fb pixel

Log In

Reset Password

Bernard improving, could play against USC on Saturday

CORVALLIS — Yvenson Bernard's MRI turned up good news for Oregon State. The senior tailback has a sprained shoulder and not a fracture or separation as the Beavers originally feared.

That means Bernard could play for the Beavers Saturday against No. 13 USC.

"Basically this is a day-to-day thing," Oregon State coach Mike Riley said. "As we go through and make a decision I think tolerance is a good word. How he tolerates the pain and how it feels later in the week."

Bernard might return to practice today. Seniors Matt Sieverson and Clinton Polk, who filled in last week against Stanford after Bernard left the game, will play if Bernard can't. Polk ran for 100 yards in Oregon State's 33-31 upset of USC last year as Bernard sat out with a sprained ankle.

Oregon State (5-3, 3-2 Pac-10) has won three straight but hasn't won in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum since 1960. The Trojans (6-2, 3-2), who get senior quarterback John David Booty back this week, are coming off a loss to Oregon at Autzen Stadium and aren't likely to be caught off-guard.

Revenge for last year's loss in Corvallis, which snapped the Trojans' 27-game Pac-10 win streak, might also provide motivation.

Riley said he's gonna be cautious with his star back, who is averaging 101.8 yards per game and has 11 touchdowns, tops in the conference.

"But you guys know Yvenson. If it's possible, he will probably be there," Riley added.


FORMIDABLE DEFENSE: Oregon State more or less jettisoned the pass, with just 21 attempts, in a 23-6 win over Stanford last week, and kept the ball on the ground against the overmatched Cardinal.

It's a strategy that isn't likely to be as successful Saturday against USC. The Trojans are fourth in the country in total defense, allowing just 263.4 points per game. A balanced offensive attack is in order, especially if the Beavers will be without tailback Yvenson Bernard.

"Their defense flies to the ball," Oregon State center Kyle DeVan said. "Their defensive line is probably the best defensive line in the country, and they have one of the best nose guards (Sedrick Ellis) you will face in the country. That's how good they are up front."

DeVan also dismissed talk that USC is down and out after conference losses to Stanford and Oregon. While the 2007 Trojans may not be the team that won has made five straight Bowl Championship Series appearances, they are still dangerous.

"We are playing the University of Southern California," he said. "That says it in itself. They are going to be a great football team. We can't go down there and think because they have lost two Pac-10 games, they are going to roll over for us."


EXTRA POINTS: Oregon State expects to have cornerback Keenan Lewis (knee) return this week but sophomore Tim Clark, who was impressive spelling Lewis against California and Stanford, will see plenty of time behind Lewis and OSU's other starting corner, Brandon Hughes, coach Mike Riley said. ... USC is 20-0 in November games since Pete Carroll became coach in 2001.