Preview: Oregon State at Penn State
By Staff, with contributions from the PAC-10 and Big Ten
September 2, 2008
Penn State's Joe Paterno recorded his 373rd career victory on Saturday against Coastal Carolina to match Florida State's Bobby Bowden for the all-time record among Football Bowl Subdivision coaches. Paterno has now been on the sidelines for 501 games in his career, one of only two mentors in NCAA history to crack that barrier along with former Big Ten coach Amos Alonzo Stagg (548 games from 1890-1946 with Springfield, Chicago and Pacific). Paterno will aim for win number 374 on Saturday against Oregon State while Bowden and the Seminoles open their 2008 season that same day.
Oregon State was projected by the computer to go 8-4 this season and take 3rd place in the PAC-10. But the Beavers stubbed their toe in an opening week 36-28 loss at Stanford. Now, Mike Riley's squad has its back to the wall with the likelihood of an 0-2 start staring them in the face.
While Oregon State was losing to a Stanford team that was picked to go 2-10 this year, Penn State was beating up an outmanned FCS opponent 66-10.
Oregon State's loss was aided by five turnovers, including a disastrous one in the final minute. Trailing 36-28 with 47 seconds left, Darrell Catchings attempted to stretch the ball across the goal line after catching a pass for what would have been a 1st-and-goal at the 1-yard line. Instead, he fumbled it through the end zone to seal the loss. The Beavers had 190 more yards and 11 more 1st downs than Stanford. The Cardinal passing game produced just 91 yards.
A win over Penn State won't help Oregon State in the PAC-10 race, but it would point the Beavers back in the right direction.
Interestingly enough, the Beavers will be the visitors in a venue named Beaver Stadium. It will mark the very first meeting between these two schools.
Penn State kicker Kevin Kelly opened the 2008 season by connecting on his lone field goal attempt and all seven extra points against Coastal Carolina to set the school's career scoring record by a kicker. Kelly increased his career numbers to 307 points to pass Brett Conway (302 from 1993-96).
Running Back Evan Royster tallied three TD's and gained 64 yards on only eight carries (8.0 avg.) in first career start.
After Coastal Carolina pulled within 14-7 early in the second quarter, Derrick Williams returned the ensuing kickoff 89 yards for a TD, his third career TD return (2 punts, 1 kickoff). Williams added 20 yards on two punt returns and 45 yards receiving.
Linebacker Tyrell Sales collected a team-high seven tackles (six solo) in less than three quarters while forcing a fumble on the opening kickoff.
Oregon State welcomed back WR Sammie Stroughter, a second-team All-Pac-10 selection in 2006 who missed virtually all of last season with an injury. Stroughter showed he has not lost a thing with 12 catches for 157 yards and two TD's.
Fellow WR Shane Morales was also in double figures in receptions at Stanford with 13 catches for 151 yards and a TD, giving the Stroughter-Morales duo 25 receptions for 308 yards and three TD's.
The Beavers have won three of their last four road games against top 25 opponents and five of their last nine overall.
Penn State has not lost a non-conference home game since 2003 when Boston College did the favor, 27-14. The Nittany Lions went on to finish that campaign with a 3-9 record.