Men in Black Open with 41-14 Victory

News and notes from Oregon State's 41-14 victory over Portland State.

Play of the Game.
It was a double whammy that put the Vikings away for good as Oregon State scored 14 points in six minutes early in the second half. The Beavers led 20-7 at the beginning of the third. After giving up a first down the orange and black defense buckled down and forced PSU to punt.

Quarterback Matt Moore then proceeded to pick apart the Viking defense as he completed passes to four different receivers on an 11-play, 91-yard touchdown drive to put the Beavs up by 20. Three plays later linebacker Derrick Dogget picked off an errant Sawyer Smith pass and just a few moments after that Moore found Josh Hawkins for a 22-yard touchdown to put Oregon State up by three touchdowns.

Players of the Game.
Offense - QB Matt Moore - calm in the pocket, efficient with his passes and mobile, got better as the game progressed and is already in the OSU record books.

Defense - LB Trent Bray - the senior linebacker seemed to be at the bottom of every pile, recorded a game high 12 tackles, including 1.5 for loss, and one quarterback hurry, honorable mention - Lamar Herron

Special Teams - LB Andy Darkins - hustled down the field and demolished the wedge several times, finished with four tackles with two coming on special teams.

Firsts of 2005.
First offensive play of the game - Play action pass that sailed high of Josh Hawkins
First tackle - Lamar Herron, Keith Ellison
First interception - Lamar Herron
First touchdown - Anthony Wheat-Brown
First points - Field goal by Alexis Serna
First penalty - Kyle DeVan, holding
First reception - 15-yard screen pass to Yvenson Bernard

Getting Comfortable.
Anyone starting for the first time in a new city in front of 40,000 plus fans would be nervous and Matt Moore was no different.

The junior signal caller started out rough as he sailed a couple of passes high over his receiver's heads before throwing his first interception of the season early in the first quarter. Moore looked uncomfortable in the pocket and some in Beaver Nation were restless.

But Moore settled down and started to pick apart the Viking defense with precision. After a Portland State turnover late in the first quarter Moore found Anthony Wheat-Brown in the back of the endzone for his first touchdown as a Beaver. After his first touchdown Moore stood strong in the pocket as he ran the screen pass to perfection numerous times.

As expected Mike Hass was one of Moore's favorite targets as the All-Pac-10 player hauled in a spectacular one handed grab on the sidelines and another jump ball that he snatched from the defender across the middle to help Moore calm down. In his debut Moore completed 26 of 38 (68%) passes for 367 yards and four touchdowns. His performance is good for #12 on OSU's individual passing yardage for a game.

Get them doggies rolling.
With Oregon State rushing great Ken Simonton in the house the Beaver running game had one of its better games in a year.

While the running game still has a lot of work to do as it failed to rack up 100 yards there were some sparks as Yvenson Bernard displayed nimble feet and soft hands while Nate Wright showed bursts of speed.

Bernard finished with 165 all-purpose yards and despite having just 56 of those yards come on the ground Bernard racked up most of his stats on screen plays in heavy traffic. The sophomore showed his excellent lateral movement on quite a few running plays as he slipped by the Viking defense. Wright finished with 22 yards on three carries and ran with a lot of enthusiasm. Freshman running back Patrick Fuller had a chance to shine on a third down play late in the game as he caught a pass in the backfield. His adrenaline was running too high though as he performed five to many fake moves causing him to stumble.

Defensive line, especially the defensive ends. Oregon State did not sack the Portland State quarterback and rarely hit him as the defensive ends struggled. Jeff Van Orsow, Joe Lemma, Jeremy Weldon, Joe Rudulph, Jeff Kruskamp and Victor Butler combined for just eight tackles and one quarterback hurry. The tackles struggled as well, but improved as the game progressed as Alvin Smith, Sir Henry Anderson and Curtis Coker combined for seven tackles, five by Anderson, two quarterback hurries and one pass breakup.

Cornerbacks, especially Gerard Lawson. Lawson was beat several times Saturday as he was manhandled at the line of scrimmage and had trouble tracking the ball. Portland State picked on him at the end of the second quarter as they completed a 53-yard pass down the sideline with, luckily, no time remaining. Kellen Marshal turned in a decent performance and as a result he could move to the starting spot opposite of Keenan Lewis.

Random Player Ramblings.

  • WR Kevin Swanigan had the best game of his career after replacing Anthony Wheat-Brown (ankle) in the second quarter. Swanigan caught four passes for 56 yards and found the soft spots in the defense.

  • QB Ryan Gunderson unfortunately did not that good when he came in for mop up duty hitting 2 of 8 passes for 35 yards. Gunderson missed open receivers three different times as the ball sailed high.

  • P Sam Paulescu hit a beautiful 49-yard punt at the end of the game that angled towards the sideline where it had to be fielded at PSU10. It was redemption for his previous punt which he put in the endzone and was very disgusted with himself.

  • On Yvenson Bernard's rushing touchdown he did a great job of moving latterly until he found an open hole. He followed Olyani Sobomehin who took out a defender allowing Bernard to burst through.

  • OL Jeremy Perry kept it loose on the field as he was seen dancing to the music over the PA system while waiting for the television guy to get off the field.

  • S Al Afalava received some reps at safety in the second quarter after Lamar Herron had to go to the sidelines after being shook up.

  • LB Trent Bray, WR Mike Hass, P Sam Paulescu and one other were the team captains.

Regular Ramblings.

  • The O-S-U chant is ten times better with the new side as the chants echo in the stadium a few times.

  • The PA system was WAY too loud as you had to yell to talk to the person next to you if music was playing. Personally, I want to hear the band and not Linkin Parc.

  • "Back in Black" was the song used for the opening video.

  • When the former players and coaches were introduced before kickoff, Dennis Erickson received the loudest cheer. James Newson received a healthy cheer as well. I was disappointed with the cheers Ken Simonton and Jonathan Smith received as they were not that loud. A lot of the players were from the 1998 squads and therefore did not get a lot of cheers because many fans have never heard of Jonathan Jackson, Shaun Ball, Inoke Breckterfield or Andrae Holland.


  • DT Sir Henry Anderson limped off the field in the second half, but played most of the game.
  • DT Pernell Booth injured his knee and was in a soft cast at the end of the game
  • S Lamar Herron sat out several plays after being shook up in the second quarter, he eventually returned
  • WR Anthony Wheat-Brown tweaked his ankle in the second quarter and did not return

Not Redshirting.
Several freshman played on Saturday, the list follows.

  • LB Eric Moala on special teams
  • LB Bryant Cornell on special teams
  • LB Dennis Christopher on special teams
  • S Al Afalava on special teams and at safety
  • DE Victor Butler on special teams
  • RB Patrick Fuller on special teams (gunner) and at running back
Do you have observations, comments, questions, etc. from the home opener?
Talk about it on the message boards

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