Narrow that to the last five years and Oregon State has gone 7-0 in games coming off a bye week. (The Beavs had two byes each of the past two seasons).
And the Beavs have a familiar foe scheduled. Coming off the first bye week of the season in 2008, the Beavs came out with their collective hair on fire against No. 1 USC, withstood a Trojan rally and claimed a 27-21 victory became a national story.
Fast forward to present day. Following the OSU bye, guess who's getting together for dinner next week?
| Beavs say Bye-Bye to opponents after a bye under Mike Riley|
Oregon State follwing a bye week under Mike Riley, courtesy of Steve Fenk, OSU Sports Information Director:|
Sep. 20, 1997 vs. Stanford L 27-24
Nov. 21, 1998 vs. Oregon W 44-41 (OT)
Oct. 18, 2003 vs. Washington L 38-17
Nov. 15, 2003 vs. Stanford W 43-3
Dec. 6, 2003 at No. 2 USC L 52-28
Oct. 16, 2004 at Washington W 29-14
Oct. 15, 2005 at No. 18 Cal W 23-20
Sep. 23, 2006 vs. Idaho W 38-0
Oct. 27, 2007 vs. Stanford W 23-6
Dec. 1, 2007 at Oregon W 38-31 (OT)
Sept.25, 2008 vs. No. 1 USC W 27-21
Nov. 1, 2008 vs. Arizona State W 27-25
On the plus side for the Beavers, Sean Canfield and Jacquizz Rodgers will each be coming off their best game of the '09 campaign.
Against Stanford, Canfield was razor sharp out of the gate, starting out 7-of-9. When offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf, with a big lead, went to more conservative playcalling in the second half, Canfield managed the game and didn't take risks that could help Stanford get back in it. He finished 22-for-32 for 290 yards and a touchdown.
All Quizz did was tie an Oregon State record with four rushing touchdowns and pile up a career best 189 yards rushing in earning Pac-10 Offensive Player of The Week honors.
Not to be overlooked was the job the offensive line did against Stanford. After a few uneven performances, it can be argued the o-line had their best game of the season in Week 6.
Damola Adeniji is emerging as a clutch go-to-guy for Canfield and although James Rodgers was held below his 180.17 all purpose yards per game average, he very quietly logged a game high six catches, including a highlight reel TD grab.
AND THEN THERE'S the Beaver defense.
The '09 vintage of the OSU stop corps is not putting up the gaudy stats of their immediate predecessors -- they're not the nation's No. 1 rushing defense, as they were in 2007; and they're not in the Top 25 in total defense, as they were in both '07 and '08.
But they are starting to bring more pressure on the quarterback. And they are playing tougher against the run.
And save for a blown coverage on the game's opening play against Stanford, the secondary looks to be tightening things up.
LB Keaton Kristick has been a force all season long. DT Stephen Paea, who has seen double team after double team this year, was putting the heat on Stanford's QB last week, both in and out of the pocket.
DE Matt LaGrone has been a super sub. And the defensive backfield has seen a new player step up seemingly every week of late.
USC REMAINS A formidable opponent. The road to the Pac-10 championship still runs through L.A. They're ranked No. 6 in the nation for good reason.
Yet the Trojans have looked more vulnerable in their first five games this season than in recent years past. Their defense looks strong as ever, they're ranked No. 6 in the nation in total defense. But they're young at quarterback and the offense has lacked their usual firepower and consistency.
Is another upset on the horizon? Is Oregon State in the midst of another compelling mid-season run for the fourth -- yes fourth -- consecutive season? No one knows yet. But some of the answers could be forthcoming in about 10 days.