USC vs. Oregon State: A Primer to the Beavers


USC vs. Oregon State. A matchup that dates back 100 years to 1914, and has one of the weirdest histories despite being a lopsided series.

The Trojans sport a dominant 59-11-4 all-time record against the Beavers, who are notorious for providing two of the biggest upsets in school history.

In 1967, No. 1 USC was shocked in the famed ‘Mud Bowl’, nearly derailing a national championship campaign.

Forty-one years later in 2008, it did cost the Trojans a chance for a title. Mark Sanchez and company’s only blemish came to the Beavers while ranked No. 1, 27-21 on a Thursday night.

But those were in Corvallis, where the Trojans have struggled mightily of late, losing three-straight before last year’s 31-14 win.

In Los Angeles, the series has been about as competitive as men’s basketball in the Olympics, despite the Beavers regularly contending in the Pac-12 over the last 15 years.

Oregon State hasn’t won at the Coliseum since 1960, making for what should be a few motivated and angry Beavers on Saturday night.

To get a light-hearted dose of the Beaver juice, let’s get to know Oregon State University, formerly known as the Oregon Agricultural College.

Three semi-cool things you didn’t know about Oregon State:

  • You know those little cherries from the jar that you put on your hot fudge sundae? The same cherries that you tell the McDonalds drive-thru cashier to not put on your chocolate shake, but make sure you put in a Roy Rogers? You know, the maraschino cherry? Oregon State invented them. Well, mostly. OSU professor Ernest H. Wiegand developed the modern-day maraschino during prohibition, as he discovered a technique of preserving them without alcohol. Without him, a Shirley Temple would be an alcoholic drink Go figure.
  • Oregon State holds the distinction of being the only public university in the country to be recognized as a land-grant, sea-grant, sun-grant and space-grant institution.  The sun-grant honor is of most interest, as Corvallis has 51 fewer days of sun than the average American city.
  • The Beavers have played in the Rose Bowl just twice, both with odd circumstances. In 1942, Oregon State beat Duke in the only Rose Bowl to ever take place…not in the Rose Bowl. The game was played just four weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and there were widespread concerns that holding the major event on the west coast could loom as a potential target for the Japanese to attack. So, the game was played across the country in Durham at Duke Stadium. The Beavs won the “road” bowl, 20-16. Then, in 1964, their selection to the Rose Bowl was controversial. Both USC and Oregon State had identical 3-1 conference records and somewhat weirdly, didn’t play each other during the season.  Despite the Trojans concluding the season with wins over UCLA and an upset win over No. 1 Notre Dame, the conference elected to send Oregon State to the Rose Bowl, with UCLA casting the deciding vote. Oregon State went on to lose 34-7 to Michigan in the 1965 Rose Bowl and hasn’t been back since.

Factoids on Oregon State:

Full name: Oregon State UniversityRandom former name: Corvallis State Agricultural CollegeLocation: Corvallis, Ore.Founded: 1868Enrollment: 27,952Endowment: $479 millionAcceptance Rate: 67.7%School colors: Orange and BlackHome stadium: Reser Stadium (c. 45,674)Uniform outfitter: NikeDistance from OSU to In-N-Out: 359 milesDistance from OSU to Five Guys: 26.6 miles

Oregon State alumni you probably know of:

Most famous Oregon State Beaver: Gary Payton

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Most infamous Oregon State Beaver: Sarah Phillips

Most googled Oregon State Beaver: Sara Jean Underwood

The last time Oregon State won in the Coliseum…

  • Dwight D. Eisenhower was the President of the United States.
  • John F. Kennedy was running for office.
  • Herbert Hoover was still alive.
  • Barrack Obama wasn’t even conceived.
  • Duck and cover drills were the norm.
  • The Flintstones had yet to debut on TV.
  • Psycho was in theaters.
  • Spartacus was an upcoming attraction.
  • The Beatles were three years away from releasing their first album.
  • Nigeria was a British colony.
  • Brazil’s capital city of Brasilia was five months old.
  • Cassius Clay was a freshly minted gold medalist.
  • Lew Alcindor was in seventh grade.
  • Handheld calculators didn’t exist.
  • A McDonalds hamburger cost 15 cents and gas was 31 cents.
  • Deciding a national champion in college football still made no sense.
  • There were six teams in the NHL.
  • Six current FBS schools had yet to be established.
  • The Chargers were playing in Los Angeles.
  • The Los Angeles Lakers were in the process of moving from Minneapolis.
  • The Washington Senators had yet to move to Minneapolis.
  • Arizona State only had one campus.
  • John McKay had yet to win a game at USC.

Oregon State’s Fight Song:

O.S.U. our hats are off to you.Beavers, Beavers, fighters through and through.We’ll cheer through-out the land,We’ll root for every stand,That’s made for old O.S.U. Rah-rah-rah

Watch our team go tearing down the field.Those of iron, their strength will never yield.Hail! Hail! Hail! Hail!Hail to old O.S.U.

Oregon State’s Battlecry:

Oregon State Tweeps:

Where to read about the Beavs: