Hell of a game; thank God for a win
Sometimes you watch your team play a game, and they don’t do as well as expected. Usually in these games the score goes back and forth indefinitely, and every play is as tense as the next. At the end of a game like that, you’re just happy if your team can walk away with a win.
That sums up Oregon State’s match against Utah Saturday night.
In one of the craziest games OSU will see this year, the lead changed three times in the fourth quarter—despite the Beavers being up 27-10 early in the 3rd quarter.
While there’s plenty of bad to talk about, now is not the time. Like I said, let’s just be happy we got the win.
Now it’s time for some game balls.
Sean Mannion – 27-44, 443 yards, 5 TDs
OSU’s running game has some serious flaws right now—mostly related to an ailing o-line—so the offense has been all passing.
And just as he’s done all season, Sean Mannion delivered another huge QB performance. The junior was a stud all game, posting his second 400-yard game of the season with 5 TDs. Not to mention he didn’t throw an interception, nor give into Utah’s front-seven.
Without Mannion, there’s no win in this game.
Richard Mullaney – 7 catches, 142 yards, 1 TD
As a disclaimer, let me say that Brandin Cooks had a ridiculously great game, posting over 200 yards receiving.
But as the competition gets tougher the Beavers won’t be able to lean on Cooks, which is why the emergence of Richard Mullaney against the Utes was so pivotal.
The sophomore wideout had a career night, putting together 142 yards on just 7 catches. If Mullaney can play like this every week, OSU’s offense will be unstoppable.
Mike Riley – pulled out a helluva win
While we usually praise the players in these articles, at the end of the day give some props to Mike Riley. The veteran coach pulled out all the stops in the fourth quarter and ensured his team left with a win.
Perhaps the best call of the night was when OSU went for it on 4th and inches deep in their own territory. The play: Mannion pitches out to the halfback on the right side; Utah swarms the back, who laterals it back to Mannion; that’s when the QB sets himself up and hits Brandin Cooks for a huge 48-yard gain.
It was an uncharacteristically gutsy play from a coach like Riley, but it was that kind of game calling that ensured a huge OSU win.
The secondary – 279 yards passing allowed, 3 INTs
It’s tough giving props to the defense in this one, but you have to look beyond the stats. Utah put up a ton of points and 539 yards, but 260 of those came on the ground—thanks to a horrid performance from the linebackers.
But while the Beavs were getting beat up front, they did a solid job down field.
They limited the Utes to less than 300 yards passing, while collecting 3 INTs—AKA difference makers.
Despite a rough outing on D, we have to give credit where credit is due.