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Oregon State stuns USC on failed two-point conversion

Oct 28, 2006 - 11:28 PM CORVALLIS, Oregon (Ticker) -- For the first time since 2003, a Pac-10 Conference opponent found a way to beat Southern California. Because of a last-gasp play by defensive end Jeff Van Orsow, that team is Oregon State.

Van Orsow deflected a two-point conversion pass with seven seconds left as the Beavers snapped the Trojans' 27-game Pac-10 winning streak, holding on for a 33-31 triumph.

Sammie Stroughter had eight catches for 127 yards and scored on a 70-yard punt return for the Beavers (5-3, 3-2 Pac-10), who had lost 30 of their past 31 meetings with the Trojans.

"There's nothing I can say right now," Beavers coach Mike Riley said. "I'm really proud of our team right now. Our coaches have stayed the course; our team has stayed the course. They'll never forget this game and they'll never forget the lesson learned from fighting through."

"It's a great burden off of our shoulders," Stroughter said. "Coach Riley gave a great illustration of David vs. Goliath, that was the biggest thing. He really gave us a great opportunity today."

Matt Moore completed 21-of-32 passes for 262 yards and a touchdown and also ran for a score and Clinton Polk - starting for the injured Yvenson Bernard - rushed 22 times for 100 yards for Oregon State, which nearly blew a 33-10 third-quarter lead.

"I was very nervous at first," Polk said. "After the first series, I felt like I got my feet wet and I just went from there."

"(Polk) gained a lot of respect today from within the ranks of our group," Riley said. "It is good for our team to have him do what he did today."

John David Booty threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Fred Davis with 23 seconds left in the third quarter and added a 37-yard TD toss to unstoppable Steve Smith with 12:09 to play. Chauncey Washington's two-point conversion run on the latter score pulled USC (6-1, 4-1) within 33-25.

After Oregon State's Alexis Serna missed a 42-yard field goal with 5:51 to play, USC went three-and-out. But the Beavers stalled in USC territory on their next possession, and the Trojans got back the ball at their 20 with 2:40 to go.

On 4th-and-2 with 1:14 left, Booty completed a 22-yard pass to Smith down the left sideline to the 18, a play that was upheld by replay. Five plays and an interference call later, Booty found Smith in the end zone for a two-yard score, pulling USC within two points with seven seconds to go.

Van Orsow, a junior from Las Vegas, made his leaping deflection at the line. The Beavers recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock, touching off a mad scene at Reser Stadium as the student body stormed the field.

The Trojans also had an 18-game road winning streak snapped as well as a 13-game tear in Pac-10 road games.

"The most important thing is how we respond," said USC coach Pete Carroll, whose team had won 51 of its previous 53 games. "We have been here before and we have already approached and talked about what it takes to get this thing going again."

Smith was unbelievable in defeat, catching 11 passes for a whopping 258 yards and two TDs. Booty was 24-of-39 for 406 yards, three TDs and one interception.

Oregon State forced three turnovers in the first half but converted them into just six points as they entered the break with a 16-10 lead.

Moore opened the scoring on a one-yard run just under five minutes into the contest. USC tied the game on a two-yard run by Washington with 10:47 to play in the second quarter before Serna converted field goals of 47, 31 and 53 yards.

The Beavers extended their six-point halftime edge to a 33-10 cushion on a nine-yard pass from Moore to tight end Joe Newton, Stroughter's punt return and a 20-yard field goal by Serna.

"Personally, it was probably the most fun I've had in a game before in my life," Newton said. "It was a battle all the way to the end. That's why you play."

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