ceiver Markus Wheaton and cor­ner­back Jor­dan Poyer. They have a blos­som­ing star in sopho­more re­ceiver Brandin Cooks. At times, they have fea­tured a fe­ro­cious run de­fense. And they have a coach who proved again this sea­son why he has been so good for so much of his ca­reer.

Ore­gon State took ad­van­tage of al­most ev­ery big op­por­tu­nity this sea­son. The Beavers up­set teams like Wis­con­sin and UCLA, han­dled a mini quar­ter­back con­tro­versy smoothly and re­bounded from ev­ery road­block they hit. All of this came af­ter an off­sea­son loaded with frus­tra­tion.

“We told each other af­ter last year’s Civil War, ‘Look, we’re not go­ing to feel this way again, we’re not go­ing to let this hap­pen again,’” Poyer re­called Satur­day. “We’re ready for this now be­cause of our off­sea­son. We hit the weight room hard, we stayed to­gether ... If some­body would def. Cal, Hol­i­day no bowl lost to ’Bama, BCS def. Ohio St., Fi­esta def. Ari­zona St., Hol­i­day def. Iowa, Alamo def. USC, BCS def. Michi­gan, Rose lost to Wash. St., Hol­i­day def. LSU, Cot­ton have told me last year at this time that we’d be 9-3, I’d have be­lieved it.”

Some fans will lament the blown op­por­tu­ni­ties this sea­son, from a head­scratch­ing loss at Washington to an un­char­ac­ter­is­tic per­for­mance at Stan­ford. While sur­pris­ing most of the col­lege foot­ball world, the Beavers have yet to win a big game when ex­pected.

But now, they get an­other chance.

“I think it’s awe­some,” Ri­ley said Sun­day night, when news of the Alamo Bowl bid be­came of­fi­cial. “It’s a great place, a great bowl game, and get­ting to play Texas is a great op­por­tu­nity for the Beavers. They’re a great foot­ball school with a great tra­di­tion.”

When he walked into the Val­ley Foot­ball Cen­ter on Sun­day night, Ri­ley said the room was “elec­tric.”

“Th­ese guys are fired up,” he said. “They’ve ac­com­plished a lot and they know it. They’re really ex­cited about their next op­por­tu­nity.” no bowl no bowl lost to BYU, Las Ve­gas def. Pitt, Sun def. Mary­land, Emer­ald def. Mis­souri, Sun no bowl def. Notre Dame, In­sight def. New Mex­ico, Las Ve­gas lost to Pitt, In­sight

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