beaver football

Beavers Fall To Huskies, 37-13

Still1123_00000Courtesy: Oregon State Athletic Communications

SEATTLE – Jordan Villamin and Victor Bolden combined for 15 catches and 206 yards with two touchdowns but the Beavers were edged, 37-13, by Washington Saturday night at Husky Stadium.

Villamin scored two touchdowns – a 9-yarder in the first half and a 11-yarder in the third quarter – to give him three scores in his last two games and six on the season.

Bolden, meanwhile, finished with 10 catches for a career-best 145 yards. His tally was buoyed by a 72-yard reception in the second quarter that was a career-long. It helped set up Villamin’s first score that cut the Huskies’ lead to 10 points at the time.

Sean Mannion, the first Pac-12 Conference with quarterback with more than 13,000 passing yards, threw for 314 yards on 30-for-46 passing. His two touchdown strikes to Villamin gave him 82 for his career, tying former Stanford signal caller Andrew Luck for seventh-most in conference history.

Villamin pulled the Beavers to within 10 points in the third quarter when he caught an 11-yard pass by Mannion near the back of the right side of the end zone. He was initially ruled out of the bounds on the fade but after review, it was determined that he managed to get his left foot in bounds.

Villamin finished the night with five receptions for 61 yards.

Ryan Murphy led the Beavers defensively with a career-best 12 tackles. OSU, overall, was credited with six tackles for loss, including two by Dylan Wynn.

Oregon State forced four fumbles on the night, equaling a season-high set against Portland State and Stanford.

Washington jumped out to a 17-0 lead thanks to two first-quarter touchdowns. The first, a 54-yard pass to Jayden Mickens, came four minutes into the game. UW pushed ahead seven minutes later when Dwayne Washington carried the ball for 68 yards.

Cameron Van Winkle hit a field goal from 34 yards out at 10:41 of the second half but OSU answered eight minutes later on a drive that didn’t begin with much promise.

Facing 1st and 25 from their own 5, the Beavers threatened when Mannion found Bolden on a 72-yard pass that put OSU deep in the Huskies’ territory. A few plays later, he found a streaking Jordan Villamin over the middle in the back of the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown strike. It was Villamin’s first catch of the night and the last score of the first half.

Bolden caught five passes for 113 yards to lead OSU offensively in the first half, while Storm Woods was a threat on the ground and out of the backfield. He carried the ball nine times for 40 yards and caught five passes for 24 yards.

Mannion, meanwhile, was 13-of-21 for 159 yards passing.

Defensively, Murphy led OSU with seven tackles as the Beavers were credited with one sack and four tackles for loss.

It was announced during the game that Saturday’s matchup between the Beavers and Ducks will start at 5 p.m. PT on Nov. 29 and will be aired live on KEZI 9.

Beavers Survive To Beat Hawaii 38-30

beaver_logo 2013HONOLULU, Hawaii – Senior quarterback Sean Mannion threw three touchdown passes and Oregon State defeated Hawaii 38-30 on Saturday night at Aloha Stadium.

Mannion completed 26 of 37 passes for 300 yards as the Beavers improved to 2-0 heading into the first of their two bye weeks. Tailback Terron Ward rushed for 125 yards and two touchdowns as the Beavers piled up 464 yards of total offense.

Mannion passed Stanford’s Steve Stenstrom (10,911) and Washington State’s Alex Brink (10,913) to assume fourth place on the Pac-12 career passing yardage list with 11,064 yards. Next to pass is former OSU standout Derek Anderson, who threw for 11,249 yards from 2001-04.

He also moved into a tie with Carson Palmer of USC for 11th place on the all-time touchdown passing list with 72.

“I think when we look at this game we will wish we closed it out better but we made the plays to win and that’s what most important,” Mannion said. “It was a good experience to come into a good environment and beat a tough team.

“The win is what is most important. We made enough plays to win against a really tough team.”

The Beavers never trailed and led 38-7 before the in the fourth quarter before the Rainbow Warriors (0-2) rallied for 23 unanswered points. However, an onside kick with 1:35 remaining failed and the Beavers ran out the clock.

