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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.

Pac 12 Will Have Some New Names Running the Ball in 2014

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Byron Marshall Runs through a shoestring tackle  | Photo by Gary Breedlove
Byron Marshall Runs through a shoestring tackle | Photo by Gary Breedlove

When you look at the Pac-12 Conference entering the 2014 season there is one ‘household’ name when it comes to running the ball. As it stands with others who have declared for the Draft, Oregon’s Byron Marshall is a name already known by Duck fans, but will only become bigger throughout the Pac-12 and the country entering the upcoming season. The Cardinal have more to worry about on the Offensive and Defensive lines with guys leaving for the NFL. It starts on the line and  David Shaw will have some work to do to get his guys ready for the 2014 season.

Bigger names like Oregon’s De’Anthony Thomas, Washington’s Bishop Sankey, and Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey, and Stanford’s Tyler Gaffney will all be playing on Sundays. Oregon will not face Arizona State or USC next season, unless either team makes it to the Pac-12 Championship game.

In 2014 the Ducks also have the opportunity to make an early statement with Michigan State coming to Autzen Stadium on September 6th. Oregon could unleash a secret weapon and another ‘household’ name from 2013 for Ducks fans in Sophomore Thomas Tyner.

Running Back Byron Marshall rushed for 1038 yards in 2013 and looks to pick up more opportunities with the departure of DAT. Running Back Thomas Tyner was a nice compliment in the backfield rushing for 711 yards and in some situations was the change of pace back. He also had 9 touchdowns on the season. Going into next season Tyner and Marshall are the new guys to carry the load for the Ducks, along with incoming recruit Royce Freeman, who last week showed off his footwork and scored three touchdowns in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

(Steve Dykes/AP Photo)
(Steve Dykes/AP Photo)

When you look around the rest of the Conference landscape there is not a name that really stands out going into the 2014 season. According to The News Tribune going into the 2013 season the Huskies had three running backs with ACL tears behind Sankey. The Seattle Times seems to think there is some hope for the Huskies in the upcoming season on the ground. According to the writeup from Adam Jude, who formerly wrote for the Oregonian and Register Guard Washington looks to 2014 with no depth chart. Senior Jessie Callier has the most experience of the group, but is coming off an ACL injury. Sophomore Joseph Washington has the most talent of the group. The Huskies also have a new quarterback to work in after Keith Price ran out of eligibility and look to play on Sundays. Let’s take a look at another running contender in the Pac-12, The USC Trojans.

USC’s backfield will have to step up their game in 2014 after Star Wide Receiver Marquise Lee declared for the NFL Draft. In recent years the Running game has been injury prone – yes I’m taking to you Silas Redd, as has the Wide Receiver group. We’ll see what Steve Sarkisian has up his sleeve to help this offense.

Finally, Storm Woods looks to be back with the Oregon State Beavers in his Junior year. He had a solid 2013 season starting 12 games and rushing for 477 yards and 6 touchdowns. The Beavers will have to replace Wide Receiver Brandon Cooks who left for the NFL Draft. Quarterback Sean Mannion will be returning for his Senior season, which should help with transition.

The contenders are well stocked with talent with more on the way as National Signing Day approaches. The 2014 Running Backs will be new faces in a familiar game. Some will be household names after the first few weeks, others may take the season before we know who they are. In some cases it only takes one big play to change a game. Who will step up this upcoming season? We don’t know for sure, but we know who could.

The Oregon Ducks Win Epic Civil War Showdown Against The Oregon State Beavers

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Overview:

The Oregon Ducks(10-2, 7-2) squeaked by the Oregon State Beavers(6-6, 4-5) 36-35 at Autzen Stadium in one of the most exciting Civil War games in recent memory. Led by the at times miraculous play of QB Marcus Mariota and WR Josh Huff, the Ducks were able to take the lead over the Beavers twice late in the second half and kept it as the clock struck midnight on OSU’s shot at its first Civil War victory since 2007.

Mariota threw for 285 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions on the night. But the savior of the game and the Ducks season was Huff, who had 186 yards and caught three touchdown passes, including a clutch game winning catch with under a minute remaining. Thomas Tyner contributed the best game of his college career, rushing the ball 22 times for 153 yards and one TD.  With the win, the Ducks not only salvaged a season that was on a steep decline ever since the Stanford loss, but its slim shot at being selected to a BCS game. They also generated a storybook exit to the Pac-12 careers of Duck seniors on senior night.

