Brandin Cooks

Beavers Prepare for Road Test at Utah

Photo By: Dave Nishitani/Oregon State Athletics   09-10-2013

THIS WEEK: Oregon State (1-1) makes its first road trip of the season traveling to Salt Lake City to play the Utah Utes (2-0) at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Kickoff is 8:05 p.m. MT with the game airing live on Fox Sports 1.

PAC-12 OPENER: For the second consecutive season the Beavers open the Pac-12 slate on the road. Last year OSU posted a 27-20 win Sept. 22 at No. 19 UCLA in the Rose Bowl. OSU has won three of its last four Pac-10/12 road game openers -- 2009 at ASU 28-17, 2010 at No. 9 Arizona 29-27 and 2012 at No. 19 UCLA 27-20. No. 25 ASU defeated the Beavers at Sun Devil Stadium in 2011 35-20.

SERIES: The series dates back to 1931 with OSU owning a 10-6-1 advantage. The Beavers were ranked No. 8 in the country and carried a 5-0 record into the Oct. 20 meeting last season at Reser Stadium. Then redshirt-freshman running back Storm Woods scored all three of OSU’s touchdowns in the 21-7 win in front of a sold out home crowd. The defensive game featured the Beavers with just 226 total yards, but they forced four Utah turnovers, two of which led to scoring drives of 10 and 16 yards. Utah won the 2011 meeting in Salt Lake City in the Utes inaugural Pac-12 season 27-8.

FAMILIAR FACE: Former Oregon State head coach Dennis Erickson (1999-2002) is in his first year as Utah’s co-offensive coordinator/running backs coach. Erickson led the Beavers to three bowl  games in his four years at the helm, including the 2000 Fiesta Bowl winning team that went 11-1 overall and finished the year No. 4 in the final Associated Press Poll and No. 6 in the BCS standings.

STARTERS DOWN: The Beavers enter this week missing three starters from last week’s game. Starting linebacker Michael Doctor broke his foot and will be out at least to the latter half of the season. The senior co-captain played immediately upon arrival to the team, thus has a redshirt year available. He led the team for tackles last year with 83. Starting right guard Roman Sapolu suffered a fracture dislocation in his foot and is out for the year. Unlike Doctor, Sapolu did redshirt his first season in 2010 and at this point a medical redshirt year is unavailable.  Starting right tackle Grant Enger is expected to miss at least the next two games with a sprained knee. On the bright side, junior linebacker D.J. Alexander may make his debut after missing the first two games with a sprained knee, suffered midway through preseason camp.

OFFENSIVE LINE SHUFFLE: Oregon State offensive line, thought to be a position of depth in the spring, has become thinner throughout camp and into the early part of the season. Four starters returned and the Beavers were expected to start highly regarded sophomore Gavin Andrews at the one open spot, right tackle. However, Andrews was diagnosed with mono the week before the season started forcing a shuffle along the line. Grant Enger, who was slated to start at right guard, moved to right tackle and junior Roman Sapolu took over at right guard. In addition, returning center Isaac Seumalo was unable to play in the season opener due to a bruised knee forcing sophomore Josh Mitchell into the lineup during Week 1. Heading into Week 2, Seumalo, a freshman All-American, returned to the starting lineup to anchor the line. However in OSU’s win over Hawai’i Enger sprained his left knee and is expected to miss two weeks and Sapolu suffered a foot injury and is expected to miss the rest of the season. The Beavers finished the Hawai’i game with Michael Philipp (LT) and Josh Andrews (LG) playing their usual positions, Mitchell at center, redshirt freshman Grant Bays at right guard and Seumalo sliding outside to right tackle. OSU’s line has been further diminished with Justin Addie (concussion) sidelined and the slow recovery of Garrett Weinreich a knee injury suffered in August 2012. In addition, the retirement early in fall camp of David Keller (concussions), who was expected be the top back-up at guard, further complicates the situation.

436.5: The number of average yards the Beavers have passed for over the first two games, third in the country to only California (472.5) and Texas Tech (453.5). Quarterback Sean Mannion’s 422 yards vs. Eastern Washington is the sixth-most in OSU history – he also holds the mark for the fifth-highest with 433 yards in the 2012 game vs. Arizona.

386: The difference in yards the Beavers allowed from game one vs. Eastern Washington to game two vs. Hawai’i. EWU accumulated 625 yards in total offense, while UH generated 239.

PERFECT: Oregon State has converted all 12 times (10 TDs/2 FGs) it has been in the red zone for an NCAA co-leading 1,000 percent. The 12 red zone appearances is tied for second in the country with East Carolina and Fresno State – Ball State has the most with 14.

BALL POSSESSION: Head coach Mike Riley has stated he hopes to have more balance than what the Beavers have shown through the first two games with 94 pass attemps vs. 57 on the rush side. Even with that disparity, the Beavers lead the Pac-12 for time of possession averaging 35:46 per game.

