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Arizona vs. Oregon State: Cliff Notes on the Beavers

A couple of struggling, hurt teams getting together this weekend

Utah v Oregon State Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats head up to Corvallis to face fellow division dweller and sister wife Oregon State. Like Arizona, OSU is mired in a terrible season with similar problems and issues.

Sister Wives

Like Arizona, Oregon State is 2-8 overall, is in last place of their respective Pac-12 division, and has one win over an FBS school. The lone Oregon State conference win, a 47-44 victory against California, places the Beavers ahead of the winless Wildcats in the overall Pac-12 standings.

Like Arizona, OSU has a rash of injuries, including 13 players who are out for the year. Like Arizona, there is a quarterback issue: Beaver starter Darell Garretson (ankle) was lost for the season in October and second stringer Conor Blount’s injury (knee) forced OSU to tap third stringer Marcus McMaryion for the last four games.

McMaryion stepped in nicely, throwing for a team-leading 920 yards on the season. But his athleticism hasn’t translated into a running game (-11 rushing yards) even though he played baseball for Team USA a few years ago.

Saturday’s game, the 300th at Reser Stadium, marks a battle to stay out of the conference cellar assuming both schools will most likely lose their games next week against their in-state rivals.

Head coach Gary Andersen

Head coach Gary Andersen is in his second year at Oregon State and is 4-18 in his new job. He surprisingly left Wisconsin after one season because of his dissatisfaction with the school’s admission standards.

Like Arizona, Washington State beat Oregon State 35-31. However, Mike Leach’s “compliment” afterwards left Andersen wondering if the Cougar coach “was trying to start a campaign for Coach of the Year”.

Andersen was a Northern Arizona assistant coach in 1995-1996, then moved on to Utah, where he was the defensive coordinator under Urban Meyer in the 2008 Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama. Andersen’s other head coaching stops were Utah State and Wisconsin.

Like Arizona, Oregon State is looking forward to basketball season.

What’s in the Scrapbook?

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Oregon State’s 20-16 Rose Bowl victory at Duke. It’s been a season-long celebration for “The Men of Roses”, as the 2016 team sported “1942” on their helmets and received replica Rose Bowl jackets.

The Beavers (8-2, 7-2) won the 1941 Pac-12 championship and earned the school’s first trip to Pasadena to face Duke. However, the attack on Pearl Harbor raised fears that the New Year’s Day game would be a potential Japanese military target, so the schools agreed for Duke to host the game in Durham, North Carolina. On the road and on the other side of the country, Oregon State was pegged as 3-to-1 underdogs.

On a cold and rainy day, the two teams slogged through terrible field conditions. OSU finally went up for good on a 33-yard touchdown catch late in the third quarter to secure the win. After the game, the teams had a banquet and then Oregon State headed home by train. It took a week to travel the 7,384 miles to Albany, Oregon. From there, the Albany Chamber of Commerce fed the team breakfast, piled them into cars, and caravanned the final stretch to Corvallis. The Beavers were greeted in full force by their hometown and received the key to the city.

It was the only Rose Bowl to have ever been played outside of Pasadena.

The 1941 Oregon State football team, coined “The Men of Roses”, is highlighted in a fantastic seven part series. The 1942 Rose Bowl recap is published in this week’s game program.