No. 24 Beavers Travel to Face Huskies; Seek Third Straight Win
Oct. 11, 2010
THIS WEEK: No. 24 Oregon State (3-2, 2-0 Pac-10) continues its road travels motoring north on Interstate-5 to play the Washington Huskies (2-3, 1-1). The game will kickoff at 7:21 p.m. PDT from Husky Stadium and be televised live by ESPN.
BACK IN THE RANKINGS: Oregon State returned to the Associated Press Poll this week at No. 24. The Beavers opened the season at No. 24, slipped to No. 25 for the weeks of Sept. 6 and 13, and back to No. 24 the week of Sept. 20. This season marks the earliest the Beavers have been nationally ranked in the AP Poll since 2001.
SERIES: The OSU-UW series dates back to 1897 when Oregon State won a 16-0 decision at home. Overall Washington has the advantage 57-33-4 thanks mainly to a 25-2 run between 1975 and 2003. But, since the Huskies 38-17 win in Corvallis in that '03 season it has been all OSU as the Beavers enter this week with a school record six-game win streak. Last year former starting quarterback Sean Canfield passed for four touchdowns and running Jacquizz Rodgers rushed for 159 yards and two scores as OSU won its final home game of the year, 48-21. The 48 points were the second most for the Beavers in the series, falling just shy of the 49 scored in the win in 2001.
IT'S BEEN 25 YEARS...: Since Oregon State posted the biggest upset in NCAA history (at the time) with a 21-20 win over Washington in Seattle on Oct. 19, 1985. The Huskies were 38-point favorites over a banged up Beaver team and at the time was the biggest point spread in NCAA history for a team to overcome for a victory. OSU came into that game without its Pac-10 record setting quarterback Erik Wilhelm and then league-leading receiver Reggie Bynum, and had lost four straight while UW had won four straight. It was the last victory for the Beavers in a 3-8 season.
2-0 IN PAC-10: For the first time since 2003 Oregon State has started the season 2-0 in Pac-10 play. The Beavers didn't make it to 3-0 in that '03 season due to a 38-17 defeat to Washington - the last loss to the Huskies. OSU hasn't started the season 3-0 in conference play since it went 4-0 in Pac-8 (the first official year of the Pac-8) games in 1968.
HIGH SCORING GAME? Could be. Both teams would like to see the scoring defense improve, OSU ranks 90th in the nation and eighth in the Pac-10 allowing an average of 30 points per game, while Washington is 95th and ninth in the league allowing 30.8 points. Not so coincidentally the Huskies are 104th in the country and eighth in the Pac-10 for total defense, allowing 429.6 yards per game while OSU is 113th and ninth at 456 yards given up per outing.
100-YARD BACKS: Oregon State has had success on the ground vs. Washington in recent years and starting with the 2005 season the Beavers have had a 100-yard plus running back in the series. Yvenson (Evan-son) Bernard had a 122-yard game in 2005, 144 yards in 2006 and 149 yards in 2007; James Rodgers had 112 yards in 2008 and Jacquizz Rodgers had 159 yards in 2009.
DAVIS TRIES TO REMAIN UNDEFEATED: Oregon State running backs coach Reggie Davis will try to remain undefeated in this series. He was a tight end at UW from 1994-98 in which the Huskies won all five meetings vs. the Beavers and the third-year OSU coach is 2-0 in Corvallis.
DRAMATIC WINS: All of Oregon State win's this season have been by seven points or less, with the opposing teams having the ball on the last series of the game. Starting with the 2006 season, the Beavers are 18-5 in games decided by seven points or less.
PRESSURE POINT: While the numbers might not indicate it, the Beavers have had some timely stops on defense of late. Part of that reason is the increased pressure on quarterbacks as OSU has nine of its 11 sacks in the last two games, including six against Arizona State's Steven Threet.
TOUGH LOSS: The loss of senior wide receiver/returner James Rodgers is a major blow to the Beaver offensive arsenal. Rodgers suffered a season ending left knee injury at Arizona. He leaves the 2010 team ranked sixth in the nation for all-purpose yards per game at 176.8, sixth for punt return yards per game at 18.3 and 18th for kickoff return yards per game at 28.7. OSU will submit paperwork to gain Rodgers a fifth year of eligibility (did not redshirt) as a medical hardship - he qualifies per NCAA rules - 14.2.4 - a student-athlete is eligible if he/she has participated in a maximum of 30 percent of the scheduled games - James participated in four of the team's first five games which is actually 33 percent, but the NCAA rounds up the total games to make it four competitions allowed.
