|COLLEGE FOOTBALL PACKAGE: Oregon State hasn't won in L.A. since, like, forever|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 31 October 2007 14:04|
``It's one of those lingering ghosts that's still there,'' Oregon State coach Mike Riley said. ``We kind of take pride in trying to break some of these, the ones that are still out there, to get rid of them.''
The Beavers (5-3, 3-2 Pacific-10 Conference) visit Los Angeles on Saturday riding a three-game winning streak. The Trojans (6-2, 3-2) are coming off a 24-17 loss to Oregon, which in all likelihood took them out of the national championship picture.
The last time Oregon State won at Southern California, the Beavers beat the No. 6 Trojans 14-0 under coach Tommy Prothro.
There are other factors going against the Beavers as well.
USC coach Pete Carroll has never lost as USC's coach in November. And Oregon State has not won back-to-back games against the Trojans since 1914-16, the first two games of the series.
The Beavers upset then-No. 3 USC 33-31 at Reser Stadium last season. Defensive end Jeff Van Orsow deflected John David Booty's 2-point conversion pass with 7 seconds left to ensure the victory, one of the biggest wins in Oregon State history.
One of the others was the 1967 Giant Killers' 3-0 upset of the top-ranked Trojans, also in Corvallis.
Riley said this season's Beavers will have to fight for their own legacy.
``We'll look at it strategically and see what they plan to do against us. But it's a new team, a new year, and what each team does is up to them to create their own identity,'' he said. ``We have a big, big job ahead of us. A tough job. It will be up to this team to be ready to do it.''
The Beavers, however, already topped last season's defeat of the Trojans when they beat No. 2 California 31-28 in Strawberry Canyon this season.
The Beavers have won their last three games against Top 25 teams (2007 at No. 2 Cal, 2006 against No. 3 USC and at No. 24 Hawaii).
HONORS: Arizona quarterback Willie Tuitama and kick returner/wide receiver Mike Thomas, as well as Oregon safety Matthew Harper, earned the league's player of the week honors.
Tuitama completed 38 of 51 passes for a school-record 510 yards and five touchdowns in Arizona's 48-41 comeback victory over Washington.
He completed his final 11 passes and threw three touchdown passes in the game's final 12 minutes. His touchdowns covered 66, 51, 33, 2 and 27 yards.
Tuitama's 517 yards in total offense was the third-highest single-game total in the Pac-10 history.
Thomas returned six kickoffs to 173 yards, including two 45-yard returns. He also caught three passes for 165 yards and three TDs.
Harper had two interceptions and returned them a total of 61 yards in Oregon's 24-17 victory over USC. He picked off Mark Sanchez's pass at the Oregon 16 with less than a minute left to preserve the victory.
NEWBIES: The kids are all right.
Two sophomore starting quarterbacks in the Pac-10 this season, Jake Locker of Washington and Tavita Pritchard at Stanford, are having the typical growing pains but showing promise and gaining valuable experience for the future.
Pritchard became starter on The Farm when T.S. Ostrander had a seizure, and he gained national attention in leading Stanford to a stunning 24-23 upset of Southern California at the Memorial Coliseum. He capped the winning drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass with 49 seconds remaining.
Pritchard has completed 59 of 118 passes with four touchdowns and five interceptions.
``He's very sharp, a very quick-minded guy,'' Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh said. ``But he's still kept that 'little kid playing football in the backyard' mentality. He has not been affected by the pressure of playing that position or the big stage. He's grown in understanding the offense and his personal preparation, but he's really kept that wide-eyed, little-kid optimism, which I love.''
Locker passes for 336 yards and rushed for 157 in Washington's 48-41 loss to Arizona last weekend. His 98-yard scoring pass to Marcel Reece tied for the second-longest passing play in conference history.
The versatile quarterback ranks sixth in the league in rushing with an average of 86.8 yards a game.
The two will meet Saturday when the Huskies (2-6, 0-5 Pacific-10) visit the Cardinal (3-5, 2-4).
Oregon State's starter, Sean Canfield, is also a sophomore.
HASTY RETURN: Running back J.R. Hasty was back with the Washington Huskies after quitting the team a week earlier because of disappointment over playing time.
Hasty needed time to reflect and speak with his family, coach Tyrone Willingham said Tuesday.
``I thought it was the right decision for him to do that,'' Willingham said, offering no further details about the situation.
The son of former Washington State and ex-NFL Pro Bowl cornerback James Hasty will be eligible to play for Washington at Stanford on Saturday, Willingham said.
Hasty, a redshirt junior, has played in only two games this season with six carries for 18 yards.
He had 5,493 career rushing yards at Bellevue High School, as well as 50 touchdowns as a senior there and was heavily recruited.
The Huskies were coming off a 48-41 loss to Arizona last weekend in Seattle.
COUGS' FUTURE: Coach Bill Doba addressed reports on Internet recruiting sites that Washington State hasn't received a commitment from a single player. But he didn't confirm them.
``Sure, I'm concerned some because of the Internet and some of the negative stuff,'' Doba said. ``We've got some kids that we have offered and I think they want to commit, but they want to wait and see if the Internet fires me.''
The Cougars (3-5, 1-4 Pacific-10) visit California (5-3, 2-3) on Saturday.