AGAINST NUMBER ONES: This is the first meeting for Oregon State against an Associated Press No. 1 ranked team in the nation since that USC 28-20 victory in Corvallis Nov. 6, 2003. The history of games vs. No. 1 for OSU includes — Nov. 6, 2003 vs. USC (loss 28-20); Oct. 16, 1982 vs. Washington (loss 34-17); Oct. 3, 1981 vs. USC (loss 56-22); Sept. 15, 1979 vs. USC (loss 42-5); Sept. 16, 1972 at USC (loss 51-6); Nov. 16, 1968 at USC (loss 17-13); and Nov. 11, 1967 vs. USC (win 3-0). Bud Riley, the father of Mike Riley, was an assistant coach for Oregon State during the 1967 season.
QUIZZ ON RECORD PACE: RB Jacquizz Rodgers is on pace to accumulate 1,052 yards rushing this season which would eclipse the OSU freshman record of Ken Simonton’s 1,028 in 1998. Simonton was a redshirt-freshman while Rodgers is a true freshman. Rodgers leads the nation among in rushing among true freshmen (87.7 yards per game).
A COUPLE OF FIRSTS: This is the first time ESPN has broadcast an OSU football game from Corvallis. Part of the ESPN broadcast will be Sky Cam (picture right), which will be a first at Reser Stadium. The camera is operated by two individuals sitting in the press box.
AGAINST AP TOP 5 COMPETITION: The Beavers hold a 7-33 record versus Associated Press Top 5 foes. The victories include knocking off #2 Duke in the 1942 Rose Bowl, wins over #2 Purdue and #1 USC and a tie of #2 UCLA in 1967, a 2000 home win in the Civil War over #5 Oregon, a two point victory over #3 USC in 2006 and a road win in Berkeley over #2 California last year.
48 WINS AND COUNTING: Mike Riley is poised to move into the top three winningest coaches in Oregon State history this season. With his 48 wins during his seven-plus years at the helm, Riley is tied with Paul Schissler (1924-32) for fourth in OSU history. Three triumphs would tie Riley with legendary coach Dee Andros (1965-75) with 51 wins.
4-2 VS. TOP-25 IN LAST SIX: Oregon State has won four of its last six games vs. AP top-25 teams, dating back to the 2006 win over USC. The other wins are at then No. 24 Hawai’i (35-32) in 2006, at No. 3 California (31-28) and at No. 18 Oregon (38-31 2 OT) in 2007. The two losses, last season at No. 13 USC (24-3) and earlier this year at then No. 19 Penn State (45-14).
DREAM CRUSHERS: Oregon State, maybe more than any other program in the last two years, has played the spoiler role in derailing national title aspirations for teams. The win in 2006 over USC (see previous note) and last season when the Beavers defeated then No. 2 California 31-28 Oct. 13, 2007 in Berkeley — a win would have escalated the Bears to No. 1 after then top-ranked LSU lost earlier in the day.
A LITTLE BIT OF PREGAME MOJO: Defensive end Jeff Van Orsow, who swatted down John David Booty’s two-point conversion pass with seven seconds left to play in 2006, will be in attendance Thursday to present the game ball prior to kickoff.
IT'S BEEN AWHILE: It’s been well documented that the Beavers have struggled to open the last few seasons before playing their best in October and November. OSU has lost its last six Pac-10 games played in August and September dating back to a 45-17 win over Arizona State Sept. 27, 2003.
RECORD WATCH: QB Lyle Moevao is on a near OSU record pace for passing yards in a season. At his current pace of 307.3 yards per game, Moevao would finish the regular season with the second-most yards ever for a Beaver with 3,688 — current Cleveland Browns standout Derek Anderson threw for 4,058 yards in 2003 in 13 games (includes bowl). He is also on a record pace for completion percentage in a season (min. 75 att.) at 61.2 (79-124) percent — the current record holder is Matt Moore in 2006 at 60.6 (229-378) percent.
RECORD WATCH PART II: WR Sammie Stroughter needs just four receptions to pass Roddy Tompkins (1996-99) and Yvenson Bernard (2004-07) on OSU's career reception list, one touchdown to tie Jeff Kolbery (1969-71) on the career receiving touchdown list and 176 yards to pass Robb Thomas (1985-88) on the career receiving yards list.
UP IN THE AIR: Kicker Justin Kahut has yet to kick since suffering a hip flexor during warmups before the Hawaii game and could be held out against USC. If Kahut is not healthy enough to kick junior Sean Sehmen will take over field goal and extra point duties while Matt Barker will handle kickoffs even if Kahut is healthy.
GET YOUR ORANGE ON!: It should go without saying that you should wear orange to home games, but the thickheaded members of Beaver Nation need a reminder, so the university has published a press release encouraging fans to wear orange and that means not black or white and definitely nothing yellow or green. And no I don't care if orange looks good on you or not. If you need a visual guide look to your left.
PACKED HOUSE: The OSU student section expects to be in a full force as fall term begins the following week. Student started lining up for tickets Sunday evening and by Monday morning the line stretched past the Traux Indoor Center. As of Tuesday morning there are still student tickets available.
OUT OF THE GATE FAST: Oregon State outscored its opponents 139-41 in the first quarter over the 2006, 2007 and 2008 seasons at Reser Stadium, and in the last 11 games has a margin of 104-17 in the opening period at home.
PLAYING WITH SECOND TEAM: For the first time this season junior quarterback Sean Canfield has been practicing with the second team offense. But the California native is not ready to crack the two deeps just yet as Justin Engstrom will still be the backup to Moevao Thursday.
PLAYERS IN THE TOP 25: Here's a list of Beavers ranked in a national top 20 statistic category. Lyle Moevao (7th in the nation) for passing, Lyle Moevao (18th in the nation) for total offense, Shane Morales (10th in the nation) in receptions, Sammie Stroughter (10th in the nation) in receptions, Shane Morales (24th in the nation) in receiving yards and James Rodgers (14th in the nation) for all-purpose yards.
AIR IT OUT: QB Lyle Moevao ranks first in the Pac-10 and seventh in the nation in passing yards per game while Shane Morales (10th), Sammie Stroughter (19th) and James Rodgers (99) are each ranked nationally in receptions per game. In addition, Stroughter and Morales rank 24th and 30th in receiving yards per game.