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

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]

Tags: Mike Riley Oregon State Beavers Stanford Cardinal

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