Big plays lead OSU to victory
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 24, 2012 02:09
PASADENA, Calif. — Oregon State had beaten UCLA on the road only four times since head coach Mike Riley was born in 1953, and hadn’t been ranked in the top 25 since being No. 24 in the nation on Oct. 11, 2010.
OSU changed both of those things Saturday with a 27-20 win over the then No. 19 Bruins, vaulting the Beavers to No. 18 in the nation.
Oregon State (2-0, 1-0 Pac-12) jumped ahead early and never trailed in the game, giving UCLA (3-1, 0-1) its first loss of the season.
The Beaver defense impressed on national television once again — holding Johnathan Franklin, the leading rusher in the nation going into the game, to only 45 yards rushing. But, while the stout run defense for the second consecutive game was important, the offense was the story of the game, putting up 501 yards of total offense en route to their 27 points.
Sophomore quarterback Sean Mannion had a career-high 379 yards passing and two touchdowns, and redshirt freshman running back Storm Woods had a career-high 96 yards rushing, including a touchdown, to propel the Beavers.
The OSU offense got things going down the field for three points after a 22-yard field goal from sophomore place-kicker Trevor Romaine on its first drive of the game.
After UCLA answered with a field goal of its own, Mannion connected with sophomore wide receiver Brandin Cooks on a slant route that went 75 yards for a touchdown.
The Beavers then went up 17-3 thanks to another deep connection, this time with senior wide receiver Markus Wheaton for a 42-yard score.
The Bruins cut the defecit to 17-10 at the end of the first half, but Oregon State responded early in the third quarter with a two-yard scamper from Woods.
UCLA scored again at the beginning of the fourth quarter on a one-yard run to pull within a touchdown, but Romaine answered with a 17-yard field goal to put Oregon State back up by 10.
The Bruins tacked on three points later, but never got the ball back, falling to Oregon State for only the third time in the last ten years.
Among the many storylines was another career accomplishment for Riley. The victory ties him with Lon Stiner for most wins in Oregon State history with 74.
Next up for Oregon State is another challenging road test, this time against Arizona.
The Wildcats are coming off of an abysmal 49-0 loss to Oregon, but have proven they can be dangerous offensively under first-year head coach Rich Rodriguez.
Though Oregon State will likely be favored following its upset victory, there will be many obstacles the Beavers will need to overcome if they want to remain undefeated.
It will be the first week OSU will play without an extra week of preparation — Wisconsin was the opener because of the postponement of the Nicholls State game, and there was a scheduled bye week before UCLA — and Arizona will be looking for redemption following an embarrassing loss that dropped them out of the top 25.