Beavs shut out in Madison

THE BEAVER FRONT SEVEN came to play. But the offense and defensive secondary were lost in translation. Oregon State won the battle up front and shut down the vaunted Wisconsin running game for almost the entire first half. But with the offense unable to get in scoring range, and the Badgers rifling through the OSU defensive backfield, it was a 35-0 slow burn to defeat.

The good? Oregon State showed considerably more fire than in Week 1 -- and the defensive front seven's play for the majority of the game surely had even the most cynical Beaver fan ready to strap on some headgear and tackle the TV. Until the game got out of reach, that is.

Before the exercise became academic, about five minutes into the second quarter, Wisconsin after several possessions had 3 rushing yards. Raise your hand if you saw that coming.

Kevin Frahm did exemplary work on the inside against the run, as did Andrew Seumalo. The d-ends were eating up the Badger running backs too, as were Feti Unga and the rest of the Beav 'backers. Pass defense, however, was a different story altogether.

On offense, Mike Riley and Danny Langsdorf defied convention right off the bat. Ryan Katz started the game and promptly led OSU to a first down on three plays.

And then he was pulled.

Sean Mannion came in and played, well, like a freshman. Mannion went three and out on his first two possessions, and throwing two early balls that could have been, should have been, interceptions.

But Riley and Langsdorf had already decided they were going to stick with him. With each passing possession, it became clear that Katz was the starter in name only, getting only one more snap during the first half, and a few token plays in the second. Katz' name will show up as the starter but Mannion was the Beavs' No. 1 QB in every sense of the word.

The Beaver o-line pass protection in the first half was the lone bright spot on offense.

While they couldn't open many running lanes for RB Terron Ward, starting in place of the injured Malcolm Agnew (hamstring), they did provide Mannion adequate time.

But he found little success against the Wisconsin secondary and pass rush.

The Badgers' QB, meanwhile, found plenty of success against OSU over the back forty. The first half numbers: 12-for-14, 124 yards, 3 TDs. Rusell Wilson finished 17-21 for 189 hashes and 3 TDs with no interceptions.

Eventually, the Beav defense was bound to tire, and Wisconsin began to move the ball on the ground. Oregon State held the ball for 11:40 of the first half, as compared to Wisconsin's 18:20.

It was 21-0 at the half when Wisconsin found the end zone with less than a minute on the clock. They tacked on two more scores over the final thirty minutes while the Beavers found scoring chances few and far between.

Oregon State now enters a much needed bye week before the UCLA game two weeks from today -- not just to heal up and potentially get back stars like James Rodgers, Joe Halahuni and starting RB Malcolm Agnew, but to also smooth out the rough spots, mental and otherwise.

NOTABLE NOTES:
• Oregon State junior transfer Rusty Fernando recorded the first sack of his career in the first quarter.

• Andrew Seumalo, a junior walk-on, made the first tackle-for-loss of his career in the first quarter.

Jordan Jenkins (RB) and Anthony Watkins (S) made the first starts of their career. The Beavers have now had 16 players who have made their first career starts in the first two games this season.

Josh Williams (LB) saw action in the fourth quarter and became the ninth true freshman to play for the Beavers this season. That's a new Oregon State record.

• Wide receiver Jordan Bishop finished with five catches for 98 yards, a career-high, surpassing the 86 he had against Arizona State last season.

• Center Grant Johnson recovered his first career fumble in the fourth quarter.

• Wide receiver Kevin Cummings made his first career catch in the fourth quarter.

Obum Gwacham caught his first career pass in the fourth quarter.

• The Badgers were ranked eighth entering the game. Wisconsin marked the eighth top 25 non-conference opponent for the Beavers since 2008.

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