NOTEBOOK: Oregon State at Washington State

Series history...last time the Beavers and Cougars met...last time the Beavers played...last time the Cougars played...WSU connections...OSU finds success on the road in the last two years...and much more inside.

Head coachBill Doba (5th season)
(Career: 29-28 | At WSU: 29-28)
Current ranking: NR
Current record: 4-6, 2-5
Streak: One game winning streak
Head coach: Mike Riley (7th season)
(Career: 44-38 | At OSU: 44-38)
Current ranking: NR
Current record: 6-4, 4-3
Streak: One game  winning streak


Last time Oregon State and Washington State met...
Oct. 7, 2006 in Corvallis - Washington State 13, Oregon State 6
Head coach Mike Riley points back to last year's game as the start to what concluded being the program's second most successful season at 10-4. The Beavers lost 13-6 to drop to 2-3 (0-2 in Pac-10), but they would lose only once more during the season.

Cougar QB Alex Brink had 270 yards passing, but was sacked five times. WSU did OSU one better by sacking Beaver QB Matt Moore six times. The only touchdown of the game came in the third quarter when Brink, who passed for a Reser Stadium record 531 yards in 2005, connected with Jason Hill on a 29-yard touchdown pass.. ... more from


Last time Oregon State played in Pullman...
Oct. 25, 2003 - #6 Washington State 36, Oregon State 30
Washington State and Oregon State met at Pullman and the No. 6-ranked Cougars took a wild and hard-fought 36-30 win. It was WSU's sixth straight victory and ran the Cougs' record to 7-1.

It was not your typical game, unless you count a game that had three safeties and 12 turnovers typical. "It was an absolutely crazy game," OSU coach Mike Riley said. The teams combined for a total of only 18 yards rushing--15 for OSU, 3 for WSU--in part because of 12 quarterback sacks in the game (seven by the Cougars, five by the Beavs).

WSU QB Matt Kegel passed for 305 yards and three TDs, but was victimized by five interceptions and lost two fumbles. He redeemed himself in the end with two fourth-quarter TD passes that brought the Cougars from a 28-16 deficit to the win.

LB Will Derting was a defensive standout for WSU with three QB sacks. For the Beavers, QB Derek Anderson passed for 276 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown strike to WR Mike Hass. Beaver FS Mitch Meeuwsen had three interceptions, returning one of them 45 yards for a score.


Last time WSU played...
Nov. 10, 2007 in Pullman - Washington State 33, Stanford 17
Senior defensive back Husain Abdullah returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown with just over 3 minutes remaining to secure a Washington State win against Stanford.

The 33-17 victory kept the Cougars' (4-6) bowl hopes alive. If Wazzu comes out on top in their final two contests--against Oregon State and UW-- they'll have the necessary 6 wins to be considered bowl eligible.

A plethora of miscues and squandered red zone opportunities overshadowed record setting performances by two senior Cougars ... more from


Last time Oregon State played....
Nov. 10, 2007 - Oregon State 29, Washington State 23
Yvenson Bernard ran for 149 yards and Alexis Serna kicked five field goals to make Oregon State bowl eligible with a wild 29-23 win over Washington that turned ugly when four players were ejected.

Washington State sophomore quarterback Jake Locker was taken off the field in an ambulance in the second quarter, after a hit near the Huskies sideline left him motionless. He was put on a stretcher, lifted into an ambulance and taken to a local hospital ... more from


Series history (WSU leads 47-41-3, 22-15-2 in Pullman).
Washington State and Oregon State have met 91 times dating to 1903 with the Cougars leading the old Pacific Northwest series 47-41-3. The teams have split the last 10 games.

In games at Pullman, WSU leads 22-15-2 and has won nine of the last 10 dating to 1984. The lone road victory for Oregon State in that span came in 1999 (27-13).

Extending that to the past 12 games, WSU is 10-1-1 in Pullman dating back to the 1980 season. The last three meetings have all been played in Corvallis. This is the latest these two programs have played in the season in terms of date (Nov. 17) since a Nov. 18 meeting in 1950 in Pullman.


Washington State connections.
Washington State has four players (LB Chris Baltzer (Sheldon), QB Alex Brink (Sheldon), K Wade Penner (Corvallis), QB Daniel Wagner (Jesuit)) from Oregon on its roster while Oregon State has three players (TE Joe Halahuni (Orting), C Alex Linnenkohl (Capital), Adam Mobley (Skyview),  from Washington on its roster.


