USC at Oregon State notebook

Series history...the last time the Trojans and Beavers met...Sammmie continues to shine...a Beaver Dam...the magic number...more winning streaks then you can shake a stick at and more.

Head coach: Pete Carrol (Sixth season)
(Career: 60-10 | At USC: 60-10)
Current ranking: No. 3 in AP/No. 2 in coaches poll
Current record: 6-0, 3-0 in the Pac-10
Streak: Six game winning streak
Head coach: Mike Riley (Sixth season)
(Career: 32-33 | At OSU: 32-33)
Current ranking: NR
Current record: 4-3, 2-2 in the Pac-10
Streak: Two game winning streak


Last time Oregon State and USC met...
Nov. 6, 2004 in Corvallis - USC 28, Oregon State 20
Then No. 1 USC won 28-20, but had to rally to do so. The Beavers scored the first 13 points and led 13-7 at the half. The Trojans scored 28 straight, two on pass receptions by Dominique Byrd from Matt Leinart, one on a 65-yard punt return by Reggie Bush and the final on a LenDale White 5-yard rush. The Beavers scored with 55 seconds left on a 36-yard pass from Derek Anderson to Josh Hawkins, but couldn't recover the ensuing onside kick. Anderson ended the game with 330 yards passing on 22 of 51 with two touchdowns and receiver Mike Hass had 119 yards on eight receptions. White had 116 yards rushing for USC, Leinart was 17 of 31 for 205 and two touchdowns. ... more from | Post-game notebook


Last time USC played...
Oct. 14, 2006 in L.A. - USC 28, Arizona State 21
There were a few positives that came out of the game tonight with Arizona State. First and foremost, SC fans will point to the scoreboard. In the end, USC edged ASU, 28-21. ... more from


Last time Oregon State played...
Oct. 21, 2006 - Oregon State 17, Arizona 10
Oregon State continued to rely on the strong play of their defense as the Men in Black limited Arizona to just 183 total yards, including a measly 22 yards rushing, and one measly field goal as the Beavers defeated the Wildcats 17-10. UA's only touchdown came on a punt return.

The OSU offense started out hot scoring 14 points in the first quarter as the offensive line opened large holes for RB Yvenson Bernard while QB Matt Moore picked apart the defense. But UA tightened up defensively in the three remaining quarters as both teams struggled to move the ball.

Moore completed 16 of 22 for 181 yards and one touchdown with two costly first half interceptions that kept the game close. Bernard carried 26 times for 106 yards for his fourth 100 plus yard game of the season. WR Sammie Stroughter led the team with five receptions for 91 yards and one touchdown.

S Daniel Drayton and LB Joey LaRocque each had an interception in the final three minutes of the game to seal the victory. ... more from | Post-game notebook


Series history (USC leads 57-8-4, 18-4-1 in Oregon, 12-2 in Corvallis, 6-2-1 in Portland).
Oregon State and USC have met 69 times since 1914 with the Trojans leading the series 57-8-4 (.855).  USC has a better winning percentage against Oregon State than any other Pac-10 school.  USC has won the last four meetings against the Beavers.  The Trojans won 26 straight spanning the 1968 through 1999 seasons.  USC has posted 17 shutouts in the series (including 2 scoreless ties).   The average score of the games is Trojans 26, Beavers 9.

The Beavers, or Aggies, have won in 1914, 1916, 1935, 1946, 1957, 1960, 1967 and 2000. Two of those wins were in Corvallis, three in L.A., two in Portland and one in Tacoma (1914 -- organized by the Tacoma Commercial Club and held to benefit a Belgian World War I relief fund). The last time OSU defeated USC was at Corvallis in 2000 (31-21)


USC connections.
Head coach Mike Riley was the assistant head coach/offensive coordinator at USC from 1993-96. During that time, the Trojans won or shared the Pac-10 title twice and won the Rose, Freedom and Cotton Bowls. Beaver defensive coordinator Mark Banker was the assistant linebackers coach/recruiting coordinator for Troy in 1996.

OSU has 45 players on their roster from California.  USC S Kevin Ellison's brother, Keith, was a linebacker at Oregon State in 2004 and 2005.  USC LB Dallas Sartz's father, Jeff, played safety at Oregon State.


Beaver dam.
Oregon State enters Saturday's game second in the Pac-10 for total quarterback sacks with 26 (four more than last year), accounting for 198 yards lost.   OSU is third in the nation for sacks per game at 3.7, trailing only Louisville (4.1) and Western Michigan (4.0). The defense also has 64 tackles-for-loss, accounting for 320 yards in losses, which averages to 9.1 per game, good for second in the NCAA behind Florida International who averages 9.4 TFLs a contest.

Here are some more facts about the Beaver "D:"

  • Eleven Beavers have a sack or more
  • Fourteen of OSU's 26 sacks have been acquired in the last three games.
  • Five different players have three or more sacks
  • The defense has held its last two opponents under 100 yards rushing
  • In the last three games have held the opponent to 17 or fewer points and just three touchdowns
  • The unit ranks second in the NCAA in third-down conversion percentage allowing 24.7-percent
  • Opponents are just 8 of 44 (18%) when facing 3rd and 9-plus yards.
  • The three starting linebackers, Derrick Doggett, Alan Darlin and Joey LaRocque have combined for 68 tackles over the last two games, including 12.5 for losses and 6 sacks
  • The unit currently ranks #26 in total defense in the nation giving up an average of 285 yards per game.

