A closer look at what the Beavers 27-20 victory over the Bruins means for Oregon State...
BEAVS WIN! BEAVS WIN! KNOCK OFF No. 19 UCLA
Tip your cap to Mike Riley. Chalk up OSU's victory to whatever intangible or stat differential you desire but what it boils down to is this – the Beavers outplayed the Bruins this afternoon, and a lot of that was the result of some fine play calling on behalf of the OSU coaching staff.
They did their homework and came prepared, and the end result was predictable for anyone who cared to see it -- "Big tree, fall hard."
Another factor that will certainly not go unsung in this game will be penalties. UCLA racked them up, and it assisted Oregon State having the upper hand for the vast majority of the game.
And where was Sheldon Price? All signs leading up to the game pointed to this guy coming up big with at least one pick if OSU decided to try and pop a few off down field. The opposite happened, as Price got beaten by both Cooks and Wheaton prior to the end of the first half.
On the whole, OSU manhandled UCLA. There really wasn't a point in the game where UCLA jumped up and snatched momentum offensively – penalties and an unfortunate attempt at a rushing attack for UCLA didn't help.
Credit defensive coordinator Mark Banker and d-line coach Joe Seumalo for orchestrating a persistent and an often overwhelming defensive blitzing scheme, especially considering this marked the first time in a long time that OSU showed up with a dime package defensively. It was the driving force behind the false start penalties for a young and inexperienced UCLA front five.
Brett Hundley went 27-for-42 for 372 yards, collecting a touchdown through the air to Shaq Evans and a rushing touchdown (which in our minds remains questionable, seeing as how Jonathon Franklin practically carried Hundley over the goal line. Where were the refs on that one?)
However, the Bruins were 2-for-15 on third down – in other words, dismal. Franklin collected a mere 45 yards on 12 carries - practically a mirror image of what OSU dished out to Montee Ball in the Beavers home opener. Not to mention that UCLA struggled to incorporate Joseph Fauria and Steven Manfro into the game plan as much as they did in their past three victories.
Those 327 yards and a TD through the air acted as the main crutch for UCLA as they stumbled ahead into the fourth quarter. Hundley and Evans found success in manipulating a very aggressive safety duo in Ryan Murphy and Tyrequek Zimmerman throughout the game, but couldn't get a break as the day drew to an eventful close. Jordan Poyer and Rashaad Reynolds held their own when containing a very agile wide out corps for the Bruins – the stats may not be the prettiest, but they did their job well.
Ironically, OSU managed to do what UCLA had previously been so adept at accomplishing – winning games despite giving up a few turnovers.
Mannion, who ended up tallying 379 passing yards, committed back to back turnovers (a fumble off a sack, turning right back around and throwing an INT to an awaiting Bruin defender) that seemed to swing the momentum in UCLA's favor.
However, an inability to capitalize on the aforementioned momentum shifts, particularly on third down and short situations effectively killed the bear- ahem - Bruin today.
Jeff Locke (UCLA) punted the ball eight times prior to the end of the third quarter – not exactly a good omen when a team is trying to walk away with a W.
It needs to be said again -- UCLA was again outplayed by OSU. On paper, the teams seemed at best to be pretty evenly stacked with one another, at worst UCLA head a decent edge in the words of many this week. But bear in mind that UCLA did not turn the ball over, a considerable change of pace from previous match ups.
But that sheet of tree bark looks a bit different for UCLA now, after OSU held a team who scored 15 touchdowns and averaged 622.0 yards to rank second in the nation in terms of total offense in their previous three games -- to 444 yards and two TDs. Anyone think the Oregon State D is going to be looked at a bit differently after this one by the naysayers? Me too.
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