ROAD BEAVERS: OSU is currently in a stretch where it plays just one home game over the next six weeks. Following Saturday’s game at Utah, the Beavers play at San Diego State, home for Colorado, bye, at Washington State and at California. It’s the first time OSU has played three of its first four conference games on the road since the 1998 team opened the year with three away games.

IT’S EARLY, BUT JUST SAYING: Quarterback Sean Mannion’s current 79.1 completion percentage (68-86) is on NCAA record setting pace. Former Texas slinger Colt McCoy holds the FBS record for a season at 76.8 percent in 2008.

COOKS CRACKS RECORD BOOK: Junior receiver Brandin Cooks is already 10th at OSU for career receiving yards with 1,830 and needs just 16 yards Saturday to pass Steve Coury (1976-79/1,837) and Roddy Tompkins (1996-99/1,845). At his current pace he would conclude his career trailing only Mike Hass (2002-05) and James Newson (2000-03). He needs 17 receptions to crack the Beavers’ top 10 career list. Cooks is fourth in the nation for receiving yards with 288.

MANNION CONTINUES CLIMB: Junior quarterback Sean Mannion now has 6,568 yards; fourth all-time at OSU. The senior co-captain needs to average 282 yards per game for the rest of the regular season to catch third-place holder Erik Wilhelm (1985-88) at 9,383 yards. If he was to start the next 22 regular season games and average 213 yards he would catch the school’s all-time leader for yards – Derek Anderson (2001-04) at 11,249.  Mannion is currently second in the nation for passing yards with 794 (Jared Goff, Cal, 935).  

MANNION TO COOKS, TOUCHDOWN BEAVERS: Through the first four games of the season, quarterback Sean Mannion and receiver Brandin Cooks have combined for four touchdown passes. The duo has now connected 11 times during their careers for scores, the fourth-highest combination in Beaver history. Derek Anderson and Mike Hass combined 14 times, Anderson and James Newson 15 times and Erik Wilhelm and Robb Thomas 17 times.

60TH ANNIVERSARY OF RESER STADIUM: This season marks the 60th anniversary of Reser Stadium, which officially opened as Parker Stadium Nov. 14, 1953 with a 7-0 Beaver victory over Washington State. The stadium’s name was changed to Reser Stadium prior to the 1999 season after a generous donation by Al and Pat Reser. OSU has had particular success of late at the Stadium, but overall has had many outstanding victories. Beaver teams have defeated nationally ranked opponents (entering the season) 16 times, including No. 1 USC twice (1967 & 2008).

RESER RECORD: Oregon State’s home record of 60-22 this century at Reser Stadium is third best in the Pac-12 Conference, trailing the home records of only Oregon (69-13) and USC (63-15).      

NFL COACHING EXPERIENCE: Oregon State coaches have a combined 42 years of full-time NFL coaching experience. Mike Riley (4 years), Mark Banker (3), Bruce Read (7), Danny Langsdorf (3), Mike Cavanaugh (2) and Rod Perry (23), In addition, running backs coach Chris Brasfield served two years as an intern and two seasons as a scout in the NFL. Graduate assistants coaches Kyle DeVan (tight ends) and Keaton Kristick (linebackers) played in the NFL - DeVan for the five years with the Jets, Colts, Eagles and Titans; and Kristick for two years with the 49ers.

RILEY’S RIGHT-HAND GUYS: Oregon State has been fairly stable in terms of assistant coaches, particularly at the coordinator positions. Defensive coordinator Mark Banker has been on the staff since 2003 in his current role (served 1997-98 seasons as secondary coach); he has the second longest tenure as the defensive coordinator at one school (Buddy Green, Navy, 12 years).  Banker was also with Riley for the 1999-2001 seasons with the Chargers (Def. Coord.) and in 1996 at USC. Offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf  has been in his role since 2004 (was a G.A. for TE in 1997-98) and was with the Saints with Riley for the 2002 season.

SCHOOL RECORD COACH: Mike Riley continues to build on his school record for victories, now with 82. The longest tenured coach in the Pac-12 has 52 league wins, which is 14th in the league’s history book – next on the list is James Owens (UW – 1957-74) with 54 victories. For more on Riley turn to his bio in this notes package.  Riley is the longest tenured coach in the Pac-12 with 13 years at OSU; the rest of the league includes Kyle Whittingham, Utah (9 yrs), Steve Sarkisian, UW (5), Lane Kiffin, USC (4), David Shaw, Stanford (3), Todd Graham, ASU (2), Mike Leach, WSU (2), Rich Rodriguez, Arizona (2), Sonny Dykes, Cal (first), Mark Helfrich, Oregon (first) and Mike MacIntyre, Colorado (first).  

