OSU ready to get serious

The Associated Press

TEMPE For two years, Oregon State coach Jerry Pettibone quietly rounded up the horses to run his throwback wishbone offense, making do with one victory per season.

Things came together for the Beavers in 1993, when they stampeded Arizona State 30-14.

With sophomore Don Shanklin at the controls, Oregon State rushed for 419 yards, gained 462 overall and toyed with the Sun Devils after opening a 27-0 lead in the second quarter.

Now the Beavers, whose 4-7 record was their best since 1989, have to deal with being taken seriously. And with a Pac-10 opponent looking for revenge.

"There's a lot of good football players coming back," Pettibone said of Arizona State. "We know that they've got a lot to prove from what happened up here in Corvallis last year, so we expect a physical game; we know it's going to be a war, and we're getting ready for it."

All the same, he said, the lopsided win means nothing to his team and shouldn't mean much to the Sun Devils in the season opener Saturday night.

"This is a completely different season two different teams, a different game, and certainly we understand that," Pettibone said.

In the big picture, the loss kept Arizona State coach Bruce Snyder from improving on his team's 6-5 record in 1992, his first season in Tempe. Snyder agreed that time marches on about one-third of his squad is new but said that doesn't eliminate revenge as a factor.

"They came off a win over Oregon at the end of a season," Snyder said. "They're not sneaking up on us; we know that they're good.

"Their three interior people on offense are all over 300 pounds, and there are all those things he just mentioned, but the added issue is that our players remember, as I do, how that game went, so there's been a special emphasis on it."

The only downside for the Beavers in the game last year was that Shanklin injured his foot in the fourth quarter after hitting 5 of 5 passes for 43 yards and rushing for 117 yards and two touchdowns. The injury ended his season and probably had something to do with Oregon State's losing four of its last six games.

Shanklin is back in good health, and Pettibone said he's the perfect wishbone quarterback.

"He's the first one that we've had that really has all the tools ... to be the kind of athlete that you're looking for in this offense," Pettibone said.

If ASU boxes Shanklin in, his job is to option to halfback J.J. Young, who ran for 955 yards. Among his five 100-yard games was a 105-yard effort against the Sun Devils.

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