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Corvallis, OR - Oregon State is no stranger to slow starts in conference play. Once again, the team has done a remarkable job rebounding.
The 23rd-ranked Beavers look to extend their conference winning streak to six games as they continue to pursue a share of their first Pac-10 title in eight years on Saturday with a home game against California.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have Oregon State -3 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 75% of bets for this game have been placed on Oregon State –3 (View College Football bet percentages).
Oregon State (6-3, 5-1) lost its season opener against Stanford on Aug. 28, dropping its first conference game for the fifth straight season. Coach Mike Riley vowed that his team would learn from that game, and it looks like the Beavers have delivered.
In its next Pac-10 game nearly a month later, Oregon State upset top-ranked Southern California 27-21, the first of five straight conference wins. It's the Beavers' longest Pac-10 win streak since they won their last six games in 2000 to claim a share of the conference title with Oregon and Washington.
Bouncing back from a bad start to conference play is nothing new for Oregon State. In 2004, it won five of six after losing its first two Pac-10 contests. In both 2006 and 2007, it followed 0-2 conference starts with six wins in its final seven Pac-10 games.
The Beavers, though, have a special feeling about this season's turnaround after routing UCLA 34-6 last Saturday at the Rose Bowl.
"It would be a dream to come back here in January," quarterback Sean Canfield said.
Oregon State is one win behind USC in the conference standings, but owns the tiebreaker over the Trojans by virtue of its upset win in September. The Beavers haven't played in Pasadena on New Year's Day since the end of the 1964 season.
Though they admit they're looking forward to bowl season, the Beavers don't want to get too far ahead of themselves.
"Our guys knew what the story was tonight," offensive guard Adam Speer said last Saturday. "We have three games left, so we must step back and take a deep breath."
Oregon State running back Jacquizz Rodgers ran 31 times for 144 yards in last week's win, giving him 1,089 rushing yards in his first nine games - a Pac-10 record for a freshman. He ran for a touchdown and also caught a TD pass from Canfield.
It's unclear if Canfield will make his third straight start in place of Lyle Moevao, who has been sidelined with a shoulder injury. Canfield has been very solid the last two weeks, completing 35 of 50 passes for 440 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions.
Canfield was the starter in 2007 before a shoulder injury prematurely ended his season, and lingering problems from surgery kept him on the sidelines this year while Moevao flourished in the starting role.
"My arm felt great today and my timing is getting back to where it should be," Canfield said after last Saturday's win.
It's possible Riley could end up using two quarterbacks in this game, as California coach Jeff Tedford did last Saturday in unsuccessful fashion.
The Golden Bears (6-3, 4-2) were held to 165 total yards in a 17-3 loss at USC, their lowest total in nearly nine years. Senior starter Nate Longshore was replaced by sophomore Kevin Riley after halftime, and neither quarterback was particularly effective, causing Tedford to delay announcing his starter for this week.
Tedford knows USC's Football Bowl Subdivision-leading defense had a lot to do with Cal's struggles, but he also faults his team for some critical mistakes, including having a touchdown waved off due to an illegal receiver downfield.
"You can't beat yourself in situations, have penalties, get a touchdown called back, especially when you play a defense like that," Tedford said.
His offense could have its hands full again this week against an Oregon State defense which has held opponents to averages of 14.3 points and 260.3 yards over the last four games while forcing 10 turnovers.
The Beavers have won seven of the teams' last nine meetings, including a 31-28 victory over the second-ranked Golden Bears last Oct. 13. Cal, however, has won its last two visits to Corvallis by a combined 90-20 score.
Top Betting Trends:
All games in this series since 1992
OREGON ST is 7-7 against the spread versus CALIFORNIA since 1992
OREGON ST is 7-7 straight up against CALIFORNIA since 1992
5 of 8 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL since 1992
Games over the last 3 seasons
OREGON ST is 1-1 against the spread versus CALIFORNIA over the last 3 seasons
OREGON ST is 1-1 straight up against CALIFORNIA over the last 3 seasons
1 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
All games played at OREGON ST since 1992
CALIFORNIA is 4-3 against the spread versus OREGON ST since 1992
CALIFORNIA is 4-3 straight up against OREGON ST since 1992
4 of 4 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL since 1992
Games played at OREGON ST over the last 3 seasons.
CALIFORNIA is 1-0 against the spread versus OREGON ST over the last 3 seasons
CALIFORNIA is 1-0 straight up against OREGON ST over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
Key Player Injuries
[WR] Michael Calvin is expected to miss the rest of the season. - Knee - 1
[OL] Chris Guarnero out for the rest of season - Toe - 09/28/08
(!) [QB] Kevin Riley is downgraded to doubtful - Concussion - 11/05/08
[QB] Nate Longshore is expected to start - None - 11/05/08
[WR] Marvin Jones is out indefinitely - Knee - 09/23/08
[OG] Noris Malele missed last game, upgraded to probable. - Ankle - 11/05/
[OT] Chet Teofilo is downgraded to expected to miss remainder of the seaso
[OL] Mike Tepper missed last game %27?%27 - Pectoral - 11/01/08
[OL] Matt Laird missed last game %27?%27 - Shoulder - 11/01/08
[DE] Rulon Davis is upgraded to probable - Leg - 11/06/08
[DL] Cody Jones is downgraded to doubtful - Ankle - 11/06/08
[S] Sean Cattouse is %27?%27 - Concussion - 11/07/08
[K] David Seawright missed last game %27?%27 - Thigh - 11/02/08
[DL] Kendrick Payne out for season - Knee - 09/29/08
[RB] Patrick Fuller has transferred - None - 09/01/08
[WR] Kyle Brown is expected to miss the rest of the season. - Achilles - 1
[TE] Gabe Miller missed last game %27?%27 - Hamstring - 11/03/08
[OL] Brent McNeil is out indefinitely - Toe - 09/01/08
[OL] Jeremy Perry is out indefinitely. - Knee - 10/18/08
[C] Alex Linnenkohl injured last game, probable - Ankle - 11/03/08
[QB] Sean Canfield is expected to start - None - 11/06/08
(!) [QB] Lyle Moevao not expected to start, but may be available - Shoulde
[CB] Keenan Lewis injured last game, probable - Ankle - 11/03/08
[S] Bryan Payton has transferred - None - 09/01/08
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Posted: 11/11/08 3:42 PM