Fresh off the best defensive performance of the year, the Trojans head into Corvallis to play its third Friday game sine 1999 with the high-flying Oregon State Beavers awaiting a chance for redemption on the national stage.
Although USC holds a decided edge in its series with the Beavers, the teams have split their last six meetings and Corvallis has not been kind to the Cardinal and Gold in recent memory.
"That's the first thing I thought about this morning...just remembering the times that we won, and the times that we didn't win. It's just a tough environment," coach Orgeron said during his weekend teleconference with reporters, following his squads 19-3 victory over Utah.
"Those players seem like they get up to play against us, and they do a good job. And Coach Riley is a good coach. We have to give them credit."
Recent History Counters Troy's Historic Dominance:
USC leads the all-time series with Oregon State, 59-11-4, dating back to 1914 and USC has also won 32 of the last 36 meetings with the Beavers. That being said, OSU has won 3 of the past 5 and 4 of the last 10 beginning with a victory in 2000 which snapped a 26-game winning streak for Southern California in the state of Oregon.
Last time the program traveled to Corvallis (where it holds a 12-5 all-time record), then-20th ranked USC lost an embarrassing 36-7 affair against Jacquizz Rogers and the run-and-gun Oregon State Beavers.
That performance has been rather common for this squad, losing its last three games in Corvallis and four of its last five including the 2008 infamous trip where the top-ranked Trojans were upset during the third week of the season.
Brief Oregon State Preview:
The Beavers quarterback Sean Mannion leads the nation in passing yards and TD passes, after fighting with Cody Vaz for most of last season for the starting job. Oregon State dropped its first and most recent games of the season, both of which were at home, and this team will surely attempt to challenge the Pac-12's top defense this Friday.
He threw for 350-plus yards in seven consecutive games before the 20-13 loss to Stanford and he recently set school records for game passing yardage (493 at Washington State) and TDs (6 against Colorado).
The big pay threat to watch this week will be WR Brandin Cooks, who tops the nation in receiving yards, receptions and receiving touchdowns and is third in scoring and fourth in all-purpose running. Long story short, this guy is one of the best USC will face and should present for a great tilt with either Kevon Seymour or Josh Shaw on the outside.
The opportunistic Oregon State defense is fifth nationally in turnover margin and sixth in interceptions, with CB Steven Nelson as the country's top individual in that category.
The 2012 All-Pac-12 first teamer DE Scott Crichton, is among the national leaders in tackles for loss and will make LT Chad Wheeler's life rather challenging all evening long.
Mike Riley Connection:
Oregon State head coach Mike Riley was an assistant at USC from 1993 to 1996, serving exclusively under former USC head coach John Robinson. The stalwart head coach was possibly linked earlier this year to fill USC's head coaching vacancy but called those rumors "the furthest thing from my mind," when asked by reporters this season.
While Riley may not be interested in the job, his teams have always done an excellent job of giving the Trojans fits, especially on the offensive and defensive line. We have already seen plenty of moments that make you scratch your head from the offensive line, so one would expect a much-needed improvement in that department this week.
Fun Factoids For Friday:
Have to thank the USC Sports Information Department for this statistic, which says USC has a 10-3 overall record in games played on Nov. 1, most recently a 56-0 victory over Washington in 2008. Also of note, walk-on safety Adrian Johnson is the only Trojan from Oregon, while Oregon State sports 45 players who hail from the state of California.
Here is a fun treat recapping the Trojans "one team, one heart" victory over Utah on Saturday. The unfiltered video gives fans all you need to know from inside the locker room to on the Coliseum grass. Including a cool tribute at the end for the walk-on players who received their first dose of playing time this season.
#FightOn and Beat the Beavers this Friday in Corvallis!