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Beavs Host Buffs for First Time Saturday

Sep 24, 2013

THIS WEEK: Oregon State (3-1, 1-0) returns home this week to play the Colorado Buffaloes (2-0, 0-0) Saturday at Reser Stadium at 12:04 p.m. The game is being televised nationally by the Pac-12 Networks.

HONORING CHAMPIONS: It’s a big weekend on campus as OSU students return for the first day of classes Sept. 30. OSU Athletics will also honor its three Pac-12 Conference team champions from the 2012-13 academic year – wrestling, baseball and gymnastics. The Beavers also will recognize the 50th-anniversary of the 1963 men’s basketball Final Four team.

MILITARY DAY: Oregon State Athletics is honoring military families this week. Special ticket prices are available for military families by contacting the OSU Ticket Office at 1-800-GO-BEAVS or in person in Gill Coliseum during business hours prior to 5 p.m. Friday. The Wall that Heals Traveling Wall (replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial) will be located in front of Gill Coliseum on Saturday and The Joys of Living will present an assistance dog to a military vet.
COLORADO FLOOD VICTIMS DONATIONS: During Saturday’s game fans can text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation to victims of the extensive Colorado flooding earlier this month. Several Red Cross disaster workers from the State of Oregon are currently in Colorado assisting in the recovery efforts.

COACH TO CURE: For the sixth year in a row, college football coaches nationwide will join together in support of the Coach To Cure MD program, which will be held during games of this Saturday. The annual effort has raised more than a million dollars to battle Duchenne muscular dystrophy. American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) members will wear a Coach To Cure MD logo patch on the sidelines and college football fans will be asked to donate to research projects supported by Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), the largest nonprofit organization in the U.S. focused entirely on Duchenne muscular dystrophy. To donate to Duchenne muscular dystrophy research go online to or by texting the word CURE to 90999 (a $5 donation will automatically be added to your next phone bill).

ANOTHER BYE … FOR OUR OPPONENT: For the second consecutive week Oregon State plays a team coming off a bye. For Colorado it has worked out to two consecutive bye weeks after the Buffs’ home game vs. Fresno State Sept. 14 was postponed due to flooding. The Beavers get their first bye of two for the season next week prior to another stretch of back-to-back road games (@WSU, @ Cal).

WELCOME TO THE LEAGUE: Actually, Colorado has been a member of the Pac-12 Conference for over two years, but Saturday marks the first meeting between the Beavers and Buffaloes as league members in football. In fact, it’s the first time Colorado has ever traveled to Corvallis. The two programs haven’t met since a 1988 CU win in Boulder 28-21. Overall, the Beavers have a 3-2 advantage, but Colorado has won the last two. The two schools have played football twice in Portland (1931 & ‘63). A couple of noteworthy connections to both programs – Beaver wide receiver coach Brent Brennan was an assistant for CU head coach Mike MacIntyre for the 2009 & 10 seasons at San Jose State. OSU Athletics Hall of Fame member the late Dallas Ward (football 1924-26) was the head football coach at Colorado (1948-58) and the Buffs’ Dal Ward Athletic Center is named in his honor.

THE LEAGUE’S BEST: Saturday features four of the top 11 receivers in the Pac-12 per the statistics. Paul Richardson of Colorado is the league-leader at 208.5 receiving yards per game, followed by Brandin Cooks at 159.8. OSU’s Richard Mullaney is 10th at 86 yards per game, followed by CU’s Nelson Spruce at 80.5.

BEAVS GET 100: Last Saturday marked the 100th victory this century by the Beavers and considering the recent history before 2000 the feat is truly remarkable. The previous 100-win stretch started during the 1966 season, ending with 1999 – nearly 34 seasons (365 games). The current 100 victories have been achieved in just over 13 seasons (168 games). USC owns the most victories in the Pac-12 Conference this century with 130 (106 with vacated wins), followed by Oregon (126), OSU (100), UCLA (89), Cal (87), Arizona State (87), Stanford (85), Washington (73), Arizona (71), WSU (69).  Utah has 112 victories this century and Colorado has 69.

