Beavers believe beating USC on the road is doable

2009-10-20T23:45:00Z Beavers believe beating USC on the road is doableBy Cliff Kirkpatrick, Gazette-Times Reporter Corvallis Gazette Times

As usual, breaking down the Oregon State football team's matchups against Southern California looks one-sided.

The Beavers are overmatched in all areas when it's outlined on paper, and are three-touchdown underdogs. However, they've won two of the last three meetings with those kinds of odds.

Overcoming the unimaginable motivates them.

Whatever special magic or enhanced focused the Beavers call on, they'll need it when they face the fourth-ranked Trojans in a Pacific-10 Conference game at 5 p.m. on Saturday in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

"This is doable," coach Mike Riley said. "My point to the team is if you play well anything is doable. It's whoever plays the best on Saturday. You can be overwhelmed by what you see, or you can get ready to play your best game."

OSU (4-2, 2-1) usually goes into this game focused and prepared, and gives USC (5-1, 2-1) a hard time. Part of the reason is the special attention needed facing a program that has won at least a share of the last seven Pac-10 titles.

For many players, especially the Southern Californians on the roster, they want to show USC what it missed in ignoring them in the recruiting process.

It's also the confidence of the players who know they can win high profile games because they have done it before. And they are playing well at this point of the season.

"Our team has a sense of excitement about our team," Riley said. "They feel good about our last two games. They feel they got better. If that can help us in the confidence-factor, and in the preparations for this game, good. You have to be realistic with what you do and you can't have fear."

Ramifications of the outcome must also be considered. Both teams begin the second half of the season tied for second place in the conference with Arizona and Arizona State.

The winner is in position for a strong run to the end of the season with championship aspirations. It's not the end of the world for the loser, but it is tougher to control your own postseason destiny.

"The road to the (championship) will go through them," Riley said. "They don't lose too many games. It has become real in the last five, six years, whether you want to think that or not."

OSU used last year's victory in the fourth week of the season to make a run at the Rose Bowl. Beating USC early showed the players how good they could be.

Something like that could have the same effect for this year's team.

"They are the most talented team in the conference across the board, defensively and offensively," quarterback Sean Canfield said. "They have all five-star athletes on defense, but beating USC is goal 1A to our Rose Bowl goal."

Another aspect of the game is the emotion on USC's end, while the Beavers plan to keep it all business.

That revenge factor comes into play since the Beavers embarrassed USC in the recent losses, and hurt its national title hopes.

There won't be any sneaking up on the Trojans. Hiding compact, but talented, running back Jacquizz Rodgers in a Trojan Horse won't work this time.

"It's an opportunity for them to get back at us, but it's also an opportunity to get on the map," offensive guard Gregg Peat said. "We are just as pumped up for this game as they are."

Copyright 2015 Corvallis Gazette Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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