Football Opens Pac-10 Home Slate with No. 10 California
Sept. 27, 2004
Corvallis, Ore. - THEME: Oregon State opens its Pac-10 Conference home season hosting the No. 10 California Golden Bears Sat., Oct. 2 at 1:11 p.m. The game will be televised live nationally by FSN with Barry Tompkins and Petros Papadakis calling the action. This is Cal's first game since Sept. 11 vs. New Mexico State -- the Sept. 16 game at Southern Mississippi was postponed due to Hurricane Ivan.
SELLOUT STREAK CONTINUES: Saturday's game will mark the 25th consecutive sellout for Oregon State at Reser Stadium.
RUGGED SEPTEMBER: Oregon State's long month of September has finally concluded with the Beavers posting a 1-3 record. The team played what amounted to three road night games -- all against teams that are now ranked in the top 25 in both polls. The Beavers now play three of their next five games at home, including two with top 10 clubs. The team also has a bye Oct. 9. The combined record of OSU's four opponents in September is 13-3.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: Oregon State is the only program to have played three opponents who currently reside in the top 25 poll (LSU, Boise State, Arizona State). Counting this Saturday's game, OSU has played four current top 25 teams in its first five games. The latest Jeff Sagarin computer rankings list OSU second in terms of schedule strength, trailing only BYU.
THE SERIES: To say this is a series of streaks would be an understatement. Oregon State has won five straight after Cal won six straight, after OSU won five straight after Cal won six straight. What? Here is a closer look (the two programs haven't met every season:
1999-current: OSU 5-01991-1998 Cal 6-01984-1989 OSU 5-01977-1983 Cal 6-01955-1959 OSU 5-01948-1954 Cal 6-01939-1946 OSU 5-01905-1923 Cal 5-0
Note--from 1960 to 1976 Cal won five of nine meetings.Note- Cal won the 1996 game in triple OT (48-42) the first OT game in OSU history.
MORE ON THE SERIES: Oregon State enters Saturday's game looking for its sixth consecutive victory over the Bears and its fourth in a row at Reser Stadium -- OSU is the only program to beat Cal in each of the last two seasons. The current streak started in one of the most memorable games in the program's history when OSU won 17-7 Nov. 6, 1999 in Corvallis -- that victory clinched OSU's first regular season winning mark since 1970. The Beavers have done most of their damage on offense on the ground in recent seasons in this series. A closer look:
Oct. 4, 2003 at Berkeley Steven Jackson 227 yds, 2 tdsOct. 26, 2002 at Corvallis Steven Jackson 239 yds, 3 tdsOct. 27, 2001 at Corvallis Ken Simonton, 110 yds, 0 tdsNov. 4, 2000 at Berkeley Ken Simonton, 125 yds, 3 tdsNov. 6, 1999 at Corvallis Ken Simonton, 134 yds, 0 tds
LAST YEAR IN BERKELEY: Former Beaver back Steven Jackson rushed for 227 yards and two touchdowns as OSU won at Memorial Stadium 35-21. Quarterback Derek Anderson added two touchdown passes. The Beaver offense accounted for 493 yards while limiting Cal to 237.
ESTABLISHING THE RUN: Usually a big part of the game plan, but maybe even more Saturday as both teams possess solid pass defenses. Cal is first in the Pac-10 and second overall in the NCAA allowing 132 yards per game while OSU is second in the conference and 17th nationally at 155 yards.
HEALTH STATUS: As of Sept. 27, Oregon State does not have any significant injuries to starters. Reserve Harvey Whiten, originally on the two-deep at strong safety, is out for the season after having surgery on his left hamstring.
TURNOVER TROUBLE: Oregon State enters Saturday's game 10th in the Pac-10 and 110th nationally for turnover margin at minus-2.00. The Beavers have a total of 14 turnovers overall, seven each via fumbles and interceptions.
55-YARD LINE AND 12 GUYS, AYE: Oregon State mentor Mike Riley coached then quarterback and current California head coach Jeff Tedford during the 1988 Canadian Football League season in Winnipeg. The Bombers won the Grey Cup title that season and Riley was named the Coach of the Year.
MORE KNOWN CONNECTIONS: Oregon State linebackers coach Charlie Camp played at Arizona in 1995 when Cal special teams/tight ends coach Pete Alamar was on the staff. Camp was the linebackers coach at San Diego State in 2000 and `01 when Cal defensive line coach Ken Delgado was the Aztecs' defensive coordinator. Cal offensive line coach Jim Michalczik was Oregon State's offensive line/special teams coach from 1999-2001.
