Riley: We've got great leadership all around
With the excitement of the college football season kicking off this Saturday, the Oregon State Beavers are staying focused this week as they prepare to face the Portland State Vikings. The Beavers are hoping to make a statement against PSU and avoid another rough start to the season after losing the season opener three out of the last four years.
After surrendering a 49-46 loss to FCS powerhouse Eastern Washington in last season’s opener, coach Mike Riley says that there’s a different feel to the team this year around.
“I think this team has been much more physical in camp. They’ve got great leadership all around, lots of good older players who set good examples,” says Riley.
The Beavers and the Vikings aren’t quite in-state rivals, but a PSU upset would give Vikings fans up in Portland the ultimate state bragging rights for years.
“Every game is pressure, you need to win. I don’t know if it adds any pressure because they’re all the same,” says Riley. “This is a good game for us to play and a good game for Portland State to play.”
The Vikings are returning plenty of playmakers from an offense that lead the Big Sky conference with 540.5 yards per game. Dual threat quarterback Kieran McDonaugh and 6’3’’ wide receiver Kasey Closs will be a good early test for the Beavers secondary.
“Their doing a great job in that program. They have a dynamic offense and they are very sound and well coached defensively. We’re going to have to play well on both sides of the ball to win.”