Misery in Corvallis

News, notes and observations from the Oregon State game on Oct. 2 versus #10 Cal.

Play of the Game
The game was tied 7-7 after quick touchdowns by both teams. The 36,000 plus orange and black fans were on their feet as the Beaver defense raised their outstretched arms up in the air imploring for more noise.

With Cal at their own 21-yard line and the deafening roar of the crowd in their ears they went to a trick play to silence the crowd. Tailback Terrell Williams took a pitch from quarterback Aaron Rodgers and hit receiver Chase Lymn around midfield. Lymn split a couple of defenders and took the ball for a 79-yard touchdown and a seven point lead. It would be the first of 41 unanswered points by Cal.


Oregon State Player of the Game
KR/PR Sammie Stroughter – returned four kickoffs for 89 yards and two punts for four yards. He looked comfortable fielding the ball and moved quickly up the field eluding several defenders. The freshman almost broke a big one in the third quarter but tripped as he made his cut to the outside. It is safe to say Stroughter will be returning punts and kicks the rest of the year.


Cheers and Jeers
A smattering of boos escaped from the lips of Beaver fans in the second quarter when quarterback Derek Anderson returned to the field. By the third quarter, a chorus of boos hammered the ears of the men in black.

The jeers turned to cheers in the fourth quarter as redshirt freshman Ryan Gunderson took the field for his first collegiate action. He finished 7 of 15 for 74 yards and helped his team pick up seven first downs. He also added four yards on the ground.

Anderson finished 14 of 34 for 137 yards, zero touchdowns, and two interceptions. Coach Mike Riley thought the fans were too hard on the senior quarterback. "Are they being too hard on him, yes they are," Riley said. "I think we'll look at that film, and we'll see a lot of pass rush — a lot of free people. We didn't sustain our blocks."


A Team Effort
It was a team effort in the loss to Cal -- no unit performed well.

  • The first kickoff of the game was short resulting in a 69-yard return setting up Cal’s first touchdown.
  • Lymn should have been tackled at the 50-yard line, but slipped through two Beaver defenders on the way to his second TD of the game.
  • OSU was dominated at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Anderson was sacked three times and constantly harassed. They converted just 7 of 21 third downs and were 0 of 4 on fourth downs. The OSU defensive line rarely got past the Bear offensive line and seldom touched Rodgers (only one quarterback hurry the entire game)
  • The defensive coordinator was out coached as the Beavers blitzed two and sometimes three people, but did not get through.
  • Punter Sam Paulescu had his worst day of the season kicking 10 balls for a 38.6 yard average. His 18-yard shank in the first quarter helped setup the Bears third touchdown of the game.
  • The receivers didn’t finish their routes putting added strain on Anderson and the offensive line.


Good Communication
Redshirt freshman Lamar Herron and Sammie Stroughter returned kickoffs Saturday against Cal and performed well as a team. Herron returned one kick for 24 yards while Stroughter added 89 yards on four returns.

The two freshman returned confidence to the return game and were one the only bright spots for the team. It was also nice to see the communication between the two as Stroughter fielded a kick in the end zone and Herron quickly ran over in front of him to keep him from coming out.


The Cal Stomp
Two Oregon State fans in cowboy hats stole the Cal flag and ran onto the field during a TV timeout in the second half. At the twenty yard line they put the flag on the turf and jumped up and down on the blue and yellow material. When they ran off the field they were promptly put in handcuffs and taken away to the cheers of the crowd.


Same old story
Ninety one total yards, that’s it. The Beavers continued to struggle running the ball as they failed to surpass the century mark on the ground for the fourth time this season. Believe it or not, the 91-yard total is inflated due to Dwight Wright’s 45-yard touchdown score in the first quarter. Take away his 45 yards and the Beavers gained just 46 yards running the ball.

On the season the Beavers are averaging 67.6 yards on the ground and 2.5 yards per carry.


Miscellaneous Junk

  • The Bears 49 points were the most scored by Cal on the road against Oregon State since the series started in 1905.
  • Cal has scored 40 or more points in seven of their last nine games
  • Oregon State’s 41 point loss was their worst since a 51-6 defeat at Washington State in 1993. It was their worst home loss since Washington defeated them 58-6 in 1991.
  • The Beavers will have to win their last five of six games to become bowl eligible.
  • OSU has sold out 25 consecutive home games.
  • The offensive line has given up 13 sacks this year, good for ninth in the conference.
  • Cal's 21 points in the first quarter were the most allowed by OSU in the first quarter since Washington scored 21 on Nov. 6, 1992 at Seattle.
  • OSU had nine penalties for 70 yards and only one personal foul, but the personal foul resulted in a first down after a short loss by Cal. Four plays later the Bears scored again.
  • The Beavers only had four of its other 35 first-half plays go for more than 10 yards.
  • California's touchdown on its first drive of the game marked the first time an OSU opponent has scored on its first possession this season.

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