Day 3 -- A Hard Freeze This Far South?
Dec. 26, 2012
Corvallis, Ore. -
The pace picked up considerably Wednesday of bowl week in San Antonio.
The morning began early for the Beaver redshirts as they were escorted about 15 minutes outside of the city to interact with the marine life at Sea World, prior to the facility opening. With the help of trainers, one group fed Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins, as well as pet and instruct them to do tricks (see video). It was a quite a learning experience for the group. The same group also had a surprise visitor in an African Porcupine - a much different porcupine than we see typically in Oregon.
A second group of the Beaver redshirts did sit-ups and interacted with Sea Lions (one that was transported here from Bonneville Dam) and a walrus. Although, the group was a little apprehensive when posing for photos when the 2,000-pound marine mammal decided to change positions. A third group interacted with a Beluga whale.
The remaining team traveled to Sea World following practice on what was to put it mildly a brisk day in the Alamo. A "hard freeze" warning was in affect overnight and the temperature did not make 50 degrees, although it was a mostly clear day. The temperature is expected to gradually increase as the week progresses.
Beaver Nation has hit the Riverwalk in droves today as most of the fans attending the game arrived this afternoon. It should be a lively crowd in the city tonight.
Please check out the following video and photo gallery by Matt Riley and Ethan Erickson; it's well worth your time.
OSU head coach Mike Riley's quotes following practice Wednesday.
Coach Riley on the amount of buzz the game is generating:
I know our guys are excited about being here. The one thing about our team that's been really consistent is that they like football. They like to play. They've always enjoyed the process of getting ready for a game. Regardless of circumstances, we haven't been perfect, we've had downers but it's been mostly good.
It's a credit of how these guys like to practice and play. We can't control what the other team feels, what their mood his or how they're thinking. It's not pat of our life. We just have ourselves to worry about.
How has the game-prep process been going:
Really good. I think our kids are enjoying the city and the festivities. The people who run this bowl game do an outstanding job. Everything is really well organized.
Do you feel like the program has something to proves going into this game:
We always do. Every time we walk on the field we try to prove something. It's a great thing for us to be playing the University of Texas. We've got a lot of respect for the program and Mack Brown as a coach. He's one of the class people and a great model for coaches in our profession.
On the intensity in practice:
That's what we always look for. It's really the key in being able to win and these kids are really trying to do that. There's been enough of a hunger for winning with this team to keep it going. It's all about how the seniors approach it and we've got such a good group. Those guys are solid, solid guys. That fire about wanting to win is huge and (the seniors) are highly responsible for that.
On the possibility of scheduling Texas in a home and home scenario:
I don't know that Texas has ever come up. We've talked about a lot of different places and maybe vaguely I remember something like that but I might be wrong. That's why it's fun though. (Texas) is a place with rich tradition so it's fun to get to play here.
On getting up for big games against non-conference opponents:
I don't know if it's always smart in the preseason to do that. In our world it's so competitive. You need to try and get bowl eligible but (non-conference games) are more fun. They are really exciting for our program. I really like our kids to have the chance to play someone like this. I think our program has throved on that. We haven't always done well, but it's been really good for our growth. And to be able to do it in a bowl game is even more special.
On upcoming non-conference match-ups:
We've got some on the horizon that might be real big but haven't been announced yet. Next year we play San Diego State, Hawaii and Eastern Washington.
On building a program in Oregon's shadow:
It's tough operating in their shadow in that they've been so good. We can't worry about that and we don't really talk about it. Oregon) is doing a really nice job right now. Chip's doing a great job and they are a good football team. We haven't beaten them in a little while, that's the hardest part. We try to focus on our world, and we love our world. We have to get ready to beat them the next time. Our league right now is really the best it's ever been from top to bottom. The quality of it is good. We're rising up I think to be one of the top two leagues in the nation. We're maybe there or maybe not there, but we're going there.
On how hard it is to recruit against other conferences:
We have to go elsewhere. We try to do a good job at home and get our share. But when you try to compare the 10 or 12 kids out of Oregon to the 400 out of Texas it's clear we have to...that's why we have a handful of kids from Texas. The bulk of our team comes from California, but we'll get 3 or 4 kids from Washington...maybe a kid from Utah or a couple from Arizona. But we have to pretty diverse in where we go and use our contacts from around the country. We don't recruit nationally except where we've established, maintained or have some contacts. Those (contacts) have been real good to us.
On Oregon State's ability to recruit nationally:
"We have to be pretty diverse, I'd say in where we go and use our contacts around the country. We don't recruit nationally except where we've established or maintained or have some contacts and those have been real good to us. Chris Brasfield on our staff know some people so we've gotten a guy out of Louisiana and I think we're going to get another one this year. So that's how we get guys.
On using members of his staff with roots in this region to recruit:
That's a bonus for having anyone who has a contact like that. We'll stretch out and get some guys. First we recruited Texas with the Rodgers' brothers. That's one of the greatest things that's happened in my coaching career was recruiting those guys.
On how Oregon State recruited James and Jacquizz Rodgers:
James was unrecruited almost. Only Texas State had offered him. A friend of mine coached him in an All-Star game and said `Mike, there's a guy here that's not being recruited heavily and I think he's a real good player. You ought to take a look at him.' That was in January, one month before signing day. Long story short, we watched the film, liked it, sent a coach down here and started recruiting him. (We) got him up here for the last weekend you could visit and he committed after that and signed. Then we recruited his brother one year later.
On the head coach at Lamar Consolidated High School, Lydell Wilson, believing Oregon State recruited James Rodgers in an effort to sign his brother:
(Coach Lydell Wilson) basically said `you're using James to try and get Quizz and we didn't even know who Quizz was. Lydell Wilson said `why is somebody from Oregon State coming here to recruit this guy that nobody else is recruiting?' You must be trying to get his brother. And Danny (Langsdorf) said `who's his brother?' Quizz had scored 54 touchdowns that year. We truly liked James and what we saw on film. We recruited him and then we recruited, all year, his brother and got Quizz. Those are two of the finest kids and players we've ever had at Oregon State.
On the difficulty of recruiting being higher at Oregon State than at Texas:
I love the world that we're in. We've been there a long time and realized what we have to do. We have to do a great job of evaluation and a long job of recruiting. We don't get all of our commitments until Signing Day. That's when we find out. We have to recruit a long time but we know who we are. We know our product too, we know what we have so we love talking about our place to families. It's also fun to come here and find the right guy to come to Oregon State. We've got a handful now and we'll get a couple more this year, I think. We've already got one commitment so it's fun to do that. We'll get the right guys and good enough players and get to keep coming back here.
On the potential of Oregon State's program:
I tell our players all the time, there's no ceiling to what you might become. I think the same for us. My goal always was to make it Happy Valley West, way back in the day. This can be a real good, solid, consistent football program. We have to just continue to work hard at it.