MADISON - Head coach Mike Riley was impressed by the Oregon St. Beavers in their exhibition defeat to the Wisconsin Badgers. Riley thinks the team is developing right on schedule for the regular season opener to the UCLA Bruins.
Here are Riley's postgame comments.
On the quarterbacks: "Ryan Katz gave us one great completion and that big first down, and I just figured I'd seen enough to know what he was capable of. We really needed to get the other guys on the field to figure out who'd be ready for September 24th."
"I really like what I saw from Sean Mannion. It took him about forty snaps and a look at the Wisconsin second-unit defense, but he definitely settled into a groove near the end and really got going."
On punting: "That Hekker guy is also really starting to put those punts in the right place. I figure that by the time the season starts, I'm sure he'll be able to kick the ball the right way off his foot."
On defensive exhaustion: "Great experience. A real great experience to give up a methodical 35 points like that. When the Beavers play a brutish team like Stanford or an up-tempo team like Oregon, we'll be ready for the power game and be able to give them everything we can handle, and we can hopefully give up something less than 35 points."
On winning the Pac-12: "I really like our chances. We went 7-2 in the regular season in 2009 and we were nearly 6-3 last season, so I think we've got a good chance to be really good when the season starts. They all might just underestimate us! Again!"
On the fact that these games count in the standings.: "Oh shucks, these games don't mean anything. This is a chance to give our players more experience for the ones that really matter. Sacramento State really showed me our guys are developing right, but this game against Wisconsin really proved to me that our Beavers are almost to where we want to be."
"This is a nine game regular season, and we're nine wins away from Pasadena. That's all I'm thinking about."