Unnerving drama comes in Oregon State win

MIKE RILEY DIDN’T so much walk off the field after the game against Hawaii – he shuffled, he trudged, head down, looking for all the world like as if he'd just lost. But Riley and the Beavs had won. Why the long faces? Well, after a commanding 31-7 Beav lead at the half, and 38-7 early in the third, Hawaii came within an eyelash of making it a one-score game midway through the fourth quarter.

Hawaii eventually did make it a one-score game but by the time they got there, only 1:35 remained on the clock. The on-sides kick didn’t go 10 yards, the ball was awarded to Oregon State and the Beavs walked off the field with a 38-30 win.

The first half was great stuff for the Beavs.

It was as if Terron Ward was being shot out of a cannon in Hawaii, such was the way he exploded past the line of scrimmage. And it seemed like Storm Woods sped up his game in response to what Ward was doing.

With Sean Mannion playing pitch and catch being a solid o-line pocket, and the Beaver D blowing up Hawaii at multiple positions, victory seemed all but assured.

After all, Oregon State’s defense was dominating - they held Hawaii to a measly 111 yards of total offense in the first half.

The prevailing thought from anyone who watched the first 30 minutes -- Oregon State was in control throughout and this game was never going to be close.

Until it was.

It was a physical tilt. Victor Bolden took a monster hit on one catch but somehow hung on, bounced up and the Hawaii defender was more shaken up than Bolden.

Ricky Ortiz absolutely nailed a Hawaii kickoff returner.

Tyrequek Zimmerman blasted the Hawaii QB so hard on one occasion he was still grimacing the next UH possession.

And on and on it went. But the Beavs got lax after they went up 38-7 a few minutes into the third quarter. Very lax. Very sloppy.

And they found they just couldn’t turn it back on again as Hawaii kept on creeping closer.

In fact, Hawaii ripped of 23 fourth-quarter points, some of the biggest were set up by a punt block and a fumbled kickoff return by Rahmel Dockery.

Bolden was solid throughout, though, with 11 catches for 119 yards and a TD. Ward, too. He rushed for 124 hashes on just 15 carries.

Cornerback Steven Nelson had seven tackles and a fantastic third-quarter interception where he looked more like a wide receiver than a defensive back. Linebacker D.J. Alexander had six tackles, including two for loss, and a whole lot of punishing hits.

DE Obum Gwacham made two uber-athletic sacks and would have had a third had it not been wiped out by penalty.

And speaking of penalties, they bit the Beavs again for the second straight week. OSU racked up 13 flags, just like in Week 1. (OSU had 99 yards in penalty yards.)

Hawaii finished with 336 total yards, OSU with 464.

But it was special teams and penalties that really hurt. They hurt the Beavs big-time in the second half.

And that surely figures to be a big part of the focus during the bye week for the OSU coaching staff..


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