Beavers to Host Golden Bears in First of Three Straight at Home
Nov. 13, 2012
THIS WEEK: No. 15 AP/No. 16 BCS/No. 17 USA Today Oregon State (7-2, 5-2 in Pac-12) returns home to face the California Golden Bears (3-8, 2-6) at Reser Stadium. Kickoff is approximately 7:30 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks. The kickoff marks the fourth night game in the last five weeks and the third consecutive at home.
THE RANKINGS: The Beavers appear in the Associated Press top-25 rankings for the eighth consecutive week, escalating to as high as No. 7 the week of Oct. 22. A win Saturday would keep OSU in the AP top 25 for nine consecutive weeks (polls) - a school record for one season.
RESER RECORD? The Oregon State record for home attendance average of 45,509 in 2010 is in jeopardy of falling this year. The Beavers are currently averaging 45,129 with three games left, which would mark the second-largest average for a season. The last three home games have been sellouts.
SERIES: Cal leads overall 34-30, but the Beavers have been dominant of late winning 10 of the last 13 starting in 1999. Last season at AT&T Park, the Bears defeated OSU 23-6. OSU narrowly missed posting its first shut out in the series since 1941 in its 35-7 win in 2010 in Corvallis as Cal scored with 20 seconds left to avoid being blanked. In that `10 game Jacquizz Rodgers, now of the Atlanta Falcons, scored three touchdowns and passed for one out of the wildcat formation. Markus Wheaton led all receivers with 72 receiving yards on seven receptions.
7-2: Seven victories in the first nine games is the best start for OSU with head coach Mike Riley at the helm. A win Saturday vs. Cal would give OSU's its first eight win season since going 8-5 overall in 2009.
BOWL ELIGIBILITY: Oregon State won its sixth game of the season Oct. 20 vs. Utah and for the earliest time in school history became bowl eligible. Courtesy of John Hunt of The Oregonian - "No team in the Pac-8/Pac-10/Pac-12 has had a record as bad as OSU did (3-9) and played in a bowl the following year."
TFLs: Through the first nine games of this season the Beavers' defense has amassed 55 tackles-for-loss (TFL) for a total of 228 yards. Comparatively speaking, last year the team for the entire season had 52 TFLs for 208 yards.
RILEY GETS RECORD: Beaver head coach Mike Riley became the school's all-time leader for football victories when he notched his 75th (now 79) Sept. 29 at Arizona, passing Lon Stiner (1933-48). The 12th-year head coach has 52 league victories (the most by an active coach), 13th in the Pac-12 record book with UW's Jim Owens 1957-74 next on the list with 54. For more on Riley see his bio on page 4 in this week's game notes.
SINGLE DIGITS: Oregon State has allowed nine or fewer points in three games this season, the most since achieving the same defensive feat in 2008 (Hawai'i, UCLA, Pitt). The last time a Beaver defense gave up nine or fewer points in more than three games was the 2000 Fiesta Bowl Season (San Diego State, Stanford, WSU, Arizona, Notre Dame).
SCORING DEFENSE: Oregon State is second in the Pac-12 for scoring defense allowing 19.1 points. That average would be a school record for a 13-game season (includes bowl). The low for a 12-game season is 17.7 in 2000.
TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME: Oregon State enters Saturday having put together scoring drives of 74-plus yards 23 times through the first nine games, matching the school record that was originally set in 2002. Of those 23 drives, 10 have been of 80-plus yards. All of last season, the Beavers achieved scoring drives of 74-plus 13 times. Those long drives in combination with OSU's third down defense has allowed the Beavers to lead the Pac-12 for average time of possession at 32:19.
TURNOVER MARGIN: The Beavers enter Saturday with second-best turnover margin in the Pac-12 at plus-9 (Oregon +11). OSU and Cal have each acquired 22 turnovers, but OSU has lost 13 while Cal 26.
RED ZONE SUCCESS: The Beavers enter Saturday second in the Pac-12 for red zone percentage at 84.4 percent (27-32). OSU converted 75 percent of the time in the zone last year which tied for last in the Pac-12 with UCLA and tied for 100th in the nation.
