A Recapitulation of the Oregon State Beavers Season through Oct. 13th Beavers' Record: 2-3 Conference Record: 1-2 The Beavers started the much hyped 2001 season ranked #12 and #13 in the AP and USA/ESPN polls, but have fallen every week since then. After losing the most starters in the Pac-10 (14), the Beavers could not sustain the success they had last year, and have lost 3 of their first 5 games. Game 1 - Oregon State at Fresno State Oregon State began the season versus the now #10 and undefeated Fresno State Bulldogs in Fresno, California. In front of 40,000 rabid Bulldog fans, the #12 Beavers were dominated by the high-powered FSU offense. The Beaver defense could not get any pressure on the FSU quarterback, David Carr, who torched the Beavers for 340 yards and 4 touchdowns. When a quarterback has all day in the pocket, he can do that. The OSU offense produced 28 points, but failed to establish the running game. Then Heisman candidate, running back Ken Simonton, was held to 42 yards behind an inept offensive line. Final score: 44-28 Quote of the game: Oregon State coach Dennis Erickson said, "They outplayed us in every aspect of the game. I was surprised. We couldn't run it like I thought we might, and they made big plays on offense. The atmosphere obviously was very important to them." Game 2 - Oregon State at New Mexico State Simonton ran for 169 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead the Beavers to victory over the New Mexico State Aggies in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The offensive line looked like they were beginning to jell, but the passing game failed to pick up where it left off against Fresno State. For the second straight game, the defensive line failed to get any pressure on the opposing QB making the secondary work extra hard. Even so, the Beavers began to dominate in the second half until the Sun Belt officials got involved. The Aggies scored two touchdowns after two horrible third down pass interference calls. The Beavers recovered an onside kick at the end of the game and snuck out of New Mexico with a win. Final score: 27-22 Quote of the game: "We don't know what's wrong with our `D,"' a noticeably frustrated Erickson said. "We need to look at the film and evaluate what went wrong. They battered at us really well but we held on." The Beavers were scheduled to play Division II Montana State next, but the game was cancelled due to the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C. Unfortunately for the Beavers, a bye week followed giving the Beavers more time off than they needed. The Beavers could have used a tune up game against a lesser opponent to prepare for their Pac-10 opener against undefeated UCLA. Game 3 - Oregon State vs. UCLA The Bruins were looking for revenge as the Beavers had creamed the Bruins in 1999 and snuck away with a win in 2000. The Bruins started the game off right by intercepting a tipped pass. A few plays later; UCLA running back DeShawn Foster, made the score 7-0. Oregon State quarterback, Jonathan Smith, had the worst game of his career as he went 11-32 with 106 yards for the game Again the offensive line could not block and the UCLA defense dominated the Beaver offense holding Simonton to a career low 26 yards on 13 carries. The Beavers were still in the game around halftime down 10-0 until a blown coverage assignment enabled UCLA quarterback, Cory Paus, to throw a touchdown pass to Poli-Dixon as time ran out in the first half. The Bruins rattled off 21 unanswered points in the third quarter as the Beavers gave up. But the Beaver faithful received a glimpse of the future as true freshman quarterback Derek Anderson and true freshman running back Steven Jackson saw their first action as Beavers. Jackson averted the shutout by sprinting 63 yards for the Beavers only points of the day. Final score: 38-7 Quote of the game: UCLA middle linebacker Robert Thomas quipped, "Their quarterback (Jonathan Smith) said that we hadn't faced a top-notch offense yet, and I guess we haven't faced one yet," Game 4 - Oregon State at Washington State The first half of the game was abysmal for the Beavers. Jonathan Smith threw an interception on the Beavers' first offensive series that was returned for a touchdown. Things didn't get much better the entire half which ended up 31-0 in favor of the Cougars. WSU quarterback Jason Gesser and running back David Minnich were dominant on offense. The Beaver offensive line was once again dominated and the Beavers went into the locker room at halftime with their tails between their legs. The second half was the first time the entire year that the Beavers showed some enthusiasm. The defense held the Cougars to 3 points and scored a touchdown. The special teams blocked a punt and scored a touchdown and the offense finally put some points on the board. The Beavers spirited comeback fell short and they lost 34-27, but the second half showed a Beaver team with a new attitude. Many new faces had contributed to the turnaround and coach Erickson promised that you would be seeing even more new faces in the coming weeks. Final score: 34-27 Quote of the game: "After we scored that (touchdown) to get within 14, we said, `Hey, we put together a few drives and we'll be all right," OSU quarterback Derek Anderson said. "We put a few in and that gives the offense a little more confidence going at us and our defense was playing real good in the second half. It was just slowly gradually going, `Hey, here we go, here we go,' and (if we) get that onside, you don't know what happens? You never know." Game 4 - Oregon State vs. Arizona The Beavers used the momentum from the second half of the WSU game and totally dominated the Wildcats in Corvallis. Walk-on Cole Clasan led a gang of newcomers who made significant contributions to the Beaver cause. Clasan caught the ball, ran the ball, scored a touchdown, and even blocked a punt that was recovered for a touchdown. The defense was its old, fast-attack, run to the ball, play with lots of emotion, self. They held Arizona to 61 yards rushing and, of course, no touchdowns. The defensive line had, far and away, its best game as they kept constant pressure on the Arizona quarterback. The offense had its best game of the year too. The running game was strong as Simonton had 108 yards while Patrick McCall and Steven Jackson added 90 more. The passing attack looked good with fine performances from Jonathan Smith and Derek Anderson. Eight different players caught passes, James Newson lead the way with 4 and a touchdown. Final score: 38-3 Quote of the game: "We played like I hoped we'd play three or four weeks ago," OSU head coach Dennis Erickson said. "We ran around and made plays and played with a lot of emotion." Game 5 - Oregon State at Arizona State Look for the Beaver defense to play like they played against Arizona. It seems they have found the emotion and fire that they were lacking in the early games. The defensive line is constantly improving every game putting more and more pressure on the opposing quarterback. The offense is a bit flaky. If the offensive line can block the Beavers will score, provided Jonathan Smith does not make any stupid passes. He has not shown the touch that he had last year. Look for Derek Anderson to come in and give the Beavers a lift if they need it. He has a great touch and sees the field really well. If the Beavers are behind he will be the one to bring them back. The special teams have been superb this year. The punter has done a fairly decent job, averaging 40.1 yards a punt, and the kick coverage has been outstanding. Ryan Cesca, the Oregon State kicker, is 6 of 7 in field goals with his only miss being blocked and he is 100% in PAT's with 15. Players to Watch: · Ken Simonton, RB: Can have a big game if offensive line blocks, showed some great runs against Arizona. · Derek Anderson, QB: Big freshman who has shown poise in the pocket, has a great arm, and can run. · Cole Clasan, WR: Walk on redshirt freshman who caught 4 passes for 58 yards, caught 1 touchdown, and blocked a field goal, all in his first game. · Mitch Meeuwsen, SS: Red shirt freshman who is leading the Beavers in defensive points after playing in only 3 of their first 5 games. Has recovered a fumble in all of his 3 starts. · Richard Seigler, MLB: Fierce linebacker who plays with lots of emotion and likes to hit. · Dennis Weathersby, CB: 6'1", 200 lb, corner back who has broken up 9 passes this season. Injuries: · OUT- o Strong safety Calvin Carlyle is out for the season (left shoulder surgery) o Quarterback Shayne House (recovering from right shoulder surgery) o Tailback Riley Jenkins (ACL surgery on right knee). · QUESTIONABLE o Left guard Dustin Janz (sprained left foot).
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