No. 15 Beavers Host Nicholls State to Close Regular Season
Nov. 27, 2012
THIS WEEK: The 116th regular season of Oregon State (8-3, 6-3 Pac-12) football concludes Sat., Dec. 1 when the Southland Conference’s Nicholls State Colonels (1-9, 0-7 Southland) visit Reser Stadium. The game will air on the Pac-12 Networks beginning at 11:30 a.m. PST. The game is a reschedule of what was to be the season opener for both teams Sept. 1; however Hurricane Isaac forced several universities to close, including Nicholls State, forcing the change of date. The Beavers enter the contest No. 15 in the BCS, No. 16 in the AP and No. 17 in the USA Today polls.
NSU/OSU CONNECTIONS: Not surprisingly, there are not many known connections between the Thibodaux campus and OSU, except one major one – Nicholls State head coach Charlie Stubbs was an assistant coach (offensive coordinator/QBs during the latter part of his OSU coaching stint) at Oregon State during Dave Kragthorpe’s “Air Express” era of 1985-90. Among the many standout Beaver players he coached was quarterback Erik Wilhelm, who held the OSU and the then Pac-10 record for passing yards for many years. This is the first meeting in the series. Beaver offensive lineman Grant Bays’ father, Kirk, was a standout baseball player at Nicholls State and was a member of the Colonels’ Division II College World Series runner-up team in 1970 – that team is in NSU’s Hall of Fame.
STRANGE ENDING: Saturday marks the first time the Beavers have concluded a regular season with a non-conference game since a trip to Hawai’i to finish the 2006 schedule. The Civil War has traditionally ended the regular season every year since 1949, except for that ’06 season and games at USC in 2003, at Hawai’i in 1989 and 1976, and at Houston in 1961.
UNDEFEATED NON-CONFERENCE? OSU aims for its first undefeated non-conference regular season record since 2002 when the Beavers defeated Eastern Kentucky, Temple, UNLV and Fresno State. Part of the reason for OSU’s strong ranking in the strength of schedule computers is victories earlier this season at home vs. non-Pac-12 foes Wisconsin and at BYU.
THE RANKINGS: The Beavers appear in the Associated Press top-25 rankings for the 10th 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 the 11th consecutive week. – a school record for one season.
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.
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 45,247 with one game remaining, which would mark the second-largest average for a season. Four of the last five home games have been sellouts.
SERIES: The two schools have never met in football. OSU has also never played a team from the current Southland Conference of the Football Championship Series (FBS). Nicholls State’s next game following Saturday is Aug. 31, 2013 at Oregon.
SENIOR DAY: The following seniors are playing their last game at Reser Stadium. The seniors include safety Steven Christian (1-yr letterman transfer from Hawai’i prior to the season), defensive end Rusty Fernando (2-yr letterman transfer via Glendale CC/Apache Junction, AZ); defensive end Rudolf Fifita ( 2-yr letterman transfer via Mt. San Antonio CC/Euless, TX); cornerback Ryan Handford (1-yr letterman, New Brunswick, NJ); running back Jordan Jenkins (4-yr letterman, Salem, OR); offensive tackle Colin Kelly (4-yr letterman, Kelso, WA); defensive tackle Castro Masaniai (4-yr letterman, Waipahu, HI); cornerback Jordan Poyer (4-yr letterman, Astoria, OR); tight end Colby Prince (4-yr letterman, Albany, OR); linebacker Reuben Robinson (4-yr letterman, Chandler, AZ); defensive tackle Andrew Seumalo (4-yr letterman, Corvallis, OR); linebacker Feti Taumoepeau (4-yr letterman, Rochester, CA); safety Anthony Watkins (4-yr letterman, Burien, WA); cornerback Brian Watkins (3-yr letterman, Burien, WA); wide receiver Markus Wheaton (4-yr letterman, Chandler, AZ); fullback Clayton York (4-yr letterman, Redmond, OR).
PLUS-5: Oregon State has won five more games than all of last season (3-9), which is the third-best improvement of any team in the nation heading into the week. Middle Tennessee (2-9 last yr/8-3 this yr) and Ohio State (6-7/12-0) are plus-6 for the season through games of Nov. 24.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: Oregon State enters Saturday with the third-most difficult schedule in the nation and most challenging in the Pac-12 Conference as of Nov. 26 per the Sagarin Rankings in USA Today. The league as a whole ranks highly – 3. OSU; 4. Cal; 5. Stanford; 6. USC; 8. Arizona; 15. Colorado; 16. Washington; 17. Washington State; 26. Utah; 31. Oregon; 33. UCLA; 35. Arizona State. Kansas ranks as the most difficult with Missouri second.
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 11 games of this season the Beavers’ defense has amassed 71 tackles-for-loss (TFL) for a total of 278 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 80) 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.
PAC-12 HONORS: Four Beavers earned Pac-12 First Team honors in a vote by the league coaches. The First Team honorees include Jordan Poyer (CB), Markus Wheaton (WR), Scott Crichton (DE) and Jordan Jenkins (special teams). OSU’s Honorable Mention selections include Rashaad Reynolds (CB), Andrew Seumalo (DT), Isaac Seumalo (C), Grant Enger (RG), Brandin Cooks (WR) and Trevor Romaine (PK).