117th Civil War Ducks V. Beavers at Autzen Stadium Image | Sandy Harris
The Beavers gave everything they had, but fell just short of the victory. 117th Civil War Ducks V. Beavers at Autzen Stadium Image | Sandy Harris

The Beavers may have fell short, but they gave the Ducks all they could handle. Despite having a relatively non-existent rushing attack for most of the season, the Beavs absolutely pounded the Ducks on the ground. Backup RB Terron Ward became the first Beaver of the season to eclipse the 100 yard mark, rushing the ball 17 times for 146 yards. Starter Storm Woods added 75 yards and OSU finished with 231 yards rushing. QB Sean Mannion had himself a day as well, throwing for 314 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.  WR Brandin Cooks continued his historic season, catching 10 balls for 110 yards and breaking the Pac-12 record for most receptions in a season with 120.

How the Civil War was won:  

On the first drive of the game, the Beavers swung for the fences on fourth and one from the Ducks 33, throwing it deep to Brandin Cooks on a post route. However, they struck out. Cooks was double covered and the ball wound up in the hands of CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu.

0-0

117th Civil War Ducks V. Beavers at Autzen Stadium Image | Sandy Harris
De’Anthony Thomas scoring the first TD of the game, 117th Civil War Ducks V. Beavers at Autzen Stadium Image | Sandy Harris

On the Ducks first play from scrimmage, Tyner exploded for a 40-yard run. RB De’Anthony Thomas finished off the drive by bouncing off his own blocker to the outside for a six yard score. Tyner scored a touchdown on the following drive from 12 yards out to cap a drive defined by screen passes to Huff and Braylon Addison.

14-0

At the 12 minute mark in the second quarter the Ducks forced a punt. But the ball fell through the grasp of Addison and was recovered by the Beavers at the UO 23. The Ducks D then put the clamps on the OSU offense, allowing only four yards in three plays. Though Beaver kicker Trevor Romaine missed the field goal, a Duck ran into the kicker, turning the missed field goal into a fourth and one opportunity. The Beavers converted on a slant-curl catch by Cooks. Then Woods stormed into the end zone on the final of three straight carries.

17-7

Oregon struck back with a 20-yard field goal by Matt Wogan, spearheaded by a 44-yard deep ball from Mariota to Huff.

After a 72-yard drive repeatedly pounding the ball to Woods and Ward, the Beavers easily converted an 18-yard field goal off the foot of Romaine. Mariota gave the ball right back to the Beavers after egregiously missing tight end Johnny Mundt to the right and into the hands of an OSU defensive back. On the Beavs next possession, lady luck struck the Ducks as Cooks caught a pass at the UO two yard line, but fumbled the ball into the end zone. Oregon retained possession.  But after Mariota turned the ball over again on another puzzling interception, Mannion threw a wide open TD pass to Ward on a play action pass to the flats.

17-17 at the half

The Ducks continued their lackluster play, turning the ball over on downs on the opening series of the second half. The Beavers took the lead via a Romaine 47-yard field goal. But Mariota wouldn’t let the Beavs lead for long. The Duck QB delivered a 21-yard scamper, nine yard throw after escaping pressure and a 29-yard TD pass to Huff.

24-20

The Beavs then missed out on another scoring opportunity after getting stuffed within the Ducks 5-yard line on fourth and one.  After a stalled UO drive, OSU made another FG on the second play of the fourth quarter. On the following Oregon drive, Thomas made his presence felt, delivering consecutive runs of 20 and 13 yards. However, Wogan missed a 43-yard FG.

24-23

On a drive highlighted by a sweet cutback by Ward that resulted in a 31-yard run, the Beavs finally found the end zone on a play action pass from Mannion to Tyler Anderson for a TD. After a two-point conversion run was halted by Taylor Hart, the score was 24-29 OSU.

24-29

Staring in the face of defeat, The Ducks rose to the challenge. On third and eight, Huff became the ninth player in UO history to eclipse the 1,000 yard mark after catching a timely 37-yard pass. Then on third and 13 the Ducks elected to run the ball up the middle with Tyner. It proved to be a wise decision as the RB ran for 25 yards.  Finally, on fourth and 11 Mariota threw a dart at the sidelines on an end zone out route to Huff for the TD.

30-29

After another 70-plus yard Beaver drive culminated by a reverse for a TD by Victor Bolden, OSU took the lead 35-30 with 1:38 remaining.

