OSU's Anderson struggling so far

Originally Published: September 10, 2003
By Ted Miller | Special to
Derek Anderson threw five interceptions -- the second time he's done that in two years -- against Fresno State and completed just 15 of 44 passes. He connected on only one of his final nine attempts and was called for intentional grounding. He's completed 41 percent of his passes after floundering to a 47-percent rate last year. But he's still Oregon State's starting quarterback. Go figure.

"I think Derek gives us our best chance to win," coach Mike Riley said. "We have to do what we can to help him."

Fans are starting to clamor for backup Adam Rothenfluh or touted freshman Ryan Gunderson. They probably are wondering how 10 returning offensive starters from a team that beat the Bulldogs 59-16 a year ago can score just 14 points, or can pile up more than 400 yards of offense but convert on just one of 15 third-down plays. Riley admitted that some players might be doing the same. He doesn't want a repeat of 2001, when the Beavers were Sports Illustrated's preseason No. 1, only to implode after a defeat at Fresno. "I tried to address that in the locker room after the game," Riley said. Hope that works, because Riley's publicly stated desire to stem boneheaded penalties didn't. In two games, the Beavers have been flagged 23 times for 240 yards, a number of which have been conduct and personal foul penalties. "We basically fell apart," Riley said.

Ted Miller | email

ESPN Senior Writer