Saturday, October 8, 2011
Final: Oregon State 37, Arizona 27
By Ted Miller
Two desperate teams put on a strange game in Corvallis, and Oregon State managed to notch its first win, 37-27, at reeling Arizona's expense.
Oregon State charged to a 30-6 lead early in the third quarter as the Wildcats were sloppy and, seemingly, indifferent.
Then the Wildcats and QB Nick Foles -- who looked like he might be knocked out of the game at one point -- stormed back to close the gap to 30-27 early in the fourth quarter.
What once looked like a disaster for embattled coach Mike Stoops now looked like one for embattled coach Mike Riley.
But the Beavers used a 63-yard punt to gain a critical field position advantage -- pinning the Wildcats on their 5-yard line -- and then drove 43 yards for a critical, game-salvaging TD. The Beavers scored said TD on a fourth-and-2 pass from Sean Mannion to Joe Halahuni.
The Wildcats then drove to the Beavers 1-yard line, but a seeming TD pass from Foles to WR Dan Buckner was dropped.
Foles completed 29-of-39 for 354 yards with two interceptions and a TD.
Mannion completed 32-of-41 for 267 yards with two TDs and two interceptions.
The Wildcats also had two fumbles, but the bigger difference might have been the running game. The Beavers produced one -- 123 yards -- and the Wildcats couldn't -- 53 yards.
Oregon State is now 1-4 and 1-2 with BYU visiting next weekend.
Arizona falls to 1-5 and 0-4. It's off until playing host to UCLA on Oct. 20, a Thursday night game.
Previously, the Wildcats tough schedule was a reasonable excuse for their poor record. No longer.
The heat on Stoops is going to kick up a few notches.