OREGON STATE HAS knocked off USC in three of the last four meetings in Reser Stadium and coach Mike…
BEAVER NOTES: Injury Update
As for Canfield, Riley said he's been practicing and throwing all this past week save for Saturday. Riley isn't ready to name him the backup QB yet, though it's not out of the realm of possibility that might end up being the case before kickoff.
DE Victor Butler (ankle) may not fully participate in practices this week but should be good to go by gametime, Riley said. S Cameron Collins (hamstring) is questionable, while the status of K Justin Kahut (hip) is uncertain, he would probably be best classified as probable. Sean Sehnem is the expected starter if Kahut can't go on field goals and extra points, while Matt Barker this week may be the man on kickoffs regardless of whether Kahut plays.
USC HAS demolished their first two opponents, outscoring Virginia and Ohio State by a combined 87-10. All 10 points from the opponents have come in the first quarter.
The Trojans feature a lot of speed in their starting front seven on defense -- Lyle Moevao would benefit immensely if the Beaver hosses are able to negate some of that and give him enough time.
If OSU can get Perry, an excellent pass blocker, back in time for the nationally televised Thursday night game on ESPN (6 p.m. PT), that could go a long ways in the protection schemes.
It might be asking a bit much to expect Perry to be letter perfect though, he hasn't played in a game since last year's Civil War win.
The other thing that needs to happen offensively if the Beavs are to pull off a stunner is that Oregon State must run the ball effectively, said Riley.
Jacquizz Rodgers (along with the o-line) faces his toughest challenge yet in his young career -- the Trojan defense has allowed but 103 rushing yards on 55 attempts through two games. Ryan McCants making the most of his opportunities will likely also be needed. If the Beavs are to find success on the ground, it is expected that it will be found between the tackles, the Trojans' speed on defense has been most on display on rushing attempts out wide or on plays slow to develop.
On defense, the Beavs could face as many as four running backs but the first order of business will be to limit Joe McKnight. He leads all Trojan backs with a 9.2 ypc average on 18 touches this year. QB Mark Sanchez is 43-of-62 for 510 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions.
SOUTHERN CAL HAS been installed as a whopping 23 point favorite. The game was expected to be a sell out later today.
"I don't think there are any true weaknesses on that team," said Riley.
But upsets do happen. Oregon State's win over USC in '06 came with the Beavs a 15-point underdog and the Trojans were coming off a bye week. Last year, Stanford knocked off the Trojans 24-23 despite USC being a 41-point favorite.
"No matter what people think, or what the perception is, it's all about playing the game and it's been proven time and again across the country that it's not about the best team always winning," said Riley.
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