Sep 14, 2013; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Oregon State Beavers head coach Mike Riley reacts during the first half against the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Riley defends fourth-down calls against Stanford

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The Oregon State Beavers only lost by eight points to the Stanford Cardinal last weekend, their comeback bid falling short when Sean Mannion failed to hit Kevin Cummings on a fourth down from the 7 in the closing seconds of the game. But the Beavers left plenty of points on the board throughout the contest, including opting for a QB sneak as opposed to a field goal on a fourth-and-inches from the Stanford 34 with less than a minute left in the first half (Stanford would take the ball and march down the field to score their first touchdown of the game). The Beavers also failed to convert a fourth-and-3 from the Stanford 18 in the second quarter and a fourth-and-5 from the Stanford 35 in the second half.

Not normally known as a gambler, OSU head coach Mike Riley defended his decisions to opt for first-down attempts over field goals:

Oh, maybe the first one we should have tried to kick. But the others, they were deep midrange, probably something that’s 50/50, where it’s a little deep for a field goal but you probably shouldn’t punt either (Oregon Live).

While hindsight is 20/20 and all, it’s understandable why OSU fans may be miffed about Riley’s play calling. Given the dominance with which the Stanford D-line was playing — they were able to get penetration all evening — choosing to go for a QB sneak as opposed to a field goal at the end of the first half was unwise. In a game in which points were hard to come by, every missed opportunity to get on the scoreboard was a huge blow.

Still, questionable plays aside, OSU fans should be glad the Beavers put together a strong performance against one of the best teams in the nation.

The Beavers will take on the USC Trojans this Friday.

[Source: Oregon Live]

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Tags: Mike Riley Oregon State Beavers Stanford Cardinal

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