No. 16 Beavers Set to Face No. 15 BYU in MAACO Bowl Las Vegas

Dec. 15, 2009

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THIS GAME: For the ninth time in 11 years the Oregon State football team (8-4, 6-3 in Pac-10) will play in a bowl game, traveling this season to the 18th annual MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. The Beavers opponent will be the BYU Cougars (10-2, 7-1 MWC). The game is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tue., Dec. 22 from Sam Boyd Stadium and will be televised by ESPN.

TOP 25 TEAMS IN BOWL GAMES: Oregon State enters the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas No. 16 in the latest Associated Press Poll, No. 20 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 18 in the BCS Poll. BYU is No. 15 in the AP, and No. 14 in the USA Today and BCS. This is the first time in the bowl's history a pair of ranked teams have faced off. The game is also one of four non-BCS bowl games to feature a contest between AP ranked teams - the others are No. 14 Miami vs. No. 24 Wisconsin in the Champs Sports Bowl; No. 22 Arizona vs. No. 20 Nebraska in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl; and No. 11 Penn State vs. No. 13 LSU in the Capital One Bowl. This year's MAACO Bowl Las Vegas will be only the third time since 1999 the Beavers will face an opponent that is ranked in the AP Poll in a bowl - OSU beat No. 19 Pitt in last year's Sun Bowl (3-0) and No. 10 Notre Dame in the 2001 Fiesta Bowl (41-9).

LAS VEGAS BOWL HISTORY: This will be the second appearance for the Beavers in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. OSU started its current five-game bowl win streak with a 55-14 victory over New Mexico Dec. 24, 2003. In the game OSU junior running back and Las Vegas native Steven Jackson scored a bowl game record five touchdowns, including four on the ground, and finished with 149 yards rushing and 51yards receiving. Jackson, who would be named the game's MVP, announced immediately after the contest that he was forgoing his senior season for the NFL - he has went on to be an All-Pro for the St. Louis Rams. The Beavers roster for that 2003 game included current NFL players Jackson, QB Derek Anderson (Cleveland), OL Kyle DeVan (Indianapolis), DT Dwan Edwards (Baltimore), WR Mike Hass (Seattle), CB Gerard Lawson (Cleveland), S Sabby Piscitelli (Tampa Bay), and OL Roy Schuening (Oakland).

BEAVERS BOWLING: Oregon State is playing in its ninth bowl game in the last 11 seasons, tied for the second most over that span in the Pac-10 with USC. Oregon has appeared in 10 bowls, followed by OSU and USC, UCLA (7), California (7), Arizona State (7), Washington (4), Stanford (3), Washington State (3) and Arizona (2). OSU has played in 12 NCAA sanctioned bowl games - 1942 Rose Bowl (Win 20-16 vs. Duke); 1957 Rose Bowl (Loss 35-19 vs. Iowa); 1962 Liberty Bowl (Win 6-0 vs. Villanova); 1965 Rose Bowl (Loss 34-7 vs. Michigan); 1999 Oahu Bowl (Loss 23-17 at Hawai'i); 2001 Fiesta Bowl (Win 41-9 vs. Notre Dame); 2002 Insight Bowl (Loss 38-13 vs. Pitt); 2003 Las Vegas Bowl (Win 55-14 vs. New Mexico); 2004 Insight Bowl (Win 38-21 vs. Notre Dame); 2006 Sun Bowl (Win 39-38 vs. Missouri); 2007 Emerald Bowl (Win 21-14 vs. Maryland); 2008 Sun Bowl (Win 3-0 vs. Pitt).

4,099 YARDS WE DIDN'T HAVE: The Beaver brother combination of James and Jacquizz Rodgers enter the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas healthy; which was not the case last year in the Sun Bowl. The duo has accounted for 4,099 all-purpose yards this season. Both players were out last season with injuries when OSU defeated Pitt 3-0 in the Sun Bowl - the only shutout in bowl games last year. Last season Quizz was hurt in game 11 of the season at Arizona with a shoulder injury and James suffered a broken collarbone in the regular season finale vs. Oregon. The two combined for 3,333 all-purpose yards last season.

TWICE IN ONE SEASON: This will be the second time this year Oregon State has ventured to Sam Boyd Stadium. Jacquizz Rodgers had 166 yards rushing and 65 yards receiving in the team's 23-21 win at UNLV on Sept. 12. It took a Justin Kahut 33-yard field goal with seven seconds left for the Beavers to escape with a win. The game started with the temperature 96 degrees at 8:04 p.m.

