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Beavers Host Aztecs Under the Lights

Sep 16, 2014

THE SERIES
•   Fifth meeting between the two programs.
•   The series is tied 2-2; OSU has won the last two games, including last season’s 34-30 win at Qualcomm Stadium (Sept. 21). OSU outscored SDSU 20-3 in the 4th quarter.
•   Second trip for SDSU to Corvallis in the history of the series; Beavs won previous game 35-3 Sept. 23, 2000.
•   Current SDSU head coach Rocky Long was OSU’s defensive coordinator from 1991-95.
•   SDSU WRs coach LeCharls McDaniel was on Mike Riley’s staff at OSU as special teams/tight ends coach for the ’03 and ’04 seasons.
•   Aztec DL coach Osia Lewis played LB for the Beavers from 1982-85 and later coached at OSU from 1991-96 as LB and special teams coach.
•   Current Beaver CB Steven Nelson provided winning points last season with a 16-yard INT return with 2:31 left in the game, earning him Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week.
•   QB Sean Mannion threw for 367 yards and 3 TDs; WR Brandin Cooks snared 14 passes (tied OSU record) for 141 yards.
•   Beavers ran for a season-low 10 net yards vs. SDSU last year.
•   Current Beaver Tyrequek Zimmerman had a career-high 13 tackles in last year’s game.

3-0? A win Saturday would give Oregon State a 3-0 start for the fifth time since the 1999 season. The team has been 4-0 three times and started 6-0 in 2012.

FAMILIAR FEEL: The beginning of the 2014 season feels somewhat similar to the 2000 season when OSU had its best year in school history posting an 11-1 record, a share of the Pac-10 Conference title and defeated Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. In 2000 the Beavers opened up with a lackluster win over FCS Eastern Washington (21-19) and followed by a not particularly impressive win at Mountain West Conference member New Mexico (28-20). OSU then had its best performance of the early season with a win at home over San Diego State (35-0) before ending a long losing streak to USC (31-21) the following week.

KRAGTHORPE REUNION: Former Oregon State University head football coach Dave Kragthorpe will be honored during this weekend in Corvallis. Kragthorpe coached the Beavers from 1985-90 and nearly ended the school’s long streak of losing seasons. His overall record was 17-48-2, but it’s a record that is somewhat misleading. Here are some of the milestones during the Kragthorpe era.
•  The 1988 team was the first to beat Oregon since 1974.
•  His 1988 and ’89 teams won four games each season – the last time any team won four or more was the 1971 season (5-6). From 1971 through 1987 the Beavers averaged 1.7 wins per season.
•  Kragthorpe was named the 1989 Pac-10 Coach of the Year.
•  His 1985 team won at Washington (21-20) – OSU was a 37-point underdog at then what was biggest upset in NCAA Division I history (point spread).
•  Current San Diego State defensive line coach Osia Lewis made a game-high 21 tackles, including 4-for-loss – Lewis played WLB in his only season with Kragthorpe in 1985.
•  Quarterback Erik Wilhelm set the then Pac-10 record for career passing with 9,393 yards (1985-88).

NEXT WEEK: For the first time since 2000 Oregon State opens the league portion of its season against the No. 17/21 (AP/USA Today) USC Trojans. The Beavers have split the last six games with the Trojans, but haven’t won in Los Angeles since 1960 when the school was known as Oregon State College (OSU was adopted in March of 1961).

186: The number of yards senior quarterback Sean Mannion needs to break the Oregon State career passing yards mark that is held by current Carolina Panther Derek Anderson. Anderson passed for 11, 249 yards during the 2001-04 seasons.

MANNION’S CLIFFSNOTES: The following is a quick summary of quarterback Sean Mannion’s accomplishments to date (a more detailed biography is also available in these game facts):
•  First three-year team captain in school history.
•  2014 Manning Passing Academy Air-It-Out Challenge winner & 2014 Elite 11 QB Camp Challenge winner.
•  Maxwell Award Watch List for the nation’s top player.
•  Davey O’Brien Award Watch List for top QB & Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award candidate.
•  Walter Camp Award Watch List (All-America teams).
•  NCAA Senior Class Award candidate (character, community service, academics, athletics).
•  Currently ranks 4th for Pac-12 career passing with 11,064 yards (see graph), needing only 1,211 to pass former USC Trojan Matt Barkley as the all-time leader.  
•  His 11,064 yards is third among active Division I quarterbacks. (Taylor Heinicke, Old Dominion 12,225 & Rakeem Cato, Marshall, 11,129).
•  Tied for 11th in Pac-12 history and third in the nation for touchdown passes with 72 (updated thru UH).
•  His .652 career completion percentage is on OSU record pace and currently ranks second among active quarterbacks with at least 1,000 attempts.
•  Broke the Pac-12 record for single season passing yards last season with 4,662.
•  He can join former Oregon standout Bill Musgrave as the only quarterback in league history to earn Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week accolades in four different seasons.
•  Set a Pac-12 record last season for back-to-back games passing with 974 yards combined against California and Washington State.
•  Has graduated with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and is working on a Master’s in interdisciplinary studies.

