CORVALLIS – There were no big pass plays for Oregon State in Week 6 – to date the Beavs' bread and…
BEAVS WIN AGAIN, MOVE TO 6-0!!!
Midway through the third quarter, the Beavs didn't have enough to show for their play. They hadn't dominated, but they had clearly outplayed Utah.
And yet the scoreboard reflected nothing of the kind -- Oregon State led only 14-7.
To make matters worse, Utah had first-and-goal and appeared destined to tie this one up and grab 'ol momentum in a death grip. On third down, Utah ran a reverse. It might have been there. It might have worked. But Scott Crichton stayed at home.
It still might have worked -- it's a wide receiver with a full head of steam against a defensive end who will need to accelerate and give chase the other way. But slo-motion replays seemed to indicate that Utah wideout Devonte Christopher just barely turned his head as the ball was pitched to him -- just enough.
He turned his head towards Scott Crichton.
The ball glanced off his hands and Crichton pounced on it.
Scoring threat over. Utah's last real chance, done.
Later in the final quarter, Oregon State was faced with a first-and-25 deep in their own end. They hadn't put together a complete, scoring drive in forever.
But Cody Vaz found Kevin Cummings, who had run a perfect 26-yard crossing route underneath Markus Wheaton's deep path. Vaz' pass was perfect, and Cummings held on for dear life.
First down, Oregon State.
The Beavs punched it in later on that drive, Storm Woods doing the honors, upping the lead to 21-7 over a game Utah squad.
THIS ONE MIGHT not have been as close as it was under different circumstances. The Beavs saw drive after drive stall just inside Utah territory or close to it, but outside field goal range.
It's a swath of green in the college football world that's become, in recent years, exceedingly fashionable to go for it. Hell, it seems almost criminal to fans these days not to roll the dice.
Mike Riley has been aggressive in these situations in the past, almost to a fault. Not this time. And he was right.
Oregon State -- mostly -- on defense kept Utah in check all night. With a lead, the absolute right play was to force Utah to drive the length of the field and not to win it -- but just to tie the game up.
The philosophy might not make for a sexy final tally, or box score. But the point is to win the damned game. And Riley did exactly that.
A TELLING MOMENT came after Woods punched it in and a booth review confirmed the score.
The Beaver running back went straight towards the OSU bench for center Isaac Seumalo. The true freshman center at OSU won the battle against Utah nose tackle Star Lotulelei. Yes, he had help on a number of plays. But if this was a prize fight, it would have been a unanimous decision going the way of Seumalo.
Woods looked like he wanted to thank his big center for his blocking on that touchdown run -- maybe for his work all evening long.
There isn't a corresponding position on defense but if there were, that player would have been well served to do the same.
The Beaver d-line was rock solid all night. About the only thing they didn't do was consistently get heat on the Utah quarterback. Even then, they still got their sacks, though.
Crichton was again a star. And Rudolf Fifita, he was simply a force in the second half.
ADD IT ALL up and Oregon State took care of business. They're 6-0 and No. 8 in the land.
And once again, so many players different contributed when it counted most. Sometimes, even just through their presence.
Check back on BF.C, we'll have more a little later on
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