Beavers lack offense, but remain unbeaten
It’s only mid-October and the Beavers have already accomplished what many thought was a pipe dream; the 2012 Oregon State Beavers are bowl eligible.
Easily the most surprising team in the NCAA this year, the Oregon State Beavers have rattled off six straight wins, and have pushed themselves to 6-0 for the first time in 105 years(!).
That 1907 Beaver’s team finished the season at 6-0, so the current squad has a chance to cement this season in the record books as the best start ever for an OSU football team. (But as coach Riley always says, one game at a time.)
This past Saturday, Oregon State welcomed in the Utes of Utah for the annual Homecoming game, and were once again deploying interim QB Cody Vaz to try and extend the Beavers’ winning streak. And although Vaz didn’t quite impress like he did a week ago against BYU, he managed to avoid making any crippling mistakes that not even the stout OSU defense could dig themselves out of.
Playing under the lights at Reser for the first time this season, the Oregon State offense failed to create much momentum, and it was the OSU defense, yet again, that powered the Beavers to a 21-7 win over Utah.
The win pushed the Beavers to #7 in the BCS rankings heading in to this weekend’s showdown with Washington. Rumor has it, too, that Sean Mannion will be under center against the Huskies; a welcome return for a team that’s just beginning to hit its stride.
Offensive Game Ball
The Beavers offense found very little positive gains Saturday, and this weeks offensive MVP’s stats show the exact struggle they endured.
Storm Woods, 17 carries for only 47 yards, had a hard time finding much room to run against the Utes; his longest run of the day maxed out at a meager 8 yards. Woods also added three receptions for 20 yards.
He did, however, take advantage of his goal line carries, and was able to rack up all three of Oregon State’s touchdowns. Woods’ touchdowns doubled his 2012 total pushing the young back to six on the season.
It’s hard to gloat about a back who averaged just under three yards a carry, but Woods deserves credit where credit is due, and his three touchdowns helped keep Utah at arms length. You need points to win games, and Woods, battling through a tough day, produced when he was called upon to do so.
Defensive Game Ball
The OSU defense was outstanding again Saturday, holding Utah to just 307 total yards, even though Utah’s offense was on the field for just under 35 minutes.
One of the key pieces to the great defensive performance was junior linebacker Michael Doctor. Doctor recorded 10 total tackles on the day (5 solo, 5 assisted), one of which for a loss, and also tallied an interception on the day.
Doctor’s interception came with just over 2 minutes left in the first quarter, and helped set up the OSU offense deep in Utah territory.
The 10 tackles he recorded on the day tied a season high for Doctor, a mark he set just last week against BYU.
Oregon State’s defense has been one of the many pleasant surprises this year, and Saturday’s performance against Utah, while not the best we’ve seen out of them this year, proved that they’ve gotten very good at buckling down when OSU needs them most.
Special Teams Game Ball
Kieth Kostol, OSU’s special teams MVP half way through the year, was at it again this past weekend. Kostol registered 8 punts on the day, and dropped five of them inside the Utah 20 yard line, one of which even fell inside the 10.
While it’s the defense that has gotten a lot of the credit for stumping opposing offenses, it’s Kostol’s boot that has helped give the Beavers D plenty of field to work with.
Routinely pinning teams inside their own 20 yard line will give any team a leg up on the competition (no pun intended), and Oregon State has taken full advantage of Kostol’s accurate, booming punts.
Oregon State takes to the road this weekend as they travel north to Seattle to take on the Washington Huskies at Century Link Field. Kickoff is slated for 7:15 pm and will air on the PAC-12 Networks.
Total Yards – 227
Passing – 16-26 – 174 yards – 6.7 YPA
Rushing – 28 carries – 53 yards – 1.9 YPC
1st Downs – 15
Penalties – 5-64 yards
TOP – 25:32
Cody Vaz: 16-26, 174 yards
Storm Woods: 17 rushes, 47 yards, 3 TDs, 2.8 avg., 3 receptions, 20 yards
Markus Wheaton: 7 receptions, 90 yards, 12.9 avg., 2 rushes, 2 yards
Brandin Cooks: 1 reception, 8 yards, 8.0 avg., 2 rushes, 10 yards
Kevin Cummings: 2 receptions, 32 yards, 16.0 avg.