Final Road Game of the Season takes the Beavers to Stanford
Nov. 8, 2004
Corvallis, Ore. -
THEME: The winner of Saturday's game at Stanford remains in the hunt for a bowl game, the loser is out of contention. Oregon State looks to win its third consecutive road game (Ariz., UW) while Stanford hopes to end a three-game losing skid (UO, UCLA, ASU). The Beavers haven't won three Pac-10 road games in a row in one season since 2000, and prior to that not since 1969.
ANDERSON OWNS MORE RECORDS: Beaver senior quarterback Derek Anderson has become Oregon State's all-time leader for passing yardage (10,026), total offense (9,691) and touchdown passes (68). Anderson is also one of five quarterbacks in Pac-10 history to throw for at least 10,000 yards.
FIRST QUARTER FORCE: Oregon State has outscored its last four opponents in the first quarter 36-3. The Beavers have averaged 103 yards in total offense in those four games in the first quarter, compared to 38 for their opponents.
THIRD DOWN ISSUES: Oregon State has converted just 4 of 26 (.154) third down conversions over the last two games, including a 0-for-13 outing vs. No. 1 USC last Saturday. OSU has had 153 third down conversion opportunities, the highest in the league. The good news is the other side of the ball where OSU is first in the conference for third down percentage defense allowing its opponents a 26.5 percentage.
FAVORITE TARGETS: Beaver quarterbacks have looked for their tight ends often this season; in fact Oregon State leads the Pac-10 for receptions by the position with 57. Sophomore Joe Newton is second on the team with 39 (missed 1 game), reserves Dan Haines has 10 and Pat Loney has eight. Stanford is second for receptions by tight ends with 53.
AFTER THREE: Both of Saturday's teams probably wish they could stop after three quarters -- Oregon State has been outscored 66-43 in the fourth while Stanford is on the downside of 65-47.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: Oregon State enters the week with the second most difficult schedule in the nation, according to Jeff Sagarin of USA Today. The Beavers have played California (#5), Boise State (#14), LSU (#17) and Arizona State (#20). The Pac-10 is well represented in the schedule rankings, Arizona State is first, USC fifth and California sixth.
THE SERIES: Stanford has a 46-21-3 lead in the series that dates back to 1919. Oregon State has won the last three, four of the last five and five of the last seven. OSU defeated the Cardinal 43-3 last season on 'Senior Day' at Reser Stadium. The 40-point margin was the biggest for OSU in the series and the most overall in the series since Stanford's 45-5 win in 1982. Derek Anderson threw four touchdown passes, three in the first half, to lead the OSU attack last season. Mike Hass was on the receiving end of 53 and 52 yard scoring strikes. Tight end Tim Euhus had two touchdown receptions and former running back Steven Jackson rushed for one and had 148 yards overall. OSU had a 29-8 advantage in first downs, and a 663-133 advantage in total yards. The 663 total yards ranks third in school history. In the last three games OSU has an advantage of 551-247 in average yards per game.
HEALTH STATUS: As of Nov. 8, senior linebacker and co-team captain Jonathan Pollard is the only starter questionable this week. Pollard, who is second for the team for tackles for loss with eight, sprained his left ankle in the first half of the Oct. 30 game at Arizona and missed last week's game. His status will be determined throughout the week. Backup cornerback sophomore Kellen Marshall is out for the season after knee surgery in October. Reserve Harvey Whiten, originally on the two-deep at strong safety, is out for the season after having surgery on his left hamstring in September.
RECORD PASSING PACE: Oregon State is on pace to pass for 3,234 yards this season, which would be the most ever for the program in an 11-game schedule. The current high is 3,152 in 1987. The school record is 4,265 yards in 2003 (13 games).
FIRST STRIKE OFFENSE: Oregon State has scored on its first possession of the game in four of the last six games and in six of nine overall. The Beavers failed to convert on its first drive at Arizona, but did on their second. Arizona, USC and New Mexico are the only teams to not allow OSU to score on its opening drive.