Success on the road and in November.
Oregon State has been successful of late on the road in Pac-10 action posting a 9-6 record since the start of 2004 (UO also 9-6). Only USC (12-3) has more away game victories in that same span -- one of its losses was at OSU last season, snapping the Trojans' 27-game conference win streak.

Oregon State is appearing to be putting together a 2006-like stretch drive. The Beavers are a Pac-10 best 12-3 combined in the months of October, November and December over the last two seasons.


Beaver dam.
Oregon State's depth chart on defense might be among the deepest in the nation. The Beavers routinely play 10 defensive linemen, eight linebackers and nine defensive backs. That depth has resulted in 17 players recording tackles-for-loss and 12 individuals with sacks.

Oregon State is third in the nation for sacks per game at 3.9 and is the national leader for yards lost via the sack with 332. The Beavers had a season-high eight against Arizona (allowed 22 for the season entering the game), more than Syracuse has for the entire season.

The Beavers' current accumulated total of 39 sacks, is the third-highest in the program's history - the 2006 team had 47 in 14-game season and the 2000 team had 43 in a 12-game slate.

OSU enters Saturday's game second in the Pac-10 and fifth nationally for tackles-for-loss at 8.6 per game. The Beaver defense has accounted for the most yards lost in the nation at 468, 54 yards more than the second place team (Georgia Tech). OSU's defense accounted for the nation's top mark in 2006 with 528 yards lost.

The Beaver defense has been solid on fourth down defense, allowing the second-lowest percentage in the conference and tied for the eighth-lowest in the nation at 28.6 percent (4-14).  The Men in Black are second in the Pac-10 (ASU is first at 28.5%) on third down percentage defense allowing 28.8 percent.


Northwest title.
Oregon State hopes to earn its first mythical Pacific Northwest title since the 2004 season, but will have to win two of the three on the road -- dates at Washington State State Nov. 17 and at Oregon Dec. 1 remain after Saturday. 

The Beavers defeated Washington last weekend.


The injury bug.
OSU's projected offensive starters heading into fall camp have missed 20 games this season -- SE Sammie Stroughter (7 + rest of the year), OT Tavita Thompson (3 + rest of the year), OG Jeremy Perry (8), Sean Canfield (1) and RB Yvenson Bernard (1).

On the defensive side of the ball, projected defensive starters heading into fall camp have missed five games this year - SS Daniel Drayton (2), Dorian Smith (1) and CB Keenan Lewis (2).


The following Oregon State players will not be able to participate in the first half of Saturday's game at Washington State due to being enjected last Saturday, per NCAA rules -- starting CB Brandon Hughes, starting (vs. UW) safety Bryan Payton (Daniel Drayton typically starts) and reserve defensive back James Dockery.


History in the making.
Starting right guard Roy Schuening is expected to make his 48th consecutive start Saturday -- tied for the longest streak in OSU history (Richard Seigler, 2000-03, 48). If Schuening starts the final two games he would become the school's all-time leader for consecutive and overall starts with 49.

Receiver Anthony Brown is also quietly moving up the list with 39 overall starts and would move into 10th place if he finishes out the season in that role.


Bowl picture.
Oregon State is bowl eligible for the seventh time in nine years and could appear in a postseason game for the third time in four years in the second tenure of head coach Mike Riley. A win Saturday would guarantee OSU would finish high enough in the Pac-10 standings to earn one of the league's six bowl affiliations.

If Beaver head coach Mike Riley is involved in bowl games it is usually a good thing -- he's 3-0 as the head coach at OSU and 3-0 as the offensive coordinator at USC.

Arizona State, Oregon, USC, California and OSU are bowl eligible while Washington and Stanford have been eliminated. UCLA needs to beat Oregon at home or win at USC to join the group; WSU needs two wins; Arizona needs to beat both Oregon at home and win at Arizona State.

Click for picture larger graphic of Pac-10 bowl arrangements


More for Moevao.
Sophomore quarterback Lyle Moevao will receive his second career start and his first road start as Sean Canfield will miss his second game with a shoulder injury.

Moevao completed 10 of 22 for 109 yards along with one touchdown and one interception a week ago.  He also picked up two first downs with his feet.  His longest pass of the year was a 35-yard completion to Chris Johnson on a deep slant.

On the season he has completed 27 of 73 (30.7%) for 389 yards, one touchdown and five interceptions.


PK Alexis Serna accounted for 17 points in Beavers' 29-23 win against Washington and finished his career against the Huskies a perfect 18 of 18. 