30-35

The Ducks were down, but Mariota made sure they weren’t out. The Duck QB put the team on his back and arguably delivered the most important drive of his career. The Ducks went 83 yards on 8 plays in 1:09 seconds. After a missed two-point conversion, the score was 36-35, Oregon. On the Beavs final drive, two potential 20 plus yard gain’s slipped through the hands of Cooks. On the final play the Beavs tried a Boise State-esque hook and ladder, but an OSU player fumbled as the clock ran out.

36-35 Final Score

117th Civil War Ducks V. Beavers at Autzen Stadium Image | Sandy Harris
Duck fans cheering their team to victory, 117th Civil War Ducks V. Beavers at Autzen Stadium Image | Sandy Harris

Postgame reaction:

Head coach Mark Helfrich proves prophetic: “We were talking about it at the beginning of the fourth quarter that it was going to be one that we were going to be talking about forever.”

Taylor Hart puts game into perspective: “To be able to do that with my seniors, with these great coaches, it’s something I will remember for the rest of my life.”

117th Civil War Ducks V. Beavers at Autzen Stadium Image | Sandy Harris
Opposing fronts lining up for battle, 117th Civil War Ducks V. Beavers at Autzen Stadium Image | Sandy Harris

Hroniss Grasu on the epic battle: “Having that fight to never give up, they were punching us we were punching back to. “We had one chance to win the game and you can’t let that moment pass you by.”

Hart provides a look into the Ducks locker room post game: “They might be jumping around on couches, singing and having a good time.”  

Dior Mathis on Huff’s performance: “I couldn’t be more happy, excited, proud of that guy. We’ve built a bond for 4 years, that’s like my brother.”

Mariota’s mindset during the final drive: I just focus on not letting the moment affect me. I was raised to be calm, cool and collected.”

Brian Jackson’s feeling before the final drive: “I wouldn’t say that I was hopeless, but I couldn’t do anything else. it was not my turn anymore.”

Jackson’s feeling after the final drive: “We literally pulled it out on the last drive. It’s going to be a great story for me to tell.”

Huff breaks down the game winning TD: “It was a post route and I decided to cut it short because Marcus was in trouble and he found me”

Huff realizes a dream: “The game winning touchdown is something I have been dreaming about since I was a little kid, and it came true.”

Huff on Oregon State’s defense: “They were giving us a lot of tampa two. They weren’t in quarters for the whole game. We had a chance to make plays down the field.”

Huff on the way his Pac-12 career ended: “Surreal, I didn’t imagine my last game to come down like that.” It takes me back to practicing those situations in the backyard with my cousins.”

Huff on the Beavers and UO Seniors: “To go out on top against the Beavers, our rival, it felt amazing. I came in with most of those guys and built a connection with most of those guys. It’s a great feeling.”

Huff on his Rose Bowl comments and the negative reaction they generated: “I don’t regret anything I said. I know I had a lot of fans turn their back on me. I came out here to play for my teammates. Hopefully I gained everyone back on my side.”

Huff on UO football: “This program changed me, it changed my life in so many ways.”

Huff on recent criticism: “No matter what people say about me or my team, I know were gonna go out there and do our best to compete.”

Defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti on the win: “There are no ugly wins there are only good wins, this was a good win.”

Aliotti on the game as a whole: “Not so much as a coach, but as a fan that was a fantastic football game.”

Aliotti on UO football expectations: “I know we have great heights, but if a ten win season is never good enough than we are in a sad state of affairs.”

Aliotti on his defensive game plan: “We played a lot more nickel and we didn’t want them to run the ball as well as they did, but I’ll let them have all those yards as long as we have that one more point.”

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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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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Storm Woods Suffered Concussion Against Utah, Out Indefinitely

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Oregon State running back Storm Woods was knocked out of the Beavers’ conference win against Utah on a pass play where, diving out to throw a block for Sean Mannion, Woods’ head was snapped back. He was helped onto a stretcher and gave fans a thumbs up before being carted off, but OSU coach Mike Riley said Woods suffered a concussion.

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

Woods was sent to the University Hospital in Salt Lake City, treated there and cleared in time to join the Beavers on their charter flight back from the Salt Lake International Airport.

He is going to take the traditional OSU procedures for concussion treatment. He is out indefinitely prior to the week of practice to prepare for the San Diego State game. For this week, he’s being replaced by junior Terron Ward and, possibly, senior Jovan Stevenson. Riley said Sunday he’s not ready to name a backup for Ward, and instead of Stevenson, it could be the unfortunately named redshirt freshman Chris Brown.

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