HE COULD BE EVEN BETTER: Senior quarterbacks in OSU’s pro style offense fare noticeably better than in earlier seasons. Here is a closer look at those senior quarterbacks since head coach Mike Riley’s return in 2003.
    First Three Seasons    Senior Seasons
QB    Comp. Pct.    TD/INT    Comp.    Pct.    TD/INT
Derek Anderson     .489        50/40    .542    29/17
Matt Moore               .594        11/19    .606    18/7
Sean Canfield         .600       17/19     .679    21/7
Sean Mannion         .653       68/46      --          --

NO. 4 TOUGH ON NON-CONFERENCE FOES: Sean Mannion has been on target in his last seven games vs. non-conference opponents (Eastern Wash., Hawai’i, San Diego St., Boise State, Wisconsin, Nicholls State, Portland State). In those seven games combined his completion percentage is .708 (231-326) for 2,555 yards passing and 16 touchdowns through the air with three interceptions.

SCHOOL RECORD COACH: Mike Riley continues to build on his school record for victories, now with 90. He has 56 league wins, which is tied for 11th with Rich Brooks (Oregon/1977-94). Riley’s overall league record is 56-56 (14 of those losses in his first era of 1997-98) – his second tenure (2003-present) league mark is 54-42. Riley is the longest tenured coach in the Pac-12 in his 14th year at OSU; the rest of the league entering the ’14 season includes Kyle Whittingham, Utah (10 yrs), Steve Sarkisian, UW/USC (6), David Shaw, Stanford (4), Todd Graham, ASU (3), Mike Leach, WSU (3), Rich Rodriguez, Arizona (3), Sonny Dykes, Cal (2), Mark Helfrich, Oregon (2), Mike MacIntyre, Colorado (2) and Chris Peterson, UW (1).

THE NEW COORDINATOR: For the first time since the 2005 season, OSU has a new coordinator in the coaching staff. Longtime offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf (2005-13) left the program in January to return to the NFL with the New York Giants as quarterbacks coach. Langsdorf replacement is John Garrett, who has had a lengthy NFL coaching career with the Cowboys (his brother Jason is the head coach), Bengals, Cardinals and Buccaneers, as well as in college at Virginia. Garrett also coaches the quarterbacks and tight ends with the contributions of graduate assistant coach Tavita Thompson.

60 YEARS: No other team in the Pac-12 can boast as much NFL coaching experience as the Beavers. OSU’s full-time coaches have 60 years of NFL experience, including Mike Riley as the head coach of the San Diego Chargers.  Here is a closer look – Mike Riley (4 years), Mark Banker (3), Bruce Read (7), Mike Cavanaugh (2), John Garrett (19), Rod Perry (23) and Chris Brasfield (2).

BEAVS AT 106: USC owns the most victories in the Pac-12 Conference this century with 140 (116 with vacated wins), followed by Oregon (136), OSU (106), Arizona State (98), UCLA (98), Stanford (95), Cal (89), Washington (82), Arizona (80), WSU (73).  Utah has 117 victories this century and Colorado has 72. The Beavers hit the 100-win plateau this century in the Sept, 21, 2013 win at San Diego State. The previous 100-win stretch started during the 1966 season, ending with 1999 – nearly 34 seasons (365 games). This century’s 100 victories were achieved in just over 13 seasons (168 games).

EARLY DEPARTURES: Juniors Brandin Cooks and Scott Crichton elected to forgo their senior seasons and enter the NFL Draft, becoming the fourth and fifth Beavers to do so joining Steven Jackson, Brandon Browner and Jacquizz Rodgers. Cooks, a consensus All-American and Biletnikoff Award winner, set new Pac-12 single season marks for receptions with 128 and yards with 1,730 (NCAA leader in 2013). He accounted for 226 receptions for 3,272 yards and 26 total touchdowns (24 rec, 2 rush) during his illustrious career. Overall, he compiled 3,863 all-purpose yards. Crichton made 165 career tackles for the Beavers, including 51 tackles-for-loss and 22.5 quarterback sacks. He ranks third all-time at OSU for tackles-for-loss and fourth for quarterback sacks.