IT’S ANOTHER BEAVER FIRST DOWN: While receiver Brandin Cooks generates most of the headlines in terms of Beaver receivers, quarterback Sean Mannion has spread the wealth with key connections to fellow wideouts Richard Mullaney and Kevin Cummings. Mullaney has secured a first down or touchdown on 16 of his 22 receptions while Cummings has done the same on 8 of his 11.

SPEAKING OF FIRST DOWNS: Oregon State and UCLA share the Pac-12 Conference lead with 98 first downs. The Beavers have 69 first downs via the pass (70% of the total); only Texas Tech has more with 71. On the other side, OSU has just 20 first downs rushing, the second-fewest in the Pac-12 (WSU 13).

NEVER BEEN DONE: Junior cornerback Steven Nelson is the first player in OSU history to have four interceptions through his first four games of a career. Nelson is tied with Stanley Jean-Baptiste of Nebraska for the national lead.

PICK SIX: Cornerbacks Steven Nelson and Sean Martin both have interceptions for touchdowns this season. Nelson’s 16-yard return against San Diego State with 2:16 provided the winning points in 34-30 win at Qualcomm Stadium. Martin returned a third-quarter pass 27 yards in OSU’s 51-48 overtime victory at Utah. The two interception returns for touchdowns rank as the most for a Beaver defense since Greg Laybourn and Al Afalava each scored in 2008 games. The Beavers haven’t had three in a season since 2007 (Derrick Doggett, Gerard Lawson, Joey LaRocque).

CARDIAC BEAVERS: Three of Oregon State’s first four games have been decided by four points or less. No other team in the country has had more than two games decided by four or less points.

TARGET RICH ENVIRONMENT: Oregon State has completed a nation-leading 137 passes this season, that’s more than 40 teams that have also played four games have attempted. Only Texas Tech with 215 attempts has more than the Beavers’ 194 – Washington State also has 194.

PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Cornerback Steven Nelson has been named this week’s Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week. Nelson intercepted an errant fourth quarter pass at San Diego State returning it 16 yards for the go-ahead score with 2:31 remaining in the game. It is the fourth interception of the season for Nelson, who transferred to OSU in January, which ties for No. 1 in the nation. The award is the first of Nelson’s career and makes Oregon State the first team in the conference to complete the Player of the Week trifecta after Sean Mannion was Offensive Player of the Week and Trevor Romaine was Special Teams Player of the Week last week.

STARTERS DOWN: The Beavers enter this week missing potentially four starters. Starting linebacker Michael Doctor broke his foot and will be out at least to the latter half of the season. The senior co-captain played immediately upon arrival to the team, thus has a redshirt year available. He led the team for tackles last year with 83. Starting right guard Roman Sapolu suffered a fracture dislocation in his foot and is out for the year. Unlike Doctor, Sapolu did redshirt his first season in 2010 and at this point a medical redshirt year is unavailable.  Starting right tackle Grant Enger is expected to miss at least one more game (was out last 2 weeks) with a sprained knee. Running back Storm Woods suffered a concussion against Utah and is out indefinitely.  Longsnapper Michael Morovick, while technically not a starter, is also out of the year after suffering an ACL tear against San Diego State.

