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Cal at Oregon State

When, where: 1 p.m., Reser Stadium

Radio: KEX (1190 AM)

• True freshman Micah Strickland saw plenty of action at fullback against Idaho as the Beavers went with the two-back set more often than Riley has used in any game during his six-year run at OSU. Strickland caught three passes for 36 yards, though he dropped a fourth. 'Micah is doing a good job as a lead blocker, and his ability to catch the ball helps us,' Riley says. 'We're using the two-back as much as we do primarily because of him.'

The 6-0, 205-pound Strickland signed with San Diego State out of high school in Kaawa, Hawaii, in 2005, but didn't qualify academically and stayed at home last year. His friendship with OSU safety Al Afalava led him to the Beavers.

• Oregon State used the shotgun four or five times against Idaho. 'We're ready to use it more and more,' says Riley, who has used a direct snap almost entirely at OSU. 'There are some things we're trying to do out of it that can help us.' … The Beaver defense never employs a nickel package, though Riley and coordinator Mark Banker have talked about it. 'We don't want to take (linebacker) Derrick Doggett out, because he is the second-fastest guy on the team and can cover,' Riley says. 'If we take (linebacker) Joey LaRocque out, we're losing a run-stopper. That's the answer for right now.'

- Kerry Eggers