CONSENSUS ALL-AMERICANS: Oregon State has never had a consensus All-American in three consecutive seasons; that opportunity presents itself in 2014. Cornerback Jordan Poyer earned the acclaim in 2012 and receiver Brandin Cooks in 2013. The most likely candidate for 2014 is quarterback Sean Mannion, who is on the verge of smashing the Pac-12 record for career passing yards.

ROSE BOWL REUNION: The 2014 season marks 50 years since the Beavers’ last trip to the Rose Bowl. The ’64 team (’65 Rose Bowl) lost to Michigan 34-7 in that Rose Bowl. That team will be honored during the weekend of the Nov. 1 home game vs. California.

RESER RECORD: Oregon State’s home record of 62-25 this century at Reser Stadium is third best in the Pac-12 Conference, trailing the home records of only Oregon (75-13) and USC (68-15).  

COULD HAVE; ELECTED AGAINST: The Beavers could have played 13 regular season games as allowed by the NCAA when a team travels to Honolulu to play Hawai’i. Head coach Mike Riley elected to have a second bye for the season.

OTHER SCHEDULE NOTES: There are several oddities to this year’s schedule for the Beavers. Here is a closer look:
•  OSU and Cal are the only teams to have a streak of three consecutive home league games.
•  The Beavers, Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and Washington are the only teams to play on the last six dates of the season.
•  Oregon State is the only team that ends the season with four home games in the last five dates.
•  Oregon State is the only team that begins the Pac-12 portion of the season with two road games and is the only team to play three of its first four league games away.

ODD/EVEN: Oregon State has not allowed a point in the first and third quarters this season. All 44 points have come in the second (21 pts) and fourth (23 pts) periods.

452: That’s the number of combined tackles for the Beavers’ three starting linebackers – Michael Doctor (198), D.J. Alexander (148) and Jabral Johnson (106). OSU’s senior trio is one of the most experienced, if not the most experienced, linebacker corps in the Pac-12. For the first time since 2007 the Beavers are starting three senior linebackers.

ODD/EVEN: Oregon State has not allowed a point in the first and third quarters this season. All 44 points have come in the second (21 pts) and fourth (23 pts) periods.

ONE-TWO PUNCH: Beaver running backs Terron Ward and Storm Woods each have 100-yard plus rushing games this season – Arizona is the only other team in the Pac-12 with two different 100-yard rushers and California, Oregon, Stanford, Utah, Washington State have yet to have one in any single game.

50/50 IS THE GOAL: Head coach Mike Riley often mentions to the media that his goal is to be balanced between the run and pass. Currently, the Beavers are as close to being that than in most recent years with 82 pass attempts and 73 rushes or 51% passing/49%rushing. Here is a closer look at what OSU has done for the season overall compared to last year:
    Year    Pass Pct.    Rush Pct.
    2014    51%            49%
    2013    64%            36%

STINGY DEFENSE: Oregon State’s experienced defense has allowed just two quarters of 100-plus yards of total offense. The Beavers rank 12th in the nation and second in the Pac-12 for total defense allowing an average of 275 yards per game. Here is a closer look.
    9 yds – Portland State (3rd qtr)
    31 yds – Portland State 4th qtr)
    32 yds – Hawai’i (1st qtr)
    61 yds – Portland State (1st qtr)
    79 yds – Hawai’i (2nd qtr)
    87 yds – Hawai’i (3rd qtr)
    114 yds – Portland State (2nd qtr)
    137 yds – Hawai’i (4th qtr)

BETTER MAKE THAT SHORT YARDAGE: Oregon State’s third-down defense has been stellar this season to the point the Beavers lead the nation allowing just .179 conversion rate (5-for-28). Only twice have opponents converted anything longer than 3rd-and-1. See page 14 of these notes for more details.

STRONG SECONDARY/LINEBACKERS: Oregon State’s perceived strength on defense entering the season was its secondary and linebackers combining for 131 starts. That group has not allowed a passing touchdown (OSU is one of 9 teams).

IT’S OUR BALL: Maybe it’s that Oregon State is one of the dwindling teams that huddles on offense or maybe it’s the Beavers’ successful run game or lack of turnovers. Whatever it is, OSU leads the country for time of possession average 37.33 minutes in the young season.