INTERCEPTION: Oregon State has 16 interceptions for the season (11 last season), seventh in the country. CB Jordan Poyer, one of 15 finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, has five of those 16 to rank tied for fifth in the NCAA. Poyer now ranks tied for ninth for career interceptions at OSU with 11. He was the Walter Camp Co-Player of the Week and the Jim Thorpe (nation's top CB) Player of the Week for Oct. 8 after his three interceptions against Washington State.
100 x 3: Twice this season Oregon State has had a running back and two receivers hit the 100-yard-plus mark in the same game. Prior to this season the last time the Beavers had three players reach 100 yards in a game was Nov. 15, 2003 at home vs. Stanford (Steven Jackson 148 rush, Mike Hass 225 rec. and James Newson 115 rec.).
WHEATON STREAK: Senior wide receiver Markus Wheaton has quietly put together a 32-game streak of receptions; second in the Pac-12. Wheaton has 197 receptions, fourth for a career at OSU. He also has 2,628 yards receiving, third at OSU. In addition, with nine receiving touchdowns he is tied for fourth for a single season and within the range of the single season record of 12 by James Newson in 2002. The Civil War in November will match two of the fastest players in the country, based on results of a May 4, 2012 track meet in Eugene - in the 100 meters Wheaton placed second with a 10.58 and De'Anthony Thomas third at 10.65. For more on Wheaton's career stats please turn to page 16 of this week's game notes.
DYNAMIC DUO: One is the crafty veteran, fourth-year senior Markus Wheaton. The other is the upstart sophomore Brandin Cooks, who is one of 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award. Together they form one of the most dangerous receiving duos in the nation. Cooks is seventh in the nation with 109.8 yards receiving per contest while Wheaton is 14th at 97.6 - only West Virginia can match the Beavers with two players in the top 14. Cooks is just 12 yards short of becoming the sixth player in school history to reach 1,000 yards for a season, while Wheaton needs 122 yards to become the seventh player to hit 1,000. They will likely be the first duo to each hit 1,000 yards at OSU since James Newson (1,306) and Mike Hass (1,013) in 2003. Cooks on who is the fastest? "I have a quicker spurt, but Markus has a faster top end."
AFTER THE CATCH: The Beaver quarterbacks have used two of their biggest playmakers to eat up yards after making the reception. Brandin Cooks has 456 yards following his receptions or an average of 50.7 yards per game. Markus Wheaton has 344 yards, an average of 38.2 yards per contest.
LOCKDOWN CORNERS: Part of Oregon State's defensive strategy is based on its ability to put starting cornerbacks Jordan Poyer and Rashaad Reynolds in man-to-man coverage. The duo has responded with being among the national leaders for passes defended (breakups & interceptions) with a combined 24.
CRICHTON AMONG LEADERS: Sophomore defensive end Scott Crichton is tied for eighth in the nation for sacks per game with one. He has 14 for his career, which already ranks tied for eighth in the OSU record book. With seven forced fumbles for his career, he ranks tied for second in OSU history. He was named to Mark Schlabach's ESPN.com Midseason All-America team.
NINE GAMES, FIVE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Five Beavers have earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors this season. Trevor Romaine is the most recent, earning Special Teams Player of the Week for Nov. 12 after making all three of his field goal attempts and kicking four touchbacks in six attempts at Stanford. OSU's other honorees include Cody Vaz, who earned the honor for Oct. 15 after his 332-yard effort passing in the win at BYU in his first start. Sean Mannion after a 433-yard three-touchdown effort at Arizona. Keith Kostol, in only his second career game, was the Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week for Sept. 24 after punting seven times for a 43.9 yards average and pinning UCLA inside its 20-yard-line four times in the 27-20 win at the No. 19 Bruins. He also had a boot of 61 yards. Linebacker D.J. Welch (now D.J. Alexander) earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week following the Sept. 8 win over then No. 13 Wisconsin after making seven tackles, including two-for-loss.
IT'S ALL IN A NAME: Two Beavers have changed their last names during the season. Linebacker Feti `Unga switched to Feti Taumoepeau in honor of his mother Ofa before the year began and linebacker D.J. Welch changed his name to D.J. Alexander on Oct. 15 in honor of his stepfather Eugene.
