Oregon State's upset of California last weekend has some wondering if these Beavers are the new Giant Killers.
Back in 1967, Oregon State earned the nickname after defeating second-ranked Purdue 22-14 in West Lafayette, Ind., tying second-ranked UCLA 16-16, and beating top-ranked and undefeated Southern California 3-0.
The Beavers were led by coach Dee Andros, nicknamed the Great Pumpkin because of his girth and a penchant for bright orange windbreakers.
After the tie with the Bruins, Andros was quoted as saying: ``We're tired of foolin' around with No. 2. Bring on No. 1.''
The game against the Trojans is legendary in Oregon.
O.J. Simpson, the nation's leading rusher, ran for 188 yards for USC. California Gov. Ronald Reagan came up for the game, and vowed to hand-pick a crate of oranges for Oregon's governor should USC lose.
In the end, Mike Haggard's second quarter field goal would be the lone score. Of his three attempts, the 30-yarder with 5:18 left before halftime was the only one he made.
The Giant Killers finished 7-2-1 and ranked No. 7. The win over the Trojans remains Oregon State's only victory over a top-ranked team.
After No. 1 LSU's loss to Kentucky last week, the second-ranked Golden Bears were poised to grab the top spot with a win. Instead, Oregon State's defense staged a third-quarter goal-line stand and held on for a 31-28 victory.
Coach Mike Riley, whose father Bud was the Giant Killers' defensive coordinator, shied away from making any comparisons.
``I don't know about that. It was a great win for us,'' the younger Riley said. ``Hopefully it's something that just confirms some things for our players that we're doing, and it's a kick start into the second half.''
There are still giants left to conquer this season. The Beavers (4-2, 2-2 Pac-10) have a bye this week, but still must play No. 13 USC and No. 7 Oregon.
Riley was asked Tuesday whether he thought this was an anomalous year in college football, given all the high-profile upsets.
``I can't imagine predicting it every year from now on quite like this,'' he said. ``It's kind of extreme, but it is also an indication in college football of more parity. If you look locally in our league, we've all seen the table set very high by USC over the last few years. And you're either going to fight like heck and try to compete, or sink.''
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CROSSING FINGERS: It's been a chaotic season for UCLA's quarterbacks.
After a much-needed bye week, the Bruins (4-2, 3-0) could have backup Patrick Cowan for Saturday's game against California (5-1, 2-1) at the Rose Bowl.
Here's what has transpired behind center for UCLA this season:
Cowan had a hamstring injury and couldn't play in the team's first three games.
He started against Washington on Sept. 22 when starter Ben Olson had concussion-like symptoms. But Cowan tore a ligament in his right knee during that game, a 44-31 UCLA victory.
Then Olson injured his knee in the first quarter of UCLA's last game, a 20-6 loss to Notre Dame, forcing walk-on freshman McLeod Bethel-Thompson into action. He threw four interceptions and lost a fumble that Notre Dame turned into a touchdown.
Olson had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and will be out at least three more weeks.
In addition to Bethel-Thompson, UCLA's other options at quarterback are freshman Chris Forcier, who has been on the scout team, or Osaar Rasshan, a former quarterback who had been shifted to wide receiver.
``We're planning for Pat to be the guy unless something happens in practice and he can't,'' UCLA coach Karl Dorrell said.
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HONORS: Oregon State tailback Yvenson Bernard, Oregon defensive end Nick Reed and Arizona punter Keenyn Crier were named the Pac-10's players of the week.
Bernard rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns and had eight catches for 53 more yards in the Beavers' 31-28 upset of Cal.
Reed had 11 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks in Oregon's 53-7 victory over Washington State. He also was named national defensive player of the week by the Walter Camp Foundation.
Crier, a freshman, averaged 48 yards on seven punts, including an 83-yarder that was downed on the 1-yard line in Arizona's 20-13 loss to USC. It was the second-longest punt ever at Arizona and tied for the fifth-longest in the Pac-10.

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