Idaho at Oregon State notebook

News and notes from the Beavers and Vandals heading into their match-up Sept. 23.

Head coach: Dennis Erickson (1st season)
(Career: 146-58-1 | At UI: 1-2; first stint '82-85: 33-17)
Current ranking: Not ranked
Current record: 1-2
Streak: One game winning streak


Last time Oregon State and Idaho met...
Sept. 2, 1995 in Corvallis - Oregon State 14, Idaho 7
Oregon State and Idaho opened the 1995 season at Corvallis with the Beavers taking a 14-7 decision. It would prove to be OSU's only victory of the season. OSU scored on the fourth play of the game, but then the contest turned into a defensive struggle. The Beaver defense limited the Vandals to 153 yards total offense (17 rushing, 136 passing) and registered 10 QB sacks. OSU's offense could not muster much more as Idaho limited the Beavs to 10 first downs and 235 yards total offense. The teams combined for 25 punts.


Last time Idaho played...
Sept. 16, 2006 - Idaho 27, Idaho State 24
There is no denying a win is a win. Some wins, however, leave a greater sense of fulfillment.

That is not to say the Idaho Vandals disrespected Idaho State University. On the contrary. The Vandals were highly complimentary of the Bengals after being pushed to the limit before escaping their home opener with a 27-24 non-conference victory before 15,161 Idaho fans at the Kibbie Dome ... more from


Last time Oregon State played...
Sept. 7, 2006 - Boise State 42, Oregon State 14
Here comes Boise State again, this time on the legs of sophomore running back Ian Johnson.

Showing speed in the open field, the power to break tackles and patience in waiting for holes, Johnson rushed for a career-high 240 yards and five touchdowns in the Broncos' 42-14 rout of Oregon State on Thursday night.... What they're saying...


Series history (OSU leads 35-7, 23-2 in Corvallis).
Oregon State holds a 35-7, including 23-2 at home, series advantage that dates back to 1913.  This is the 43rd meeting between the programs, but just the fourth meeting since 1966.  Before 1966 the teams met regularly in the Pacific Coast Conference.

The Beavers have won the last two games (1995 and 1985), 15 of the last 16 and the last nine in Corvallis. The last time Idaho defeated Oregon State was in 1984 when the Dennis Erickson led Vandals beat OSU 41-22 in Moscow.  The last time the Vandals beat Oregon State in Corvallis was in 1952 (27-6).

These two programs are scheduled to meet two more times during the current contract, Sept. 20, 2008 at Martin Stadium (Pullman) or the Kibbie Dome and to open the season in 2009 (Sept. 5) at Reser Stadium.


Idaho connections...lots of them.
Of course there is Dennis Erickson who coached at Oregon State from 1999-2003 compiling a 31-17 record while fielding the school's best football team ever in 2000.  From the coaching staff assistant coach/offensive line coach Gregg Smith (OSU 1999-2002), offensive coordinator Dan Cozzetto (OSU 2000-02) and running backs coach Jamie Christian (OSU GA, 2001-02) all coached with Erickson at OSU.  Quarterbacks coach Jonathan Smith (OSU GA 2002-03) was the quarterback at OSU from 1998-2000 and held many of the school's passing records before Derek Anderson.

Gregg Smith’s oldest daughter, Cori Hewitson, is the assistant director of the Beaver Athletic Student Fund. Idaho president Dr. Tim White was on the OSU administrative staff for nine years (1996-2004), including interim president. He was the Dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences for five years as well as spending time as Provost and Executive Vice President.

Starting safety Tone Taupule originally signed a letter of intent to attend Oregon State in February of 2002 and redshirted that season-- he did not play a down for the Beavers.

Several players on the UI roster played their high school ball in Oregon - OT Billy Bates (Southridge), TE Peter Bjorvik (Crook County), QB Brian Nooy (Pendleton), S Brandon Nystron (Junction City), and LB David Vobora (Churchill).


Sizzlin' Sammie.
Beaver junior receiver and punt returner Sammie Stroughter has started the season with an impressive run. Stroughter leads the team for receiving yards per game (51.0) and is the national leader for punt return yards per attempt at (31.4).

He also is one of only six players in the nation with a punt return for a touchdown (the only in the Pac-10) and is the only player with two this season. He would tie an NCAA Div. I record for consecutive games with a punt return for touchdown if achieves the feat against Idaho. David Allen (1998) of Kansas State is the only player in NCAA history with three consecutive games with touchdowns on punt returns.


Time of possession.
The NCAA changed the way the clock is managed in college football in 2006 with the intent of increasing the pace of the game. After two OSU contests in 2006 the average time is 3:09.30 compared to last year’s 3:16. The number of
plays per game in 2006 has averaged 121 while in 2005 it was 144.


Tale of the quarters.
Oregon State has outscored its first two opponents 35-7 in the first quarter. In fact, the Beavers have scored eight of their 10 touchdowns this season in the first half. Meanwhile, Idaho has been outscored 24-6 in the first stanza.

Oregon State is 25-5 when leading after three quarters under head coach Mike Riley, including 11-1 in the combined 2004, ‘05 and ‘06 seasons.


It's a small world after all.
Saturday’s game pits two head coaches who have returned to schools where they had their first head coaching jobs – Dennis Erickson back at Idaho and Mike Riley back at Oregon State. The word shrinks further when you realize Riley preceded Erickson at Oregon State (1997-98) and then succeeded him when Erickson left to take over as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers in 2003. Riley’s first stop at Oregon State was his first as a head coach after having been in the business since a graduate assistantship at Cal in 1975. Erickson’s first head coaching job was at Idaho in 1982.


One of the best.
Junior linebacker David Vobora (Eugene,Ore.) continues to lead the Western Athletic Conference in total tackles. He’s had double-figure stop outings after opening the season with 16 at Michigan State before following with 14 at Washington State and then making 10 last weekend. The figure also ranks him third in the nation in total tackle average with 13.3
per game. His average of 7.67 solo stops per outing ties for ninth in the country.


The most unlucky player in college football?
One Vandal, Luke Smith-Anderson, is in a unique – although at times painful – situation. Smith-Anderson, who
hails from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, played as a true freshman in 2001. Before the Vandals could play a game in 2002, he suffered a season-ending ACL tear. He made it back for the 2003 season only to have it wiped out with an ACL tear in the other knee. Again, he was back in time for the following season. In 2004, he played in all 12 games and led the tight ends with 16 receptions for 207 yards. 2005 didn’t start any better. Before the first game, Smith-Anderson ruptured his spleen, which put him back on the sideline for the year. Now, he’s back for an unprecedented seventh season after being granted three medical redshirt seasons by the NCAA. 

The bad new is Smith-Anderson will miss Saturday’s game and likely one or two more after sustaining torn cartilage against Idaho State. A scope cleaned up the tear but he’s out of action for a few days.


Additional notes.

  • The hiring of Dennis Erickson resulted in a 35% increase in season ticket holders from last year.
  • Dennis Erickson is 2-1 against Oregon State. His 1985 Vandal team beat the Beavers 41-22 at the Kibbie Dome and his 1988 Washington State team won 36-27 at Martin Stadium. His lone loss was 43-28 at Corvallis in 1986.
  • Fourteen Idaho players have at least one reception.
  • Idaho has converted 4 of 5 fourth downs, but is just 16 of 43 (37%) on third down.
  • Oregon State has won 21 consecutive non-conference home games. Head coach Mike Riley is 12-0 in non-conference home contests.



Dan Norz is the publisher of  He can be reached at

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