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.
29: Oregon State’s scoring average for the season, bolstered by a 62-point output (second-highest vs. Pac-12 foe ever) vs. California. That scoring average would rank sixth for a single season in the OSU record book – 33.3 (2000 & ’03), 31.8 (’02), 31.5 (’09) and 30.5 (’08).
THAT WOULD BE A RECORD: Oregon State has accounted for 4,630 yards in total offense to this point in the season; that would be a school record for an 11-game season. The school mark for a 12-game season is 5,212 in which the Beavers would need 583 yards Saturday to eclipse that standard. The 13-game record is 6,019 yards and likely not reachable for this year’s team.
INFREQUENT INFRACTIONS: When the Beavers took the field Nov. 10 at Stanford they were 10th in the Pac-12 for yards penalized per game at 74.8 which included a 92.3 average through the first four games and a season-high 110 yards against Washington State. The last three games OSU has been flagged 10 times (accepted) for just 91 yards – in that same span its opponents have been penalized 32 times for 312 yards. The Beavers’ season average has dipped to 62.6 yards per game, sixth in the league.
SCORING DEFENSE: Oregon State is second in the Pac-12 for scoring defense allowing 21.3 points. That average would be the second-lowest 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 25 times through the first 11 games; a new school record. Of those 25 drives, 10 have been of 80-plus yards. All of last season, the Beavers achieved scoring drives of 74-plus 13 times.
6: The number of fumbles the Beavers have lost this season (17 total fumbles). That ranks as the lowest in the Pac-12 and tied for 14th in the nation.
THIRD AND LONG: OSU enters Saturday’s game first in the Pac-12 and is seventh in the nation for third-down percentage defense, allowing 29 percent (45-154). In the second and third quarters combined, OSU’s opponents’ have converted just 17 of 75 (23%) third downs. Last season the Beavers ranked 104th for third down defense, allowing 47.4 percent. The Beaver defense is forcing an average of four three-and-outs per game.
RED ZONE SUCCESS: The Beavers enter Saturday second in the Pac-12 for red zone percentage at 88.4 percent (38-43). 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 17 interceptions for the season (11 last season), tied for sixth in the country. CB Jordan Poyer, one of 15 finalists for the Jim Thorpe and Bednarik Awards, has six of those 17 to rank tied for fourth in the NCAA. Poyer, a 2012 Pac-12 First Team selection, now ranks tied for sixth for career interceptions at OSU with 12. 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.).
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 28.
WHEATON STREAK: Senior wide receiver Markus Wheaton has quietly put together a 34-game streak of receptions; the longest in the Pac-12. Wheaton is third on OSU’s career list for receiving yards with 2,834, fourth for career receptions with 212 and tied for sixth for career touchdowns receiving with 15. He is second in the Pac-12 this year for receptions with 76 and became the first Beaver receiver to earn a spot on the league’s First Team since James Rodgers in 2009. For more on Wheaton’s career stats please turn to page 18 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 ninth in the nation with 101.2 yards receiving per contest while Wheaton is 13th at 98.6 – only West Virginia can match the Beavers with two players in the top 13. Cooks with 1,113 yards and Wheaton with 1,084 are the first two Beavers to reach 1,000 yards in the same season 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 474 yards following his receptions or an average of nearly 43.1 yards per game. Markus Wheaton has 401 yards, an average of 36.5 yards per contest.
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.
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) and offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf has been in his role since 2004 (was a G.A. for TE in 1997-98). Banker was also with Mike Riley for the 1999-2001 seasons with the Chargers (Def. Coord.) and in 1996 at USC. Langsdorf was with the Saints with Riley for the 2002 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.
GENEALOGY: We don’t need Ancestry.com to help us with the recent family tree of several Beavers who happen to be the sons of former NFL standouts.
ONE BIG FAMILY: Oregon State prides itself on having a family atmosphere, in fact one website two years straight named OSU as the “most family friendly” program. This season there are numerous biological connections.
COLORS OF THE GAME: Fans are encouraged to wear the colors of the team jerseys for all seven home games: Orange for Nicholls State, Wisconsin, WSU, Arizona State and Oregon; black for Utah and California.
BATTERY: The Beavers feature one of the youngest center/quarterback combinations in the country with true freshman Isaac Seumalo and sophomore quarterback Sean Mannion or inexperienced junior Cody Vaz. Seumalo started the season opener making him the first true freshman center to start at OSU since future two-time second team Pac-10 selection Roger Levasa snapped the ball in a starting role Sept. 30, 1978 vs. Washington – Hawai’i is the only other team in the FBS that started a true freshman for the season opener while SMU has since started a first-year player. Levasa started 37 games during his career and played professionally in the USFL for the three years with the Oakland Invaders and Portland Breakers. Seumalo is the third true freshman to start on the offensive line in the Riley era (1997-98, 2003-present) joining current teammate Michael Philipp in 2009 and Keith DiDomenico in 1997.
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 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 (121), OSU (95), Cal (85), UCLA (86), Arizona State (83), Stanford (79), Washington (70), Arizona (66), WSU (66). Utah has 109 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 110 games, Oregon State is 42-9 when committing fewer turnovers than its opponent, 11-31 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 58-21 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.
70-8: 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 52-4.
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).