Trip to Death Valley Opens the Season

Aug. 30, 2004

Corvallis, Ore. -

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THEME: The 108th season of Oregon State University football opens Sat., Sept. 4 at the defending BCS champion Louisiana State Tigers. Kickoff is set for approximately 3:07 p.m. PDT (5:07 p.m. CDT).CROWD CONTROL:Saturday's game will likely prove to be the fourth-largest crowd the Oregon State football program has ever played in front of. A crowd of 104,741 witnessed OSU play at Michigan Stadium in 1986, 100,423 in the 1965 Rose Bowl against Michigan and 100,000 in the 1957 Rose Bowl vs. Iowa.THE SERIES: This is the fourth meeting between the two programs with the three previous games played at Tiger Stadium. The last time the two programs met was Sept. 18, 1982 with LSU posting a 45-7 victory. The Tigers also have 27-24 (Sept. 19, `81) and 28-11 (Sept. 18, `76) wins.VS. THE SEC: This will be the 12th meeting for Oregon State vs. a current Southeastern Conference foe -- OSU is winless in the previous 11 meetings, none of which have been played in Corvallis. OSU is 0-3 vs. LSU, 0-3 vs. Georgia, 0-2 vs. Kentucky, 0-1-1 vs. Tennessee and 0-1 vs. Auburn.IN HONOR OF JUSTIN AND KYLEE: Oregon State will sport a 'J-Will' sticker this season on its helmets in honor of the late Justin Williams who died in an automobile accident Fri., July 23 near Portland, Ore. Williams, from Los Banos, Calif., was to be a redshirt-freshman cornerback on the team. OSU training staff members have the initials 'KVB' on their shirts in honor of the late Kylee Virginia Baker. Baker was a student trainer who died in an automobile accident Aug. 23.HEALTH STATUS: As of August 30, Oregon State does not have any significant injuries to starters. Reserve defensive lineman Joe Rudulph is questionable with a knee injury and reserve safety/special teams player Dallas Buck is out due to an illness.SEASON OPENERS: Oregon State has won eight of its last 11 season openers, but none of the games have been against the caliber of an opponent it faces in Baton Rouge. The victories have been against Wyoming, Idaho, North Texas, Nevada (twice), Eastern Washington, Eastern Kentucky and Sacramento State.BACK TO THE BAYOU: Beaver starting quarterback Derek Anderson participated in the Payton Manning Passing Academy July 8-11 on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond. One other Pac-10 quarterback attended the camp -- Stanford redshirt freshman T.C. Ostrander.HOMEWARD BOUND: Beaver linebackers coach Charlie Camp returns to his home state of Louisiana. Camp, who recruits in the state, is a 1991 graduate of Archbishop Shaw in Marrero. He was a two-time all-state linebacker and went on to be a member of the University of Arizona's 'Desert Swarm' defense.UNDEFEATED AT TIGER STADIUM: Oregon State head coach Mike Riley is 2-0 at Tiger Stadium, all as a player. The former Alabama defensive back helped No. 4 Alabama to a 14-7 win over No. 18 LSU Nov. 6, 1971 and No. 2 Bama to a 21-7 win over the No. 7 Tigers Nov. 22, 1973. The `73 victory ended LSU's 9-game winning streak.MORE OF A SEC CONNECTION: Mike Riley's uncle is Hayden Riley. Hayden was the head basketball coach at the University of Alabama from 1961-68, the school's baseball coach from 1971-79 and an assistant football coach from 1958-69.A 'WHALE' OF A TIME:egon State first-year radio color analyst Jim Wilson, nicknamed 'The Whale' played for the Beavers in the 1981 game at LSU. Wilson was the starting offensive guard in the team's 27-24 setback on Sept. 19. Tiger running back Jesse Myles scored on a two-yard run with 55 seconds remaining to cap a 10-play 80-yard drive. Oregon State scored on the previous possession to take the lead as quarterback Ed Singler connected with Tim Sim on an 18-yard pass. Singler threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns to lead OSU's offensive attack.NUMBER CHANGE: Reserve defensive tackle Naymon Frank has switched to number 91 from 55.TOUGH FOE: Saturday's game will be the first non-conference regular season game for Oregon State against a BCS opponent since a Sept. 12, 1998 game at home against Baylor.AS FAR AS RANKINGS GO: This is the first time Oregon State has opened the season vs. a nationally ranked opponent since Sept. 12, 1987 at No. 20 Georgia (loss 41-4).VS. NATIONALLY RANKED: Oregon State enters the season opener looking to snap an overall four-game losing streak against nationally ranked opponents. Oregon State hasn't beaten a team ranked No. 3 or higher since its legendary 3-0 victory over the No. 1 ranked and the O.J. Simpson led USC Trojans Nov. 11, 1967 in Corvallis.NOT BY MUCH: Oregon State just missed opening the season among the nation's top 25 for the first time since 2001. The Beavers received 101 votes in the inaugural ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, the second-highest among