BEAVS WIN: OSU routs Colorado in second half

OREGON STATE GOT themselves a little breathing room just before halftime. Then they cranked the oxygen tank on full in the third quarter, scoring 21 unanswered points to take a commanding 35-point lead on their way to a 44-17 victory. The Beaver defense had a huge day. So did the special teams. And all Sean Mannion did was throw for a program record six TD passes.

Oregon State used two key special teams plays by linebacker Zack Robinson to pull away in the third quarter.

First, Robinson put his hat on the ball to force a fumble. Then after the Beavs scored, the next kickoff glanced off a Colorado player and Robinson swooped in to recover. Another OSU score followed and the rout was on.

The Beaver D harassed Colorado all game long, playing their best game of the season. Oregon State's stop corps had allowed but 138 hashes through three quarters.

Rashaad Reynolds and Ryan Murphy had interceptions in addition the two fumble recoveries (Kicker Trevor Romaine corralled the first fumble.)

Sean Mannion and the Beaver offense moved the ball seemingly at will in the first half but two turnovers and other missteps on a windswept day saw OSU with only a 10-3 lead, facing fourth down with little time left in the second quarter.

Mike Riley went for it on fourth down and Richard Mullaney made a great grab, after a pair of uncharacteristic drops, to move the chains.

Brandin Cooks, who had a monster first half with 7 catches for 152 yards despite all sorts of coverage, caught a TD pass from Mannion to give OSU a little separation.

Then the third quarter happened.

OSU marched downfield for score out of the locker room, followed by capitalizing scores on the two kickoff fumble recoveries.

Mannion, despite some overthrows in swirling winds, continued his stellar season. He already had nearly 400 passing yards by the end of the third quarter along with 5 TD passes.

Mannion set the OSU program record with his sixth TD pass late in the fourth quarter.

Unofficially, Mannion finished 27-52 for 414 yards with 6 TDs and an interception.

Two of his TD passes went to Connor Hamlett, two to Cooks, one to Caleb Smith and another to Terron Ward, who made some great cuts on a screen pass to score from 42 yards out.

Oregon State even crossed the 100-yard rushing mark with just under five minutes to go in the game, as Chris Brown ripped off an 18-yard gainer. Ward finished with 55 yards on 19 carries.

We'll have more coverage a little later on...