“It wasn’t the kind of finish we wanted, and we have a ton of things to work on” said defensive end Obum Gwacham, who had two sacks. “We have some things to polish up heading into our bye week.”

OSU took a 7-0 lead at 10:12 of the first quarter on Mannion’s 4-yard TD pass to Richard Mullaney. A fumble recovery that ended a Hawaii drive at the OSU 16, and long completions to Victor Bolden (40) and Connor Hamlett (37) set up the score.

Hamlett made it 14-0 at 6:15 with a 5-yard TD reception from Mannion. Ward’s 35-yard run positioned the Beavers for the touchdown. OSU increased that lead to 21-0 at 13:30 of the second quarter on Ward’s 32-yard TD run.

Hawaii parlayed an interception into a touchdown to cut OSU’s lead to 21-7. But Garrett Owens’ 27-yard field goal with 6:12 left in the half gave the Beavers a 24-7 lead and Ward scored on a 2-yard run with 1:31 remaining for a 31-7 intermission advantage.

“We were sharp and we did a lot of good things,” OSU coach Mike Riley said of the first half, when OSU outgained Hawaii 348-111 and outrushed the Warriors 141-44.

Mannion’s 7-yard TD pass to Bolden on the first possession of the second half made it 38-7. OSU then held on for its fourth straight win in the series it now leads 7-3. It will resume in Honolulu in 2019.

The Beavers have a bye on Saturday. They host San Diego State on Sept. 20 in their next game, at a time to be determined. The Aztecs (1-1) lost 31-27 at North Carolina on Saturday; they have a bye this coming Saturday.

UCLA Steals O-Line Commitment Najee Toran From Oregon State

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Najee Toran
Najee Toran

The UCLA Bruins have landed a verbal commitment from offensive line prospect Najee Toran, a three-star 6-foot-3, 265-pound prospect from northern Texas. However, the commitment comes with some controversy considering fellow Pac-12 member Oregon State believed they were Toran’s preferred school.

Toran used one of his official visits this weekend at UCLA and clearly has had a change of heart. And as is the case in recruiting, this verbal commitment is not binding and can be switched at any time until he signs his national letter of intent (LOI) in February.

He still holds offers from Boise State, Colorado and Houston amongst other Division 1 programs.

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Huge 4th Quarter Gives Beavers a 52-24 Win Over Washington State

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Oregon State at Washington State | (Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian)
Oregon State Beavers vs Washington State 2013 | (Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian)

When looking at the final score you’d think that the Oregon State Beavers (5-1, 3-0) had their way with the Washington State Cougars’ (4-3, 2-2) defense, but a close game through three quarters turned ugly late. Tied 24-24 heading into the final 15 minutes of play, a 28-0 fourth quarter propelled the Beavs to their fifth consecutive win.

[gn_quote style=”1″]“Offensively, for two-thirds of the game, we played pretty well,” Washington State head coach Mike Leach said. “For one third of the game, we played about as bad as it’s possible to play.”[/gn_quote]

And Leach wasn’t kidding about that powerful offense to begin. Cougs starting quarterback Connor Halliday went 26-of-49 for 248 yards and a touchdown, but three fourth quarter interceptions put a damper on the strong outing.

As for the Beavers, Sean Mannion‘s 34-of-51 through the air for 493 yards, four touchdowns and one interception, would be the highlight game for most quarterbacks seasons, but it likely doesn’t even crack the top-3 through six games. Great things are simply expected from Mannion and so far he hasn’t disappointed.

Sean Mannion | (Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian)
Sean Mannion | (Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian)

After the game the Beavers celebrated the hard-earned victory, but acknowledged the errors and that it’s only one more game. One game that puts them a game away from bowl eligibility.

[gn_quote style=”1″]”We got a number of turnovers, and that eventually makes it really hard for an offensive team to have any continuity,” Beavers head coach Mike Riley said. “That was big, and that was a great win for the Beavers.”[/gn_quote]

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Why I’m Picking Washington State to Upset the Beavers

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In the Pac-12 Pick’em this week, I selected Washington State to win its game against Oregon State for a couple of reasons.