"THE WORLD'S LONGEST TRAINING CAMP" Oregon State began official preparations for the 2012 season., Mon., Aug. 6 in anticipation of a Sept. 1 contest against Nicholls State at Reser Stadium; Hurricane Isaac forced the game to be moved to Dec. 1 (providing OSU is not in the Pac-12 title game or NSU is not in the FCS playoffs) as NSU was unable to leave campus which meant the Beavers began the year Sept. 8 vs. Wisconsin. OSU practiced 35 times before its first game and 44 times with just one game; thus "the world's longest training camp" per Mike Riley. If the game vs. Nicholls State on Dec. 1 is played, the Beavers and Alabama would be the only teams in all of the FBS that play the final three games of the schedule at home.
BALANCE IS THE KEY: OSU head coach Mike Riley continues to strive for balance on offense between the rush and the pass, and it's historically when OSU has had its best seasons under the head coach. This year the Beavers are near the 50/50 mark averaging 33 rushes per game and 38 pass attempts. Last year the average was 27 and 42 respectively and thus the Beavers ranked 118th (out of 120) for rushing offense at 86.9 yards per game, and while the improvement is modest it is still improvement to 111.4 yards per outing to this point in the season.
DROPPING THE DIME: Oregon State has implemented a new wrinkle in the defense in 2012 ... the dime defense - a product of improved athleticism. With six defensive backs on the field, the Beavers have been able to better combat spread offenses with three or more receivers on the field. In addition, as Jordan Poyer showed with a sack-fumble against Wisconsin the possibilities are endless in attacking the quarterback. The depth in the defensive backfield has vastly improved with players like Steven Christian, a transfer from Hawai'i, and Brian Watkins earning playing time in the package against Wisconsin. When the Beavers upset UCLA it was Anthony Watkins, who had returned from an injury, and Sean Martin, who returned from a one game suspension, that played as the extra defensive backs.
BUSTED RANKINGS: Head coach Mike Riley's teams have made a routine of beating highly ranked teams of late. Recent victims: 2012 - at No. 19 UCLA (27-20 OSU win), vs. No. 13 Wisconsin (10-7); 2010 - at No. 9 Arizona (29-27), vs. No. 20 USC (36-7); 2009 - at No. 23 California (31-14); 2008 vs. No. 1 USC (27-21), vs. No. 24 Pittsburgh (3-0); 2007 - at No. 2 California (31-28), at No. 18 Oregon (38-31 OT); 2006 - vs. No. 3 USC (33-31), at No. 24 Hawai'i (35-32); 2005 - at No. 18 California (23-20).
H-A-N-D-S!!! Special teams coordinator Bruce Read had led his HANDS team to 3-0 on recovering onsides kicks this season, two of them game clinchers. Wisconsin actually recovered the onsides kick with 1:31 left after narrowing the gap to 10-7, but it was ruled the Badgers had illegally touched the kick prior to the ball going the required 10 yards. Linebacker Michael Doctor recovered UCLA's kick at 1:47 after the Bruins narrowed the lead to 27-20 on a field goal. The Beavers also recovered an ASU attempt. Overall in the Pac-12 on 13 attempts, Oregon is the only team to have allowed a successful onside kick. The Ducks and Beavers have had three attempted against them.
MAKING THE MOST OF HIS OPPORTUNTIES: Sophomore fullback Tyler Anderson has made the most of his opportunities; not only does he excel on special teams, but of his 15 offensive touches this season, 10 have either accounted for touchdowns or first downs.
HOW DID WE GET TO THIS POINT? Oregon State's offensive line is one of the youngest in the nation with nine true freshmen on the team. It's been a unit that has had its share of bumps and bruises, among other things, in recent seasons that has led to a lack of experienced depth. Since 2007 the Beavers have lost 11 scholarship players to career ending injuries, academics or other extenuating circumstances.
THE FUTURE IS NOW, BUT ... Oregon State's two-deep heading into the Washington State game is full of underclassmen which bodes well for future seasons. Of the 48 possible players on offense, defense and punter/kicker, 22 are either freshmen or sophomores - this does not take into account OSU's H-Back and fullback positions - which would add another three to the equation. Specifically on offense, 12 players on the depth chart in the traditional 11 positions are underclassmen.
