Beavs can't move the chains in loss to UCLA

THEY SAY THE margin between winning and losing is razor thin. In the case of Oregon State and UCLA on Saturday night, it was measured by a few tenths of a second.

That's how long remained in regulation after UCLA completed a pass to get into field goal range. With the score knotted at 14-14, UCLA kicker Kai Forbath, who had missed two tries earlier from shorter range, drilled a 52-yarder down the middle.

But that was just the final nail. This game was lost by Oregon State long before that.

Oregon State didn't stay at home on defense, and UCLA quarterback Richard Brehaut gashed them around end -- he had 73 rushing yards with about 11:00 still left in the fourth quarter, though a couple of sacks later took away from that total.

What is it about Oregon State this season and running quarterbacks? Regardless, UCLA found their ground yards elsewhere when Brehaut wasn't the ballcarrier, too.

Still, the Beavs had surrendered only 14 points through 59 minutes and 59 seconds. That should have been enough.

Only things was, the Beaver offense had a devil of a time.

Oregon State moved the ball well on their first two drives, the second of which ended with a leaping, twisting Joe Halahuni, coming down with a Ryan Katz pass in the end zone. The h-back's first quarter touchdown reception was the ninth of his career.

The Beavs paced off about 100 yards on those first two drives in the first quarter. They managed only another 162 for the rest of the game.

Credit UCLA's defense, they made sure tackles, got heat on Katz and kept their intensity up all game long. And credit UCLA's o-line, they pushed the Beavers around.

But OSU came out of locker room and proceeded to drive 80 yards straight downfield, taking a 14-7 lead on a 22-yard double reverse by Markus Wheaton. But on the whole, Oregon State was mostly stuck in neutral all night.

Jacquizz Rodgers carried the ball only 14 times, according to the unofficial stat book, gaining 60 yards on the ground. He caught another five passes for 20 hashes.

The Beaver O gained but 267 total yards.

Granted, Oregon State didn't run near as many plays as they usually do on offense, (52 by one count) and certainly less than did UCLA (76).

Part of that was on the offense -- you can't keep the offense on the field if you can't move the chains. And it was also on the defense, who at one point surrendered an 18-play, 76 yard drive that chewed off a staggering 9:35 on the game clock. It was one of three drives OSU allowed that comprised 10 or more plays.

Still, Quizz touching the ball only 19 times, with five of those coming on passes, is sure to be a hot topic of discussion when Beaver Nation starts picking over the carcass of this lost night in Pasadena.

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