Beavers, Cougars coaches want fewer penalties
SPOKANE, Wash. -- Their teams lead the Pacific-10 Conference in a dozen offensive and defensive categories, but there's one statistic Washington State's Bill Doba and Mike Riley of Oregon State would rather not claim.
Oregon State leads the league in penalty yards assessed, 116 per game, followed closely by Washington State, at nearly 105 yards and a dozen flags per game.
"Poor coaching and no discipline," Doba joked as the No. 6 Cougars (6-1, 3-0 Pac-10) prepared to host Oregon State (5-2, 2-1) at Martin Stadium on Saturday.
In their 38-17 loss to Washington last weekend, the Beavers were flagged for a season-high 15 penalties, including four personal fouls, roughing the passer and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
"We usually play the game with a lot of emotion, and at times, we go over the edge and get into something that's not football," Riley said. "You've got to have self-control in this game, and we lost some of that last weekend, and I'm disappointed in that."
Doba also expressed the same disappointment, but said the majority of his team's penalties stem from aggressiveness or forgetfulness.
"When you've got a defense that flies around, you're going to have a late hit occasionally," he said. "I'm not real, real excited about those offsides and false starts ... but when they line up offside, that's bad, that's lack of focus."
Doba said he is pleased the Cougars have not been flagged recently for taunting, as they were several times early in the season.
"I'm dead set against taunting. If you turn around and yell at a kid, or point at a kid, or get in somebody else's face ... there's no place for that," Doba said. "And I don't blame the officials. It's called `excessive celebration.' Is he too happy, or is he not happy enough? It's a judgment call on their part, and I think it's a tough call."
Riley said he is addressing the Beavers' penalties in several ways.
"There are certainly things in practice that we work on when we're talking about pass interference, or offensive holding. Those are things that are a daily part of our lives in football," he said.
"But there's also a part that's off-the-field stuff, or have nothing to do with the play, that is addressed in a different fashion than coaching on the field," he said.
The last time the teams met, in 2001 at Pullman, the Cougars jumped to an early 31-0 lead, then hung on for a 34-27 victory.
The Cougars limited the Beavers to just 24 yards on the ground, something that's not likely this time, as OSU's offense revolves around conference-leading running back Steven Jackson, who averages 132 yards per game.
Beavers quarterback Derek Anderson leads the conference in total offense and passing average, with a 288 yard per game average. Anderson has thrown 10 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
A favorite target is James Newsom, who leads the conference in receptions, averaging seven per game for 126 yards.
The Cougars counter with cornerback Jason David and safety Virgil Williams, who are tied atop the conference with four interceptions apiece.
The Beavers lead the conference in total offense, pass defense and rushing offense, while Washington State is tops in total defense, pass offense and rush defense.
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
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