Thomas Tyner

Oregon State running back Thomas Tyner will play against his former team on Saturday when the Beavers take on Oregon in the Civil War.

Anibal Ortiz, Mid-Valley Media

Oregon State interim coach Cory Hall began Civil War week by welcoming a new family member.

Isaiah-Bernard Hall was born at 8:05 Monday morning to Hall and his wife, Sarah. He was eight pounds, four onces and 22 inches long and is Hall's eighth child.

Hall said Isaiah-Bernard wasn't quite as big as one of his daughters at birth.

"So he's got some growing to do. I was calling him (Transformers character) Megatron and he's more like Bumblebee," Hall said. "So we're excited about that. She's doing well, he's doing well and they're hanging out in recovery right now with the family. So that was a blessing."

Hall was operating on about two hours sleep when he sat down for Monday's press conference.

He said his scheduled hasn't changed too much.

"It was funny, when we were there I was in the waiting room watching film and then I was up late at home last night watching film. So it hasn't. The only thing I did miss was I was not at the team meeting, which I'm usually a part of on Mondays. That pulled me away from that, but outside of that, the first opportunity I could, I got back here," he said.

"Actually, it will probably have me putting in even more (work). It doesn't seem like or appear that I will be getting any sleep, so I might as well put that energy into good use."

Civil War boost

It hasn't been an easy season for Oregon State, but a win against Oregon in Saturday's Civil War would go a long way to erase some of the memories.

Hall did not play in the rivalry but as a former player is very aware of how intense those games can be no matter the teams' records.

Oregon will be looking to avenge last season's loss to the Beavers and OSU will try to finish with a big win.

"Does it wipe away what happened this season? That would be a bright spot," Hall said. "What has happened this season happens every year. UCLA just lost Jim Mora. I have a few players on that team that I coached in high school that are down about that right now. When you look at the events over the course of a season, yes, you can end on a high note but you're always going to reflect and look back on the events that happened throughout the season. But a win would be huge."

Mendenhall not interested

Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall has been mentioned as a candidate for the open head football coach position at Oregon State, but denies that he has interest in pursuing the job.

Mendenhall reportedly was among the finalists for the job after Mike Riley left for Nebraska three years ago. 

Mendenhall was asked about the situation at his weekly press conference and said that rumors that he was a finalist or on the short list in 2014 were true, but he has moved on since then.

“That I’m not interested,” Mendenhall said when asked what he would say if OSU came calling.

"This is exactly where I want to be and, man, it’s just getting fun. We’re just starting to do some cool stuff.”

 

Big moment for Thomas Tyner

Saturday's game at Autzen Stadium will include a rarity for both teams.

OSU running back Thomas Tyner will face his old team in the rivalry game.

Hall was very well acquianted with Tyner and knew that he was one of the top high school athletes in Oregon.

"Looking at his journey and then getting in the mix now and having him carry the ball, you see that he is a next level back and I know there were some injuries, but you start to wonder had he kept going injury-free and he stayed consistent with it, what his future would look like," Hall said. "Even now, he still has a bright future. He's had a long layoff and now he seems to be back at full strength.

"So the story is remarkable and depending on what he decides to do I think the sky is the ceiling for Thomas Tyner, just depending on what he wants to do."

Tyner can petition the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility due to his injury history and Hall said he has heard rumblings about what Tyner might be inclined to do after this season.

"I try not to apply pressure," Hall said. "I need to sit down with him when this is all said and done, just like I've done with everyone on a personal level and kind of see where their hearts are, and see where his head is at and give him the pros and cons as best as I see fit for him and hope I can guide him into making a well informed and educated decision about what his future holds in football."

Herbert's back

Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert returned to action last Saturday after missing five games with a broken collarbone.

Herbert promptly led the Ducks to a 48-28 win over Arizona, passing for 235 yards and a touchdown and running for a 40-yard score.

Hall said the defensive game plan will remain the same with Herbert on the field. He said Herbert has a higher comfort level with the offense and his teammates respond to his leadership.

"As far as the game plan, it doesn't change," Hall said. "You've still got to stop Royce Freeman and then (Herbert) has the other element, he's able to drop back and make plays with his arms and he's able to keep plays alive with his feet. You saw I think it was a 40-yard, 50-yard scamper that he ran against Arizona for a touchdown. So obviously he's a tremendous athlete."

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