THE STREAK: Oregon State has won five consecutive bowl games, the second longest active streak in the nation - Utah has an eight-game run. Other Pac-10 teams with active bowl win streaks include California (4), USC (3), Arizona (3), Oregon (2) and Washington State (1).

THIS STREAK WILL BE TESTED: Oregon State hasn't allowed a point in a bowl game in the last seven quarters, dating back to Maryland's 14-point outburst in the first quarter of the 2007 Emerald Bowl - the Beavers shut out Pitt 3-0 in last year's Sun Bowl. BYU hasn't been held scoreless since a 3-0 loss to Utah Nov. 22, 2003.

NO TEAM BETTER: Oregon State is the only team in the Pac-10 to finish among the top three in the league standings in each of the last four years - tied for 2nd in 2008 and '09, and alone in third in 2006 and '07. The Beavers have a 25-11 conference record during those four years, trailing only USC's 27-9 mark.

RILEY UNBEATEN IN BOWLS: Oregon State head coach Mike Riley has led OSU to its 5-0 bowl game record, and in fact Riley has never lost a bowl game. As of offensive coordinator at USC, Riley helped the Trojans win the 1993 Freedom Bowl, 1994 Cotton Bowl and 1995 Rose Bowl. Howard Schnellenberger (Florida Atlantic) is the only active head coach to win more bowl games (6) without losing.

IT'S BEEN A PRETTY GOOD DECADE: Oregon State is 80-45 (64%) during this decade, compared to 29-81-1 (26%) during the 1990s and 22-85-4 (21%) in the 1980s. The 80 victories rank as the third most in the conference during the decade. Here is how they stack up as of Dec. 7: USC 102-25, Oregon 87-37, OSU 80-44, California 71-51, UCLA 66-58, Arizona State 65-59, Washington State 57-64, Arizona 50-68, Washington 50-71 and Stanford 48-68. A victory in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas would be Oregon State's 500th in the history of the program.

THE SERIES: OSU and BYU have met eight times previous, but not since Nov. 15, 1986 when the Beavers upset the Cougars 10-7 in Provo. In that game, BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall was a junior starting safety for the Beavers and made four tackles. OSU also has victories over the Cougars of 34-0 (1955), 35-0 (1961), 29-3 (1972) and 24-19 (1977). BYU was ranked No. 13 in the 1977 game. BYU's victories include 31-13 (1967), 37-14 (1973) and 10-6 (1978).

VS. THE MOUNTAIN WEST: Oregon State is 24-17-1 all-time vs. the Mountain West Conference; 5-3 vs. BYU; 9-5-1 vs. Utah; 3-2 vs. Wyoming; 2-3 vs. UNLV; 1-2 vs. San Diego State; 3-1 vs. New Mexico; and 1-1 vs. Colorado State.

THE CONNECTIONS: Numerous connections between the two programs, including as mentioned before BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall was a safety at OSU in 1986 and '87 (team captain) and then served as a defensive graduate assistant coach in 1989 and '90, defensive line coach in 1995 and as defensive coordinator in `96. BYU offensive line coach Mark Weber served in the same capacity at OSU from 1987-90. BYU standout running back Harvey Unga is the cousin of OSU freshmen Kevin and Devin `Unga. BYU defensive lineman Vic So'oto was a high school teammate of Sean Canfield at Carlsbad High.

A TEXT BOOK DEFENSIVE LINE? Oregon State's projected starting defensive line for the bowl game has a rather unique history. Junior Gabe Miller (DE) played tight end his first three years in the program; Miller's bookend junior Matt LaGrone played basketball at Nevada in 2006 and '07; Junior right tackle Stephen Paea didn't play football until he came to the United States for his senior year in high school (played rugby in Tonga); junior tackle Brennan Olander came to OSU on a wrestling scholarship.

RILEY'S SENIOR QUARTERBACKS: Senior quarterbacks have flourished at Oregon State under head coach Mike Riley as they grasp the Beavers' pro style attack. Here is a closer look: Derek Anderson (2004 season) -- 54.2 completion percentage (entered final season with a 48.9%); 3,615 yards; Pac-10 leader for yards per game at 301.2; 29 TDs, 17 Int; Insight Bowl Off. MVP; 2nd Round draft pick of Baltimore - eventual All-Pro with Cleveland Matt Moore (2006 season) -- 60.6 completion percentage as senior; 3,022 yards; 18 TDS, 7 Int; Sun Bowl MVP; free agent contract with Dallas, now starting QB for Carolina. Sean Canfield (2009 season) -- school record 69.9 completion percentage this season - entered year at 60.0; 3.5:1 touchdown to interception ratio this season - entered year with nearly a 1:1 ratio; 3,103 yards; Pac-10 First Team.

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