Oregon State Beavers are flying high with a 62-14 victory over Cal, but there is still some quality football to be played. Sean Mannion made his 6th start this season as quarterback, tying a school record with 4 touchdowns in the first half. He threw 24-34 for 325 yards and had one interception early on, but the pick was no indicator of the final outcome of the game.
"He had a look in his eye this week,'' Head coach Mike Riley said. "I thought he really took advantage of the 'next time.' A lot of people waste their time not being ready.''
It was an outstanding performance by Mannion, but will he start next week in the Civil War against Oregon or will it be Cody Vaz?
"We'll look at the film and see where Cody's at and go from there,'' offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf said. "So we probably need a few days on that before we know where we're headed.''
Quarterback Allan Bridgford, from the Bears, threw for only 132 yards and was picked off once by Jordan Poyer, who tallied up 6 interceptions for the season. The only thing that looked to be going right for Cal was moving the ball on the ground. Even then, Bridgford fumbled, trying to hand the ball off to Isi Sofele, who rushed for 104 yards with 1 touchdown.
With 2 minutes left in the first half, Bridgford dropped back and looked down the center of the field. OSU sent 6 defenders rushing so he had to think quickly. The ball barely got out of his hands and was caught midfield by wide receiver Darius Powe. As Powe turned Rashaad Reynolds wrapped him up and popped the ball out. Jordan Poyer was there for the recovery.
"We've been waiting for a game like this all year, with both sides clicking," cornerback Reynolds said.
Mannion completed the ball to 7 different receivers. Brandin Cooks assessed an underthrown ball from Mannion and backtracked down field to grab it and take it in for a touchdown. He left early in the game due to a hit to the head, but had 60 yards receiving. Markus Wheaton caught 7 passes for 99 yards and Connor Hamlett was targeted 6 times. Hamlett had 80 yards and snagged a touchdown pass thrown from the redzone.
Terron Ward, the third string running back at the start of the season, ran for 128 yards with 2 touchdowns and averaged 9.1 yards per carry. On a single run in the third quarter, Ward bulldozed 47 yards through the Bears defense, breaking 7 tackles. He took one final blow as he crossed into the end zone.
The Beavers put up a total of 559 yards total offense and the defense forced 4 turnovers. University of Oregon lost to Stanford and Beavers put up Duck’s numbers. This is what the fans have been waiting for. OSU is 5-0 at Reser Stadium, where the Civil War will take place this Saturday between two of the best teams in the NCAA.
Jay Huffman is on Twitter. Follow him at @JayHuffmanLive