Here's a look at the damage done in the last three games versus the first four.


Against ranked foes.
Oregon State has lost its last three games vs. nationally ranked teams. The last victory for the program was a 23-20 win at No. 18 California last season. OSU has lost four in a row at home to top-25 clubs, dating back to a 49-24 win over No. 8 Washington Nov. 10, 2001.


Sizzilin's Sammie.
Receiver and punt returner Sammie Stroughter is second in the Pac-10 and is 10th in the NCAA for receiving yards per game (91.9) and is the team leader for overall receptions (34).

Stroughter's 223 yards receiving vs. Washington is the most in the Pac-10 this season and the fourth-highest in OSU history (Pac-10 Player of the Week). He is also fourth in the nation and first in the conference for punt return yards per attempt at (17.9) and is one of four players in the nation with two returns for touchdowns.

He has 12 catches for 314 yards (26.2-yard average) and two TDs of 80 and 34 yards the last two games.


Need 100.
Oregon State is 4-0 this season when RB Yvenson Bernard rushes for 100-plus yards. In the four victories he has averaged 123.0 yards per game, while in the losses its 84.7. Bernard has rushed for 100-plus in 10 of the last 15 games.

Over the last 15 games Bernard has rushed for 1,853 yards (123.5 avg) and 17 touchdowns.  He is second in the Pac-10 in rushing at 106.6 yards per game and joins Cal's Marshawn Lynch as the only backs in the Conference averaging 100 yards per game rushing.


A plethora of win streaks.
Here are USC's active winning streaks:

  • Home games - 30 (a Pac-10 and school-record)
  • Overall Pac-10 games - 27 (a Pac-10 and school-record)
  • Pac-10 home games - 21 (a Pac-10 and school-record)
  • Road games - 18 (a school-record)
  • Pac-10 road games - 13 (a school-record)
  • Non-conference home games - 9
  • Non-conference road games - 6
  • September games - 10
  • October games - 18
  • November games - 16
  • Overall games - 6

Injuries taking their toll on both teams.
OSU: With no bye and six consecutive games left, Oregon State enters the stretch run with some injury issues. The Beavers are already playing without starting right tackle Josh Linehan (knee), he could return later in the season. Starting center Kyle DeVan (knee), running back Yvenson Bernard (ankle) and backup receiver Ruben Jackson (ankle) are all nursing injuries suffered at Arizona. Starting cornerback Keenan Lewis has been slowed with a shoulder injury that prevented him from playing all but the first play at Washington and starting safety Al Afalava (head) missed the game at Washington before returning for action last week at Arizona. The team also has several other members with nagging injuries.

USC: Already this season, 9 starters or projected starters have missed games with injuries: WR Dwayne Jarrett (1 game), OG Chilo Rachal (1), CB Kevin Thomas (2…and he was injured
again last game and now will be sidelined for a while), DT Sedrick Ellis (3), FB Stanley Havili (3), FB Ryan Powdrell (4), S Josh Pinkard (5), FB Brandon Hancock (6), TB Hershel Dennis (6). Pinkard, Powdrell, Hancock and Dennis have season-ending injuries. Also, 5 key backups have missed some 2006 games with injuries: WR Chris McFoy (2), LB Kaluka Maiava (1), OG Jeff Byers (5), DT Travis Tofi (6), S Will Harris (6).


Additional notes.

  • SS Sabby Piscitelli notched three tackles in the first three games of the season.  In the last four he has 29 stops.

  • PK Alexis Serna has mad 8 of his last 9 attempts with his only miss in that span being a 52-yard attempt.

  • QB Matt Moore's pass efficiency rating is 174.8 in the last two games.  He has completed 30 of 41 for 489 yards and two touchdowns with three interceptions, one that wasn't his fault.  Moore averaged 35 attempts per game last season, 23 this season.

  • The longest passing play the defense has given up this year is 56 yards when QB Isaiah Stanback hit Anthony Russo to open up the game in Seattle.

  • Oregon State is looking to snap a four game conference losing streak that dates back to 2005.  This year home teams are just 12-11 in conference play.

  • USC has faced Moore once before in 2002 when he appeared in a reserve role as a true freshman for UCLA. He completed 7-of-11 passes for 64 yards and a TD, but the Trojans prevailed, 55-21.

  • Oregon State has scored (all touchdowns) on its first possession in five of the first seven games. Only Cal and WSU have held the Beavers scoreless on their opening drive.

  • The Trojans start just 5 seniors (4 on offense, 1 on defense) in 2006. And just 1 backup is a senior. Fifteen first-year freshmen have seen action in 2006.

  • USC is 86-42-4 in all regular season games it has played following byes. Since 1955, the Trojans are 47-13-1 following byes.

  • USC is 22-10-1 in its last 33 games on artificial turf.

  • The game at Oregon State is the last time the Trojans will play outside of California during the regular season.

  • WR Dwayne Jarrett took over sole possession of the Pac-10 career touchdown reception record with his 33rd in win against Arizona State.

  • PK Mario Danelo has connected on 9-of-10 field goal attempts this year and ranks second in the Pac-10 in field goals.

  • Pete Carroll is the nation's winningest active coach.

  • USC tops the league in scoring defense at 15.0 points per game despite starting just one senior on defense.

  •  USC has scored at least 20 points in an NCAA-record 57 consecutive outings.


Dan Norz is the publisher of  He can be reached at

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