33: The number of yards quarterback Ryan Katz has netted this season rushing; has gained 101 overall, but sack yardage is figured into rushing total. That might not seem like a lot, but it does show Katz's mobility. The last time OSU had a starting quarterback with positive rushing yards for the season was 1997 when Tim Alexander, formerly an option quarterback in Jerry Pettibone's system, had a team-high 288 yards in Mike Riley's first year as a head coach at OSU.
VETERAN SOPHOMORE: I guess you could say sophomore quarterback Ryan Katz is a veteran already just five games into his first year as a starter. His first three road games of the season have been against then No. 7 TCU (now No. 4), No. 3 Boise State and No. 9 Arizona (No. 17). He's thrown one interception (at Arizona) this year, starting the year with 134 attempts without a pick. He is this week's Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week after passing for 393 yards, the 10th most in school history, throwing for two touchdowns and rushing for one.
JUST WHERE WE WANT TO BE: For the seventh consecutive season Oregon State failed to reach Oct. 1 with a winning record - combined 12-16 (43%). The good news is, the Beavers are 39-14 (74%) in the combined months of October, November and December starting with 2004.
WIN THE TURNOVER BATTLE, WIN THE GAME: Over the last 80 games, Oregon State is 32-7 when committing fewer turnovers than its opponent, 9-19 when committing more and 9-4 when even. Oregon State lost just 11 turnovers for the 2009 season, the second-fewest in the nation (Cincinnati - 10). Over the last 18 games, the Beavers have just 12 turnovers.
ONE: The number of turnovers for the Beavers this season, the fewest in the nation - the next closest teams are Oklahoma, Maryland, Wisconsin and Army with four - Washington has just five. The Beavers have gained a pedestrian nine. OSU lost just four fumbles all of last year (zero this year), tied for second in the nation with Rutgers, Miami and Colorado State - Cincinnati had two. Oddly, on the other side of the ball OSU tied for 105th in turnovers gained in '09 with 16.
WOOD CHIPS: Bleacherreports.com in August rated Mike Riley the sixth best coach in the country ... Kirk Herbstreit named Riley the most underrated coach in his 10th annual Herbie Awards, released in August - he also tabbed Jacquizz Rodgers as the "most exciting player" in the nation and second on his "ankle breaker" players list, James Rodgers as the fifth-best receiver, Stephen Paea (DT) was fifth on the "players who don't get enough respect" ... Ted Miller of ESPN.com rated Jacquizz Rodgers No. 1 on his list of best players in the Pac-10, Stephen Paea was No. 5 and James Rodgers No. 6 ... Rivals.com rated the Beaver coaching staff No. 12 in the nation ... OSU president Ed Ray, through April 2011, is the chairman of the NCAA's Executive Committee, which approves any proposed change before it can become NCAA law ... linebacker Keith Pankey competes in remote control racing car contests ... offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf and his wife Michele became first time parents Aug. 17 - a son named Dawsen ... student assistant coach Jay Harbaugh is the son of Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh, who was Riley's quarterback with the San Diego Chargers ... OSU opened the season in the Associated Press Top-25 (No. 24) for the first time since 2001 ... safety Lance Mitchell was selected the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week for Sept. 6 after making a career-high 18 tackles in the season opener vs. TCU ... OSU had 10 pass completions against TCU, the fewest since eight in 2002 against California ... the 51 plays vs. TCU is the fewest since 49 in 1993 against Washington State ... a non-conference school record 45,379 fans visited Reser Stadium Sept. 18, 2010 for the home opener vs. Louisville ... backup quarterback Cody Vaz saw his first action of the season in the fourth quarter vs. Louisville after starter Ryan Katz left the game with a minor injury ... reserve linebacker Michael Doctor is the only true freshman to play this season ... OSU has been on live television 34 of the last 35 games, missing only the Nov. 21, 2009 date at Washington State ... OSU's win over Arizona State Oct. 2 marked the first Pac-10 season opening victory since 2003.