Beavers finally dominate an opponent
Coming off a tough loss to Stanford in Week 11, Oregon State bounces back with some of their best football all year. The Beavs finally play a complete game, topping the Cal Golden Bears 62-14.
Running game comes alive
After a stellar game against Stanford, Storm Woods got plenty of time to rest against Cal. The starter had just 11 carries for 64 yards.
The true star of the show was “backup” Terron Ward. The sophomore put up 128 yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns. One of his scores came off a monstrously hard nosed run in the third (video here).
This was only Ward’s second 10+ carry game of the season. His first came against ASU when he rushed for 146 yards on 19 carries. Needless to say he could be the starter, and as long as he keeps this up Oregon State could have a devastating rushing attack.
Mannion back to his old tricks
With Cody Vaz out with an ankle injury, Sean Mannion returned to the starters job for the first time since his four pick performance against Washington.
While he looked shaky to start—throwing bad passes into double coverage, as well as an interception off a deflection—Mannion quickly settled down and had a stellar game.
He finished his night with 325 yards, completing 24 of 34 passes with a season high four touchdowns.
While the front gave up a little too much (more on that below), the defense played a very solid game.
They forced four turnovers—a Jordan Poyer interception and three fumbles—setting up the offense to score off three of those.
Most impressive was how poised the Beavers looked against Cal’s passing attack. There were broken up passes all over the field, and from just about everyone.
A complete game
Finally, Oregon State plays a complete game.
This was the Beavers highest scoring performance of the season, and probably the best football they’ve played to date.
Offensively there was a constant rhythm. Not only did the running game have a huge impact, but everyone was involved (four different rushers, 10 different receivers). The offensive line had their best game of the year, even without standout guard Grant Enger.
The defense was solid as well. They gave up a lot on the ground, but had three fumble recoveries and a sack. The secondary looked great, limiting the damage to 132 yards in the air while stealing an interception.
All-in-all, a perfect win by the Beavers at the perfect time.
If Oregon State wants to beat Oregon, they have to be healthy. After this game it could be an issue.
Mike Riley got plenty of chances to rest his starters, swapping them out early in the fourth quarter. But before that, OSU saw a helmet to helmet knock Brandin Cooks out of the game, while a knee injury forced fullback Tyler Anderson to the sidelines.
Anderson is a hard runner and strong blocker, but the biggest concern is Cooks.
He took an ugly head-on shot, but it didn’t look much worse than Wheaton’s against Washington—to which he was able to return the next week. But with possible concussions you never know, and hopefully Cooks can return for the Civil War.
While this was an all around complete game, the biggest slackers had to be that defensive line.
The biggest disappointment was Scott Crichton, who should have had a monster game. He managed just three tackles (one solo, two assists) and an excessive celebration penalty.
The defensive line managed just one sack against one of the worst offensive lines in the Pac-12. Cal finished with 187 rushing yards, averaging 5.1 yards per carry.