Beavers do it again!
If you would have told me just 3 months ago that the Oregon State Beavers would be sitting at 3-0, and ranked #14 in the nation, on October 1st, I would’ve called you crazy.
Now, I wasn’t picking them to finish last in the PAC-12 North like many members of the media did, but I didn’t think they would be playing at such a high level this early in the season.
In any case, I’ve never been so happy about being so wrong.
That high level of play continued this past week when Oregon State traveled to Tucson, Arizona to take on the Wildcats, a team that had just been routed 49-0 at the hands of the Ducks, and were in dire need of a conference win.
The Beavers, however, had other plans, and continue to be one of the surprise stories in the NCAA this year.
After jumping out to a quick 17-0 lead, the Beavers, faced with some adversity for arguably the first time this season, trailed the Wildcats 35-31 with just over 5 minutes to play.
Sean Mannion, and the Beaver offense, led a very impressive 75 yard drive, capped off with a 9 yard touchdown pass from Mannion to tight end Connor Hamlett that put the Beavers up 38-35 with just over a minute to play.
After Rashaad Reynolds put away the Wildcats for good with a game ending interception on the ensuing Wildcat drive, the Beavers moved to 3-0 on the season and found themselves climbing the ranks, according to the AP poll.
What a season so far, huh?
Offensive Game Ball
Sean Mannion, setting yet another single game personal record in yards, is again taking home the offensive game ball. Mannion’s sophomore progression is one of the main reasons why the Beavers are finding success this season.
While many of Mike Riley’s quarterbacks saw significant improvements in their second year as a starter, Sean Mannion has looked especially dominant, and has all the tools necessary to threaten Derek Anderson’s stranglehold on the OSU record book.
Mannion, going 29-45 for 433 yards and 3 TDs, didn’t turn the ball over all day and showed that Oregon State could hang tough in a shootout.
His outstanding play also netted him PAC-12 Offensive Player of the Week recognition.
Defensive Game Ball
There’s no question that this week’s defensive game ball goes to Rashaad Reynolds. The underrated (probably not so much
anymore) young cornerback displayed his physical playing style all day against the Wildcats.
Reynolds led the team in tackles (9 solo, 1 assisted) and turned in the play of the game when he picked off Matt Scott to win the game for the Beavers.
Playing along side the electric Jordan Poyer, Rashaad Reynolds rounds out one of the best corner combination’s in all of college football this year and his week to week play continues to impress. With what we’ve seen out of him so far this year, he could be a mainstay in this column all year long.
Special Teams Game Ball
Coming off a week where he was named the PAC-12 Special Teams Player of the Week, Oregon State punter Keith Kostol was back to doing what he does best, kicking the skin off the ball.
This week, Kostol registered 5 punts, averaged just over 45 yards per kick and pinned Arizona twice inside their own 20. This kind of special teams production is one the Beavers’ defense will benefit from all year long.
Total Yards – 613
Passing – 29-45 – 433 yards – 9.6 YPA
Rushing – 43 carries – 180 yards – 4.2 YPC
1st Downs – 30
Penalties – 10-94 yards
TOP – 36:41
Sean Mannion: 29-45, 433 yards, 3 TD
Storm Woods: 29 rushes, 161 yards, 1 TD, 5.6 avg.
Markus Wheaton: 10 receptions, 166 yards, 2 TD, 16.6 avg.
Brandin Cooks: 9 receptions, 149 yards, 16.6 avg.
Kevin Cummings: 3 receptions, 52 yards, 17.3 avg.