The biggest is that I don’t think that the Beavers have the defensive stuff necessary to stay ahead in a shootout, which is what this will devolve into. Steven Nelson is going to hate me saying this, but the Washington State secondary — led by Damante Horton — is going to disrupt an Oregon State attack that is currently churning out tons of yards for Brandin Cooks and Sean Mannion. This is an OSU team that probably doesn’t have enough pressure to drape on Connor Halliday, and so I think he’s got a better chance of beating the Beavers.

Washington State vs Oregon State
Washington State vs Oregon State | (AP Photo/Greg Wahl-Stephens)

Scott Crichton‘s junior year made the Beaver defensive front look threatening this fall, but they’ve been anything but as teams have not struggled to run on the weakened Beavs. Oregon State sits, meanwhile, at 92nd in the land in scoring defense, allowing 31.6 points per game to their opponents. Utah was a prime example as Travis Wilson led the way, picking up 142 yards on the ground, and followed closely by James Poole (117 rushing yards).

Luckily for the Beavs, their defense has struggled with running quarterbacks, and Halliday is not what anyone would exactly call a mobile dual threat. And the Wazzu running game isn’t anything to write home about. The Beavers and Cougars are together at (nearly) the very bottom of the country’s rushing attacks, with OSU at 121 and WSU at 122 of the 123 programs listed. Only UConn rushes for less this year.

The difference between OSU rushing and Wazzu rushing is that Wazzu has less carries recorded than any other team in college football. The Cougars have 111 rushing attempts in 6 games.

If you take away the 34 tackles for loss they’ve allowed this year, they’ve attempted 77 rushes this year that have gone for a gain. So Mike Leach is selling out for the pass this season and for the most part, it’s worked. The Cougars are 4-2 on the year and have a big win over a Pac-12 opponent already this year. The team’s one big, glaring problem is interceptions, as Halliday has launched 10 on the season, at least one for six points against the Stanford Cardinal.

While Wazzu hasn’t tried too hard for its 352 yards, Oregon State has 28 more carries in one less game and pulled in just 340 rushing yards.

While I’m not going to go out on a limb and call Washington State’s defense elite, it certainly is improved from the last few years when they were bottom of the barrel. I think that defense is going to be the difference when Oregon State has trouble slowing down the air raid.

The Cougars play with their emotions on their sleeves and come away with a second-straight double-digits victory, leaving WSU one game away from their first bowl eligibility in ten years.

Washington State Cougars 48, Oregon State Beavers 35

Damante Horton celebrating a win over USC earlier this season.

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Oregon State Beavers Football Receives 3-Star OL Commitment

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Drew Clarkson
Drew Clarkson | (The Colombian)

The Oregon State Beavers Football team has received a verbal commitment on Wednesday from three-star offensive guard Drew Clarkson of Camas High School in Camas, Washington. OSU ffensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh reportedly was Clarkson’s primary recruiter.

Clarkson, 6’4″ and 275 lbs, selects the Beavers over other offers from California, Eastern Washington, Northern Colorado, Washington and Washington State amongst other programs both regionally and afar.

He makes the 15th commit for the Beavers’ 2014 recruiting class and is the top prospect according to ESPN’s player rankings. As a junior in 2012 Clarkson earned 1st Team All-GSHL and 1st Team All-State.

Clarkson has battled with testicular cancer and is an incredible story. You can read more here.

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Sean Mannion Could Put Up Career Numbers Against Colorado

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Talk all week has been about the offensive firepower that will be on display Saturday between the Oregon Ducks and Cal Bears, but there’s another game in the Pac-12 this week that could see new records set.

Yes, the Oregon State Beavers led by captain Sean Mannion could very well light up the scoreboard and stat sheets on Saturday and be the offensive highlight of the week.

