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Oregon State is neither a power nor a patsy

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There may not be a sorrier Division I-A football program than Oregon State. At least that's true over the past 28 years, in which the Beavers have had, count 'em, ZERO winning seasons.

The Beavers are making their first trip ever to Logan Saturday night (8 p.m.) and the Aggies are wishing they'd seen one of the previous 27 teams.USU coach Dave Arslanian points out that when OSU was put on the Aggies schedule a few years ago, "They weren't supposed to be this good." It's not like the Beavers are a national power. But they are pretty good and a giant step above last week's opponent, Sam Houston State.

The Beavers opened up with a resounding 48-6 win over Nevada, which just happens to be the preseason favorite in the Big West Conference. The second week they defeated Baylor, which upset nationally-ranked North Carolina State the following week. The past two weeks they played close to USC and Arizona State before faltering in the second half.

"They are a very good football team," said Arslanian. "Defensively, they are very quick and they play very hard."

The Beavers have abandoned their option offense and mostly play a one-back offense. Terrance Bryant has completed 52 percent of his passes this year for 685 yards, but only one touchdown.

The top rusher is Ken Simonton, who was leading the Pac-10 in rushing before being held to just 33 yards against Arizona State. Tim Alexander, who started most of the last two seasons at quarterback, is now playing wide receiver and has caught 18 passes, including nine against ASU.

Defensively, linebacker Bryan Jones leads the way with 43 tackles, three quarterback sacks, six tackles for losses and an interception. The Beavers have seven interceptions by seven different players.