Jackson as Beavers set groundwork as rushing threat

Updated: August 29, 2003, 8:21 PM ET

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- If Steven Jackson can keep putting up the yards, the Oregon State Beavers will get a reputation. And that's fine with coach Mike Riley.

After a four-year hiatus, Riley was back on the OSU sideline Thursday night and watched as the Beavers routed Sacramento State 40-7 in their opener.

Jackson ran for 129 yards on 23 carries for two scores. He added four passes for 58 yards for good measure, as the Beavers racked up 527 yards total offense.

"We wanted to establish something with our team tonight. Number one, we wanted to win the game, but offensively we wanted everybody to know that we will run the ball -- when they play Oregon State, they're gonna get a headache."

Jackson has run for at least 100 yards in 11 career games. He now has 2,209 total yards rushing to move into fourth place on the Beavers' career list.

"Steven Jackson is a force. He's a beast, a man among boys," said Sacramento State head coach Steve Mooshagian.

Next up for the Beavers is Fresno State next Friday night.

Riley admitted the team had no idea what to expect from Sacramento State, which also has a new head coach in Mooshagian. But in the end, the Division I-AA Hornets were simply overwhelmed by the Beavers, their first-ever Pac-10 opponent.

Derek Anderson completed 17 of 35 passes for 273 yards and two scores, while Kirk Yliniemi kicked a pair of field goals.

Riley sees room for improvement.

"We want to be more efficient in the passing game. I thought Derek made some good throws tonight and he made some throws he would want back -- but will complete as the season goes on," he said.

The Hornets' lone score came in the fourth quarter, when backup quarterback Blake Mori ran in from two yards out.

Twice the Hornets got the ball within field-goal range, but freshman Mitch Lively's attempts in the first and third quarters failed.

About the only similarity between the two teams was their head coaches, who have both returned to the college game after stints in the pros.

Riley came back to Oregon State in the offseason after a hiatus in the NFL, while Mooshagian took over at Sacramento State after serving as receivers coach for the Cincinnati Bengals for the last four seasons.

Riley took over the Beavers from Dennis Erickson, who left in the offseason to coach the San Francisco 49ers.

Erickson led the Beavers for four years, replacing Riley, who first left OSU after two seasons to take the head coaching vacancy with the San Diego Chargers. Last season he was defensive backs coach for the New Orleans Saints.

Thursday night's game took an ugly turn when Sacramento State's Chris Meyer was ejected late in the first half because of a nasty hit on punt returner Cole Clasen, who was calling a fair catch and looking up when he was knocked to the ground.

Clasen appeared shaken and did not return to the game.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index