A four game conference winning streak. A chance to crack the Top 25. The opportunity to become bowl eligible. There's a lot on the line this Saturday when the Oregon State Beavers square off against the UCLA Bruins. But Mike Riley and his players say to ignore the streaks, the talk of post season play and in season accolades. It is one game at a time and the biggest game this year for the Beavers takes place in Pasadena.
"Its all fun and games to talk about, but seriously I don't want to talk about it because it is not even worth it," said quarterback Matt Moore who has started 19 games at OSU. "We have been playing pretty good football the past four games, but we really need to keep grinding and working."
That grinding and working has paid off with the Beavers outscoring their opponents 121-68 in the last four games . A light has gone on in Moore's head as he has completed 68 of 104 (65.4%) for 1,033 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions during that same time span. More importantly the offense has not turned the ball over in the last two games.
"We want to build our confidence and keep that going," defensive tackle Ben Siegert said. "Riley was saying that there is a fine line between confidence and getting cocky. And we would like to stay on the side of confidence, keep growing and build on that."
"It is the same thing after we beat USC," Moore said. "The next game is the most important. We know what's at stake. We need to stay humble, but hungry at the same time."
It's in the past
When quarterback Matt Moore returned to UCLA last year season just a couple of years removed from the messy ordeal in Pasadena, there was a lot of drama. He still knew several players on the team and the student section teased him mercilessly.
"Last year I was so stupid for listening to all those people," Moore said. "People made such a big deal because there were so many guys still there that I played with."
This time around he hardly knows anyone on the team and besides the excitement of playing on the road, in front of family and friends, he expects to keep his emotions in check.
"I can't name seven guys on that team now that I played with," Moore said. "It's definitely exciting though. I love playing in the Rose Bowl, that's an awesome feeling."
Last year Moore completed 14 of 25 for 279 yards with two interceptions and two touchdowns, both to Mike Hass in the first half.
After jumping out of the gates to 4-1 record, the Bruins have lost their last four games. But their current losing streak is a little deceiving. All four of their losses came against ranked teams with three of them on the road.
"In the Pac-10 conference there are no guaranteed wins," center Kyle DeVan said. "If we don't step on the field playing our best we are going to lose, bottom line. We can't just lay down and expect to win."
Oregon State has lost three straight to the Bruins with their last win coming in the Rose Bowl in 2000. UCLA holds a 37-13-4 series lead that dates back to 1930.