Saturday, October 6, 2012
Poyer leads OSU's defense in victory
By Kevin Gemmell
The Oregon State Beavers overcame an uncharacteristically inefficient first half on offense, but pulled away from Washington State in the second half en route to a 19-6 home win.
Luckily for No. 14 Oregon State (4-0, 3-0), Washington State's offense didn't look much better.
The teams combined for eight turnovers -- including three interceptions by Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday, who was eventually replaced by Jeff Tuel. Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion also had a three-interception day.
Considering the big numbers both of these teams were capable of, the outcome is a bit of a surprise.
Oregon State cornerback Jordan Poyer hauled in three interceptions for the Beaver defense, which held Washington State (2-4, 0-3) to 227 total yards of offense and no touchdowns.
The Beavers held a 6-3 advantage at halftime following a pair of Trevor Romaine field goals and one from WSU's Andrew Furney.
But they found the end zone in the third quarter when Mannion (25-of-42, 270 yards) connected with Markus Wheaton on a 12-yard score in the corner of the end zone.
"Wipe that slate clean, we have a brand new second half," Mannion told the Pac-12 Network after the game. "...That's great about our whole offense. We realize we're going to have some good plays and some bad plays. You have to play with a short memory."
Washington State, while struggling offensively, appeared to take another step forward as a defense. safety Deone Bucannon, defensive tackle Ioane Gauta and Casey Locker all had interceptions for the Cougars. Linebacker Travis Long also played well with a sack, three tackles and a pass breakup.
But the Cougars, who rushed for just 20 yards, couldn't get much going offensively. Halliday was 9-of-20 for 81 yards with the three picks before Tuel replaced him. Tuel went 11-of-17 for 126 yards and an interception.
Despite the shaky performance, Mannion was 5-of-7 for 64 yards on OSU's second to last drive of the game, a 12-play march that spanned 86 yards and was capped with a Tyler Anderson 1-yard touchdown run.