'We needed this game.'

Post game news and notes from Oregon State's 18-10 victory over Washington.

Play of the game.
With 2:13 to go UW quarterback Johnny DuRocher found Craig Chambers in the endzone to bring the Huskies within eight points. The weather was horrible as it had been raining for the entire game and it seemed an ideal condition to recover an onside kick. Fortunately for Beaver Nation linebacker Keith Ellison calmly slid to the ground as he sucked the ball into his body sealing the Beaver victory.

 

Players of the game.
Offense - Yvenson Bernard turned in another fine performance eclipsing the 100-yard mark for the fourth consecutive game. His 57-yard jaunt was a thing of beauty as he kept his legs moving as Husky defenders bounced off of him. Matt Moore also had a good day as he did not throw one bad pass and had several passes dropped.

Defense - The entire defense played well as the tackles controlled the line of scrimmage allowing the linebackers to shoot the gaps and make plays. A solid, overall effort by the entire unit.

Special teams - This one's a no brainer as place-kicker Alexis Serna hit a school record six field goals.

 

Wicked weather.
I was one of the fans that braved the elements and sat in the endzone closet to Lake Washington. It rained the entire game as a nasty, cold wind battered our backsides. To say the least, it was freezing and miserable despite the layers of clothing and heavy duty rain gear I had on. Before the game several of the players refused to lay on the turf to stretch while the others that laid on the turf complained about the lack of drainage and how cold it was.

At the start of the game the endzone was mostly full but at halftime at least 50% of the fans, including many OSU students, headed indoors and did not return. The couple hundred or so orange clad fans that stayed though made plenty of noise though as the O-S-U chant rang out several times. It was also nice that some of the players came over and recognized us joining in on the chant before the start of the second half and at the end of the game.

 

Sensational Serna.
Alexis Serna connected on all six of his field goals setting a school record and tying the Pac-10 record that was set by UCLA's John Lee in 1984. The NCAA record for most field goals is seven, last done by Nebraska's Dale Klein against Missouri in 1985. Serna is 11 of 11 against the Huskies and has never missed a field goal in Husky Stadium. His 25-yard kick in the fourth quarter was his fifteenth consecutive tying the school record set by Kirk Ylinimi in 2003.

Serna is 22 of 24 this year and has hit 39 of 44 kicks in his career at OSU. He also has 56 straight made extra points.

 

Road warriors.
Oregon State has won five of their last six PAC-10 road games. The back to back road wins versus Washington is the first time the Beavers have accomplished the feat since 1949 and 1951. It is was also the first time the Beavers defeated UW in back to back games since 1973-74.

 

Four quarters.
Four quarters of solid defense have been hard to come by for the defense. They turned in four superb quarters against California and did the same against Washington. The numbers don't lie.

  • The defense forced three turnovers,
  • Limited the big plays (just two plays over 25 yards) (On a side note, on the Huskies' longest play of the game, a 31-yard run by James Sims, the refs missed a blatant block in the back that should have negated the gain.)
  • Sacked the quarterback four times and added 11 tackles for loss
  • Allowed just 19 yards on the ground and a UW season low 226 total yards
  • Shutout the Huskies in the first half (the first time this year the Huskies have been shutout in the first half)

 

Moving up the school lists.
Despite the low offensive total, several players moved up various school lists after Saturday's victory.

  • Yvenson Bernard is sixth on OSU's single season rushing list with 1,112 yards. He needs 193 yards to pass Bill Enyart's 1,304.

  • Mike Hass needs just 10 receptions to break OSU's career receptions record of 213. He also needs 371 yards to break the Pac-10's career yardage record of 4,047 by Stanford's Troy Walters.

  • Trent Bray is eighth on OSU's career tackling list with 310 stops, 105 behind the leader Steve Brown. If Bray averages eight tackles over the next two games he would finish sixth on the list. The next players he is in line to pass are ILB Rico Petrini (316, 1991-94) and MLB Todd Sahlfeld (324, 1988-91).

  • Bray (28) and Ellison (25.5) are eighth and ninth respectively on OSU's career tackles for loss list.

  • Matt Moore's 2,617 passing yards this year is good for ninth on OSU's single season list. After next week's game he should pass Erik Wilhelm (2,736) and Jonathan Smith (2,773).

 

Additional news and notes.

  • RB Yvenson Bernard broke off a 57-yard run, the longest of his career. He also topped 1,000 yards for the season after his 35 carry 122-yard performance. He has 1,112 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2005.

  • WR Mike Hass dropped two perfectly thrown balls by Moore. One would have resulted in a touchdown, the other would have resulted in a big gain.

