Beaver BelieVaz Bandwagon!
To any casual observer who watched Oregon State’s matchup against BYU this past Saturday, they’d have thought Cody Vaz was the Beavers’ every day starter. He certainly played like it was his team, so how would they know any different?
Thrust in to the starting role just 6 days before travelling to Provo, Utah to take on the Cougars of BYU, Vaz handled his temporary promotion in stride and didn’t allow the pressure of preserving an undefeated season get to his head.
Vaz led the then #10 Oregon State Beavers in a 42-24 victory over Brigham Young University, and put to rest any doubt he’d be a competent replacement for standout sophomore Sean Mannion, who is recovering from knee surgery.
After the impressive win, the Oregon State Beavers moved up to #8 in the AP poll, and are also slotted #8 according to the first round of BCS rankings.
The 5-0 start is the best the Beavers have opened a season since 1939, and the #8 ranking is the highest any Mike Riley led team has been ranked.
Offensive Game Ball
Considering the fact that Cody Vaz is receiving national attention after his outstanding performance this past Saturday, it was a no-brainer he’d take home the offensive game ball.
Vaz, completing 20-32 passes for 332 yards, to go along with 3 touchdowns, impressed at nearly every turn Saturday.
In the most anticipated series of the day, the opening drive, Vaz completed all 5 of his pass attempts, recorded 75 yards and found Markus Wheaton on an 11 yard TD strike to put the Beavers up 7-0 early.
I think it’s safe to say all of Beaver Nation let out a reassured sigh after seeing what Vaz brought to the OSU offense.
After the first quarter Cody Vaz was simply on fire, completing 8-10 passes for 153 yards, and two touchdowns. The Beaver offense was operating on all cylinders against the nation’s top ranked defense, and Cody Vaz was at the center of it.
One of the more impressive plays from the redshirt junior quarterback came in the 4th quarter, and wasn’t by way of his arm, but rather in the form of a block he laid on a BYU defender, helping spring Markus Wheaton to the endzone on a reverse play.
It’s Vaz’s all around play Saturday that helped propel Oregon State to the win, and should allow the Beaver faithful to remain comfortable until Mannion returns from his injury.
Defensive Game Ball
While no OSU defender had an especially dominant performance Saturday, there is one player that allowed Oregon State to sit a little more comfortably at the end of the game, and effectively put the nail in BYU’s coffin.
With just under 5 minutes to go in the game, BYU quarterback Riley Nelson fired a pass out left to his receiver running a comeback route, when the receiver slipped and popped the pass up in to the waiting hands of OSU corner Jordan Poyer.
Poyer, quick to grab the bobbled pass, had a clear field in front of him and ran 49 yards to score a touchdown for the Beavers, putting them up 42-24.
BYU turned the ball over again via interception on the following drive, effectively ending their bid to upset the surprising Oregon State Beavers.
Although Jordan Poyer only recorded an assisted tackle, and one pass deflection on the day, his timely pick six was a debilitating hit to BYU’s comeback effort.
That makes four interceptions in just two weeks for the standout corner, who continues to punish teams that decide to throw in his direction.
Special Teams Game Ball
One of the underrated parts of a successful football team is the play of its special teams. Whether it comes down to made/missed field goals, kick coverage or accurate punting, special teams can play a significant role in determining the outcome of a game.
This past Saturday, Oregon State punter Keith Kostol assisted the OSU defense by pinning BYU deep in their own territory time and time again.
Kostol, registering 6 punts, dropped 4 of those inside the BYU 20 yard line and had BYU playing from deep in their side of the field all day.
If your special teams units can control the field position battle, you inevitably put yourself in a better position to win.
On a day where the OSU defense came a bit back down to Earth, this aspect of the game was far more crucial than you’d expect.
The #8 ranked Oregon State Beavers return home this weekend to take on the Utes of Utah in the annual Homecoming game.
Kickoff is slated for 7:30 pm and will be aired on ESPN 2.
Total Yards – 450
Passing – 20-32 – 332 yards – 10.4 YPA
Rushing – 28 carries – 118 yards – 4.2 YPC
1st Downs – 23
Penalties – 8-60 yards
TOP – 28:46
Cody Vaz: 20-32, 332 yards, 3 TDs
Storm Woods: 11 rushes, 57 yards, 1 TD, 5.2 avg.
Malcolm Agnew: 5 rushes, 44 yards, 8.8 avg.
Markus Wheaton: 5 receptions, 66 yards, 2 TDs, 13.2 avg., 1 rush, 12 yards, 1 TD
Brandin Cooks: 8 receptions, 173 yards, 21.6 avg., 2 rushes, 10 yards
Connor Hamlett: 2 receptions, 58 yards, 29.0 avg.
Colby Prince: 1 receptions, 5 yards, 1 TD, 5.0 avg.