USC at OSU
- Portland Tribune - Sports
When, where: 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Reser Stadium
TV, radio: FSN Northwest, KEX (1190 AM)
• Southern California is prime recruiting territory for Oregon State. Sixteen Beavers who see regular action hail from the region, including quarterback Matt Moore, receivers Anthony Wheat-Brown and Brandon Powers, kicker Alexis Serna, tackle Adam Koets and defensive regulars Joe Lemma, Dorian Smith, Derrick Doggett, Joey LaRocque and Coye Francies. None got a sniff from the Trojans in the recruiting process. Does that make Saturday's game more meaningful for them?
'I'm sure it does for some of the guys,' Moore says. 'For me, no. I grew up a UCLA fan. Having the chance to play the No. 3 team in the country, that's the biggest thing.'
'Growing up, I liked UCLA,' LaRocque says. 'But my high school coach was (ex-SC star) Clay Matthews, so he'd always take me to their games. Everybody down there knows about SC football. We have an opportunity to pull off a big upset, so I'm sure there'll be some extra motivation for all of us.'
• For the first time this season, Oregon State is banged up. Tailback Yvenson Bernard sprained an ankle in the fourth quarter against Arizona and is questionable. Receiver Ruben Jackson (ankle) is doubtful. Center Kyle DeVan (knee) is day to day. Offensive tackle Josh Linehan, who has been out for a month after knee surgery, won't play.
The loss of Bernard would be the biggest. The junior tailback ranks second in the Pac-10 and 13th nationally in rushing (746 yards and seven TDs). If he can't play, 6-2, 220-pound junior Clinton Polk will start and sophomore Patrick Fuller will back him up.
'If there is any way he can play, I'm sure (Bernard) will be in there,' coach Mike Riley says.
• Before he came to Oregon State in 1997, Riley served as John Robinson's offensive coordinator at SC for four seasons. Does that provide extra meaning for the OSU coach?
'I don't think about that very much,' Riley says, 'but I really enjoyed my time there. It was a great place to coach football, and I enjoyed the people there. All that was a very positive time in my career.'
• Moore completed 16 of 22 passes for 181 yards and a TD and ran for a second score against Arizona. The senior QB also threw two interceptions, once into double coverage and once right to a defender on a rollout that set up a Wildcat field goal.
'Matt made some great throws in that game,' Riley says. 'Three of his incompletions were throwaways, and they were smart ones. I told him if he'd have made throwaways on the two plays (that were interceptions), he'd have had an almost perfect day.'
• Freshman QB Sean Canfield didn't play against Arizona.
'I just didn't feel the need to play him, or feel at the time I wanted to do it,' says Riley, who won't commit to playing the left-hander against the Trojans.