50 YEARS SINCE: Oregon State is celebrating the 50th anniversary of quarterback Terry Baker's Heisman Trophy winning season this year. Baker was the first collegiate player to win the coveted award from west of the state of Texas. He led the Beavers, then an independent, to a 9-2 record and a 6-0 victory over Villanova in the Fourth Annual Liberty Bowl in Philadelphia. Baker was a consensus All-America selection to go along with the Maxwell Award and Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year recipient. OSU honored the '62 team by inducting the members of that club, led by then eighth-year head coach Tommy Prothro, into the OSU Sports Hall of Fame Sept. 7. End Vern Burke was also on the team and a consensus All-America after leading the nation for receptions and yards.
TEAM CAPTAINS: The 2012 team captains are quarterback Sean Mannion, defensive tackle Andrew Seumalo, wide receiver Markus Wheaton and cornerback Jordan Poyer. Mannion is the first sophomore in OSU history to be named team captain. Head coach Mike Riley also appoints a game captain.
7-GAME HOME SCHEDULE: 2012 features seven home games, if the Sept. 1 Nicholls State game is played, for the first time since the 2006 season. The Beavers also played 7-game slates in 2002 and `03 and generally that has been a positive as OSU went 17-4 at Reser Stadium during those years.
PAC-12 THIS CENTURY: USC owns the most victories in the Pac-12 Conference this century with 125 (105 with vacated wins), followed by Oregon (120), OSU (94), Cal (85), UCLA (85), Arizona State (82), Stanford (77), Washington (69), WSU (65), Arizona (65). Utah has 108 victories this century and Colorado has 67.
NEW COACH: Rod Perry has joined the OSU coaching staff as a full-time secondary coach after 22 seasons in the NFL, most recently with the Indianapolis Colts. Perry was an assistant with Beaver head coach Mike Riley in San Diego with the Chargers. His sons Rodney and Ryan are coaching interns on the team. Rod Perry replaced Keith Heyward, who is now on the Washington staff.
IS THAT DAVE MAGGARD? It is indeed. Long time Athletic Director Dave Maggard (Cal 1972-91, Miami 1991-93, Houston 2002-09) joined the OSU team as a volunteer special assistant to Director of Athletics Bob De Carolis in August. In addition to his stints as an A.D. he was the Managing Director of Sports for the Atlanta Committee for the 1996 Summer Olympics. The `96 games aren't his only connection to the Olympics; he actually was a competitor and flagbearer for the United States in the 1968 Mexico City Games in the shot put, where he finished fifth.
NUMBERS GAME: Mike Huguenin of YahooSports compiled the following numbers for a May 11, 2012 story: "Eight schools can lay claim to having had the most balanced offenses since the turn of the century. Boise State, Houston, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Texas, USC and Western Michigan have had at least five 1,000-yard rushers, 3,000-yard passers and 1,000-yard receivers apiece, starting with the 2000 season. The most balanced offense of them all? Using the Yahoo! Sports "Diversification Quotient," it's Oregon State and USC. Oregon State has had nine 1,000-yard rushers, six 3,000-yard passers and eight 1,000-yard receivers. USC has had six 1,000-yard rusher, seven 3,000-yard passers and 10 1,000-yard receivers." To access the full story -- http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ncaaf--a-by-the-numbers-look-at-offenses.html
WIN THE TURNOVER BATTLE, WIN THE GAME: Over the last 108 games, Oregon State is 41-9 when committing fewer turnovers than its opponent, 11-30 when committing more and 10-7 when even. The Beavers struggled in 2011, losing 31 turnovers (T113th in NCAA) and finished tied for 100th in the NCAA in turnover margin.
RESER RECORD: Oregon State's home record of 57-20 this century at Reser Stadium is third best in the Pac-12 Conference, trailing the home records of only Oregon (68-13) and USC (63-14).
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.