GROUND ATTACK: The Beavers didn’t have a 100-yard rusher last season until the final game of the regular season at Oregon – Terron Ward 145 yards. OSU now has a streak of three consecutive games:
•  Nov. 29, 2013 at Oregon – Terron Ward, 145 yards
•  Dec. 24, 2013 vs. Boise State – Storm Woods, 107 yards
•  Aug. 30, 2014 vs. Portland State – Storm Woods, 126 yards
•  Sept. 6, 2014 at Hawai’i – Terron Ward, 124 yards

FOUR GAMES IN A ROW? The Beavers haven’t had a running back reach 100 net yards in four consecutive games since the 2008 season – nine straight games.
•  Nov. 22, 2008 at Arizona – James Rodgers, 102 yards
•  Nov. 15, 2008 vs. Cal – Jacquizz Rodgers, 144 yards
•  Nov. 8, 2008 at UCLA – Jacquizz Rodgers, 144 yards
•  Nov. 1, 2008 vs. ASU – Jacquizz Rodgers, 133 yards
•  Oct. 18, 2008 at UW – James Rodgers, 110 yards
•  Oct. 11, 2008 vs. WSU – Jacquizz Rodgers, 168 yards
•  Oct. 2, 2008 at Utah – Jacquizz Rodgers, 102 yards
•  Sept. 25, 2008 vs. USC – Jacquizz Rodgers, 186 yards
•  Sept. 13, 2008 vs. Hawai’i – Jacquizz Rodgers, 110 yards    

340: Oregon State has rushed for a net 340 yards in its two games this season. Last year the Beavers had exactly 340 net rushing yards after six games. OSU had a season-low 10 net rushing yards at San Diego State.

WORST TO FIRST: Well, not quite. But, Oregon State’s rushing offense has shown huge growth this season from last year. In 2013, the Beavers finished 11th in the Pac-12/115th in the nation averaging 94.4 yards per game. Through two games this season, OSU is 8th in the conference and 63rd in the nation.

RUNNING BACK U: Oregon State is the only program in the Pac-12 Conference with three running backs that rank in the top 10 for career rushing in the league; 3. Ken Simonton (1998-2001), 5,044 yards; 8. Jacquizz Rodgers (2008-10), 3,877; 9. Yvenson Bernard (2004-07), 3,862. Steven Jackson (2001-03) ranks 14th with 3,625 yards. Rodgers and Jackson both left OSU after three seasons to enter the NFL.

100-PLUS USUALLY A W: When a Beaver rushes for 100-plus yards it usually equals a victory. OSU has won 28 of its last 34 games (82%) when a rusher gains 100 – the only six 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), Dec. 29, 2012 vs. Texas (Storm Woods 118) and Nov. 29 vs. Oregon (Terron Ward 145).

WIN THE TURNOVER BATTLE, WIN THE GAME: Over the last 127 games, Oregon State is 50-10 when committing fewer turnovers than its opponent, 11-34 when committing more and 12-10 when even.

TURNOVERS: Over the last four seasons (40 games) OSU has forced 90 turnovers, third most in the conference and tied for sixth in the nation. Here is a closer look courtesy of ESPN: Oregon (103), Arizona State (101), Oregon State (90), Washington (84), UCLA (82), USC (78), Stanford (73), Utah (71), Washington State (71), Arizona (67), California (63), Colorado (53). OSU is tied for fourth in the nation and the leads the Pac-12 for turnover margin at plus-4

THAT WILL BE HARD TO TOP: Redshirt-freshman kicker Garrett Owens made quite the debut against Portland State. He is the first kicker in OSU history to make five field goals in his first career game. He attempted seven against Portland State to set a school record.

LUCKY 9: OSU started nine seniors on defense last Saturday; the most since modern day tracking/records for starters began in 1976.

78-9: 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 58-5.

BOWL HISTORY: Starting with the 1999 season thru 2013, Oregon State has appeared in 11 bowl games – tied for the second-most in the league. Oregon has 14 appearances, followed by OSU (11), Utah (11), USC (11), UCLA (11), Arizona State (10), Cal (8), Washington (8), Stanford (7), Colorado (6), Arizona (5) and Washington State (4).   

TEAM CAPTAINS: Quarterback Sean Mannion is serving as a co-team captain for the third consecutive year – no Beaver prior has ever been a captain for three seasons. Linebacker Michael Doctor is in the co-captain role for the second straight year. Safety Ryan Murphy and center Isaac Seumalo are in their first years with the leadership honor.