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  • COLLEGE FOOTBALL

    Bowl will help Beavers in Texas

  • CORVALLIS — It's a week full of "R's" for the Oregon State football team: rest and recuperation for players and recruiting for coaches.
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  • CORVALLIS — It's a week full of "R's" for the Oregon State football team: rest and recuperation for players and recruiting for coaches.
    Head coach Mike Riley and most of his assistants left town to make the rounds on the West Coast, checking in with prospects and their parents.
    Riley will be in San Antonio, Texas, on Thursday for the Alamo Bowl's initial press conference, and there's a good chance he'll make a recruiting stop or two in Texas.
    The Beavers will play Texas in the Dec. 29 bowl game.
    After the national success and attention that James and Jacquizz Rodgers brought Oregon State, the Beavers have made recruiting Texas and Oklahoma a priority.
    Since the Rodgers Brothers left, No. 15 OSU has increased its number of Texas natives: running back Storm Woods (Pflugerville), safety Peter Ashton (Keller), defensive end Rudolf Fifita (Euless) and safety Kendall Hill (La Marque) are all from the Lone Star State.
    Linebackers Michael Doctor (Tulsa) and Jabral Johnson (Lawton) along with safeties Tyrequek Zimmerman (Lawton) and Zack Robinson (Sequoyah) are from Oklahoma.
    Come February, maybe a few more Texans and Oklahomans will be joining the roster.
    "Obviously we recruit California really hard but we have gotten more and more of a foothold in Texas and Oklahoma, and the notoriety from this bowl game will be good for us," Riley said. "We will be more visible because of this game."
    Meanwhile, in Corvallis, players will be studying for finals.Bowl practice will start next Monday.
    "The break is going to be nice," said cornerback Jordan Poyer. "Personally, I'll be able to rest my knee up, and other guys will be able to rest their injuries and get healthy again. School's first, that's what everybody always says, and once it is time to prepare (for the bowl) there will be no distractions, just football, and that's always fun."
    The team will leave Corvallis on Sunday, Dec. 23.
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    GOING HOME: This will be the first trip to San Antonio for many of the players and coaches associated with Oregon State football, but for Riley, it will be like going home. Sort of.
    Riley coached the San Antonio Riders from the World Football League from 1991-93, before the league suspended its North American operations and Riley went on to work at USC.
    Riley has raved about his time in Texas and has a vacation home in Gruene, just 40 miles north of San Antonio.
    "We love the city and the people down there," Riley said. "The hospitality is great, and this game is important to those folks down there. The city has a ton to offer. It's a great downtown area, and The River Walk will be great for Oregonians."
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    QUARTERBACK ISSUES: Riley wouldn't name a starting quarterback Sunday night and said he doesn't feel pressure to settle on Sean Mannion or Cody Vaz just yet.
    "That's going to take longer thought," Riley said. "We don't need to decide right now. I'm really proud of both those kids, they played really well (Saturday). We'll figure out how to do this later."
    Saturday against Nicholls State, the sophomore Mannion completed 20 of 23 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns. Vaz, a junior, completed 14 of 17 passes for 190 yards and three touchdowns. Neither threw an interception.
    On the season, Mannion completed 200 of 309 passes for 2,446 yards and 15 touchdowns. He threw 13 interceptions and finished with an efficiency rating of 138.8.
    Vaz completed 94 of 157 passes for 1,286 yards and 11 touchdowns. He threw one interception and has an efficiency rating of 150.5.
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    SCOUTING THE OPPONENT: Riley didn't find out until around 3:30 Sunday afternoon that the Beavers would play Texas, which means coaches couldn't start breaking down Longhorn film until Monday.
    On his Sunday night conference call with reporters Riley said he didn't "know enough to speak intelligently" on Texas. That should change by midweek.
    "Our people have started contacting Texas and making trade arrangements," Riley said. "We should have video shortly, and we've already decided what games we want to break down."
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    HONORS: Seniors Poyer and Markus Wheaton both took All-American honors on Monday. Poyer was named a first-team All-American cornerback by CBSSports.com and Wheaton was named a third-team receiver.
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