- Kevin Gemmell, ESPN Staff Writer
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PASADENA, Calif. -- The “world’s longest training camp,” which is what OSU coach Mike Riley has dubbed the past month and change for Oregon State, is about to come to an end for the Beavers.
OSU had 35 practices before its first game and has practiced 44 times with only one game under its belt. But starting today, when OSU squares off with No. 19 UCLA at the Rose Bowl, the Beavers begin 11 straight weeks of games.
The Bruins have been paced early by running back Johnathan Franklin, who has emerged as a legitimate Heisman candidate with his nation-leading 180.3 yards per game.
But the Beavers are no strangers to Heisman-hopeful running backs. They pretty much squashed Montee Ball’s Heisman campaign before it ever got off the ground when they held the Wisconsin back to 61 yards on 15 carries earlier this month.
Quarterback Sean Mannion leads Oregon State -- which has put a renewed emphasis on the running game. UCLA’s defense is off to a good start under Jim Mora and Lou Spanos. The Bruins lead the nation in interceptions (7) and the defense has scored in all three games this season.