Riley says no consistency on penalties
CORVALLIS, Ore. -- For the most part, Oregon State coach Mike Riley held his tongue when asked about the officiating in the Beavers' heartrending 36-30 loss to Washington State on Saturday.
Even so, Riley still had some frustration left over from the rollercoaster game of wild momentum changes and 12 combined turnovers.
The Beavers, tops in the conference with 114.6 penalty yards per game, were flagged nine times for 105 yards against the Cougars. Mike Hass and Richard Seigler were hit with celebration penalties, and a roughing-the-passer call wiped out an interception that Mitch Meeuwsen ran back for a touchdown. Even the kicker was called for a personal foul.
"That was the worst call I have ever saw in my life, " Riley said about the late hit charged to Kirk Yliniemi, who, on replays of the tape, was shoved. "It was not piling on; he was almost clipped."
Penalties have been part of Oregon State's reputation at least since the 2000 team that pummeled Notre Dame in the nationally televised Fiesta Bowl. But Riley insisted that the application of some penalties hasn't been consistent. The 15-yard penalties on Hass and Seigler were particularly galling.
"There is no definition to the celebration penalties either, you just watch the games on TV. There is no consistency to that," Riley said. "I re-watched it on the television replay. I don't know what they did. At least compared to what I see other people doing."
Oregon State (5-3, 2-2 Pac-10) hosts basement-dweller Arizona Saturday at 1 p.m. The Wildcats (1-7, 0-4) have faced more than their share of adversity in a season where head coach John Mackovic was fired after a 1-4 start.
Other than a 42-14 drubbing at California last week that interim coach Mike Hankowitz termed a "step backward," Arizona has played closer games since the coaching change, even pestering league co-leader UCLA in a 24-21 loss.
A win for Oregon State might help recapture momentum lost in consecutive losses to Washington and Washington State. The Beavers don't leave the state in November, hosting Stanford Nov. 15 and traveling to Eugene for the Civil War game with Oregon the next week.<
^WILDCATS DISMISS FARMER: @ Arizona tailback Clarence Farmer was dismissed from the team on Tuesday. The Tucson Citizen reported that Farmer was kicked off the team by interim coach Mike Hankowitz after showing up late to practice Tuesday.
Arizona's sixth all-time leading rusher, Farmer had been in trouble with Hankowitz before, and was held out of the first quarter of the Wildcats loss to California last week for violating team rules.
Farmer, a senior, had also fought with former coach John Mackovic before Mackovic was fired Sept. 28.<
^EXTRA POINTS: @ Oregon State will likely get regular long snapper Dan Rothwell back for Saturday's Arizona game. Rothwell missed the Washington State game with a sprained foot, and backup Derrick Bruns suffered a broken wrist. ... A memorial service for former Beaver coach and athletic director Dee Andros will be held 1:30 p.m. Friday at Truax Indoor Center. ... The Wildcats are last in the conference in rushing defense, scoring defense and total defense, good news for Beaver tailback Steven Jackson -- the nation's second leading rusher until he was largely held in check by Washington and Washington State. Jackson, who was averaging 146.2 yards per game, has run for just 134 total yards in the last two weeks.
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