Game 4: Arizona State

Following a gritty performance in Los Angeles, the Beavers traveled to the Valley of the Sun to take on the 1-2 Arizona State Sun Devils. The second game on the four game road trip proved to be unkind as the Beavers were demolished in front of over 59,000 yellow and maroon fans in the desert, 24-3.

Ken Simonton had a hard time finding running room against the Sun Devil defenders.

Despite the extra attention given to establishing the Beaver running game, the offensive line could not open up any holes for freshman sensation running back Ken Simonton. Simonton and the other Beaver running backs were often tackled in the backfield causing the Beavers to rely on the untested passing game.

But the ASU defense harassed quarterback Terrance Bryant just as much as the Beaver running backs. Although the offensive line allowed only two sacks, Bryant was consistently picking himself off the turf.

The ASU defense dominated the line of scrimmage the entire game holding the Beaver running game to a measly 14 yards.

Simonton finished the day with 33 yards on 16 carries. His limited number of carries were the result of the Beavers getting behind early and having to pass the ball.

Despite the Sun Devils scoring 24 points, the Arizona State offense failed for the majority of the sticky night. ASU running back J.R. Redmond fumbled the ball away at the Oregon State 11 on one drive, while the team failed to covert a fourth and one from the Beavers' 20 on another.

The Beavers only score was setup by a fake punt. Deep in their own territory facing a fourth and one situation and down seven points, Beaver punter Mike Fessler reeled back and threw a 25-yard strike to Keith Heyward-Johnson for the first down. For the first time the Beavers were in Sun Devil territory.

Starting at the ASU 46 the Beavers used a variety of passing and running plays to reach the ASU 7 but then stalled. Unfortunately, head coach Mike Riley was forced to call on the sure legged Jose Cortez to put the score at 7-3.

The men in black field goal returned some of the momentum to the Beavers side and put the defense on the field. But the ASU offense responded with the solid running tandem of Redmond and Green. The men in yellow and maroon traveled 68 yards in 13 plays for a 14-3 lead with 12:17 left in the first half.

J.R. Redmond paced the Sun Devils with 83 yards.

The Pac-10's leading rusher at the time Ken Simonton fumbled the ball on the next series allowing ASU to recover the ball at the OSU 34. But Arizona State would give the ball back as running back J.R. Redmond fumbled the pigskin at the OSU 11 where Beaver strong safety Terrance Carroll recovered.

Deep in their own territory once again the Beavers tried to give Simonton some running room, but none was to be found. For the rest of the second half the respective offenses traded ineffective series that resulted in punt after punt.

The second half, unfortunately, was just as sloppy as the first.

During the second half only one team scored and that team would be from Tempe. The only points scored in the third quarter came off the foot of ASU kicker Stephen Baker when he connected on a 45-yard field goal.

The field goal was setup after linebacker James Allen ran into the punter after ASU was forced to punt on fourth and 34 from its own 38-yard line. "We want to be aggressive. That's a big part of a punt return - pressure on the punter - as a setup for a return," Riley said. "Frankly, sometimes you pay the price."

The back breaking penalty allowed the boys from the Valley of the Sun to take time off the clock and give them a 14-point lead.

OSU quarterback Terrance Bryant improved in his second Pac-10 game as a Beaver completing 29 of 49 passes for 198 yards. He also completed his 100 straight pass without an interception putting him on pace to break Erik Wilhelm's record of 126 straight passes without an interception.

Wide receiver and kickoff returner Tim Alexander continued his strong performance and posted a career high as with nine catches for 65 yards. The Beaver defense picked up three more sacks putting them on top of the Pac-10. Defensive tackle Shawn Ball had one of the sacks giving him three for the season and the sack leader of the Pac-10.

Terrance Bryant settled down in his second Pac-10 game by completing 29 passes.

"I feel good about our defense. As everybody that watches the games knows, were playing good, solid, competitive, tough defense," Riley said. "We've got good players over there, we've got good senior leadership over there, we've got some things we all feel good about in that regard. We knew going in that was going to be a strength of our team, and obviously they need to stay that way until we get other parts of our game going - which I hope is soon."

The inability to establish the run once again concerned Riley. In two Pac-10 games the Beavers failed to get Simonton going, something Riley knew the Beavers needed if they were going to compete.

"We need to be better from an assignment standpoint. We let too much penetration get into the backfield to get some runs started," Riley said. "I thought Ken Simonton, in the limited running we did do, made some people miss and the yards he did get were well earned by him. There was not a lot of execution in the running game up front. Arizona State made a decision to blitz almost exclusively and make us protect and throw the ball or try to find a crease to run through the blitz packages -- we did not handle that consistently enough to make they pay."