PASSING LEADERS: Oregon State is first in the Pac-10 and fifth nationally for passing yards per game at 325.0. Quarterback Derek Anderson has accounted for all the passing yards. Anderson is on pace to accumulate 3,575 yards this season, the second-highest in OSU history (Anderson, 4,058 in `03). California's Aaron Rodgers is the conference leader for passing efficiency and is fourth for yards per game (237.0)
RARE RUSHING WOES: Oregon State has been among the conference and national leaders for rushing offense over the past few seasons, but 2004 has been a different story. The Beavers are averaging 61.8 yards per game on the ground -- 10th in the Pac-10 and 115th nationally (117 teams).
THIRD AND LONG: Oregon State hopes to force Cal into those kinds of situations as the Beavers share (ASU) the conference lead by allowing a meager 25 percent conversion rate for third down attempts. This could be an interesting stat Saturday as Cal leads the league for third down conversions at 66.7 percent. OSU's opponents have converted just 2 of 28 third down opportunities when facing 3rd & 9 or longer.
PENALTY PROBLEMS: Oregon State continues to have issues with penalties and is ninth in the league averaging 83.8 yards per game. Maybe the most telling statistic is OSU allowing 14 first downs via the penalty.
ANOTHER RECORD IN THE BOOKS: Beaver junior receiver Mike Hass continues to set records in 2004. Hass, a former walkon, caught a school record 14 passes in last Saturday's game at Arizona State. Hass, who set a conference record with 293 yards at Boise State earlier this season, is second in the nation for receptions per game (9) and yards per game (143.8).
MENACING SAFETY: Sophomore safety Sabby Piscitelli is off to an outstanding start, after playing mainly on special teams in 2003. The Boca Raton, Fla., native leads the conference for pass breakups with nine, and is tied with Matt Grootegoed of USC and Jamar Williams of Arizona State for the league lead for interceptions with three. Piscitelli's teammate, senior cornerback Aric Williams is tied for second in the Pac-10 for breakups with five.
HOME TURF: Quarterback Derek Anderson has been tough on opponents at Reser Stadium in recent games. Over the last three contests (New Mex., Stanford, Arizona) he has completed 71 of 130 (.546) attempts for 965 yards, 10 touchdowns and one interception.
THANKS, BUT NO THANKS: Junior linebacker Trent Bray continues to lead the Pac-10 for solo tackles with 30. He ranks second for overall stops with 42, trailing only UCLA linebacker Spencer Havner (46).
FAST STARTS: Oregon State has scored first in every game this season and has a 27-7 advantage in the first quarter. Arizona State scored late in the opening period ruining a scoreless streak for the Beavers. OSU nearly had its first shutout for an entire game since 1983 vs. New Mexico Sept. 18, allowing only a touchdown via a fumble return.
BALANCING ACT: Oregon State head coach Mike Riley hopes to see more balance in the offense in the coming weeks. The Beavers have 192 pass attempts through four games (48 per game avg.) to 109 rush attempts (27). The 83-play difference is by far the highest in the conference. UCLA has 60 more rushing attempts than passing attempts. OSU has scored 10 of its 12 touchdowns via the air.
LINEBACKER U -- WEST COAST: Penn State has long been considered one of the best programs for outstanding linebackers and future NFL stars. Oregon State can argue it's the version of 'Linebacker U' on the West Coast. James Allen, a 3rd Round selection of the New Orleans Saints after the 2002 season is a starter; Nick Barnett, a 1st Round selection of the Green Bay Packers after the `03 season was the club's Defensive Rookie of the Year last year; and Richard Seigler was a 4th Round pick of the San Francisco 49ers following last season and is in the rotation.
THE ONE AND ONLY: Oregon State is the only program in the nation to play the two defending 2003 national champions. The Beavers traveled to defending Bowl Championship Series title winners LSU 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. Miami (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 had 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.
NO QB CONTROVERSY HERE: Oregon State has had the luxury of having just two quarterbacks start over the last 68 games -- Jonathan Smith (current asst. coach at Idaho) and Derek Anderson. During that 68-game span the program has participated in the Fiesta, O'ahu, Insight and Las Vegas Bowls.
ON THE TUBE As of Sept. 20, OSU is scheduled to make four national television appearances. ESPN televised the Sept. 4 game at LSU and the Sept. 10 game at Boise State. FSN will broadcast the Oct. 2 game vs. Cal and 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.
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 wear white-on-white on the road and black-on-black at home. The Beavers wore their accustomed white jerseys at LSU forcing the Tigers out of their traditional home color and into their purple jerseys.
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.