Beavers want payback at UW
Husky week isn't as special for Oregon State as Civil War weekend, but it probably ranks second.
There's usually an air of superiority sifting out of Seattle, with perennial Pacific-10 Conference power Washington having beaten Oregon State 13 straight times from 1986 to 2000.
That could be changing. Last year in Corvallis, OSU ended the string with authority, rolling to a 35-10 halftime lead en route to a 49-24 victory over the Huskies in the Beavers' best performance of the season.
On Saturday, Oregon State will attempt to bring down another streak. Washington has won six in a row in the series at Husky Stadium. The last time the Beavers beat the Huskies there was in 1985 Ñ they were 38-point underdogs but won 21-20 in Dave Kragthorpe's first season as OSU coach. At the time, it was considered the biggest upset in college football history.
Dwan Edwards was a 4-year-old living in Montana at the time, so the 1985 epic doesn't register on his memory meter. But OSU's junior defensive tackle hasn't forgotten the last Beaver-Husky game in Seattle in 2000 Ñ a 33-30 Washington victory that was the Beavers' only loss in their 11-1 Fiesta Bowl championship season.
'Washington knocked us out of our national championship hopes that year,' Edwards says. 'We have some payback. Plus, I sprained an ankle in the second series last year and missed the rest of the game. That's extra motivation for me. I'm looking forward to going up there and putting on a show.'
The OSU defense did that last weekend at Reser Stadium, smothering Arizona's offense in a 38-3 victory. The Wildcats, because of six OSU sacks for 84 yards, wound up with minus-23 yards rushing and 93 yards of total offense. The last time an opposing offense rushed for fewer yards was in 1966, when Oregon had minus-24 against the Beavers. You have to go back to 1950 to find an opponent with fewer total yards (Montana, 66).
'Oregon State's defense is as good or better than any we have played,' Arizona quarterback Jason Johnson says. 'Physically, with their aggressive style É they really came after us, forced us to play on their terms. They force you to try to make a lot of plays, dealing with all their blitzes.'
nÊOregon State's offensive line had its second straight excellent performance against Arizona. The result was the Beavers' most balanced offensive attack of the season. Steven Jackson rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns, and quarterback Derek Anderson threw for 235 yards, including an 86-yard TD strike to James Newson.
• Anderson's completion numbers Ñ 12 for 28 Ñ don't reflect his accuracy against the Wildcats. He missed on some balls, but his receivers, other than Newson and Cole Clasen, let him down.
'Derek threw the ball better than he has since the Fresno State game,' says Jonathan Smith, the OSU graduate assistant who was the Beaver quarterback the previous four years. 'Our receivers dropped five balls. They catch those and his numbers are terrific.'
• For Oregon State's first seven games, Smith was on the sideline, talking to Anderson after nearly every offensive series. The last two weeks, he has been with offensive coordinator Tim Lappano in the press box, giving the offense 'another set of eyes' from above.
Smith will be back there Saturday in Seattle, offering advice as he looks down upon his favorite foreign college field. As a freshman in 1998, Smith threw for a school-record 469 yards and three TDs. In 2000, he passed for 314 yards and three scores there.
Smith will talk to Anderson this week about playing in 72,500-seat Husky Stadium.
'We will talk about the crowd noise, which will be a factor,' Smith says. 'You talk about momentum, avoiding disastrous plays, doing the things you have to do to be successful against the Husky defense. They have been struggling. A lot of times, they have been in position to make plays but just haven't made them. We'll have to see what we can do with them.'
NOTES: Sophomore end Bill Swancutt has at least one tackle for loss in every game this season. É Oregon State has not allowed a touchdown in the first quarter. OSU is outscoring the opposition 89-19 in the period. É The Beavers are 30-14 in their last 44 games and 20-3 at home in the Dennis Erickson era. É Anderson, with 18 TD passes, needs two more to tie Smith for the school season record of 20.