OREGON STATE BOUNCES BACK WITH BIG WIN
CHALLENGE EXTENDED, AND CHALLENGE MET. Oregon State came into this game on the backside of a downward spiral, but they simply dominated and pushed the 20th ranked Trojans around all night. USC's offense, riding high of late, was put in deep freeze by the Beaver D. And leading the way was defensive tackle Stephen Paea, who spent the vast majority of the night creating chaos in the USC backfield.
There were many, many Beavers -- on offense, defense and special teams -- who stepped up strong against the Trojans in Oregon State's 36-7 blasting of USC.
After all, it was the biggest margin of victory for Oregon State over 'SC in nearly a century, trailing only the 38-6 win in 1914, the first-ever meeting between the teams.
Stephen Paea, however, was prolific.
Seemingly on every play, Paea was either making the play or forcing the issue.
And it seemed only fitting that on his final tackle of the night, a sack, he forced a fumble. And now no one in Oregon State program history has ever forced more fumbles (8) than Paea.
IT WAS CB Jordan Poyer who gave the Beavs their first big boost.
With the Beavs ahead 3-0 and USC on the move at the start of the second quarter, Poyer made a prescient move on the route and picked off USC quarterback Matt Berkley.
He didn't stop until he was in the end zone, about 65-yards later.
Leading the way on Poyer's pick, running interference downfield, running pretty close to the same speed as Barkley and allowing Poyer his final lane to the house, was Paea.
THE BEAVER DEFENSE unable to get off the field the past two weeks, held USC to 255 total offensive yards and stopped the Trojans on numerous third and fourth downs. Near the end of the first half, they knocked Barkley from the game. The USC quarterback finished with 75 passing yards and an interception.
Oregon State offensively ran the bubble screen more than they had all year, but that was only part of receiver Markus Wheaton's night.
Wheaton unofficially had 63 yards on the ground, most coming on the fly sweep, and added another 40 hashes on five catches.
RUNNING BACK Jacquizz Rodgers hadn't touched the ball enough the past two games, both Beaver losses, but it was clear that wouldn't be the case against USC.
Four of the first six plays on offense, Quizz touched the ball.
He ripped off a number of his signature moves over the course of the game, racking up 128 rushing yards and moving into 10th place all-time on the Pac-10 career list. He found the end zone in the second quarter, pushing the lead to 17-0. OSU would hold a 20-0 lead at the half.
Ryan Katz was an efficient 17-24 for 154 yards. Most importantly, he made the right decisions and used his feet ably to escape the rush and pick up valuable yards. His favorite target on the night was Quizz (7 receptions, 43 yards) but he found both Jordan Bishop and Joe Halahuni on a pair of fourth quarter scores.
OREGON STATE LOOKED nothing like the uninspired team that lost to UCLA and WSU the previous two weeks -- everything was in sync for the Beavs on Saturday night in Corvallis, including kicker Justin Kahut, who hit on 3-of-3 field goals, and nailed all three of his extra point tries.
Indeed, the only thing that could stop Kahut on the night.... was Mike Riley.
With OSU leading 23-7 and Kahut lined up to go for his fourth field goal of the night, Riley drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for vehemently protesting a non-call pass interference on the play before.
The penalty moved OSU out of field goal range and they had to punt.
"I'm glad our team bailed me out and got some more scores," Riley quipped after the game.
BF.C will have more on Oregon State's win over USC a little later on.