Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 10/7/11
TUCSON It seems so long ago, and yet not so long ago for Nick Foles when it comes to Oregon State. Back in 2009, then wet-behind-the-ears Foles was given the chance to start against the Beavers at Reser Stadium and, well, he made the most of it. He led UA to a 37-32 upset win over OSU and, for all intents and purposes, has been Arizona's starting quarterback ever since, save for an injury or two that has prevented him from starting or playing. "Your first college start, that's something that will always stick with you," said Foles, recalling that mid-September game. "I had a lot of fun." He was nervous, but that diminished as the game continued. He was good enough and poised enough to go 24 for 34 for 254 yards and three touchdown passes. He also scored on a 1-yard run. Oh, the memories and the magic. And the all-important victory. Can it be done again? The magic and the victory -- again. Arizona has gone 14-14 overall since then and is riding a four-game losing streak. All the while, Foles rolls. Foles is 170 for 236 for 1,877 yards, 14 touchdowns and just two interceptions this season. He'd rather have the wins over the numbers any day. Yards aren't scarce victories are. Arizona hasn't beaten a FBS school since Oct. 30 of last year, losing nine straight. It's even brought out words like "desperate" for a win by a number of people coaches and players alike. "You want to win everything (you are in), so in that sense you are desperate," Foles said. "But at the same time, you can't get too far ahead. You have to keep playing your game. You have to keep preparing. You can't get freaked out. You always have to stick together. That's what I've always said, whether you are 5-0, 0-5 or 1-4. You have to stick together and get better every week. You're not going to see me freak out. You're going to see me keep playing." And what OSU coach Mike Riley figures he'll see is one of the best quarterbacks in the Pac-12. Riley said Foles is one of the reasons Arizona's receivers are so good and have so many catches. Five UA receivers have more than 20 catches apiece; Dan Buckner leads with 25. Foles makes them better. "He knows where everybody is," Riley said. "He stays alive, and those guys keep working for him. He just appears to be one of those people that finds the open man." Still, Stoops doesn't want it to be all about the passing game. Last weekend, in Arizona's 48-41 loss to USC, it did appear that there was a glimpse of life in the running game in freshman Ka'Deem Carey and Keola Antolin. They combined for 129 yards, and Carey had two rushing touchdowns. "Offensively, we're gaining some identity as we move through the season," Stoops said. "We're developing more players on that side of the ball; that's certainly a positive step for us. (The running game) continues to improve. We're showing some very positive signs -- to go there and score 41 was positive, backed up our 31 from the week before, so we're moving in a positive direction." Just not in the win column. But neither is Oregon State, a team that started the season losing 29-28 in overtime to small school Sacramento State 29-28. OSU is 0-4 for the first time since 1996 and 2-9 since it defeated Arizona 29-27 last year at Arizona Stadium. "It would sure be great for this team to win a game," Riley said. "I'm sure Arizona feels the same way, so we don't have a corner on that market at all. I've been encouraged by the improvement of this team, but we need to get a win." Seems so long ago when Arizona had one, the last being a 41-10 victory over Northern Arizona 41-10 in the season opener. Wasn't it just yesterday that Foles was pulling off wins, including at Reser Stadium? "It does seem like yesterday," Foles said. "My college career has flown by. I can't believe I am a senior now. It's been a fun run. I have to go back and make another memory."
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