Oregon State at USC: Revenge is a dish best served cold
Oregon State at No. 7 USC
Saturday October 24, 2009
Los Angeles Coliseum
Pete Carroll will tell you that every game on the schedule is equally important, and each will have a bearing on the future. But of all the games listed for 2009, you would think those circled in red were Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Oregon State. The Buckeyes and Irish carried the national spotlight , and victories over both were important to perception. But the Beavers are easily more important than the others, occupying the same conference, and possessing not an ounce of fear for USC.
Without national recognition or power in recruiting, no program or coach has proved to be more of a thorn in Pete Carroll’s side than Mike Riley and his Oregon State Beavers. During Carroll’s reign, the Empire has conquered Tommy Tuberville, Jim Tressel, Bob Stoops, Kirk Ferentz, Joe Paterno, and a slew of others. But Mike Riley joins a very short list of coaches that have beaten Carroll, and appears among an even smaller group to have beaten him twice.
The Beavers bring their biggest weapon, Jacquizz Rodgers, to the Los Angeles Coliseum. Rodgers was honored as both the Pac 10 freshman of the year in 2008, as well as offensive player of the year. His 186 rushing yards in last year’s 27-21 victory over USC is most memorable, and the production came against a more experienced Trojans defensive unit.
OSU will likely need a near repeat of that performance to collect a victory over this Southern California team. Unlike a year ago, the Trojans walk in with eyes wide open, and have the luxury of their home field. The Beavers have not won a game in the Los Angeles Coliseum since 1960, and the more recent contests have been lopsided, including the 24-3 payback victory in 2007.
The Trojans have adopted many mottos and slogans to accompany the more common “Fight on” during Pete Carroll’s tenure. And one that you won’t find printed on t-shirts or flashed across a screen is, “revenge is a dish best served cold”. With the exception of a six point victory over Cal in 2004, games against teams defeating USC in the previous year have been somewhat of an embarrassment.
2003- USC 43, Washington State 16
2004- USC 23, Cal 17
2007- USC 24, Oregon State 3
2007- USC 27, UCLA 7
2008- USC 44, Oregon 10
2008- USC 45, Stanford 23
In a game of “something’s gotta give”, the Beavers enter Saturdays game riding a 6 game road win streak. They have also won seven straight games that followed a bye week. One of the most important stats from last years meeting that is often overlooked is that Oregon State played mistake free football, finishing with no turnovers.
Analysis: USC appears to be finding it’s groove, which couldn’t come at a worst time for Oregon State. We saw a less conservative offense in South Bend last weekend, and would expect the same with Barkley now playing at home. A key to the game will be the play of quarterback Sean Canfield, who lost to the Trojans in 2007, and missed OSU’s upset a year ago with shoulder surgery. In 2007, Canfield was harassed all day by a stout USC defensive line. Now he faces a unit that leads the nation in sacks. A definite key to victory will be the Beavers ability or inability to stay out of 3rd and long situations, which means the production of Rodgers is of the utmost importance.
All Time Series: USC leads 58-10-4
Streak: Oregon State has won one
Last Meeting: Oregon State 27, USC 21 (Corvallis)