the 'others receiving votes' programs. The Beavers were the eighth-highest team in the other receiving votes category in the Associated Press Poll.THE ONE AND ONLY: Oregon State is the only program in the nation to play the two defending 2003 national champions. The Beavers will travel to defending Bowl Championship Series title winners LSU Sat., Sept. 4. USC, the `03 Associated Press champion, visits Reser Stadium Sat., Nov. 6.THREE OUT OF FOUR....: Oregon State plays three of the four programs that lost just one game last season -- LSU, USC and Boise State. Ohio also had one setback in 2003.DIFFICULT SCHEDULE: Many have selected Oregon State's 2004 schedule as the toughest in the nation. The first ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll has USC No.1, LSU No. 3, California No. 15 and Oregon No. 25. OSU was in the 'also receiving votes' category with Boise State, WSU, Arizona, Arizona State, Washington and New Mexico. Collegefootballnews.com, the Sporting News and Fox Sports among others lists OSU with the most difficult slate. The combined record of the Beavers' three non-conference opponents in 2003 was 34-7 (.829) -- the highest percentage in the nation in a study conducted by Chris Burkhalter of the University of Houston:1. .829 Oregon St. (34-7); 2. .789 Iowa St. (30-8); 3. .769 Cincinnati (30-9); 4. .755 Arkansas St. (40-13); 5. .730 Georgia Tech (27-10)MORE SCHEDULE NOTES: Seven of Oregon State's 11 opponents in 2004 played in a bowl game in 2003 -- LSU, Boise State, New Mexico, California, Washington State, USC and Oregon. An eighth opponent, Washington, was eligible but was not invited.THE NET EFFECT: Oregon State will net approximately $800,000 from its trip to LSU, including its share of television money. OSU would have netted approximately $400,000 by opening the season at home against Temple -- the original Sept. 4 opponent.NO QB CONTROVERSY HERE: Oregon State has had the luxury of having just two quarterbacks start over the last 64 games -- Jonathan Smith (current asst. coach at Idaho) and Derek Anderson. During that 64-game span the program has participated in the Fiesta, O'ahu, Insight and Las Vegas Bowls.DEFENSIVE DATA: Since the start of the 1999 season, Oregon State's defense has allowed 134 touchdowns, tied (Va. Tech) for 14th in the nation. Southern Mississippi leads the list with 94 allowed. OSU has the best ranking in the Pac-10.ON THE TUBE: As of Aug. 11, OSU is scheduled to make three national television appearances. ESPN will televise the Sept. 4 game at LSU and the Sept. 10 game at Boise State. FSN will broadcast the Nov. 20 Civil War. FSN NW will air the Sept. 25 contest at Arizona State. FSN NW will not be airing replays of all games this season, except for contests that are broadcast live on the cable network on Saturday. The regional carrier will air replays of the Oct. 16 game at Washington and Oct. 23 vs. Washington State, regardless of live television the prior Saturday.TEAM CAPTAINS: Seniors Derek Anderson (QB), Jonathan Pollard (LB) and Bill Swancutt (DE) will serve as the team captains this season.SQUAD LIMITATIONS: Oregon State is limited to 105 student-athletes on its roster until after the first game -- per NCAA rule 17.11.2.1.1. Teams can travel a total of 64 student-athletes to conference games with no limitations in traditional rivalry contests (OSU vs. UO, UW vs. WSU, UA vs. ASU, etc.). There are no limitations for home teams or when traveling to a non-conference game -- at press time the team expects to take 75 to LSU.NEW THREADS: For the first time in five years Oregon State has new uniforms. The Nike designed uniforms were unveiled to the public Aug. 23. The Beavers will wear white-on-white on the road and black-on-black at home.RAISING RESER: Oregon State is in the midst of refurbishing its home venue, Reser Stadium. Construction is currently ongoing to expand the stadium from its current capacity of 35,362 to approximately 43,000. The $93 million project is scheduled to be completed by the start of the 2005 season. Temporary bleachers have been built for the 2004 home schedule.FOR STARTERS: Four Beavers enter the year with starting streaks of 26 games -- quarterback Derek Anderson, defensive end Bill Swancutt, center Matt Brock and tackle Doug Ninehuis. Safety Mitch Meeuwsen has the overall team high with 28. Here is look at the entire roster in terms of games started:

Player			GamesMitch Meeuwsen, S	28 (13 straight)Derek Anderson, QB	26 (straight)Matt Brock, C		26 (straight)Doug Ninehuis, RT	26 (straight)Bill Swancutt, DE		26 (straight)Aric Williams, CB	14 (13 straight)Ben Siegert, DT		13 (straight)Jonathan Pollard, LB	12 (1 straight)Mike Hass, WR		12 (11 straight)Brandon Browner, CB	11 (straight)Trent Bray, LB		10 (straight)Cole Clasen, WR		6George Gillett, WR	6Chaz Scott, LB		1
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