Sean Mannion
Sean Mannion | (Greg Wahl-Stephens/Associated Press)

Through four games Mannion leads the FBS with 1,604 yards, which is nearly 300 yards more than the next highest. His 133 completions on 186 (71.5%) is the 10th best passing percentage in the nation and best in the Pac-12. He’s well above Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota who has only completed 59.8% through three games.

And Mannion’s 15 passing touchdowns? Yeah, that’s an FBS best as well. In fact, no other Pac-12 quarterback has thrown more than eight.

The Beavers have been abysmal on the ground this season, a rarity for a Mike Riley coached team. And so far it doesn’t look like there will be any change to that regardless of what Riley says. At 55.0 yards per game and 2.1 yards per carry only Connecticut, Miami (OH) and Florida International have been worse at running the ball.

Storm Woods could be making a return as early as next week as he’s back in practices for the Beavers, and until he’s suited up why would OSU even want to attempt a running attack? Not to take anything away from Terron Ward and the stable of walk-ons behind him, but no opponent has to worry about a balanced attack from the Beavers.

But why is this week the one that Mannion breaks all the records? Will he really amass more than 443 yards and five touchdowns like he did against Utah two weeks ago?

Yes… And here’s why! The Colorado defense is terrible! And I’m not talking about just your run of the mill terrible, oh no. Colorado has one of the worst defenses in the Pac-12, particularly its pass defense.

Colorado Buffaloes
Colorado Buffaloes | (CU Athletics)

The Buffs have allowed 481 yards (240.5 YPG) and 58.5% through the air to the powerhouses that are the Colorado State Rams and Central Arkansas Bears. I’ll confess; I had to look up the Central Arkansas mascot.

Of course, while I rip on the Colorado secondary it pales in comparison to the atrocity that is Oregon State’s. So far they’ve given up 1,148 yards and 63.2% and a Steven Nelson pick-6 is the only bright spot thus far.

But the real reason that Mannion is going to pass for unfathomable numbers and absolutely tear the Colorado defense to shreds is the simple fact that there isn’t a rustier team in football right now than the Buffs. After floods that postponed the Fresno State game and a bye week, it’s been three weeks since Colorado has played a down of live football.

Meanwhile, the Beavers are nearly halfway through the season and are starting to workout the kinks that plagued them against Eastern Washington in week one. They are by no means perfect, but they have the reps at least and are showing signs of improvement.

With Mother Nature and statistics on the Beavers’ side, watch out for an air-raid attack.

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Beavers Long Snapper Michael Morovick Out for Season With Torn ACL

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Michael Morovick
Michael Morovick | (Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian)

Oregon State Beavers long snapper Michael Morovick has suffered a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the 2013 season, as confirmed by the by school officials and reported by OregonLive.

Morovick suffered the injury on Saturday against the San Diego State Aztecs in the Beavers’ 34-30 win.

Morovick’s replacement, Harrison Linsky is listed at 6’0″ and 221 lbs. The redshirt freshman from Bakersfield, California is the presumed backup.

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Oregon State Beavers Scrape Out 34-30 Nail-Biter to San Diego State Aztecs

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Oregon State Beavers Football
Oregon State Beavers Football | (Alex Gallardo/The Associated Press)

The Oregon State Beavers didn’t make it look pretty, but in a season where wins may be hard to come by a 34-30 win over the San Diego State Aztacs puts the Beavers one game closer and half-way to being bowl eligible.

[gn_quote style=”1″]”It was just one of those nights where we weren’t as good as we could have been, but we kept fighting,” head coach Mike Riley said, “and we found a way to win.”[/gn_quote]

After battling back-and-forth all night, and trailing 30-21 with less than three minutes remaining, a 10-yard touchdown pass from Sean Mannion to backup running back Terron Ward cut the deficit down to just two points. Ward was replacing starter Storm Woods who is still recovering from a concussion suffered against Utah last week.

Instead of going with an onside kick, Riley trusted his defense to hold strong with 2:40 remaining down two points. And he made the right choice as the ensuing play resulted in a 16-yard Steven Nelson pick-6 to give the Beavers the win.

