NCF Nation: Michael Balfour
December, 1, 2012
By Kevin Gemmell | ESPN.com
If you were looking for drama, best to re-watch last night’s Pac-12 championship game on DVR, because the Oregon State Beavers made sure their long-delayed showdown with FCS Nicholls State was anything but dramatic.
The No. 15 Beavers (9-3) scored touchdowns on their first 11 offensive drives and held the Colonels (1-10) to just a second-half field goal. On the 12th offensive drive (following an interception), the Beavers ran out the clock to close out the 77-3 victory. Not entirely unexpected against an FCS program that had just one win this season.
It was a day for a pair of Oregon State’s favorite sons to shine in their final games at Reser Stadium. Wide receiver Markus Wheaton became the school’s career receptions leader. He hauled in 12 balls for 123 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a 10-yard touchdown on a fly sweep. Jordan Poyer picked up his seventh interception of the season.
Originally scheduled for Sept. 1, this game was rescheduled because of Hurricane Isaac -- giving the Beavers one of the more unusual starts to the season. They practiced 35 times before finally opening the season with a win against Wisconsin.
Both quarterbacks -- Sean Mannion and Cody Vaz -- got a lot of work. Mannion completed 20 of 23 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns. Vaz was 14 of 17 with 190 yards and three scores. That leaves Oregon State head coach Mike Riley with a decision to make regarding who his starter will be heading into the bowl game. The Beavers will either be in the Valero Alamo Bowl or the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl.
“I’m not thinking about it right now,” Riley told the Pac-12 Network after the game. “I knew that would come up. I really like both of these guys. I think they can both play, and I wanted to play them both into the game regardless of circumstances today. We’ll just start practicing and we’ll figure it out as we go.”
There was plenty of scoring to go around for the Beavers. Storm Woods rushed for a pair of touchdowns and Malcolm Agnew, Terron Ward and Michael Balfour all scored on the ground. Kevin Cummings, Richard Mullaney, Jordan Jenkins and Obum Gwacham all had receiving touchdowns.