OFFENSIVE LINE SHUFFLE: Oregon State offensive line, thought to be a position of depth in the spring, has become thinner throughout camp and into the early part of the season. Four starters returned and the Beavers were expected to start highly regarded sophomore Gavin Andrews at the one open spot, right tackle. However, Andrews was diagnosed with mono the week before the season started forcing a shuffle along the line. Grant Enger, who was slated to start at right guard, moved to right tackle and junior Roman Sapolu took over at right guard. In addition, returning center Isaac Seumalo was unable to play in the season opener due to a bruised knee forcing sophomore Josh Mitchell into the lineup during Week 1. Heading into Week 2, Seumalo, a freshman All-American, returned to the starting lineup to anchor the line. However in OSU’s win over Hawai’i Enger sprained his left knee and is expected to miss three weeks (he has missed two) and Sapolu suffered a foot injury and will miss the rest of the season. OSU’s line has been further diminished with Justin Addie (concussion) sidelined and the slow recovery of Garrett Weinreich a knee injury suffered in August 2012. In addition, the retirement early in fall camp of David Keller (concussions) and Chase Eldredge (knee), were expected provide depth at guard, further complicates the situation. The last two weeks, the Beavers have started Michael Philipp (LT) and Josh Andrews (LG) – their usual positions – with Mitchell at center, redshirt freshman Grant Bays at right guard and Seumalo sliding outside to right tackle.

PROTECTING THE PASSER: The Beavers’ have come under scrutiny, particularly the offensive line, for the lack of production in the rushing game. What hasn’t been recognized is the line’s protection of the quarterbacks. Through four games the Beavers have allowed just four sacks (1 every 49 pass attempts). At the current rate OSU would allow just 12 sacks for the regular season. Last year the Beavers allowed a sack on every 15 pass attempts.

30 POINTS-PLUS: Oregon State has scored 30-plus points in all four games this season, matching the program’s longest streak since 2009 against California, Washington, WSU, Oregon. The Beavers haven’t had a five-game 30-plus points streak since 2000 when it strung together nine in a row. OSU is on pace to shatter the school record for points scored in any season – currently on track for 492 points for a 12-game regular season – the record is 433 points in a 13-game slate in 2003.

438.7: The number of average yards the Beavers have passed for over the first four games, third in the nation. The team is on pace for 5,049 yards for a 12-game season and at the current average the Beavers would break the school record of 4,265 by 784 yards (2003 – 4,265).  The Pac-12 record is 4,501 yards by Washington in 2002. OSU leads the nation for overall passing yards with 1,683.

PERFECT: Oregon State has converted all 22 times (18 TDs/4 FGs) it has been in the red zone for an NCAA co-leading 1,000 percent. The 22 red zone appearances rank as the most of the 10 teams that have a perfect percentage (Maryland is next at 17-17) and overall only Texas A&M (29) and Western Kentucky (23) have been in the red zone more. Dating back to last year OSU has converted 54 consecutive red zone opportunities - it is the longest red zone conversion streak in the nation (Stanford is second with 34 straight).

ROAD BEAVERS: OSU is currently in a stretch where it plays just one home game over a six-week span. Following Saturday’s game the Beavers have a bye, then travel to Washington State and California. It’s the first time OSU has played three of its first four conference games on the road since the 1998 team opened the year with three away games.

IT’S EARLY, BUT JUST SAYING: Quarterback Sean Mannion’s current 71.5 percent completion percentage (133-186) is on OSU record setting pace for a single season.  Sean Canfield in the 2009 season hit on 67.9 (303-446) percent and is the current record holder for a single season. Canfield (2006-09) also holds the career completion percentage record at 64.1 percent (552-861) – Mannion is currently at a 65.9 percent (6th among active NCAA QBs) career rate (638-968).

NOT BAD FOR A JUNIOR: Sean Mannion has completed 638 passes and has accumulated 7,378 yards – both rank second for junior quarterbacks in the NCAA and his yardage is 10th overall in the country for an active player. The only junior with more yards in the nation is Taylor Heinicke of Old Dominion (first-year FBS school) with 8,734. Mannion is the active leader in the Pac-12 for career yards with 7,378 (Keith Price of UW is second with 6,834). He is 32nd overall in the Pac-12 record book for yards and will soon pass -- 31. Ryan Leaf (WSU/1995-97/7,433); 30. Kellen Clemens (UO/2002-05/7,555); 29. Tom Tunnicliffe (UA/1980-83/7,618); 28. John Paye (Stan/1983-86/7,669); 27. Jim Plunkett (Stan/1968-70/7,809).

