THUD: Beavs blanked against Stanford

THIRD DOWNS. They've been the Beavs' nemesis this season and at Stanford on Saturday night, trying to convert them on offense, and to hold while on defense, was a task out of reach for OSU. Cardinal QB Andrew Luck, allowed ample time, carved up Oregon State in the first half, building a 24-point lead at the break as Stanford cruised by Oregon State 38-0.

Stephen Paea was about the only thing that went well on defense for the Beavers.

The senior defensive tackle, likely a first round NFL draft pick in April, made tackles in the backfield and chased down ballcarriers out in space.

It wasn't nearly enough.

Stanford thrashed Oregon State, in about every way possible. They started by converted a pair of third downs on their way to an opening drive 7-0 lead.

After an OSU punt, Stanford and Luck marched 91 yards but the Beavers gave up large swaths of yardage on first and second downs – Stanford had only one third down to convert on the drive. They did so with ease.

All in all, in the first half Stanford converted five of eight times on third down. The Beavers, meanwhile, were 0-for-5 on third down in the first half, finishing 4 of 13 for the game.

THE SECOND HALF didn't offer much for Beaver fans to cheer about. Any hint of a comeback flame was extinguished time and time again, with Oregon State turning the ball over five times on the night.

Stanford dominated from start to finish, particularly up front. Ryan Katz had little to no time, as his offensive line was steamrolled by the Stanford front seven. RB Jacquizz Rodgers found limited running room all night.

On defense, other than Paea, the OSU front seven was similarly overmatched. One of the few bright spots for the Beaver stop corps was sophomore safety Anthony Watkins, who came off the bench and made some solid open field tackles.

THE BEAVERS WILL be heavy underdogs to No. 1 Oregon in the Civil War on Saturday, Dec. 4. Oregon State gave no indication on Saturday at Stanford they're able and willing to hang tough with a Top 10 team at this stage of the season.

After reaching the depths a couple weeks ago in the loss to WSU, Oregon State got their swagger back the following week when they dominated USC. They'll need to surpass that effort if they're going to pull off the shocker of the 2010 college football season next weekend in Corvallis.

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