Watching the game was former Beaver great and current Philadelphia Eagles corer Jordan Poyer. Poyer has been a mentor to Nelson who has four interceptions on the season, an average of one per game.

[tweet_embed id=381613298929504256]

“He encouraged me, got my mind right,” Nelson said. “He told me I’m a real good athlete, that he sees it in me, I just need to trust myself. When I started listening to that, I started playing better.”

Also with another dominant performance was Beavers wide out Brandin Cooks who finished the game with 14 receptions for 141 yards (10.1 YPC) including a long of 46 yards. Cooks is now up to 639 yards on the season (159.8 YPG) and closing in on the Oregon State record books.

Brandin Cooks
Brandin Cooks | (Alex Gallardo/The Associated Press)

Fortunately for the Beavers, they have a light schedule over the next month before a gauntlet to conclude the regular season. Oregon State will host the re-building, but much improved, Colorado Buffaloes next weekend. From there the Beavers will have an off week before back-to-back road tests against Washington State and Cal.

Looking at those three games, the Beavers will need at least two wins if they have any hopes of making a bowl game. Oregon State finishes its season with No. 5 Stanford, USC, Arizona State, No. 16 Washington and close out with the Civil War against the No. 2 Oregon Ducks. Finding one win in that list is a daunting task.

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Running Woes an Unknown for Oregon State Beavers Football

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Storm Woods
Storm Woods runs against Hawaii | (Steve Dykes/AP Photo)

To say that the Oregon State Beavers football team has struggled to move the ball on the ground through their first three games of the season would be the biggest understatement in the history of understatements.

Better descriptors would beabysmal, dreadful, embarrassing, pathetic, atrocious, deplorable, a travesty to the great sport of college football.

You catch my drift. But just how bad is the Oregon State run game? Well, if words don’t paint a clear enough picture let’s take a look at the numbers:

  • 210 total rushing yards (70.0 YPG)- That comes in at 117th overall in the FBS, or seventh worst in the entire country.
  • 2.5 yards per carry–  114th in the country and 10th worst
  • A season-long run of nine yards- making them the only FBS team to not have a double-digit yard run. Also for context of how bad a long of nine yards is… the Oregon Ducks are averaging 8.5 YPC.

Running woes are quite the change for an OSU program that’s featured some of the best backs over the past decade plus. With names like Steven Jackson, Ken Simonton, Yvenson Bernard, Jacquizz Rodgers and most recently Malcolm Agnew, to see such difficulties is quite bizarre.

To make matters worse for an already maligned run game, the Beavers will be without running back Storm Woods for the immediate future after a scary injury. You can read more about his condition HERE.

Storm Woods
Storm Woods | (Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian)

So what does the Beavers offense look like without Woods in it? Gone is the leading rusher who totaled 152 yards on 45 carries (3.4 YPC) and two of the team’s three scores on the ground.

Oregon State’s next leading rusher is Terron Ward who has only amassed 43 yards on 18 carries (2.4 YPC). Ward also has their only other rushing touchdown. Following Ward is junior fullback Tyler Anderson who only has 15 yards rushing on four carries (3.8 YPC).

It’s safe to assume that Beavers will rely even more on their quarterback play going forward. But that might not be the worst thing for the Beavs.

Sean Mannion and his go-to receiver Brandin Cooks have been the only consistent players through three games. Mannion (95-of-130, 1237 yards, 12 touchdowns and one interception) is one of the great surprises in all of college football this season while Cooks (29 receptions, 498 yards and seven touchdowns) has not failed to live up to the incredible hype he received entering the season.

But the Beavers need to continue to go to the ground. One-dimensional offenses can work against the lowest level of competition, but heading into conference play they need to be able to keep defenses honest.

With top-tier secondaries like Washington State, Stanford, USC, Oregon and Arizona State on the schedule for the Beavs, they won’t be able to move the football when opposing defenses know what’s coming.

If the Beavers hope to have any success moving forward into the conference season, they’ll need to have their reserves step up. And it’d sure help if Woods isn’t out for too terribly long.

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