Did Oregon State run up the score vs. Washington State?

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

At least once a year, there's a "running up the score" controversy, and it appears this year's version with the most legs will be Oregon State's hitting a 39-yard touchdown pass to give it 66 points with 7:35 left against Washington State last Saturday.

After the game, a number of Cougars groused about the throw from Beavers backup quarterback Sean Canfield to reserve receiver Damola Adeniji.

"It really shows Oregon State has no class, in my opinion," WSU cornerback Romeo Pellum told the Seattle Times.

Cougars coach Paul Wulff could have diffused the situation by rejecting the notion, but he refused to comment after the game and he still seems bothered by what happened.

"I don't know if it's appropriate for me to comment on it one way or another," Wulff said Tuesday. "I just choose to do business a certain way. That's all I can say."

When asked about the issue, Oregon State coach Mike Riley seemed simultaneously baffled and contrite. He explained that Canfield had just returned from a shoulder injury and needed to throw the ball. He said the play call was a short corner route, but the safety blew the coverage.

"[Canfield] did what he was trained to do and threw a touchdown pass," Riley said.

As for the Cougars hurt feelings, Riley said, "I was disappointed to hear about that and I'm sorry they feel that way. There obviously was no disrespect."

It's worth noting that the Beavers 66-13 win didn't look much different than California's 66-3 victory over the Cougars or Oregon's 63-14 romp, blowouts that didn't feature postgame accusations.

It's possible that Wulff is taking up his players' cause in order to find a baseline of motivation during a lost season.

"If they are frustrated as players with behavior like that, I'm OK with that, if that's something they feel happened," Wulff said.

Perhaps tweaked feelings will inspire players to fight harder to keep the score closer.

As for Riley running up the score, that's absurd.

Some coaches fit that profile -- some even in the Pac-10. But not Riley, one of the most affable guys in the business.

California coach Jeff Tedford was quick to point that out.

"Knowing coach Riley, I'm sure he wouldn't do something like that to try to rub things in," Tedford said. "I just wouldn't believe that's in Mike's makeup."