Riley: We need to clean up a lot of things
I wanted to wait a little while to talk about what I saw of Oregon State on Saturday to find some perspective. And to try to keep from jumping to conclusions.
But I must say, it's rather amazing what the Oregon State coaching staff has accomplished, given the limited talent it has on hand this season. Sorry, Beaver fans -- but those guys really aren't very good. I've watched them all season and continue to be surprised at how slow they are on both sides of the ball. And when you combine all those penalties and mistakes -- wow. How can they win? Conference games are going to be no walk in the park for these guys -- and it doesn't matter how weak the opponent may seem.
But they have a very good quarterback and a corps of receivers who seem to fearlessly go after anything they can get their hands on. Other than that -- well, it's just not very good. Mike Riley is doing a terrific job of milking every ounce of talent and pluck from this group. Don't even think about criticizing him to me. Yeah, I know, you're going to tell me he's responsible for the team's lack of talent because he's the prime recruiter.
True. But -- and it's a but bigger than any butt on his offensive line -- in recent years the Beavers have not been able to recruit big-time players to that school. And it seems to get worse every season as other schools continue to pass them by in the facilities and stadium departments. To expect the Beavers to compete with the well-healed programs in this conference such as Stanford, Washington, Oregon, UCLA and USC is almost impossible to ask.
Not that they haven't done it. They recruit hard-working players and develop them -- improve them with every game. They even find a few diamonds in the rough who turn into NFL players. But they aren't getting five-star recruits or even many four stars. They have to make do.
And by the way, Beaver fans, if you want to argue with me please do something else first -- sell your stadium out on a consistent basis. It's not even a large stadium as far as top 25 teams go -- but the Beavers have a terrible time selling all their tickets. And they don't have a monster donor to make up for that problem.
They are who they are, though -- and that's one of the most entertaining teams in the country that never gives up. And for the most part its coaches make sure the team is prepared every week. But they can't run out on the field and carry the ball or catch up to runners in the open field.
I'm not sure Oregon State fans really understand how good their coaching staff is -- and probably won't, until they're gone. Hopefully, that's a long time from now.