The last time the Cardinal lost consecutive games was in 2009, and Oregon State was involved. Stanford was a young team back then, but they were clearly on the rise. They were 4-1, having just defeated Washington and UCLA in consecutive weeks, and they looked to build on that momentum on a rainy afternoon in Corvallis. The game started with a brilliant call that the coaching staff had scripted during the week -- a play action pass with running back Toby Gerhart as the decoy and wide receiver Chris Owusu on a deep post pattern. Every thing worked perfectly. Owusu was five yards behind the defense when the ball arrived, but he dropped it and the Cardinal never recovered. (They'd lose again the following week at Arizona for their only losing streak in the past five seasons.)
Since then, the Beavers haven't offered much resistance. There was a 38-0 win in 2010, 38-13 in '11, and a 27-23 nailbiter last year. This year Oregon State comes into the matchup with a résumé that's impressive at first glance, but a bit suspect upon further examination. The Beavers are 6-1 and ranked #25 in the BCS, but their schedule thus far wouldn't scare anyone. Yes, they're 4-0 in conference play, but those four wins have come against some of the worst teams in the Pac-12. And their only loss? It was a 49-46 opening day loss to Eastern Washington, an FCS school.
But if Stanford is looking past the Beavers and towards the Oregon game two weeks from now, they would be making a huge mistake. The Beavers feature the most prolific passing attack in the nation. Quarterback Sean Mannion will likely jump the 3,000-yard mark with his first completion of the game (he's thrown for 2,992 yards, an average of 427 yards per game) and by the end of the season will sit comfortably in second place on Oregon State's all-time passing list with a season of eligibility remaining.
Mannion's favorite target is junior wide receiver Brandin Cooks, and his numbers are even more ridiculous. Cooks caught 67 balls for 1151 yards and five touchdowns last season, but he's already eclipsed all those marks in just seven games this year (76/1176/12). In his four Pac-12 games (admittedly against weak sisters Utah, Colorado, Washington State, and Cal) he has 42 receptions for 747 yards and 8 touchdowns. It's enough to make a defensive back pull a hamstring on purpose.
To learn more about Oregon State and how their season has been going so far, I contacted the mysterious angry of angrybeavs.com. (I could tell you his real name, but then I'd have to kill you. But before I do that, jump over to his site and check out my answers to his questions about the Cardinal.) angry was angry about having to answer so many questions, but then he's always angry. Okay, I'll stop now. Here's the Q&A: