Surprising Beavers host Cougars in Pac-12 bout

Published October 03, 2012

| Sports Network

The improbable run of the No. 14 Oregon State Beavers continues this week as the Washington State Cougars come to town for a Pac-12 conference tangle at Reser Stadium.

With the hiring of Mike Leach optimism was pumped back into the fans in Pullman, Washington but thus far the Leach era has gotten off to a slow start. The Cougars are just 2-3 after the first five weeks of the season including an 0-2 mark in the Pac-12. Leach's patented Air Raid offensive attack has taken some time to gel although in a 51-26 loss last weekend to No. 2 Oregon the Cougars hung around before falling apart in the second half.

There was very little hype surrounding Oregon State entering this season and even after downing a then nationally ranked Wisconsin team there was still questions about how legitimate the Beavers really were. After wins against a nationally ranked UCLA squad and Arizona last weekend the Beavers have officially proven they are for real. Oregon State is now 3-0 for the first time since 2002 and the team's No. 14 ranking in the top-25 is the highest ranking for an Oregon State squad since 2001.

"I thought that the approach and everything has been good since day one. They haven't really changed," head coach Mike Riley said of how his team has been affected by the early success,"This team seems to be pretty grounded and guys are pretty hungry. They know they're not perfect."

Last season Sean Mannion threw four touchdown passes to lift Oregon State over the Cougars 44-21 at CenturyLink Field. The win pulled the Beavers closer in the all-time series which they trailed 48-45-3 to Washington State. The Cougars have won two of their last three games in Corvallis.

Passing the ball is the top priority for the Washington State offense under Leach, just as it has been the past few seasons. The Cougars are still transitioning into Leach's system but have begun to improve in recent weeks. The Cougars have moved up to eighth in the Pac-12 in total offense this season (378.6 ypg), while ranking second in the conference in passing yards (1,665).

Marquess Wilson has been one of the best receivers in the country over the last few years and against Oregon he became arguably the best in Washington State history. Wilson caught 12 passes for 182 yards and now has 2,893 career receiving yards which is the most in school history. This season he has caught 30 passes for 499 yards and five touchdowns. Isiah Myers (26 receptions, 247 yards, 4 TDs) and Gabe Marks 2 340.00 10. Ohio Wesleyan 4 185 126 1 1351 6 337.75 11. Middlebury 2 101 60 2 673 10 336.50 12. Illinois Col. 4 142 84 7 1304 15 326.00 13. Cornell College 4 161 94 3 1288 8 322.00 14. Utica 4 149 95 2 1285 13 321.25 15. John Carroll 4 169 101 2 1277 10 319.25 16. Becker 4 174 100 4 1272 10 318.00 17. Westminster (MO) 5 232 130 6 1589 14 317.80 18. Trinity (TX) 5 150 100 2 1578 15 315.60 19. Sul Ross St. 4 153 107 6 1242 16 310.50 20. Pacific Lutheran 3 110 62 3 924 5 308.00 21. Concordia Chicago 4 118 78 5 1228 14 307.00 22. Hardin-Simmons 4 149 87 5 1213 12 303.25 23. Buffalo St. 5 186 104 7 1515 8 303.00 24. Brockport 5 195 113 4 1502 10 300.40 25. Emory & Henry 4 190 118 4 1201 8 300.25 26. Rensselaer 4 125 87 3 1198 12 299.50 27. Eureka 5 196 99 2 1491 9 298.20 28. Cal Lutheran 3 123 77 5 885 7 295.00 29. Wheaton (IL) 4 140 93 3 1178 15 294.50 30. Mass. Maritime 4 134 86 4 1168 9 292.00 31. Tufts 2 124 62 6 569 2 284.50 32. East Tex. Baptist 4 163 95 10 1137 7 284.25 33. Lewis & Clark 4 138 84 1 1126 10 281.50 34. Greensboro 4 141 85 8 1124 9 281.00 35. St. John's (MN) 5 158 91 9 1404 10 280.80 36. Mount Ida 4 112 72 5 1123 12 280.75 37. St. Thomas (MN) 4 152 84 5 1120 8 280.00 38. Lawrence 4 161 95 3 1117 9 279.25 39. Huntingdon 5 165 104 3 1391 10 278.20 40. Occidental 3 135 84 6 828 1 276.00 41. Mount Union 4 96 67 1 1099 11 274.75 42. TCNJ 4 183 120 6 1095 4 273.75 43. Louisiana Col. 4 149 80 6 1080 6 270.00 44. Rochester (NY) 4 129 72 5 1078 7 269.50 45. Nichols 5 187 102 13 1330 9 266.00 46. Hartwick 5 151 73 10 1325 13 265.00 47. FDU-Florham 4 136 82 5 1035 8 258.75 48. Heidelberg 4 118 74 4 1025 11 256.25 48. Pacific (OR) 4 129 79 7 1025 6 256.25 50. Ill. Wesleyan 4 119 78 4 1024 13 256.00 50. Wesley 4 148 89 8 1024 11 256.00 52. Linfield 4 148 81 5 1016 12 254.00 53. Carnegie Mellon 5 87 59 1 1268 11 253.60 54. Wittenberg 4 108 65 5 1013 9 253.25 55. Delaware Valley 5 155 95 4 1262 13 252.40 56. Wis.-River Falls 4 195 108 4 1004 3 251.00 57. Ursinus 5 183 95 4 1254 12 250.80 58. Hanover 4 177 107 10 996 8 249.00 59. Frank. & Marsh. 5 164 116 6 1244 12 248.80 60. Millsaps 4 119 72 2 991 11 247.75 60. Texas Lutheran 4 126 76 7 991 7 247.75 62. Johns Hopkins 5 149 109 8 1234 8 246.80 63. Williams 2 61 41 2 493 3 246.50 64. Wis.-Stevens Point 4 118 70 6 981 5 245.25 65. Worcester St. 5 151 101 5 1201 11 240.20 66. Hampden-Sydney 4 153 78 7 955 11 238.75 67. Curry 5 231 134 3 1187 10 237.40 68. Chapman 3 91 60 4 712 4 237.33 69. St. Olaf 5 155 103 4 1181 11 236.20 70. Denison 4 139 84 6 944 9 236.00 71. Hope 5 200 107 8 1179 8 235.80 72. Mary Hardin-Baylor 4 102 75 1 943 10 235.75 73. Coe 4 110 72 3 941 6 235.25 74. Redlands 3 106 56 6 705 4 235.00 75. Whitworth 5 121 69 3 1172 11 234.40 76. Baldwin-Wallace 4 100 53 4 935 8 233.75 77. Cortland St. 4 121 74 6 931 10 232.75 78. Catholic 4 167 95 6 926 11 231.50 79. Albright 5 163 100 8 1144 10 228.80 80. Earlham 5 210 105 17 1143 6 228.60 81. MIT 4 116 69 2 905 7 226.25 82. Bethany (WV) 4 125 76 5 900 9 225.00 82. Guilford 4 154 92 4 900 8 225.00 82. Western Conn. St. 4 154 82 10 900 8 225.00 82. Wis.-Oshkosh 4 120 76 1 900 6 225.00 86. Juniata 5 184 109 6 1118 5 223.60 87. DePauw 4 172 91 5 892 7 223.00 88. North Central (IL) 4 98 58 5 887 6 221.75 89. Franklin 4 134 84 3 877 9 219.25 90. Northwestern (MN) 5 111 63 3 1093 12 218.60 91. Ithaca 4 116 75 1 874 9 218.50 92. Lebanon Valley 5 130 74 5 1089 6 217.80 93. Neb. Wesleyan 5 204 96 8 1087 4 217.40 94. Wabash 4 117 69 1 865 9 216.25 95. Westfield St. 5 147 85 10 1078 6 215.60 96. Anna Maria 4 138 71 1 859 2 214.75 97. Carthage 4 125 66 2 853 5 213.25 98. Salve Regina 5 129 78 4 1064 9 212.80 99. Kalamazoo 5 159 93 9 1060 5 212.00 100. Centre 5 141 83 0 1055 9 211.00

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