The letters “OSU” and the color orange are synonymous with both Oklahoma State and Oregon State. But that’s not the only strange connection that these two teams have going into Friday’s game.
The other connection lies within the coaching staff, specifically coach Charlie Dickey and Oregon State’s head coach Jonathan Smith.
From 1983 to 1984, Dickey was the starting offensive guard for the Arizona Wildcats. Dickey defeated the Beavers in both these years by a combined score of 77-14.
Upon graduating from Arizona in 1987, Dickey joined coach Dick Tomey’s staff as a graduate assistant. The Wildcats defeated Oregon State 24-13 that year.
Following stints at Scottsdale Community College and Northern Arizona from 1989 to 1991, Dickey rejoined his alma mater, this time as the offensive line coach.
In Dickey’s first year back at Arizona, his team tied with Oregon State with a score of 14-14. At this point in his career, it was the only time he did not defeat fellow Pac-10 foe Oregon State.
After the 1992 season, Dickey and the Wildcats went back to their usual ways and defeated Oregon State for the next 6 years.
In 1999, however, something unusual happened as the Beavers finally defeated Arizona 28-20.
Prior to this game, Oregon State had only beaten the Wildcats twice in school history.
The player who helped the Beavers get over the proverbial hump was a young walk-on quarterback named Jonathan Smith.
Smith remained as Oregon State’s quarterback for the next two years and defeated Dickey’s Arizona teams every single time.
Even after Smith’s playing career was over he defeated the Wildcats as a graduate assistant for Oregon State in 2002 and 2003.
Both Dickey and Smith left their alma maters in 2003 to coach for Washington and Idaho respectively, but during these battles, Charlie Dickey only lost to Oregon State when Jonathan Smith was heavily involved in the program.
These two coaches will meet again on Friday night in Corvallis where we will see if Charlie Dickey can finally overcome someone he’s never beaten: Jonathan Smith.