Bryant Cornell knows how to put a positive spin on Oregon State's disappointing start.
CORVALLIS — Bryant Cornell knows how to put a positive spin on Oregon State's disappointing start.
"You know, 10-2 is not a bad season," the Beaver linebacker said at a Tuesday news conference. "That's what we keep saying, and there is a lot of football ahead of us."
Cornell's optimistic outlook was tongue in cheek, but Oregon State isn't panicking after a thorough 45-14 loss at Penn State dropped it to 0-2 for the season. The Beavers have been there before.
Oregon State started 2-3 last season before finishing 9-4 with an Emerald Bowl victory. The Beavers were 2-3 after five games in 2006 but ended the season 10-4.
That's not to say Oregon State doesn't have real problems to fix before the home opener Saturday against Hawaii. The Beavers have had very little success running the ball — although freshman Jacquizz Rodgers gained 99 yards against the Nittany Lions. The defensive line has been pushed around in the losses to Penn State and Stanford as it continues to break in an entirely new starting front seven.
The blowout in State College, Penn., Saturday had fans grumbling about playing such a difficult game so early in the season. But Oregon State coach Mike Riley isn't planning any lineup changes, and he points to the growth that comes through adversity.
"I think you can use anything as a lesson, and in those lessons you have to understand there is no forgiveness," said Riley, who is winless in September road games since returning to OSU in 2003.
There have been bright spots for the Beavers, including junior quarterback Lyle Moevao, who has completed 59 of 95 passes and is averaging 327 passing yards per game.
"We're way better than what we've shown in the first two games," Moevao said. "I know that from experience. We haven't shown half of what we can. And it's not hard to be optimistic when you know the guys on the team like I do."
Warriors name QB
Hawaii coach Greg McMackin named senior Tyler Graunke as the starting quarterback against Oregon State. Graunke led the Warriors to a comeback 36-17 win over Weber State last week after replacing injured QB Inoke Funaki.
Graunke, who missed fall camp while dealing with academic issues, led Hawaii to touchdowns on four of his first five drives after taking over in the second half.
Hawaii is in a new era under first-year coach McMackin, after the departure of coach June Jones and prolific passer Colt Brennan, who led the team to the Sugar Bowl last year.
The Beavers, who beat Hawaii 35-32 in 2006, can still expect to see the Warriors using the high-powered passing attack they used under Jones.
For his part, McMackin expects to see an Oregon State team with its back to the wall. "I know they are going to be hungry," McMackin said in a Monday teleconference. "They've lost a couple of ball games — one close one to Stanford and a tough one at Penn State. I know Mike Riley, and he's an excellent coach. He'll have these guys ready, and it's going to be a real challenge for us."
Oregon State receivers Shane Morales and Sammie Stroughter are 1-2 in the Pac-10 in receptions with 17 and 16 respectively. Punter Johnny Hekker will keep his job for now, despite averaging just 28.6 yards per kick. Offensive lineman Jeremy Perry is doubtful for Saturday.