  • WR Anthony Wheat-Brown was sandwiched between two defenders over the middle in the second quarter and went limp. He was helped off the field and did not return."We didn't want to take any chances, so he didn't go back in the game," Riley said.

  • QB Matt Moore had a season low 136 yards.

  • TE Dan Haines started instead of Jason Vandiver.

  • For the first time this year Keith Ellison or Trent Bray did not lead the team in tackles. CB Brandon Hughes led the team with eight stops. Bray finished with seven tackles, including three for loss. Ellison tallied six, including 2.5 for loss.

  • Due to the nasty weather conditions punter Sam Paulescu had a rough day kicking the ball. Several kicks barely made it over 30 yards. He finished with a 37.5 average on six boots.

  • Ruben Jackson and Sammie Stroughter altered time at slotback in Wheat-Brown's abscence.

  • Oregon State won another instant review play bringing their success rate to 3 of 18 for the season.

  • Despite running the ball for most the day the Beavers picked up most of their first downs (8 of 12) through the air.

  • The offense continued to struggle on third down as they converted just 5 of 18 attempts.

 

Quotes.

Coach Mike Riley
(On the game): "It was great conditions. I thought it was fun. I really think that was a great challenge for a team and every team ought to get to do that in football once in a while, to have to deal with that. We had one fumble and I think when you look back on that football game, that was the difference in the game, the turnovers. I don't know how many they had but it gave us ample field goal opportunities. It was interesting conditions, I don't think it made the ball not throwable but after we got going in the game I thought the best things for us to do was take time off the clock and run the ball as much as possible and kick field goals when we could."

(On winning at Husky Stadium): "Anytime you win in the PAC-10 it feels good. I think it's a big deal, regardless of anything, to come up here and win a football game. It's always good to win on the road, it's always good to beat the Huskies. It hasn't been done a lot by the Beavers over a long period of time. I'm very proud of this team and it puts us in an interesting position going into the last two games of the season."

(On the kicking game): "I thought he (Alexis Serna) was awesome. He's a tough minded little guy, he's 11-for-11 I think in Husky Stadium for two years. He might want to make a living kicking up here but a very, very good performance today. I guess it was a PAC-10 record.

(On the defense): "I like how our defense played. I thought we were aggressive and really never let them have any consistency in any one phase and every time they had something going I thought we made big stands, big hits. I thought the two linebackers, Trent Bray and Keith Ellison, were all over the place and we had a solid performance up front but it still starts with one basic ingredient when a team's having a rough time being consistent on the ground, that's a good foundation to play defense from right there."

(On the Yvenson Bernard): "It's nice to have a good running back, again, that probably was a major factor in the game- the turnovers and then our ability to run the ball decently, not great. They came back and it was hard slugging for quite a while in there but we did hit a couple of big ones and I though it made a big difference in the game and again, I thought Yvenson played very well and the line did a nice job."

(On how weather conditions affected play calling): "When he had time he was pretty sharp. They are very similar to us on defense, a lot of things schematically. We just didn't have the numbers to pick it up because they are all out on the routes. That's what happens when you get into second and long, you just tee up. The only balls that we really threw downfield were a couple of fades there in the second half. Part of the decision-making was the conditions, but I mostly wanted to have some low-risk passes either in the flat or deep. I really felt like if we could move the ball, take time off the clock and make our field goals that we were going to win."

(On final two games): "We are 5-4 and we have two games left. We would love to win both of those games and obviously one more puts us in a bowl game. That is definitely our first big goal."

(On Moore): “Matt was efficient. He handled the situation ... the weather, everything ... just great. The conditions were definitely a factor. About the only balls we threw down the field were a couple of fades in the second half. With the weather and the way our defense was playing, I felt if we could move the ball, take time off the clock and kick field goals when the opportunity presented it, we were going to win.”

 

DT Alvin Smith
(On the defensive gameplan) "The idea is put on the pressure, to get after the quarterback. When DuRocher came, it made our job easier because he's not the double-threat Stanback is. The change at quarterback helped us. We knew he wasn’t as mobile, and it took away their best threat.”

(On the victory) “We needed this game, not only the win but to play well. It was good for our confidence and it shows that we are still improving this late in the year.“

 

RB Yvenson Bernard
(On not scoring touchdowns): "Points are points. We're going to take whatever we can get to get a win."

(On Washington's defensive front): "They came out playing today. We had an answer for them come late second quarter when we started finding out what their scheme was going to be."

