Bill Oram: The Oregon State Beavers’ football history can be told through their victories against the USC’s “fancy pants”.

It is not a rivalry, at least not in the traditional sense. It doesn’t have a catchy name, and for most of the past 100 years it hasn’t been particularly competitive.

But the games against the USC have always meant something more to Oregon State. Indeed, the Beavers’ footballing history can be told through victories, however rare they have been. Especially those from Corvallis.

Th Giant Killers of 1967. The upset 2000 that announced the Beavers as contenders. Freshman Jacquizz Rodgers went wild in 2008 to ruin No. 1 Trojan National Championship Offer.

The Beavers will host USC on Saturday during a refurbishment at Reser Stadium. The Beavers are trying to stay undefeated. Trojans want to give the playoffs a boost.

Is this the next big game from Oregon State-USC? It could definitely be the last.

This is the collateral damage of USC and UCLA’s pending move, the Big Ten.

Do you think Trojans will try to schedule conference-free games in Corvallis at any time? This week, Oregon State great Ken Simonton joined me on the Sports By Northwest podcast. The Beavers’ all-time best runner, who ran 234 yards against the Trojans in 2000, had a message for the decision makers behind the USC exit.

“I hope they all suffer from devilish hemorrhoids,” he said.

Ouch.

He is not alone in the feeling, even if the imagery is unique to him. Former Beavers quarterback Steve Preece called the Los Angeles school departure “devastating”.

“We loved playing SC because it was an opportunity to stand up to the big boys,” he said.

I doubt USC President Carol Folt thought back to the likes of Oregon State when she signed USC’s exit from the Pac-12, shattering a hundred years of tradition. But the dichotomy between Los Angeles city lights and Willamette Valley farmland embodies what made the Pac-8s, 10s, and 12s so special.

When Oregon State and USC met, Preece said, “It was a cultural thing. It was a lifestyle competition.”

And once every few years or decades, Oregon State rises and wins that battle. They did it last year in Los Angeles, before the Trojans knocked out Clay Helton and Lincoln Riley brought a wave of transfers from stars like Caleb Williams and Jordan Addison, Heisman’s favorite, nominated last year in Pittsburgh for best. receiver of the nation.

Jess Lewis grew up on a farm in Turner. She made what is arguably the most famous comedy in Oregon State history when she chased OJ Simpson through the mud to preserve the Oregon State victory in 1967. She was chopping wood outside her home in Corvallis when she answered the phone on Wednesday.

His vision of the Trojans over the years?

“Elegant pants, I call them,” he said. “We’re just old peasants and cowboys.”

The Beavers may not have as many farmers on the roster as they did in 1967, but that mentality remains.

“It’s always been … more than the David and Goliath story,” Simonton said. “SC has always been that standard bearer when it comes to Pac-10, Pac-12 football.”

As the world of college football shrank and the Beavers’ recruiting footprint expanded, motivation was found in other places.

Take Alexis Serna, the kicker who scored four field goals leading the Beavers to a 33-31 win over the No. 3USC in 2006.

“A lot of us, we had roots in Southern California,” Serna said. “And so you have that kind of chip on your shoulder, like, ‘Dude, I think I can compete at that level. I think they neglected me. They had their chance to catch me and they didn’t. ‘”

Trojans have won 11 national championships and boast seven Heisman trophies. This week they are ranked n. 7 of the Associated Press.

“Winning those games,” said Serna, “was a big deal for what they were.”

Oregon State quarterback Chance Nolan pitched four touchdown passes in Oregon State’s 45-27 victory over USC last season. He will look to lead the Beavers to another victory when the Trojans arrive at Reser Stadium this week. (Photo AP / Marcio Jose Sanchez)AP

Do the Beavers still have an upset in them? The Beavers have won four of their last seven games at Corvallis. The match will start at 18:30

I don’t know if the Beavers have the firepower to keep up with the Trojans, but history tells us strange things happen when USC arrives in Corvallis.

In 1967, after Oregon State beat Purdue and tied UCLA with every No. 2 when they faced the Beavers, manager Dee Andros famously said he was tired of the brass with second-rate opponents.

“Next n. 1, said Andros.

More than 50 years later, it’s time to bring the latest.

– Bill Oram | boram@oregoniano.com | Twitter: @billoram

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: