OSU football: Beavers have hit their San Antonio stride

2012-12-26T22:30:00Z 2012-12-27T10:14:52Z OSU football: Beavers have hit their San Antonio strideBy CLIFF KIRKPATRICK, Corvallis Gazette-Times Corvallis Gazette Times

SAN ANTONIO — It took some time for the Oregon State football team to adjust to the Central time zone, but the Beavers had figured it out by Wednesday.

Players and coaches said they felt their practice at the University of Incarnate Word was the best of the week.

The Beavers were finally crisp in special teams, drills and going against the scout team. The two-hour time difference made it difficult to get up in the morning at first.

“I feel there’s a lot of energy,” linebacker D.J. Alexander said. “The first day everyone was tired dealing with the time change. Today was the loudest everyone has been and everyone was having fun. Everyone is used to it now.”

At this point of the season, the Beavers just want to keep prepared and not overwork themselves.

“I thought today’s practice was sharp,” coach Mike Riley said. “For us at this point it’s just important for us to be sharp and get on and off the field.”

SeaWorld day

The redshirt freshmen interacted with dolphins, a walrus, sea lion and whales in the morning at SeaWorld before the park opened.

Some players got in the water with the whales and received kisses. Some players did sit-ups with a walrus doing some with them.

“I’ll be real, I was nervous up there,” said defensive back Zack Robinson, who was with the walrus.

They went to practice and came back with the rest of their teammates to enjoy SeaWorld like a tourist before going to watch the Spurs take on the Raptors later Wednesday night.

“I’m very thankful for coach Riley and the Alamo Bowl for these opportunities,” Robinson said. “It’s better than just sitting around Corvallis and then coming out for the game.”

Taking in San Antonio

Players have walked around the downtown Riverwalk and gone to movies with their down time. They have taken in the sights, such as The Alamo, but have been focused when it comes to practice, coaches said.

“I’m really proud of them,” Riley said. “They are enjoying San Antonio and the festivities. They are practicing well. That combination is what we are after.”

Thompson memories

The equipment staff set up a locker in the Alamodone for the late Fred Thompson, who died from heart complications last December.

Players were impressed with the gesture, but not surprised. His locker is still up in Valley Football Center.

“We bring Fred with us all the time,” cornerback Jordan Poyer said. “He’s in our memory and hearts. We play for him and through him. We know he’s up there watching down on us.”

Cliff Kirkpatrick covers Oregon State sports for the Gazette-Times. He can be reached at cliff.kirkpatrick@lee.net.

Copyright 2015 Corvallis Gazette Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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