MORE MANNION: Junior quarterback Sean Mannion now has 7,378 yards; fourth all-time at OSU. The senior co-captain needs to average 251 yards per game for the rest of the regular season to catch third-place holder Erik Wilhelm (1985-88) at 9,383 yards. If he was to start the next 20 regular season games and average 194 yards he would catch the school’s all-time leader for yards – Derek Anderson (2001-04) at 11,249 – his current pace is for career passing yards is 13,054 (without a future bowl game) which would be a new Pac-12 record. He is the only quarterback in Beaver history to pass for 350-plus yards in four games straight (current).

MANNION TO COOKS, TOUCHDOWN BEAVERS: Through the four games of the season, quarterback Sean Mannion and receiver Brandin Cooks have combined for seven touchdown passes. The duo has now connected 14 times during their careers for scores, tied for the third-highest combination in Beaver history. Derek Anderson and Mike Hass combined 14 times, Anderson and James Newson 15 times and Erik Wilhelm and Robb Thomas 17 times.

COOKS CRACKS RECORD BOOK: Junior receiver Brandin Cooks is already seventh at OSU for career receiving yards with 2,181 and needs just 51 yards to pass Reggie Bynum (1982-85/2,231) into sixth. Cooks is tied for seventh with Bynum and Joe Newton (2003-04, 06) with 15 career touchdown receptions. He also has 141 career receptions, ninth at OSU. Cooks tied the OSU record for single game receptions (Mike Hass vs. ASU in 2004) with 14 against San Diego State.

SO MUCH FOR TV WINDOWS: The first three games have averaged 3:35 in duration. The Beavers are averaging 75 plays per game and their opponents 67. To put in perspective the only team playing lengthier games in the Pac-12 is Cal at 3:40.

60TH ANNIVERSARY OF RESER STADIUM: This season marks the 60th anniversary of Reser Stadium, which officially opened as Parker Stadium Nov. 14, 1953 with a 7-0 Beaver victory over Washington State. The stadium’s name was changed to Reser Stadium prior to the 1999 season after a generous donation by Al and Pat Reser. OSU has had particular success of late at the Stadium, but overall has had many outstanding victories. Beaver teams have defeated nationally ranked opponents (entering the season) 16 times, including No. 1 USC twice (1967 & 2008).

RESER RECORD: Oregon State’s home record of 60-22 this century at Reser Stadium is third best in the Pac-12 Conference, trailing the home records of only Oregon (70-13) and USC (64-15).      

NFL COACHING EXPERIENCE: Oregon State coaches have a combined 42 years of full-time NFL coaching experience. Mike Riley (4 years), Mark Banker (3), Bruce Read (7), Danny Langsdorf (3), Mike Cavanaugh (2) and Rod Perry (23), In addition, running backs coach Chris Brasfield served two years as an intern and two seasons as a scout in the NFL. Graduate assistants coaches Kyle DeVan (tight ends) and Keaton Kristick (linebackers) played in the NFL - DeVan for the five years with the Jets, Colts, Eagles and Titans; and Kristick for two years with the 49ers.

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); he has the second longest tenure as the defensive coordinator at one school (Buddy Green, Navy, 12 years). Banker was also with Riley for the 1999-2001 seasons with the Chargers (Def. Coord.) and in 1996 at USC. Offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf  has been in his role since 2004 (was a G.A. for TE in 1997-98) and was with the Saints with Riley for the 2002 season.

SCHOOL RECORD COACH: Mike Riley continues to build on his school record for victories, now with 84. The longest tenured coach in the Pac-12 has 53 league wins, which is 14th in the league’s history book – next on the list is James Owens (UW – 1957-74) with 54 victories. For more on Riley turn to his bio in this notes package.  Riley is the longest tenured coach in the Pac-12 with 13 years at OSU; the rest of the league includes Kyle Whittingham, Utah (9 yrs), Steve Sarkisian, UW (5), Lane Kiffin, USC (4), David Shaw, Stanford (3), Todd Graham, ASU (2), Mike Leach, WSU (2), Rich Rodriguez, Arizona (2), Sonny Dykes, Cal (first), Mark Helfrich, Oregon (first) and Mike MacIntyre, Colorado (first).

