Beavers put streak on the line with No. 17 Cincinnati
Sept. 14, 2009
THIS WEEK: The final non-conference regular season game of the season features the No. 24 (Coaches Poll) Oregon State Beavers (2-0) hosting the No. 17 (AP)/No. 21 (Coaches) Cincinnati Bearcats (2-0) at Reser Stadium, Sat., Sept. 19. The game will be televised by FSN with kickoff scheduled for 3:58 p.m.
MILITARY DAY: Oregon State's annual Military Day will be Sept. 19. Military personnel will receive special discount ticket prices. Check osubeavers.com or call 1-800-GO-BEAVS for more information.
HISTORIC GAME: Saturday will mark the first time in Reser Stadium, formerly known as Parker Stadium, that a ranked Oregon State team will play a ranked non-Pac-10 foe at the venue that opened in 1953. This is also the first time a nationally ranked non-conference team has visited Corvallis since No. 13 BYU in 1977 (OSU 24-13). The Beavers did host No. 11 Arizona State (then not a Pac-10 member) in 1971 and `73, No. 14 Baylor in 1963 and No. 10 Syracuse in 1961 - all those games were played in Portland.
VS. TOP 25: Oregon State has had success against AP top 25 teams of late, winning five of its last nine games. Wins during that streak include No. 1 USC (2008), No. 2 California (2007), No. 3 USC (2006), No. 19 Pittsburgh (2008) and No. 24 Hawai'i (2006).
BCS: Cincinnati is a rare traditional BCS team, outside of the Pac-10, to venture to Corvallis. Baylor, out of the Big 12 Conference, was the last in 1998. Prior to '98 Kansas visited in 1992 and '76, and Syracuse in 1977.
NON-CONFERENCE HOME STREAK: Oregon State enters the game riding a streak of 26 consecutive non-conference home game victories that started Nov. 16, 1996 with a 67-28 victory over Northern Illinois. Head coach Mike Riley is 17-0 in non-Pac-10 home games.
SERIES: Oregon State's defense for the most part contained Cincinnati in the only previous meeting Sept. 6, 2007 in the "Queen City." But, the Beavers' offense turned the ball over seven times, three each by current OSU quarterbacks Sean Canfield and Lyle Moevao on interceptions. Those turnovers led to short fields for the Bearcat offense led by then quarterback Ben Mauck; scoring drives included (-1) yard, 31 yards, 17 yards, 53 yards and a 1-yard blocked punt return for a TD. OSU's offense outgained UC 310-229. This game concludes a two-game schedule contract with Cincinnati.
BIG EAST: Oregon State is 6-8 overall vs. current Big East Conference opposition; 3-5 vs. Syracuse, 2-0 vs. West Virginia, 1-1 vs. Pitt (both bowl games) and 0-1 vs. Cincinnati and Louisville. Louisville travels to Oregon State next season to finish a two-game series.
OSU-CINCINNATI CONNECTIONS: Two current Beavers hail from Ohio, starting receiver Casey Kjos as a youngster lived in Washington, but graduated from Lakota East HS in Liberty Township (north of Cincinnati) as did backup receiver Shawn McGarity. Quarterback Jon Kitna, formerly of the Bengals and now a Dallas Cowboy, is the legal guardian of Kjos. Beaver graduate assistant coach Robin Ross was the defensive line coach at Cincinnati in 1984 and the defensive coordinator/line coach in `85. Chad Ocho Cinco, formerly known as Chad Johnson, of the Bengals played his one year of major college football at Oregon State in 2000 accounting for 806 yards on 37 receptions and eight touchdowns.
REMEMBER WHEN? It wasn't that long ago when a matchup between Cincinnati and Oregon State would not have made much noise on the national scene, but this week's game features two of the best programs in the country in recent years. Starting with the 2006 season, Oregon State is 30-12 and Cincinnati is 31-11.
ACCURATE PASSERS: Two of the more accurate passers in this young season will be on the Reser Stadium turf Saturday. OSU's Sean Canfield is first in the nation with a 78.6 (33-42, 3 TD, 0 Int) completion percentage and Cincinnati's Tony Pike is third at 77.2 (44-57, 6 TD, 1 Int).
3-0? Oregon State is looking to start the season with three consecutive victories for the first time since the Beavers won their opening four to start the 2002 season with victories at home over Eastern Kentucky, UNLV and Fresno State, and a road win at Temple.
NUMBER 2: Oregon State has won 30 games (lost 12) since the start of the 2006 season, the second best mark in the Pac-10 Conference (see boxed table). USC is the only program that has more in that timeframe with 36 victories against five losses (two to OSU).
STRESS! WHAT STRESS? Beaver fans have learned to deal with the stress of close football games, and for the most part, the outcomes have been favorable. OSU is 14-2 since the start of the 2006 season in games decided by seven points or less. Here is a closer look at those wins:
GAME WINNING FIELD GOALS: Junior kicker Justin Kahut has been somewhat erratic on extra point attempts during his career, but he has been stellar when the chips are down - such as in Las Vegas last Saturday when he made a 33-yard field goal against a strong wind to give OSU a 23-21 win. He also was responsible for all the points in a 3-0 win over Pitt in last year's Sun Bowl, again kicking a 44-yarder in a tricky wind, and last year booted a 24-yard field at Arizona on the last play. Overall, Kahut's right foot has provided the margin of victory in three of the last five games.
28 in 12: Oregon State's defense has allowed just 28 points over the last 12 quarters, including zero points in the first half of the last three games. The defense will face a stiff test this week as Cincinnati has the second best scoring offense averaging 58.5 points (Florida 59.0). The Bearcats are also fifth for total offense per game at 571 yards.
1,000 x 2: Junior receiver James Rodgers is about to become the second Beaver in school history to amass 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving. James has 1,075 career yards rushing and 958 career yards receiving. He will join Pat Chaffey (1986, 88-89) who accumulated 1,421 rushing yards and 1,293 receiving yards. For more on James and the rest of the Beaver players see the individual player notes section.
THAT WOULD BE A GOOSE EGG: Oregon State is one of three teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) that have played two games without losing a turnover - joining California and Michigan State. Last season, the Beavers had five turnovers through two games. Cincinnati has turned it over just once.
HAPPY 100TH: Last Saturday marked OSU head coach Mike Riley's 100th game as a Beaver. He enters this week's contest with a record of 58-42. He is five victories short of matching Hall of Fame coach Tommy Prothro for second all-time for wins at OSU. Some notable accomplishments for Riley (see page 43 of media guide) include being named head coach Dec. 13, 1996; winning his first game as a head coach as OSU scores 27 fourth-quarter points to beat North Texas Sept. 6, 1997; beating Stanford 30-23 for his first Pac-10 win on Oct. 10, 1998; his first of five bowl wins with a 55-14 trouncing of New Mexico in the Las Vegas Bowl, Dec. 24, 2003; defeats No. 1 USC 27-21 Sept. 25, 2008; and named Pac-10 Coach of the Year Dec. 8, 2008.