By Charles Renning
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, October 29, 2004
It's fitting that Oregon State quarterback Derek Anderson is the first player profiled in the OSU football media guide this season.
The list may be compiled alphabetically, but this week, Anderson needs just 54 passing yards and 147 all-purpose yards to become the Beavers' career leader in both categories, solidifying his place atop the list as the most prolific passer in Oregon State history.
"I'm excited for him," Oregon State head coach Mike Riley told local media earlier this week in Corvallis, Ore. "I think when we look back, he will have a very productive winning legacy and, obviously, most all the records."
Earlier this season, Anderson passed Jonathan Smith for most touchdown passes in an Oregon State quarterback's career.
Oregon State (3-4)
Team Nickname: Beavers
Location: Corvallis, Oregon
2003 Record: 8-5 (4-4 Pac-10)
Head Coach: Mike Riley
Player to Watch: QB Derek Anderson
Anderson took over the starting quarterback duties after Smith graduated and has picked up right where his predecessor left off.
Smith and Anderson have started the last 71 games for the Beavers giving the team good stability behind center and producing the most successful such stretch in Oregon State history.
"With the last two quarterbacks here, Jonathan and Derek, they've probably won more games between them than the previous ten guys between them at this school," Riley said.
The team captain Anderson has continued putting up impressive numbers this season for the Beavers.
He leads the Pacific 10 Conference in passing yards per game, is second in total offense and is tied for third in touchdown passes.
He also heads an offense that leads the conference in pass offense and ranks seventh in the same category throughout the nation.
"Defensively, it's going to be challenging," said Arizona head coach Mike Stoops. "If he gets off to a good start, you can anticipate he'll have probably a pretty good day. He's very accurate, very strong. He's a very talented and dangerous football player."
"They can make plays. They are a high-powered offense and can score at any time. We have to be aware of everybody at all times."
Although Anderson has thrown for a Pac-10 high 1,993 yards and 14 touchdowns, he also leads the league in interceptions with 14.
That is one area the Wildcat defense hopes it can exploit and prevent the Beavers from winning their sixth straight over Arizona.
"He can definitely get rattled," said senior defensive end Andre Torrey.
Torrey said putting pressure on Anderson would be key, just like it is every week for the defensive unit.
"We try to do it every game. We try and put pressure on them. No matter who the quarterback is," he said. "We try and get them out of their rhythm. Some it may effect more and hopefully it will effect him."
"Regardless of who you're playing, pressure is going to be the key," said UA junior defensive back Darrell Brooks.
Two weeks ago the Beavers were last in the Pac-10 and 103rd in the nation in turnover margin.
But since causing 10 turnovers and allowing just three in their last two games, the Beavers now find themselves in the middle of the conference.
In the opposite direction, the Arizona defense hadn't intercepted a pass since they had three against Northern Arizona to open the season, but had two last week against the always-efficient Aaron Rodgers of California.
"We've been lacking ever since the NAU game in the interception department," Brooks said. "Besides (Anderson) leading the lead in yards throwing, he leads the league in interceptions, so we hope that we can put pressure on him, fluster him a little bit and go out there and pick a few balls off."