The 2-2 Beavers next traveled to Logan, Utah to face the Utah State Aggies to try and climb above the five hundred mark.


  • Linebacker Bryan Jones moved from 18th place to 14th on OSU's career defensive point list with a game-high 33 points in the Arizona State game. Jones currently has 741 career points. Jones has now been OSU's top defensive point producer in three (Nevada, Baylor, ASU) of the Beavers' four games to date, and he was second in the other game (USC).
  • Shawn Ball picked up a solo sack and an assisted sack in the ASU game and has taken the Pac-10 individual sack lead with 3 1/2 sacks, while teammate Bryan Jones is tied for second with 3 sacks.
  • OSU picked up three more sacks against ASU and now has 18 on the season, tops in the Pac-10 Conference.
  • Tim Alexander caught a career high 9 passes against Arizona State.
  • Terrance Bryant has now thrown 100 passes without an interception and is chasing Erik Wilhelm's (1986) record of 126 without a pick.
  • Tim Alexander moved into 18th place in career all-purpose yards by picking up 130 yards at ASU. Tim has 1,974 career yards.


Riley Recaps the Loss

"There was some outstanding performances by our team defensively against Arizona State. Tim Alexander had nine catches on offense and is really improving all the time and the more he plays the better he will get. The overall summary is that we just made too many mistakes to win a tough football game. Whether it was an assignment mistake, a penalty or five fumbles, however you cut it, against any good football team you can't do that and win."


Big Daddy Orange's Commentary:
Where has all the offense gone?
(Sung to the tune of "Where Have All the Flowers Gone.")

Where has all the offense gone?
What happened to our passing?
Where has all the offense gone?
What happened to the run?
Why always run the ball inside
why always throw to the outside too?
When will we ever learn when will we ever learn?

Where have all special teams gone?
Now they’re doing the passing?
What happened to the special teams?
We fumbled roughed and shanked?
Short kicks when we needed long
long when we need short.
When will we ever learn when will we ever learn?

Where have the coaching cajones gone?
How about some crossing patterns in our passing?
Why did we pass up a field goal last week
and a 4th and one last night?
We have to make our own breaks.
When will we ever learn when will we ever learn.

At least the defense is playing great.
They didn’t allow long passing.
Bryan and Brian look like All Americans
and the line is playing good.
They play so good and make a stop.
They’re on the field so long they’re ready to drop.
When will we ever learn when will we ever learn.

Next week’s game is really HUGE.
If this season’s grade is to be passing.
We must beat Utah State
Or this year will be like last.
But I’ll still be in Corvallis for homecoming
and I’ll still buy season’s tickets when next year comes.
When will I ever learn when will I ever learn.

Box Score

NCAAF   FINAL               1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH     TOTAL
                            ---  ---  ---  ---     -----
        OREGON ST             3    0    0    0       3
        ARIZONA ST            7    7    3    7      24   FINAL


                 ORST - FG, JOSE CORTEZ 29 YD, 13:35
                            (MIKE GAUTHIER KICK), 2:43
        3RD QTR: ASU  - FG, STEPHEN BAKER 45 YD, 11:04
                            (MIKE GAUTHIER KICK), 2:31
                      Oregon St  Arizona St 
First downs                  20          22 
Rushed-yards               24-9      56-190 
Passing yards               223         173 
Sacked-yards lost          3-26        2-19 
Return yards                  8          17 
Passes                  31-52-0     12-27-1 
Punts                    8-38.1      5-47.2 
Fumbles-lost                5-3         2-1 
Penalties-yards            8-70      12-128 
Time of possession        26:34       33:26 

Individual Statistics 
RUSHING: Oregon St-Simonton 16-33, Alexander 1-minus 3, Bryant
7-minus 21. Arizona St-Green 17-86, Redmond 23-83, Paulk 11-47,
Taplin 1-4, Kealy 4-minus 30.

PASSING: Oregon St-Bryant 29-50-0-198, Fessler 1-1-0-25, Tomich
1-1-0-0. Arizona St-Kealy 12-27-1-173.

RECEIVING: Oregon St-Alexander 9-65, Tompkins 8-77, Simonton
4-minus 2, Ainsworth 3-20, Maurer 3-16, Heyward-johns 1-25,
Williams 1-13, Battle 1-5, Prescott 1-4. Arizona St-Mcdonald
4-63, Mitchell 3-39, L Jackson 2-32, Redmond 2-24, Spann 1-15.

Att: 59,630


Writers note: Sorry about the delay in the series. I was on vacation the past week and did not receive the opportunity to update the website. Please accept my apology.

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