NOTEBOOK: Oregon State vs. SDSU

IF THE BEAVS win Saturday over San Diego State and move to 3-0, it won’t be the first time in recent years. Indeed, a win Saturday would give Oregon State a 3-0 start for the fifth time since the '99 season. But the Beavs still have a lot more work to do to match the 2012 season start. And cutting back on the thing OSU has been flagged for most would help them get there.

The Beavs have started a season 4-0 three times, and started 6-0 in 2012.

The stats are going to be skewed this early in the season but they'll start giving a truer representation soon as conference play gets underway. That said, Oregon State ranks in the top 25 in the nation in passing offense (314), total defense (275), pass efficiency defense (65.12) third-down defense (0.179), punt returns (15.0), first downs allowed on defense (35) and time of possession.

Oregon State, as a matter of fact, leads the nation in time of possession at 37:33.

It's worth further noting Oregon State ranks 12th in the nation and second in the Pac-12 in total defense.

The Oregon State SID says this season feels similar to the 2000 campaign. They make the salient point that OSU in 2000 the Beavers opened up with a lackluster win over FCS foe Eastern Washington (21-19) and followed that with 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. OSU went on to post 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.

One other similarity, in 2000 Oregon State opened its conference slate against USC. They'll do the same again this year and for the first time since 2000.

This will be the fifth meeting between Oregon State and SDSU. The series is tied 2-2. OSU has won the last two games, including last season’s 34-30 comeback win at Qualcomm Stadium. OSU outscored SDSU 20-3 in the 4th quarter.

The game is being televised on Fox Sports 1 with a 7:30 p.m. start time. Joe Davis, Joey Harrington and Kris Budden make up the broadcasting team.

Sean Mannion is all but certain to become Oregon State's all-time leading passer this Saturday. He needs but 186 passing yards to break the Oregon State career mark held by current Carolina Panther Derek Anderson. Anderson passed for 11, 249 yards during the 2001-04 seasons.

Mannion is also just 1,210 yards behind Pac-10/12 all-time leader Matt Barkley (2009-12, USC).

It's just not the same as it used to be in college football when it comes to running backs and the running game. Still, 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. Meanwhile, California, Oregon, Stanford, Utah and Washington State have yet to have a 100-yard rusher in any game yet this season.

Oregon State has rushed for 340 yards in its two games this season. Last year after six games the Beavers had, you guessed it, exactly 340 rushing yards.

Through two games, OSU has passed the ball 51 percent of the time, run it the other 49 percent. We'll see if those numbers hold as the competition gets tougher, starting with this week. Last season OSU was 64 percent pass, 36 percent run.

Quick, what's the most flagged infraction by Oregon State through two games? If you guessed false starts, you're right. The Beavs have six false starts through two games. Next on the list: four personal fouls and four holding calls. OSU has been flagged 26 times in two games. Their opponents have had 15 penalties called.

• 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.

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