Beavers' backup RB McCants not feeling pressure

CORVALLIS — The Quizz is not going to be the answer for the Oregon State Beavers in the Sun Bowl. The question is whether it will be his replacement, Ryan McCants.

The Beavers' star running back, Jaquizz Rodgers, is out with a shoulder injury. To beat No. 18 Pittsburgh, the No. 24 Beavers likely need better performance from McCants.

"I'm not concerned about having a big game, I just want to come out and have a good game," the redshirt freshman said. "We want to run the ball to help out the passing game. But I don't feel that much pressure."

After gaining only 32 yards in 10 carries against Oregon in the Civil War game, McCants said he's had more than two weeks of bowl practice, and he's better prepared.

"We've worked hard in the extra time in practice, working out the kinks," McCants said. "With the extra practice I'm more comfortable with the plays we are running."

McCants carried the ball 79 times for 314 yards and two touchdowns this season. His best game came in relief after Rodgers was injured at Arizona. He ran the ball 15 times for 52 yards.

"I think he'll be as well-prepared as you can be," coach Mike Riley said. "He always worked extremely hard. And I anticipate him being ready to go."

Meanwhile, the Beavers have put an extra year on Riley's contract, which now extends through the 2015 season.

He signed a six-year deal after the 2006 season for about $1 million a year with incentives. Each time the Beavers go to a bowl game, as it has the past two years, the contract automatically rolls over.

"There's nothing like continuity with a coach in a program," Riley said. "You can establish things that are bigger than football. That's important to the development of the young men.

"The opportunity to have more time with the extension, that's gravy for me."

Riley, 55, is the third-winningest coach in OSU history with 55 victories, trailing only Lon Stiner (74) and Tommy Prothro (63). He was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year this season.

Oregon State and Pittsburgh meet at 11 a.m. (Pacific) Wednesday in El Paso, Texas.

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