Long faces were on all the Oregon State football players the day after the Civil War loss, but that changed a week later.
The No. 16-ranked Beavers met Sunday night to go over the preliminary scouting report on their Las Vegas Bowl opponent, No. 15 Brigham Young.
Players showed up in a much better mood so coach Mike Riley didn't even bust out a motivational speech. They stood up to applaud his effort for guiding their lives and team before he could say a word.
"A week went by, we hung our heads down a little bit and now you can see everyone was revived and refreshed," offensive guard Gregg Peat said. "Everyone bought in and is excited about going to Vegas and getting that last game. You can totally tell from the day after the game to (now), it's totally different."
Riley appreciated the respect of the players, but he liked their attitudes toward the team and the upcoming game even more.
"It was night and day, and it should be night and day," Riley said. "After the (first) meeting I told them there's nothing to say to make them feel better. When you commit as much as they have it's going to hurt more. And that's not a bad thing. That's what happens when you commit, and if you don't commit you don't find out what it's really like."
Practice, however, was a welcome distraction. The Beavers began preparation for the Las Vegas Bowl on Monday with the first team workout since the end of the regular season on Dec. 3.
Rust was there, but it was shaken off quickly.
"It feels like forever since we've been in pads, but we are looking forward to getting back at it and putting the exclamation point on the season," Peat said.
Players took time off for finals and coaches cleared their minds to create a game plan.
Coaches usually develop the game plan on the run each week, but this time it was easier. They spread out the work over five days.
"It felt good for everybody," Riley said of the break. "We would have probably disrupted a lot if we tried to practice last week. It was a good mental break, but it was also finals week. We now have a nice stretch of time to get ready to play. Not as long as usual (for bowl practice), but we'll make the most of it."
Early bowl practice is usually centered on younger players, but there's no time since the Las Vegas Bowl is so early in December. Game prep in practice has already started.
Since the players are out of school, the days are similar to those in training camp. Meetings and weight lifting filled the morning before an afternoon practice.
That's the general schedule through Thursday. The team leaves for the game Friday to finalize the game prep and be part of the bowl festivities.
"It's coming quicker than we (thought) it would," linebacker Keaton Kristick said. "I think it will help us get going, going up against a team like this. We'll get back to practice, and be practicing harder quick and get going."
So while there was an admitted hangover from the Civil War defeat, learning about BYU's ability sobered them up quickly.
Younger players want to use this game to prepare for next season, while the seniors want to go out with a win.
"I'm ready to get back and finish up the season," safety Lance Mitchell said. "We have to bounce back. That's been our characteristic, to play our best game the next game. That's what we want to do."