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Oregon State football primer: Beavers have had limited success

Oregon State wide receiver Trevon Bradford (8) tries to get past Oregon safety Jevon Holland last season. (AP Photo)
Oregon State wide receiver Trevon Bradford (8) tries to get past Oregon safety Jevon Holland last season. (AP Photo)


Oklahoma State opens its 2019 season Friday night against Oregon State. It’s the first Cowboys-Beavers matchup ever on the gridiron. Here’s a primer on Oregon State football history.

Conference titles: Five. Outright championships in 1941 and 1956; co-championships in 1957, 1964 and 2000. All were in the Pac-12 or its forerunners (Pac-10, Pac-8, Athletic Association of Western Universities and Pacific Coast).

Bowl record: 9-6. The Beavers have played in three Rose Bowls, losing to Michigan 34-3 in the 1964 season and Iowa 35-19 in the 1956 season, and beating Duke 20-16 in the 1941 Rose Bowl, which was played in Durham, North Carolina, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Oregon State’s most recent bowl game was the 2013 Hawaii Bowl.

Best team: Dennis Erickson’s 2000 team went 11-1, tied  for the Pac-12 title and beat Notre Dame 41-9 in the Fiesta Bowl. Those Beavers finished fourth in the AP poll.

Best historical position: The Beavers have produced three big-time NFL wide receivers this century – Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Brandin Cooks. 

Greatest player: Quarterback Terry Baker won the 1962 Heisman Trophy. He’s one of only eight consensus all-Americans for the Beavers.

Arch-rival: Oregon. The Ducks have dominated the Civil War of late, winning 10 of 11. But Oregon’s overall series lead is just 65-47-10.

Greatest win: November 18, 2000, when the eighth-ranked Beavers beat fifth-ranked Oregon 23-13. It’s the only game ever in the Civil War when both teams were ranked in the top 10.

Greatest coach: Tommy Prothro, who coached the Beavers 10 seasons, 1955-64, and went 63-37-2, the second-best winning percentage in school history (Erickson had a percentage of .646 from 1999-02). Prothro left for UCLA in 1965 and eventually became coach of the Los Angeles Rams.

Oklahoma connection: Dee Andros, an OU player under Bud Wilkinson in the late 1940s and an Oklahoma City Central High School graduate, coached the Beavers 11 seasons and went 62-80-2 from 1965-75. Andros produced five straight winning seasons, 1966-70, the only in Oregon State history it has produced five straight winning seasons. Andros’ 1970 Beavers beat OU 19-14, the last game the Sooners played before switching to the wishbone.

Biggest upset: Andros’ 1967 team upset top-ranked Southern Cal 3-0. That Trojan team was led by O.J. Simpson and fellow overall No. 1 draft pick Ron Yary. Those Beavers were dubbed the “Giant Killers.” They also beat second-ranked Purdue 22-14 and tied No. 2 UCLA 16-16. All three games came in a 22-day period.

Stadium: Reser Stadium, capacity 45,674, the second-smallest venue in Pac-12 football, ahead of only Washington State. Built in 1954, Reser Stadium has undergone several renovations, most recently in 2007.

City: Corvallis, Oregon, which proclaims itself the best college town in the Pac-12. Which probably isn’t true but is not an absurd statement. Most Pac-12 schools are in major-league cities – Los Angeles, suburban San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Seattle, suburban Phoenix. Plus Tucson, Arizona, is a huge place. So that leaves Pullman, Washington; Boulder, Colorado; or Corvallis. Most people would vote Boulder. Corvallis has a population of an estimated 55,000 and is the westernmost city in the continguous 48 states with at least 50,000 residents.

Career rushing leaders: Ken Simonton holds the Oregon State rushing record, with 5,044 yards from 1998-01. Mighty mite Jacquizz Rodgers was a more recent Beaver star, with 3,877 rushing yards and 1,056 receiving yards from 2008-10.

Career passing leaders: Sean Mannion is the Beavers’ career passing leader, with 13,600 yards from 2011-14. He threw a school record 83 touchdown passes. Derek Anderson was a long-time NFL quarterback who threw for 11,249 yards for Oregon State from 2001-04. And current Beaver head coach Jonathan Smith threw for 9,680 and 55 touchdowns from 1998-01.

Related Photos
Oregon State wide receiver Trevon Bradford (8) tries to get past Oregon safety Jevon Holland (8) in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Corvallis, Ore., on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Timothy J. Gonzalez)

Oregon State wide receiver Trevon Bradford (8) tries to get past Oregon safety Jevon Holland (8) in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Corvallis, Ore., on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Timothy J. Gonzalez)

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-aa4f779079728986630162540a1df9b1.jpg" alt="Photo - Oregon State wide receiver Trevon Bradford (8) tries to get past Oregon safety Jevon Holland (8) in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Corvallis, Ore., on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Timothy J. Gonzalez)" title="Oregon State wide receiver Trevon Bradford (8) tries to get past Oregon safety Jevon Holland (8) in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Corvallis, Ore., on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Timothy J. Gonzalez)"><figcaption>Oregon State wide receiver Trevon Bradford (8) tries to get past Oregon safety Jevon Holland (8) in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Corvallis, Ore., on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Timothy J. Gonzalez)</figcaption></figure>
Berry Tramel

Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,... Read more ›

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