RE-BEAVED: During the offseason the Beavers re-beaved thanks to Nike, introducing a new brand in March. The new brand includes a new logo, plus several uniform combos. Football also sports three helmet designs.

ONE OF SIX: Third-year athletic trainer Ariko Iso (uh-REE-ko E-so) is one of only six female head football trainers in the FBS - Jennifer Brodeur at Massachusetts, Laurie Fincher at UAB, Dawn Hearn at UTEP, Kelli Pugh at Virginia and Mary Vander Heiden at Central Florida are the others. Iso joined the program in late spring of 2011 after being the only female athletic trainer in the NFL (Steelers).

TEAM CAPTAINS: The 2013 team captains are seniors Rashaad Reynolds (CB), Michael Doctor (LB), Grant Enger (OG), and juniors Brandin Cooks (WR) and Sean Mannion (QB). Mannion has been selected for the second straight season – no Beaver has ever been a three-year team captain.

PAC-12 THIS CENTURY: USC owns the most victories in the Pac-12 Conference this century with 126 (105 with vacated wins), followed by Oregon (124), OSU (97), UCLA (87), Cal (86), Arizona State (85), Stanford (82), Washington (71), Arizona (69), WSU (67).  Utah has 111 victories this century and Colorado has 69.

WIN THE TURNOVER BATTLE, WIN THE GAME: Over the last 114 games, Oregon State is 43-9 when committing fewer turnovers than its opponent, 11-31 when committing more and 11-9 when even.

RUNNING BACK U: Oregon State is the only program in the Pac-12 Conference with three running backs that rank in the top 10 for career rushing in the league; 3. Ken Simonton (1998-2001), 5,044 yards; 8. Jacquizz Rodgers (2008-10), 3,877; 9. Yvenson Bernard (2004-07), 3,862. Steven Jackson (2001-03) ranks 14th with 3,625 yards. Rodgers and Jackson both left OSU after three seasons to enter the NFL.

72-9: That’s the record of Oregon State when it leads after three quarters with Mike Riley as head coach. Since the start of the 2004 season it is 53-5.

100-PLUS USUALLY A W: When a Beaver rushes for 100-plus yards it usually equals a victory.  OSU has won 26 of its last 31 games (84%) when a rusher gains 100 – the only five losses in that period -- Oct. 2, 2008 at Utah (Jacquizz Rodgers 101 yds), Oct. 24, 2009 at USC (Jacquizz 113), Oct. 16, 2010 at Washington (Jacquizz 140), Sept. 3, 2011 vs. Sacramento State (Malcolm Agnew 223) and Dec. 29, 2012 vs. Texas (Storm Woods 118).

BOWL HISTORY: Starting with the 1999 season, Oregon State has appeared in 10 bowl games – tied for the third-most in the league. Oregon has 13 appearances, followed by Utah (11), OSU (10), USC (10), UCLA (10), Arizona State (9), Cal (8), Washington (7), Stanford (6), Colorado (6), Arizona (4) and Washington State (3).

FRESH FACES: Two true freshmen for the Beavers in the season opener - WR/KR Victor Bolden and LB Darrell Songy - and both left marks in the box score. Bolden has been the Beavers’ primary kick returner, returning nine for 178 yards. Bolden has also carried the ball three times for six yards on the fly sweep and has two receptions for 23 yards. Songy has played on special teams registering the first tackle of his career against Eastern Washington ... in addition, 13 others played for the first time with the Beavers including JC transfers DT Edwin Delva, DT Siale Hautau and CB Steven Nelson and redshirt freshmen OG Grant Bays, WR Malik Gilmore, OL Nolan Hansen, LB Rommel Mageo, LB Cyril Noland-Lewis, FB Ricky Ortiz, S Zack Robinson, LB Caleb Saulo, TE Dustin Stanton and DT Noke Tago.

TRUE “STUDENT-ATHLETES” Oregon State is routinely among the league leaders for Pac-12 academic selections and this year should be no different. The following players will graduate in December: OL Josh Andrews (sociology); WR Kevin Cummings (marketing); LB Michael Doctor (human development/family studies); OL Grant Enger (entrepreneurship); WR Micah Hatfield (human development/family studies); QB Sean Mannion (liberal studies); CB Sean Martin (new media); OL Michael Philipp (public health); CB Rashaad Reynolds (human development/family studies); RB Jovan Stevenson (sociology). Graduates in March include DL John Braun (sociology); LB Charlie Gilmur (marketing); DL Devon Kell (public health); WR Mitch Singler (marketing); QB Cody Vaz (sociology). June graduates include S Steven Christian (master of arts in interdisciplinary studies); P Tim McMullen (exercise & sport science); DL Mana Rosa (psychology).

WOODCHIPS: OSU and Eastern Washington each scored 40-plus points, the first time both teams scored that many in an OSU game since 1999 against Georgia Southern (OSU win 48-41).