Serna has 78 career field goals, most among current active kickers in the NCAA, and just seven shy of the Pac-10 career record of 85 by John Lee of UCLA (1982-85). Serna has moved into sixth place on the Pac-10 career scoring list with 362 points.

He needs just five more points to become OSU's career scoring leader.


Tropical destination.
Beaver head coach Mike Riley and assistant coaches Danny Langsdorf (off. coord.) and Mark Banker (def. coord.) will coach the West team in the 62nd annual Hula Bowl at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu Jan. 12.

OSU will be represented on the field by offensive guard Roy Schuening and defensive end Jeff Van Orsow.


True freshman watch.
Wide receiver Darrell Catchings has 27 receptions for 295 yards, both good for third on the team, iincluding one touchdown, which was the Beavers first of the year.. Wide Receiver James Rodgers has made his presence known on rushing plays with 27 attempts for 397 yards, good for second on the team and a team best 14.7 ypc. He also has seven catches for 94 yards, 13.4 ypc.

Freshman linebacker Keith Pankey has been activated from redshirt status due to injuries on special teams and saw his first action at Arizona State.  He has seven tackles and one fumble recovery in seven games on special teams.


Oregonian rewriting WSU/Pac-10 record books.
Alex Brink is not only moving up the WSU career passing lists, he is also ascending the all-time lists in the Pacific-10 Conference, cementing his place as one of the most prolific passers in conference history.

With his 10,200 passing yards and 71 touchdown passes, Brink is only the sixth quarterback in league history to throw for more than 10,000 yards and toss 70-or-more touchdown passes in a career. He is also the eighth quarterback in conference history to accumulate more than 10,000 yards of total offense.

Currently his totals rank eighth in passing yards and seventh in TD passes.


Additional notes.

  • Oregon State has outscored its opponents 92-9 in the first quarter this season and over the last 19 games has a margin of 172-33 in the opening period. No team in the Football Bowl Subdvision has allowed fewer first quarter points. Field goals by Arizona, Cincinnati and USC are the only points allowed in the first.

  • Over the last 46 games, Oregon State is 20-2 when committing fewer turnovers than its opponent, 4-14 when committing more turnovers and 3-3 when even.

  • Oregon State is 39-6 when it leads after three quarters with Mike Riley as the head coach. Starting with the 2004 season, the Beavers are 25-2 (losses to LSU - 04 & UCLA - 07) when they head into the fourth quarter with the lead.

  • The Beavers have had tremendous success on fourth downs this season, converting 69 percent (9-13) -- the 12th best percentage in the nation and second in the Pac-10.

  • On the other side, the Beaver offense coverts just 33.5 percent on third down (9th in the Pac-10) while WSU has been the most generous in the league allowing third down conversions at 52.6 percent.

  • TB Yvenson Bernard has moved into 11th place on the Pac-10 career rushing chart with 3,611 yards. Ricky Bell of USC (1973-76) is 10th with 3,689 yards.

  • Soph QB Lyle Moevao got his first career start filling in for injured Sean Canfield (shoulder) vs. Washington.
  • FS Abdullah Husain was named Pac-10 defensive player of the week for his 14-tackle plus an interception return for a TD performance in win against Stanford. It marked the second consecutive game Husain posted 14 tackles.

  • QB Alex Brink threw for 449 yards and one TD in Stanford game. The 449 passing yards is the fourth-best single-game performance in WSU history and made Brink the eighth player in league history to top the 10,000 career passing mark. With 10,200 career yards, Brink stands eighth on the Pac-10 career chart. His 71st career TD pass gave him sole possession of the WSU career record in that category.

  • PK Romeen Abdollmohammadi converted all four of his field goal attempts vs. Stanford. He became the first Coug to boot four field goals in a game since Drew Dunning in 2003. Abdollmohammadi has made his last seven and 10 of his last 11 field goal attempts.

  • WR Michael Bumpus is now the WSU career reception leader with 183 catches.

  • Last week the Beavers honored their seniors, this week it will be the Cougars who will be honoring their 20 seniors in their final home game of the year.

  • In the last five games the Cougar punt team has found its groove. Over that span WSU freshman punter Reid Forrest has punted 22 times for an average of 42.0 yards per punt, which would be third in this week's Pac-10 rankings. More impressive has been the punt team defense, which has limited opponents to just 25 total yards in eight punt returns, an average of 3.0 yards per return.

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