2-Minute Drill: A long wait for turning point

OREGON STATE vs. COLORADO was close the entire way, so the turning point game didn’t happen until late in the fourth quarter, when Colorado had the ball in Oregon State territory with all three time outs remaining and 2:08 still left to play. If the Buffaloes could drive 44 yards, they’d take the lead and possibly shut the door on the Beavs.

After two downs, Colorado was facing third-and-6. Colorado QB Sefo Liufau dropped back to pass, fired a rifle intended for receiver Nelson Spruce, but tight coverage by OSU’s Steven Nelson forced it incomplete.

On fourth-and-6, pressure by Dylan Wynn and Lavonte Barnett forced another incomplete pass, allowing the Beavers to take over and run out the clock with a few kneel-downs.

Beavers get off to fast start:

On their second possession of the game, the Beavers cruised 63 yards in just four plays, scoring the first points of the game. On the drive, Terron Ward rattled off a 33 yard run, Sean Mannion completed a 20 yard pass to Caleb Smith, and then Ward punched it in from four yards out.

On the Buffaloes’ ensuing possession, D.J. Alexander came up with an interception and returned it 25 yards to the Colorado 8-yard line. The interception set up a Storm Woods touchdown run that put the Beavers up 14-0.

Terron Ward and the end zone:

Ward had the first rushing touchdown of the game and three hours later, he scored the final rushing touchdown of the day. Those touchdowns were his fifth and sixth of the season so far, which already matches his career high for touchdowns in a season.

In the game, Ward had 12 carries for 102 yards and two touchdowns.

This is the second time this season that Ward has run for at least 100 yards and two touchdowns.

Mannion bounces back:

Following one of his worst games as a Beaver against USC, Sean Mannion returned to form. The senior quarterback was 27-of-37 passing for 278 yards, with one touchdown and no turnovers.

And it sure looked like his offensive line gave him much more time and space to work with in comparison to last week’s game against the Trojans.

Bolden returns from dislocated finger:

Mike Riley said Thursday that there was a 50/50 chance that Bolden would play against Colorado, but Bolden was not only playing, he started. He made a few plays, and he finished with six receptions for 38 yards, in addition to two carries for 18 yards.

Colorado’s Nelson Spruce held in check:

Entering the game against OSU, Colorado receiver Nelson Spruce was leading the nation in virtually every receiving statistic. He had 56 receptions, 697 yards and 10 touchdowns through five games, tops in the NCAA in all three of the major categories.

Against the Beavers, Colorado tried to get him involved, but Spruce wasn’t very productive. He finished with six receptions for 35 yards and no touchdowns.

Beaver defense underwhelms, but comes up big at the end:

The calling card for the first few weeks for the Beavers has been the defense, but they had a pretty pedestrian day today. The Buffaloes gained 431 yards (308 through the air and 123 on the ground) and scored 31 points while turning the ball over once.

OSU did slow down Colorado a bit more in the second half, allowing 151 yards of total offense. And the final stop and turn over on downs sealed the OSU win.

P Keith Kostol had an off-day:

Entering the game, OSU punter Keith Kostol was averaging 41.8 yards per punt.

Against Colorado, he had punts of 30, 30, and 20 yards.

Beavers don’t close the door, but survive anyway

Late in the fourth quarter, the Beavers had a chance to finish off Colorado for good, but a three-and-out gave the Buffaloes one more chance.

The Beavers had a five-point lead and the ball when they began a possession with 2:58 remaining. All OSU had to do was get a first down to make life that much harder for Colorado and maybe even cast the deciding blow. But they went three-and-out and gave the ball back to Colorado with 2:14 remaining. The defense, as noted earlier, ended up making a stop to save the game.

Player(s) of the game: :

Terron Ward, whose early game production established the run game while also opening up the passing game. Another argument could be made for Steven Nelson, who helped prevent a late-game first down, and whose coverage of Nelson Spruce was very, very solid all day.

Final Score: :

Oregon State defeats Colorado, 36-31. The Beavers improve its record to 4-1, 1-1 in the Pac-12, while the Buffaloes drop to 2-4, 0-3.

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