Recounting improbable run
The Oregon State Beavers have enjoyed a tremendous season. Projected by many to finish last in the in Pac-12, the Beavs instead finished 9-3 with an invitation to the Alamo Bowl.
2012 was a big season, from big wins to big plays to huge players.
Best Play -Terron Ward doesn’t go down without TD
Oregon State had plenty of big plays this season, and most came for the receiving corp. But its finest play came from sophomore tailback Terron Ward.
Ward had a relatively quiet season, but enjoyed a few huge performances. One of those came against Cal, when Ward rushed for 128 yards and two touchdowns. One of those TDs came on a 47-yard run that had some of the hardest running you’ll see this season.
Video can be seen here.
Best Moment – Opening season win over Wisconsin
This season was about statements for Oregon State. While they made plenty of those, none were as big as the opening day win against Wisconsin.
After being shutout 0-35 by the Badgers in 2011, this was the Beavers chance to prove 2012 was different. And with the Nicholls State game being postponed, this also become the Beavers’ season opener.
The final 10-7 score was far from indicative of how this game went. In reality, OSU completely dominated.
Seeing Reser Field painted by rushing fans at the end of that game became a catalyst for the 2012 team. This 9-3 season wouldn’t have been nearly as huge as it was without this win against Wisconsin.
Best Offensive Player -Markus Wheaton
Plenty of offensive players had standout seasons for the Beavs, but Markus Wheaton stood out amongst them all.
Wheaton finished his season leading the team in catches (88) and receiving yards (1,207). He was first amongst receivers in touchdowns (11) and second on the team in scoring (13 touchdowns for 78 points).
Always a dynamic force, Wheaton also had (116) yards rushing and two rushing touchdowns. He averaged (7.2) yards per carry on the season.
Best Defensive Player -Rashaad Reynolds
Many would argue that Jordan Poyer deserves this honor, but they are overlooking the contributions of Rashaad Reynolds.
Reynolds played corner opposite Poyer on the season, and because of that he was targeted often. But instead of backing down, Reynolds rose to the challenge. He finished his season with 70 tackles (2nd on the team), three interceptions (2nd) and 16 passes defended (1st).
Best Special Team’s Player – Keith Kostol
Keith Kostol put together a fantastic season for Oregon State, and is arguably one of the better punters in the Pac-12.
The second-year player was called on 55 times this season, averaging 42.1 yards per punt. Kostol had eight 50+ yarders on the season, and pinned opponents within the 20 on 22 different occasions.
With several defensive victories on the season, Kostol was often times the difference maker in the field position battle.
Most Improved Player – Brandin Cooks
Is there any surprise here?
Brandin Cooks was fantastic as a freshman in 2011, but no one could have expected him to take the next step this quickly. The speedy receiver finished his season with 1,120 receiving yards and five touchdowns. Taking after Wheaton, who to worked in the reverse game, rushing for 82 yards.
Cooks averaged 12.6 yards per catch in 2011, and that number increased to an absurd 17.6 yards this season—which actually led the Pac-12.
It is impossible to argue that any other Beaver took a bigger step forward in 2012 than Cooks.
Comeback Player – Sean Martin
Due to injuries, cornerback Sean Martin played in just two games in 2011.
Finally healthy, he bounced back in a big way in 2012. Martin finished his season with 40 tackles and two interceptions. With Poyer headed to the NFL draft, Martin could be in the mix for a starters role in 2013.
MVP – Markus Wheaton
Once again, we find Wheaton’s name.
His stats are indicative of an MVP, and his role on this team was unmatched by any other. It was obvious he was OSU’s primary receiver, as evidenced by his 88 catches—24 more than Cooks. When the Beavs needed yards, they looked to Wheaton.
And when Oregon State needed a score, they went to Wheaton—who had more touchdowns than any other player on the team. You’d be hard pressed to find any player with a bigger impact on this team than Wheaton.
What does the future bring?
With Wheaton and Poyer set to hit the NFL draft, it’s yet to be seen how 2013 will unfold. But before that, they’ve got a date with the Longhorns.
On December 29th, OSU ships out to Texas to the Alamo Bowl to square off with the Texas Longhorns. It’ll be Oregon State’s first bowl game since 2009, and will be a tough battle—it’s essentially a home game for Texas.
But this season has been filled with magic, and a big bowl win could be on the horizon.