RE-BEAVED: During the offseason the Beavers re-beaved thanks to Nike, introducing a new brand in March. The new brand includes a new logo, plus several uniform combos. Football also sports three helmet designs.

ONE OF SIX: Third-year athletic trainer Ariko Iso (uh-REE-ko E-so) is one of only six female head football trainers in the FBS - Jennifer Brodeur at Massachusetts, Laurie Fincher at UAB, Dawn Hearn at UTEP, Kelli Pugh at Virginia and Mary Vander Heiden at Central Florida are the others. Iso joined the program in late spring of 2011 after being the only female athletic trainer in the NFL (Steelers).

TEAM CAPTAINS: The 2013 team captains are seniors Rashaad Reynolds (CB), Michael Doctor (LB), Grant Enger (OG), and juniors Brandin Cooks (WR) and Sean Mannion (QB). Mannion has been selected for the second straight season – no Beaver has ever been a three-year team captain.

WIN THE TURNOVER BATTLE, WIN THE GAME: Over the last 116 games, Oregon State is 44-9 when committing fewer turnovers than its opponent, 11-31 when committing more and 12-9 when even.

73-9: 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 54-5.

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 31 games (84%) when a rusher gains 100 – the only five 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), Sept. 3, 2011 vs. Sacramento State (Malcolm Agnew 223) and Dec. 29, 2012 vs. Texas (Storm Woods 118).

BOWL HISTORY: Starting with the 1999 season, Oregon State has appeared in 10 bowl games – tied for the third-most in the league. Oregon has 13 appearances, followed by Utah (11), OSU (10), USC (10), UCLA (10), Arizona State (9), Cal (8), Washington (7), Stanford (6), Colorado (6), Arizona (4) and Washington State (3).

FRESH FACES: Three true freshmen for the Beavers in the season opener - WR/KR Victor Bolden, OL Sean Harlow and LB Darrell Songy. Bolden has been the Beavers’ primary kick returner, returning 19 for 365 yards. Bolden has also carried the ball three times for six yards on the fly sweep and has two receptions for 23 yards. Songy is second on the team with three special teams tackles ... in addition, 13 others played for the first time with the Beavers including JC transfers DT Edwin Delva, DT Siale Hautau and CB Steven Nelson and redshirt freshmen OG Grant Bays, RB Chris Brown, WR Malik Gilmore, OL Nolan Hansen, LB Rommel Mageo, LB Cyril Noland-Lewis, FB Ricky Ortiz, S Zack Robinson, LB Caleb Saulo, TE Dustin Stanton, DT Noke Tago and OL Garrett Weinreich.

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: OL Josh Andrews (sociology); WR Kevin Cummings (marketing); LB Michael Doctor (human development/family studies); OL Grant Enger (entrepreneurship); WR Micah Hatfield (human development/family studies); QB Sean Mannion (liberal studies); CB Sean Martin (new media); OL Michael Philipp (public health); CB Rashaad Reynolds (human development/family studies); RB Jovan Stevenson (sociology). Graduates in March include DL John Braun (sociology); LB Charlie Gilmur (marketing); DL Devon Kell (public health); WR Mitch Singler (marketing); QB Cody Vaz (sociology). June graduates include S Steven Christian (master of arts in interdisciplinary studies); P Tim McMullen (exercise & sport science); DL Mana Rosa (psychology).

WOODCHIPS: OSU and Eastern Washington each scored 40-plus points, the first time both teams scored that many in an OSU game since 1999 against Georgia Southern (OSU win 48-41) – that was again achieved in the Beavers 51-48 overtime win at Utah … both the Hawai’I and Utah games required an ambulance on the field for an injured player, in both instances the players were released from the hospital that day/night ... Jalen Grimble’s cousin, Xavier Grimble, plays tight end for USC.