BEAVERS WITHOUT BORDERS: A host of current and former Oregon State student-athletes have participated in the Beavers Without Borders program that has taken them to Guatemala (Spring Break 2011), Macedonia (Summer 2011) and Ethiopia (summer 2012). Current Beaver football players Rashaad Reynolds, Markus Wheaton, Brian Watkins and Josh Andrews have been on one of those trips each. On those trips the group assisted a building of a house for needy families. There were matching funds, but many of these student-athletes did their own fundraising for the trips.
69-8: 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 51-4.
ONE OF THREE: Second-year athletic trainer Ariko (uh-REE-ko) Iso (E-so) is one of only three female football head trainers in the FBS - Mary Van Heiden at Central Florida and Dawn Hearn at UTEP are the other two. Iso joined the program in late spring of 2011after being the only female trainer in the NFL (Steelers).
RPI THIS: Since the 2003 season, when Mike Riley took the controls of the program for the second time, 10 of the 12 road non-conference opponents have finished the season in the Associated Press Top 25 2004 - LSU (No. 16); 2005 - Louisville (No. 20); 2006 - Boise State (No. 6) and Hawai'i (No. 24); 2007 - Cincinnati (No. 20); 2008 - Utah (No. 2) and Penn State (No. 8); 2010 - TCU (No. 2) and Boise State (No. 9); 2011 - Wisconsin (No. 10). Only Fresno State in 2003 and UNLV in 2009 failed to make the final poll. Thanks to Brooks Hatch formerly of the Corvallis Gazette-Times for this nugget.
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 30 games (87%) when a rusher gains 100 - the only four 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) and Sept. 3, 2011 vs. Sacramento State (Malcolm Agnew 223).
RULES CHANGES: The NCAA has adopted the following rules changes for the 2012 season: 1. Kickoffs from 35-yard line from the 30, mirroring a similar change by the NFL in the 2011 season and rescinding a rule change made in the 2007 season. 2. The kicking team has only a five-yard running head start on kickoffs, again mirroring the NFL changes in 2011. 3. Touchbacks move from the 20-yard line to the 25-yard line only on kickoffs and free kicks after a safety. Touchbacks on punts rolling into the end zone or fumbles into the end zone remain at the 20-yard line. 4. Players are forbidden to leap over other players when blocking punts. 5. Players who lose their helmets during a play (except when caused by fouls such as grabbing the facemask) have to leave the field for one play. 6. Offensive players in the tackle box at the snap who are not in motion are allowed to block below the waist legally without restriction. All other players are restricted from blocking below the waist with some exceptions (i.e. blocking straight-on), modifying a rule change from the 2011 season.
WE'RE NUMBER 6, NOW 5! Corvallis, home to Oregon State University, ranks sixth in the nation for best college towns for 2012 by Livability.com. The American Institute of Economic Research in early October tabbed Corvallis the fifth-best city in the U.S. to have a "great college experience in its College Destinations Index." No other Pac-12 city/town ranks in the top-10 in either.
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: RB Jordan Jenkins (marketing), OL Colin Kelly (liberal studies), DL Castro Masaniai (sociology), TE Colby Prince (exercise and sport science), DL Andrew Seumalo (finance), S Anthony Watkins (exercise and sport science), CB Brian Watkins (public health). March graduates include DE Rusty Fernando (psychology) and LB Feti Taumoepeau (ethnic studies). June graduates are DL Rudolf Fifita (sociology), CB Ryan Handford (new media), LB Rueben Robinson (psychology) and WR Markus Wheaton (public health). Summer graduates CB Jordan Poyer (elementary education) and RB Clayton York (exercise and sport science).
WOODCHIPS: Mike Riley treated the entire traveling party for the UCLA, Arizona and BYU games to In-N-Out Burgers immediately following each victory - buses made detours from stadium to airports to the most centrally located restaurant ... OSU has won six straight games in Tucson ... Oregon State is celebrating the 60th birthday of its mascot - Benny Beaver ... the team has won more games this season than it did all of last year (3-9) ... the last time OSU won its first four conference games of the season was 1968, the first year of the Pac-8 Conference ... Mike Riley coached two current NFL head coaches; Jim Harbaugh (Chargers) and Jason Garrett (San Antonio Riders) ... the team played a school record three consecutive night games (Utah, UW, ASU).