OSU football: Rock the Vaz-bah
Beavers have best performance of season, in 42-24 win over BYU, behind Vaz’s 332 yards
Published: Monday, October 15, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 15, 2012 00:10
It took all of two minutes and 31 seconds for it to become apparent that without Sean Mannion at the helm, Oregon State would be just fine winning games.
The No. 8 Beavers (5-0, 3-0 Pac-12) had their most productive offensive day of the season on Saturday in a 42-24 victory on the road against Brigham Young in Provo, Utah.
On the first drive of the game, junior quarterback Cody Vaz marched down the field with ease, completing all five of his passing attempts for 75 yards and an 11-yard touchdown to senior wide receiver Markus Wheaton to take a 7-0 lead.
The BYU (4-3) defense had come into this game only allowing 5.5 points per game at home. OSU made that number appear less accurate with its 42 points.
From that point on, the game was still a very back-and-forth affair — tied 14-14 at halftime, and 21-21 at the end of the third quarter.
But once the fourth quarter came around, it was all Oregon State for the rest of the way. Both sides of the ball for the Beavers proved to be too much to handle for the Cougars as the game was coming to a close.
A deflected pass caught by Colby Prince in the end zone gave OSU a seven-point lead. After a BYU field goal, Wheaton scored his third touchdown of the day, this time on the ground, on a 12-yard reverse.
The cherry on top of OSU’s performance in Provo was the Jordan Poyer interception return touchdown. A BYU wide receiver attempted to make a catch, fell to the ground and the ball was tipped up in the air and right into Poyer’s hands. He ran the interception for 47 yards to blow the game open giving the Beavers an 18-point lead.
The interception was Poyer’s fifth of the year, which is good for second in the nation, one behind the NCAA leader.
Vaz’s performance was by far the biggest storyline going into this game. After a 4-0 start and top-10 national ranking, OSU’s starting quarterback, Mannion, had to have surgery on the meniscus in his knee, allowing the junior to start his first game as a Beaver.
Given all the pressure and scrutiny Vaz — who had only thrown 17 passes in his career — had to deal with the previous week in practice, he delivered and put up numbers most people did not see coming.
Vaz completed 20 passes in 32 attempts for 332 yards and three touchdowns. Most importantly, he and the rest of the offense did not commit a turnover.
Sophomore Brandin Cooks was the receiver Vaz targeted most, catching eight passes for 183 yards. Wheaton also had another stellar day, catching five passes for 66 yards and two touchdowns, plus the rushing touchdown.
If there was any negative takeaway from the game, it was the defense allowing 386 total yards and 24 points against a team that was 80th in the nation in points scored.
But that would be nitpicking OSU’s performance. The Beavers are now 5-0 for the first time since 1939, and are ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press Poll and 11th in the USA Today Coaches Poll.