(On the long run): "I thought I was going to make it. I'm mad at myself about that because it should have been a touchdown. No excuse for getting caught from behind. "

(On adjusting to the weather conditions): "I was freezing in that first quarter and I was trying to see what I could do to warm up. With the weather, you can't think about it once you get on the field. ...Coming from Florida, I've seen rain, but not cold. I'm used to 70 degrees with rain for 20 minutes and then it's over. This was definitely the coldest that I've played in."

(On rushing for 100 yards for the fourth consecutive game): "It doesn't really matter to me. I was rushing for 180 and we didn't get a win, so getting this win and being one win from becoming bowl eligible was nice. I’ve gained a lot of yards in losses the last couple of weeks. This feels a lot better. And it’s great to get 1,000 yards. I hope there’s more there.”

(On Serna): "We're not impressed, he's been doing that since last year. That's the guy that we go to when it's fourth down in the red zone."

 

PK Alexis Serna
(On possibly being drafted) "I've got two more years. I'm trying to get my degree before anything. I'm just excited to be able to be given the chance to have six opportunities in one game. If it was anywhere else, I'd do my best to try and put the ball through the uprights."

(On setting PAC-10 records for field goals in a game): "It's always exciting just to get a `W' and get closer to that bowl game. Our team is feeling good about it."

(On kicking good at Husky Stadium two consecutive years): "It's great to be able to come out here and perform and do my job. My snapper and holder did a great job today and my line blocked well. I didn't feel any pressure, so I was really relaxed. I just keep getting lucky. They talk about the Husky Stadium winds, and I’ve been pretty fortunate not to have to kick in them, because it’s been pretty calm out there.”

(On being concerned with the weather before the game): "No, not at all. I knew that the ball was carrying more - towards the JumboTron it was carrying a little less than the other way. So I had to be conservative with my range going that way. The first half, it was kind of tough. The rain and wind was pretty strong. Anything outside of 50 (yards) was out of the question. Anything 40 and in I was looking for. The second half, with the wind going the other way, I was ready for 55 and in. At halftime I switched socks and shoes, so I was dry to begin the second half and it didn't come down that hard in the second half, so I was doing good."

 

LB Keith Ellison

(On the defense and his play): “We blitzed a lot, especially in the second half, when we had them down. We just kept sending people at (DuRocher). They were having a hard time picking people up, so we just kept going. I just came in wide open. The D-line did the job taking up the blocks and I came in untouched on the edge. The D-line did a great job of executing and left me wide open most of the day. It’s pretty easy to make plays in the backfield when you have a big hole to run through.”

(On the weather being a factor): "For us on defense it wasn't too much of a factor. It really didn't bother us. We were cold, but we really didn't have any problem with it. ...It was good for us because it make the ball slippery and hard to throw. So we were able to take advantage of it and force a couple of turnovers."

(On catching the onside kick): "I've been a safety, so I have hands and can catch the ball. We practice that every week, so we're always prepared for it."

(On the team's defense this season): "It's been a long, uphill battle all season to get this defense to the level that we're used to at Oregon State. We came out determined this week. After that Cal game and UCLA and Arizona, we didn't play very well, so we felt that we really needed to come out there and reestablish ourselves and show that we're improving. I think we did a good job today. First time we’ve put a complete (defensive) game together. We sort of shut Cal down, but in this one, we completely outplayed (the Huskies). It was important for us, especially coming off the last two weeks where we didn’t play up to our level.”

(On the remaining schedule): "We're going to take the Stanford game first. Hopefully we can get a win this week and clinch that bowl eligibility. And then going into the Civil War we would have a two-game winning streak. That's the goal right now."

(On Washington's inability to run the ball): "We wanted to force them to throw the ball. They're a little unsettled at quarterback and when you can make a team one-dimensional it plays into the defense's favor."

(On the field's conditions being the worst he's seen): "The worst ever. Ever. I'm from LA, I've never been in anything less than 60 degrees. It was cold."

 

QB Matt Moore
(On the weather) “It was wet, so it was hard to throw. We were efficient enough. And Yve is the man. He’s our workhorse and he’ll do what we need him to do. He works hard and sticks his head in there when he has to and has really proven himself to be a pretty good runner in the PAC-10 He knew he was going to get the ball, and he did what we could with it. And we came out with the win."

(On not scoring a touchdown on two QB sneaks): "I wanted to score [a touchdown] and when we got down there on the 1 and didn't get in, that was frustrating. But with the elements the way they were, the weather and everything, however we can get points, we're going to take it. We got six fields goals. I've never been a part of anything like that before."

(On going for it on fourth down in the first half): "I should have thrown it to Yvenson right away because he was open in the flats, but he ended up getting the first down anyway. That was in to the wind and it would have been a long field goal. If you miss that long field goal you give them good field position, so we went for it."


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