Beavers gear up to take on Trojans
OSU last defeated USC on the road in 1960
The date: Sept. 16, 1960. Dwight Eisenhower was in the final months of his presidency. Sophomore Terry Baker was splitting time with senior Don Kasso for Oregon State at tailback Ñ Tommy Prothro wouldn't switch out of the single wing offense until the following season.
And the Beavers, in the first game of Baker's varsity career, upset No. 6-ranked Southern California 14-0 at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
The Trojans were ranked No. 1 in the preseason by Playboy magazine (does this sound too familiar?), so it was a colossal achievement for the Beavers, 3-7 the previous season.
'I remember coming down that tunnel in the Coliseum before the game,' says Baker, a Portland attorney. 'We are lined up on one side and SC is on the other side. I look up, and they are all a lot bigger than us, and I'm thinking, 'Oh, no, we have to play these guys?' But once we got out there, things went OK.'
Baker's recollections of the game are vague.
'I think I threw a touchdown pass to Amos Marsh,' he says. 'Prothro used me kind of sparingly. I remember once I ran the ball and one of the McKeever twins jumped on my back, and I just kept running with him on my back. What did you say the final score was?'
It was the last time an OSU team experienced victory at USC. Since then, the Beavers have been 0-18 on the road against the Trojans, including last year's heartbreaking 16-13 overtime defeat, in which Ryan Cesca missed a pair of chip-shot field-goal attempts for the win.
On Saturday, the Beavers get another chance against the Trojans in the Coliseum, 'and that trend is about to change,' Baker predicts.
The 1962 Heisman Trophy winner has watched the Beavers' three home games this season with admiration.
'They look very good,' he says. 'They are so well coached Ñ the offense take advantage of what the opponent gives them Ñ and their defense is terrific. Steven Jackson is awesome, and Derek Anderson is awfully good. He had his worst game of the season last Saturday (in OSU's 59-19 win over Fresno State at Reser Stadium), which shows you how good they are. If he can have a mediocre game and they are still that good É you can tell I'm a big fan of this team.'
NOTES: Coach Dennis Erickson on the Beavers against Fresno State: 'That is as good as our offensive front has played this year, particularly in the run game. That was a key. Fresno was doing things to take the pass away, so we played some double tight end and a couple of different formations. And Steven ran really well. Our defense took their run game away totally. And it's the best we've played in all aspects of special teams. Overall, pretty darn good by everybody.'
Offensive tackle Brian Kilkenny broke a fibula. The Beavers will find out later this week if he will be out for four to five weeks or for the season.