TURNOVER REVERSAL: Oregon State ranked last in the Pac-10 and 103rd in the nation for turnover margin at minus-1.40 entering the Oct. 16 game at Washington. The Beavers have forced 17 turnovers over the last four games, while committing seven, and have moved up to fourth in the league and 43rd overall with a 0.33 margin.
LOOKING FORWARD: Former Washington head coach Rick Neuheisel claimed Washington as the 'Northwest Champions' last year by virtue of victories over WSU, UO and OSU. Oregon State has an opportunity to make that claim this year if it can beat Oregon at home Nov. 20. The OSU program hasn't beaten all of its Northwest rivals in the same year since 1974.
QUARTERBACK PRESSURE: Oregon State has 18 quarterback sacks for the season, 13 of those in the last five games. The school's career quarterback sacks record holder Bill Swancutt has 6.5 of the 13 and has a school record 32 for his career.
THANKS, BUT NO THANKS: Junior linebacker Trent Bray is second in the Pac-10 for solo tackles with 55 (Spencer Havner, UCLA, (73). He ranks second for overall stops with 99, trailing Havner (110). Bray has accounted for double figures for tackles in six of the nine games this season. He is on pace to finish with 121 tackles for the season, tied for eighth at OSU.
MEEUWSEN IN THE RECORD BOOK: Senior safety Mitch Meeuwsen is the new OSU career record holder for interceptions with 19. The Forest Grove High School graduate has had five picks over the last four games. Thirteen of his 19 have come in Pac-10 Conference games. Meeuwsen is currently tied for the active interceptions lead in the NCAA with Wisconsin's Jim Leonhard.
AIR DEFENSE: Senior cornerback Aric Williams is the Pac-10 leader for passes defended with 13 (9 brup, 4 int). Sophomore strong safety Sabby Piscitelli (7 brup, 4 int) and senior free safety Mitch Meeuwsen (6 brup, 5 int) are tied for fourth. Meeuwsen leads the league for interceptions with five. Meeuwsen is tied for second in the NCAA for total interceptions this season while Williams and Piscitelli are tied for sixth.
OSU-STANFORD CONNECTIONS: Oregon State defensive coordinator Mark Banker came to OSU for his second tenure after spending the 2002 season as the co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Stanford. Linebackers coach Charlie Camp and Cardinal running backs coach Jay Boulware were on the Arizona staff in 2002; Tight ends coach LaCharls McDaniel and Stanford receivers coach Ken Margerum were at California in 2001; Running backs coach Lee Hull and Stanford defensive ends/special teams coach Tom Quinn were at Holy Cross in 1996-98; Cardinal Assistant Head coach/defensive tackles coach Dave Tipton was the defensive line coach at OSU in 1988.
TRUE FRESHMEN EARNING TIME: Six true-freshmen have participated in games this season. Sammie Stroughter has earned the job as punt and kick returner, Lamar Herron has been a factor as a reserve defensive back and special teams member, and Charles Burnley, Daniel Drayton, Alan Darlin, and Matt Sieverson have participated mainly on special teams.
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 78.3 yards per game on the ground -- 10th in the Pac-10 and 116th in the nation.
PENALTY PROBLEMS: Oregon State continues to have issues with penalties and is ninth in the league averaging 76.1 yards per game. Maybe the most telling statistic is OSU's opponents have 29 first downs via penalty, compared to just 17 for the Beavers. While the 76.1 figure is high, it's down from 110.2 yards in 2003 and 100.2 in `02.
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, visited Reser Stadium Nov. 6.
THREE OUT OF FOUR....: Oregon State has played 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 73 games -- Jonathan Smith (current asst. coach at Idaho) and Derek Anderson. During that 73-game span the program has participated in the Fiesta, O'ahu, Insight and Las Vegas Bowls.
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. OSU wore its 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.