USC at OSU
When, where: 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Reser Stadium
TV, radio: FSN Northwest, KEX (1190 AM)
• Oregon State has seven verbal commitments (Carl Sommer, 6-4, 230 defensive end, Wilsonville; Kevin Frahm, 6-3, 240 defensive end, Central Catholic; Colby Prince, 6-5, 220 tight end, West Albany; Jake Gelakoska, 6-4, 215 quarterback, Mill Creek, Wash.; Michael Cole 6-7, 295 offensive tackle, Foothill College (Los Altos Hills, Calif.); Ahmed Mokhtar, 6-0, 215 tailback, Santa Ana, Calif.; and Darrell Catchings, 6-2, 185 wide receiver, Escondido, Calif.). The Beavers also have three grayshirts who will begin school in the winter or spring - tight end Joe Halahuni of Orting, Wash., and linebackers Kevin Maher of Foothill and Danzel Issac of Eastern Arizona. Another possibility is defensive end Keith Robertson of Foothill, who can gain his eligibility by passing a class this fall.
That leaves only seven or eight spots for potential signees next February, though the Beavers probably will sign about 20, including the grayshirts.
• Matt Moore, Sammie Stroughter and company will be going against a USC secondary that has been wrought by injuries. Starters Kevin Thomas (foot), a cornerback, and safety Josh Pinkard (knee) are out and junior cornerback Terrell Thomas (shoulder) is banged up.
One of SC's starting safeties is sophomore Kevin Ellison, younger brother of ex-OSU star Keith Ellison. The other starting safety is Taylor Mays, a true freshman whose father, Stafford Mays, was a defensive lineman who played at Mt. Hood Community College in the late '70s before finishing at Washington and playing nine seasons in the NFL.
Oregon State has been able to move the ball through the air against SC under coach Mike Riley, passing for 815 yards in their last two meetings. In a 52-28 loss at L.A. in 2003, Derek Anderson threw for 485 yards and two TDs. In a 28-20 defeat at Corvallis in 2004, Anderson threw for 330 yards and two scores.
• USC's ace receiver, Dwayne Jarrett, has been hobbled by a shoulder injury, but he says the Trojans' bye last week 'helped out tremendously. This is the best I've felt physically since the Nebraska game (Sept. 16).'
• Anthony Crosby, the redshirt freshman receiver dismissed from the Beavers in August along with receiver Marcel Love for drug use, is attending San Joaquin (Calif.) Delta College. If he gets qualified academically, he can apply for reinstatement to OSU, possibly returning in winter or spring term. OSU coaches would welcome back the 6-0, 195-pound Crosby, who would have three years of eligibility remaining.
• In the last three games, Oregon State's defense has registered 14 sacks and 25 tackles for loss. 'It's absolutely essential that continues,' Riley says. … The Beavers had better not let the Trojans get inside the OSU 20-yard line. SC leads the Pac-10 in red zone efficiency, scoring on 29 of 31 chances - including 22 TDs.
- Kerry Eggers