As the 2-6 Oregon State Beavers get ready to take on their stiffest competition of the year in the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal, players and fans alike are hoping to salvage their season with one big win over one of the top teams in the country.
"I just have that feeling - the feeling we can beat this team," Beavers redshirt freshman defensive end Scott Crichton said this week. "It's not just me, it's everyone else, too."
Although the odds as well as your common sense would lead you to believe that the Beavers didn't stand a chance, but if you look at some of past seasons, OSU is always primed for a big upset. Like back in 2008 when they toppled top-ranked USC 27-21, despite being a 26-point underdog, ultimately costing Pete Carroll a shot at the national title. You may remember a freshman that year by the name of Jacquizz Rodgers running for 186 and making his way on the map.
In 2007 Oregon State took down the then No. 2 Cal Golden Bears 31-28 on Halloween in Berkeley; The Golden Bears had a shot at No. 1 after the top-ranked team that week already lost, but couldn't get it done. Let's not forget 2006 either, when OSU defeated the No. 3 Trojans by the skin of their teeth, 33-31.
History is on their side, that's got to account for something.
Head coach Mike Riley was a bit more straight-forward in his thinking though, knowing full well that it's going to be a battle out there:
"We're facing a major challenge. This team is very good in all areas, their offense and their quarterback," Riley said. "That's all well documented and outstanding in every way - statistically and by performance."
The Beavers currently have a four game losing streak to ranked opponents, dating back to last year and their shutout loss to the Cardinal up in Palo Alto by the score of 38-0. Let's hope that that history does not repeat itself.
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