USC (5-3, 2-2) at Oregon St. (6-2, 4-1) / Reser Stadium / 6 PM PDT / ESPN2 / KEJO 1240 AM / KEX 1190 AM
Oregon St. welcomes USC (and all OSU Dads) to Reser Stadium for an "Orange Out" tonight, where the Beavers will break out their "All Orange" look, orange helmets, jerseys, and pants for the first time.
It's also Dad's Night, so be prepared for them in the halftime show. (You have been warned!)
And it's the first time Oregon St. has played on a Friday night with school in session exclusive of Civil War games around Thanksgiving and bowl games.
Reser Stadium has become a house of horrors for the Trojans, who have lost their last 3 trips to Corvallis, though due to Pac-12 scheduling, that hasn't happened since the Nov. 20, 2010 game when the Beavers upset then 20th ranked USC 36-7.
Oregon St. has now won 3 in a row at Reser against USC, which translates to having won 2 of 3 and 3 of 5 overall against the Trojan program that has generally dominated the series which dates to Thanksgiving Day of 1914 (the first ever game outside the state of California for USC, which was actually scheduled for Corvallis, but was moved to Tacoma, WA).
The Trojans never set foot in Corvallis until Veterans Day 1967, when a well documented 3-0 upset occurred.
Despite the head aches coming to Corvallis has caused USC, the Trojans still hold an overwhelming 59-11-4 advantage in the series, with a 26 game winning streak from 1968 thru 1999 a key component of their domination.
Oregon St. will be without WR Kevin Cummings, who was lost for the rest of at least the regular season, after wrist surgery this week.
USC may or may not get WR Marqise Lee, who has missed 2 1/2 of the last 3 games, and is listed as questionable this week, as is RT Kevin Graf. The Trojans won't have either TE Randall Telfer or OLB Morgan Breslin.
The key to the game could well be how well Oregon St. protects quarterback Sean Mannion, After allowing only 9 sacks of the nation's leading passer in the Beavers' first 7 games, Stanford recorded 8 in last week's 20-12 win, which were the key to the Cardinal holding Oregon St. to their lowest point and yardage production of the season, both by wide margins. Now comes the USC defense, which just happens to co-lead the Pac-12 (with Stanford and Utah) in sacks.
The Beavers are 5 point favorites, the first time Oregon St. has ever been favored against USC in Corvallis.
And though their 3 game home winning streak against the Trojans makes it seem like the odds are due for that to turn around, its worth noting Oregon St. of late is 7-1 at home against the spread, while USC is on an 0-10 skid against the spread on the road.
The Great Pumpkin is still going to be hovering over Reser.
Buildingthedam.com will be at the game as always, and be back afterwards with analysis, possibly even before midnight, since the Beavers are playing a game with an unusually early 6 PM start time.