Can Oregon State keep its momentum going when it's not the underdog?
Oct. 4, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
After winning just three games a year ago, the Oregon State Beavers have become the nation's biggest surprise in college football, moving from the ranks of "they'll be lucky to finish .500," to No. 14 with three surprising wins.
Oregon State beat defending Big 10 champion Wisconsin at home, beat surprising UCLA in the Rose Bowl and then Arizona last week in Tuscon with a late-game rally led by sophomore quarterback Sean Mannion.
They struggled to run the ball consistently and stop opposing passing games, but on the scoreboard - where it matters - they've come through, with their three wins by just 13 total points.
This week, the Beavers face Washington State, which is 2-3 overall after Pac-12 Conference losses to Colorado and Oregon.
With its season rolling and excitement building in Corvallis, the question for Saturday's game seems simple - can they keep the momentum going?
OSU is favored to win by nearly 15 points, the first time they've been favored to win by oddsmakers.
The concern for Saturday's game is genuine because the last time the Cougars traveled to OSU, the Beavers were favored to win by 23 points - and WSU pulled a huge upset by winning 31-14. It was an exclamation point to a fanatically frustrating season for the Beavers, who began the season with a loss to TCU at Cowboys Stadium, lost to Boise State two weeks later, but beat USC just a week after the WSU loss and eventually finished 5-7.
A loss Saturday would send fans directly back to that season mentally - frustrated.
WSU is a perfect candidate as a program easy to look past. The Cougs got drilled by BYU to open the season, then only narrowly beat FCS rival Eastern Washington 24-20, and then UNLV 35-27, which preceeded a 35-34 loss to Colorado. Oregon looked past the Cougars last week - at least for a half before pulling away for a 51-26 win.
Sheldon tames Central Catholic, PIL gets hammered again
Sept. 7, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
A week after pummeling Astoria 52-0 on the road, Gladstone took advantage of a series of turnovers and hammered Roosevelt on the road to improve to 2-0 as the second week of the prep football season played itself out Friday night.
Gladstone, which last won a state title 40 years ago, got a pair of short scoring runs from junior quarterback Austin Galvin and a defensive effort that included a pair of turnovers that ended drives by the Roughriders inside the Gladiator 20. On the night, five different players scored for Gladstone, which is two weeks away from a Tri-Valley League showdown with defending state champion LaSalle.
"We haven't forgotten them," said senior linebacker Oscar Sanchez, who had 12 tackles in the game. "We want to get back for losing to them last year. We've got a good defense, and want to show them that."
Of the numerous key games, Sherwood had the biggest win, upending Marist on the roa, 38-20.
Sheldon, the state runner-up last year, beat Central Catholic 33-26 in a road game played at Oregon City High.
In Portland, Grant powered past neighborhood rival Jefferson 58-12 in one of the Portland Interscholastic League's few wins of the 2012 season. Of the nine teams from the Portland Public Schools, only four have won at least one game. Overall, the district is 4-14, which includes the Grant win over league rival,
The complex at Oregon State University plays host to the five classifications with finals, June 1 and 2.
Softball is one of two sports that finish their seasons at Oregon State, with the other being Class Class 4A basketball at Gill Coliseum.
Teams will likely be playing to become a third seed in a playoff bracket this spring. Last year, a third seed was involved in four of the five championship games, with two of the teams winning: Century at Class 6A and West Albany at 5A.
Cascade, Glide and Regis won the Class 3A, 2A and 1A titles respectively with Glide and Regis as the only top seeds to win a title.