Almost...part deux

News and notes from the USC contest.

Play of the Game
After the teams exchanged turnovers to start out the second half quarterback Matt Lienhart hooked up with Dominque Byrd for a second time to give the Trojans a one point lead.

For the entire third quarter the defenses held the offenses in check as each time struggled to move the ball. Early in the fourth Ryan Killen’s 45-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right and it looked like the Beavers were going to grab the momentum. Unfortunately, the Men of Troy forced a three and out. Sam Paulescu got off another beautiful kick, this time angling a 48-yard boot towards the OSU sideline. Reggie Bush seemed pinned to the sidelines, but he spun out of the arms of a diving Charles Burnley. He turned on the jets and ran 65 yards for the score and an eight point lead.


Players of the Game
CB Gerard Lawson – had an excellent day on special teams as he beat his man down the field every time…he was partly responsible for causing Bush’s fumble as he was in his face

S Mitch Meeuwsen – was all over the field as he tallied 11 tackles, one for loss, grabbed one interception (on the OSU two), and blocked one kick…now has an OSU career best 19 interceptions.


Owns ‘em all
Another game, another record. Derek Anderson became just the fifth player in Pac-10 history to pass for over 10,000 yards. The others are USC's Carson Palmer, who had 11,818 in 1998-2002; Stanford's Steve Stenstrom, 10,911 in 1991-94; UCLA's Cade McNown, 10,708 in 1995-98; and Washington's Cody Pickett, 10,220 in 1999-2003. He also owns most of OSU’s passing records. This year Anderson has…

  • Become the school’s passing leader
  • Become the school’s total offense leader
  • Become the school’s touchdown passes leader
  • Moved into the top 10 on the Pac-10’s career passing list
  • Moved into the top 10 on the Pac-10’s career touchdown list

Double Digits
You expect veterans to step up during big games and three of them did. Linebacker Trent Bray, safety Mitch Meeuwsen and defensive end Bill Swancutt all had at least 10 tackles against USC.

Bray had his sixth double digit tackling performance as he led the team with 12 stops. Meeuwsen had a little bit of everything as he grabbed 11 tackles, one interception, and blocked one field goal. Swancutt continued his sack parade as he added two more while grabbing a career high 10 tackles and breaking up one pass.


There are several players that impress me every Saturday, but there are two players that stand above the rest. Wide receiver Mike Hass and punter Sam Paulescu may be the most valuable players on the team this year.

Before the season many, including myself, questioned Hass’ ability to get open without a star receiver lining up on the other side of the field. Hass quickly silenced his critics as he set Oregon State receiving records in back to back games. This week he became just the fourth receiver in Oregon State history to amass over 2,000 yards as a receiver while at OSU. The other three are James Newson (3,752 | 2000-03), Reggie Bynum (2,231 | 1982-85), and Robb Thomas (2,043 | 1985-88).

Almost every game this year Hass makes a spectacular catch on third down to keep a drive alive. He has faced double, even triple teams this year, but has still managed to get open. Hass did drop a few more passes then usual against USC, but that is because Beaver fans expect him and are accustomed to him making those tough catches, it just didn’t work out against the No. 1 team in the nation. It is scary to think where the Beavers would be if Hass was not in the lineup. It is even scarier to think what Hass might do if the Beavers had a decent running game.

Paulescu came to the program with high expectations and he has lived up to all of them. He can kick under pressure, through pressure, around pressure and with no pressure. He has learned how to aim his kicks, has limited the return yardage of the Beavers’ opponents, and given his team a valuable weapon in the field position game. The Bush touchdown on Saturday was just a great player making a fantastic play.


The Fog
The fog created a great atmosphere. My friends and I circled the stadium hooting, hollering and shouting, “Do you smell an upset?” and “Upset Saturday!” Unfortunately most people just looked at us like we were out of our minds. A few more high fives and “Go Beavs!” would have been nice, but I guess we are on the West coast.


Miscellaneous Notes

  • Defensive end Joe Rudulph limped off the field in the second half in what looked like a right knee or ankle injury. He is expected to practice this week.
  • Linebacker Derrick Doggett saw a lot of action due to Jonathan Pollard being sidelined.
  • Defensive tackle Curtis Coker saw a lot of time at the end of the game.
  • Quarterback Derek Anderson has passed for 815 yards, five touchdowns and six interceptions in his last two games against USC
  • Kick/punt returner Sammie Stroughter did not return punts due to a lingering turf toe problem. He did return punts though.
  • Linebacker Jonathan Pollard did not suit up for the game due to a left ankle sprain. He is questionable for the game against Stanford.
  • Oregon State's fourth-quarter TD was the first fourth-quarter touchdown scored against USC this season
  • The Beavers' 20 points were the most allowed by the Trojans since Stanford scored 28 on Sept. 25

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