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Top performances: Michael Doctor & D.J. Alexander

2/9/2015

We continue our series looking at some of the top individual performances in the Pac-12 in 2014. If you feel a little nostalgic, you can check out the top performances from 2013.

Up next: D.J. & the Doctor heal the Beavers

Who and against whom: Oregon State senior linebackers Michael Doctor and D.J. Alexander make huge fourth quarter plays to finish off No. 6 Arizona State 35-27 in one of the Pac-12's biggest upsets of the season.

The numbers: Doctor picked off Sun Devils QB Taylor Kelly and went 35 yards for a touchdown that gave the Beavers a 35-27 lead with 1:38 remaining. Alexander then sealed the deal with a sack of Kelly on fourth-and-2 with 1:10 left.

A closer look: Oregon State didn't have a good season, finishing 5-7, their fourth season in five years with at least six defeats. Then, with grumpiness growing over the state of the program, particularly in comparison to rival Oregon, coach Mike Riley bolted for Nebraska. This victory over the Sun Devils, in fact, was their only quality win. It pretty much came from nowhere, as the Sun Devils, who had played their way into longshot contention for the College Football Playoff, led 24-14 at halftime and seemed to be coasting toward an expected win. Yet the Beavers, losers of four in a row, got off the canvas and rallied for the victory, mostly behind a defense that shut down ASU in the second half, allowing just three points. Alexander finished with seven tackles, including two for a loss, and Doctor added five. The pair combined for 70 starts in their careers, and in 2011 they seemed like one of the conference's bright young linebacking tandems. Neither career came together as hoped for in Corvallis, with injuries being an issue, but this was one shining moment for them and their team in 2014.