It was a game in which J.D. Falslev watched his close friend Taysom Hill go down with an injury in the final moments of the game.
“It breaks my heart to see him go down, not only because of the football aspect but because he’s my roommate,” said Falslev. “We hang out every night and all that kind of stuff, so it’s hard to see that happen. It’s hard to see anybody go down from an injury.”
Hill is handling it well according to Falslev.
“He’s doing good,” Falslev said. “He’s hanging in there and he’s bummed, and so are all of us, but he’s doing a good job.
“Taysom was a great leader and he will be for a number of years for this program. He’s a great kid and I love that kid a lot.”
When Riley Nelson makes his return to the field this Saturday, Falslev expects him to be himself and not play conservative due to his past complications.
“He’ll be Riley,” Falslev said. “Riley Nelson is Riley Nelson and he’s a fighter, and that’s what we all love about him and pull for because he’s a guy that will lead by example, so to have that on the field is a big plus for us.”
With Nelson back at the helm, Falslev feels that the offense could potentially open up some more this week.
“We just have to do our jobs and play consistent football and know our assignments and make plays,” said Falslev. “There isn’t necessarily an added pressure. We just have to continue to do our job with what’s been given us this week. With Riley in there, it opens up the playbook a little bit, but it doesn’t put more pressure on us. It just means we have more options to use to attack their defense, but that also means we have to go out and do our jobs as well. ”
Nelson will have one advantage given to him that he didn’t have prior to his injury: he’ll be playing behind a revamped offensive line with Solomone Kafu at left guard, Braden Hansen at center and Manaaki Vaitai at right guard. The interior of the line was much different, and played differently, when Nelson last played.
“We made some big plays last year and we had a pretty good offensive line blocking for Riley,” said Coach Doman, referring to last year’s 38-28 win over Oregon State. “We were able to throw the ball downfield more and Cody made some big plays for us. Hopefully we’ll find what we’ve been looking for on Saturday.”
If the line can hold the strength of the Oregon State defense, which is its defensive line, the Cougar offense could open up a little more with Cody Hoffman and Ross Apo.
“They put in the effort they need to learn their stuff and run great routes,” said Cahoon. “They’re entering the game with a plan knowing how they want to run certain routes against the defense. I’m just anxious to open it up a little bit and let those two guys go out and do their thing.”
In the interview below, Apo gives his thoughts about what it is he expects to see when he lines up against the Beaver defense.
Listen to Audio