Colonels vs Beavers: Love ’em & hate ’em style
After a disappointing Civil War loss, Oregon State stayed focused in this 77-3 blowout of Nicholls State. No doubt the confidence is brewing heading into the upcoming bowl season.
Markus Wheaton continued his prolific season in this game, putting up 123 yards on 12 catches with a touchdown. He also had 17 yards rushing with his second rushing TD of the year.
This was Wheaton’s fifth 100-yard game of the season, and ninth over 90 yards.
Even more amazing was that Wheaton now has 224 career catches in his Oregon State career. That makes him the all-time receptions leader in school history. Pretty amazing considering the University has seen guys like Mike Hass and T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
After making his record breaking catch, Wheaton immediately followed it up with his 11th touchdown catch of the season. As a senior headed for the NFL, Wheaton will be missed at Oregon State.
Getting everyone involved
With an obvious blowout on it’s way, Mike Riley did a fantastic job getting everyone some playing time.
He was great at getting the quarterbacks involved, with both Sean Mannion and Cody Vaz seeing plenty of reps behind center. The Beavers saw 13 different receivers, with nine different rushers.
Most impressive was wide receiver Richard Mullaney (four catches, 40 yards one TD) and linebacker Joel Skotte (three solo tackles).
Great bowl prep
This game was fantastic bowl prep for the Beavers.
Their offense moved on all cylinders, and it was great to see both QBs get involved. Working out all the younger guys will be good too if any subs are needed.
Obviously, a 77-3 win instills a certain sense of confidence in the Beavers heading into their bowl game.
As an update, the Beavers will be facing off with Texas on December 29th in the Alamo Bowl.
Return game still nonexistent
The only negative I have in this game is the continued lack of a return game.
The Beavers have struggled all season on returns. It’s pretty bizarre, considering that’s one of the few things they did well last season.
You gotta figure going up against Nicholls State that the Beavers would find some kind of way to instill a return game. Instead, they averaged 14.5 yards on two kickoff returns, with a net zero yards for punts on three returns.