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BEAVERS NOTES: Riley breaks down big win over Wisconsin and how OSU looks, position by position

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion celebrates with fans at Reser Stadium after Saturday's 10-7 upset of 13th-ranked Wisconsin.Notes, quotes and observations with coach Mike Riley after Oregon State’s 10-7 victory over 13th-ranked Wisconsin and looking ahead to the Beavers’ bye week ...

• Riley’s overall impressions of the triumph:

“It was good to win, and I glad to see our kids play with confidence. They competed till the very end. I liked all that. It wasn’t perfect — it never is — but it was a good win, one I hope we can build on.”

• Riley’s career record in 12 years at Oregon State is 73-63, leaving him one behind Lon Stiner on the school’s career win list. Stiner, coach of the Beavers who played in the transplanted Rose Bowl game in 1942, was 74-49 from 1933-48.

Riley, 59, can move even with Stiner with a victory at UCLA in OSU’s next game on Sept. 22.

“The thing about it is, it makes me very thankful for the time in the program,” he said. “I’ve become more appreciative of that simple fact over the years. It’s nice to be in one place and have a group of people around you who have stayed here, and coach great young men at a place you like.”

• Wisconsin had won 33 non-conference regular-season games in a row until Saturday.

“It’s absolutely great to beat a team as good as Wisconsin, especially if you turn back the clock one year (to a 35-0 thumping at Madison),” Riley said. “We weren’t even close. That part of it is good.

“I commend (the Badgers) for coming to Corvallis to play. We don’t get many opportunities like that. We usually have to travel to play these games. To get a home-and-home with them — I give them credit for doing that. It was good for them to come, and great for Beaver fans. I was proud of the whole scene.”

• Linebacker D.J. Welch was called for pass interference late in the game, leading to Wisconsin’s only touchdown.

“It was a bad call,” Riley said. Welch “played the ball well. It wasn’t close to what (a Badger defender) did to (Markus) Wheaton on the other side of the field in the third quarter. I was disappointed about that.”

And the clipping call against Terron Ward on Jordan Poyer’s second-half punt return?

“A bad decision by Ward to try to make that block,” Riley said. “Poyer was already by (the defender). It was a good call by the official.”

• Wisconsin was 2 for 14 in third-down opportunities.

“Our guys played well, but especially in critical situations,” Riley said.

• Sophomore safety Tyrequek Zimmerman, a Lawton, Okla., native in his first career start, and Welch were among those tied with the team lead in tackles with seven.

“Those two young guys really played well,” Riley said. “It was really Zim’s first game. He is a kid who just plays. There was a whole contingent back in Oklahoma cheering for him, I’m sure.”

• Sean Mannion’s passing stats were good — 29 for 47 for 276 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. But there were times when the sophomore quarterback, given ample protection, didn’t go through his progressions and either threw the ball to the wrong receiver or threw it away.

“Sean passed up a couple (of potential) plays,” Riley said. “He played it relatively conservative. When you listen to him explain (while watching game video), you understand. He had a couple of more shots on corner routes (open), in particular. With a little more patience, he could have thrown those balls. But he made some real good throws, too.”

• Mannion was sacked only once, and tailbacks Malcolm Agnew and Storm Woods combined for 81 yards on 20 carries. How was the O-line’s blocking?

“It was pretty darn good,” Riley said. “Transport us back a year ago (to the loss at Wisconsin) — we didn’t handle (Wisconsin defenders) at all. We did a much better job Saturday. It’s encouraging.”

• Though he he had a pair of holding calls go against him, true freshman center Isaac Seumalo “played a real good game considering everything," Riley said. "Isaac’s a unique kid. We have a lot to look forward to the next four years.”

• The Beavers used only starters Markus Wheaton, Brandin Cooks and Kevin Cummings at receiver. Obum Gwachum did not play because sore feet left him unable to practice much during training camp. Micah Hatfield and Richard Mullaney did not play because Riley went with an H-back or fullback much of the time.

“We were trying to mix in some guys for more protection, or to give (Wisconsin) different looks,” he said. “Obum needs a lot of reps in practice this week, and we’ll see if we can get him ready for UCLA.”

• In his first career appearance, sophomore walk-on Keith Kostol had six punts for a 40.8-yard average. But he dropped a snap in the second quarter that gave the Badgers the ball on the OSU 36-yard line and shanked a couple of punts.

“Keith had a couple of good punts, but he had a rough first day,” said Riley, who said Kostol won’t lose his job over one bad day.

• Riley called it one of the “cleanest” opening games an Oregon State team has played.

“No turnovers, and some of the best tackling I’ve seen this early,” he said. “It was good.”

• The Beavers did have two delay-of-game penalties in the first half.

“On the first one, Sean was being overly long at the line of scrimmage,” Riley said. “The other one, it seemed like the clock got started fast. The officials thought so, too. The play was in, we broke the huddle and then, bang, a delay. I was taken aback by that call.”

• If there was a position group that earned top ratings over the others, it was the defensive line, which held Wisconsin to 35 yards rushing. Coach Joe Seumalo used 10 players in his rotation. Behind starters Andrew Seumalo and Castro Masaniai at tackle and Dylan Wynn and Scott Crichton at end, tackles Joe Lopez and Mana Rosa and ends Rusty Fernando, Devon Kell, John Braun and Rudolf Fifita saw action.

• Four true freshman played. Besides Isaac Seumalo, linebacker Joel Skotte made two assisted tackles on special teams, Caleb Smith saw plenty of duty at tight end, and O-lineman Gavin Andrews was in on special teams.

The 6-5, 325-pound Andrews “is among our top eight” on the O-line, Riley said. “We have to get him ready in case he has to play.”

• UCLA’s 36-30 win over Nebraska caught Riley’s eye.

The Bruins “looked good to me,” he said. “They are very athletic defensively, and they’re moving the ball and being really effective on offense. They have a lot of talent, and they’re a different team than they were a year ago.”

• The Beavers will practice Monday through Thursday this week. Then on Thursday afternoon, every full-time coach on the staff will hit the road for recruiting.

“We’re all going to games (on Friday), me included,” Riley said.