NOTES: "We didn't look very smooth"

THE END RESULT wasn't what the team nor Beaver Nation expected, but there are plenty of positives from Oregon State's 36-28 loss to Stanford.'s details the good (almost 500 yards of offense) and the not so good (giving up over 200 yards on the ground) in its comprehensive post game notebook.

Pregame Notes:

  • Oregon State won the toss and deferred to the second half.
  • The announced attendance was 30,223.
  • Weather: 87 degrees, Wind: N NW 12mph, sunny and clear

Series Notes:

  • Stanford leads the series 48-24-3, 25-10-2 in California.
  • The Cardinal snapped several win streaks by OSU: a four game overall win streak, a three game win streak at Stanford Stadium and a two game win streak over Stanford.
  • Stanford's victory was Jim Harbaugh's first win against OSU as head coach at Stanford.
  • The Cardinal's win was their first over OSU in Stanford Stadium since 1999.
  • Oregon State and Stanford have clashed in conference season openers three times with Oregon State holding a 2-1 advantage (1939, 13-0, Beavers | 1967, 13-7, Beavers | 2008, 28-36, Cardinal)

Offense Notes:

  • The offense generated 490 yards of total offense, 404 via the pass, 11.9 ypc, and 86 on the ground, 3.1 ypc, while holding onto the ball for 28:46.
  • The offense picked up 29 first downs, 5 via the run, 21 via the pass and 3 by penalty while converting 5 of 13 on third downs and converting 4 of 6 redzone opportunities.
  • Rushing 8 attempts to left, 36 yards 4.6 ypc, 11 attempts up the middle for 15 yards, 1.3 ypc, 7 attempts 28 yards, 6.8 ypc right side
  • Oregon State turned the ball over three times (two interceptions, one fumble), while Stanford did not turn the ball over once.
  • The Beavers fumbled the ball five times and only lost one in the boxscore, but they hurt much more than the boxscore indicates. 
    • RB Ryan McCants dropped a handoff on second down on the Beavers first drive of the game, but recovered his own fumble. 
    • TE John Reese had the ball poked out of his hands but luckily it rolled out of bounds. 
    • QB Lyle Moevao threw a bad pass that went out of the side of the endzone that resulted in a safety. 
    • A bad snap by C Alex Linnenkohl on third down inside the Stanford 20 resulted in fourth and long. 
    • And of course WR Darrell Catchings fumbled the ball out of the side of the endzone for a touchback.
  • QB Lyle Moevao looked sharp for most of the game completing 34 of 54 (63%) passes for 404 yards, good for ninth on the school single-game list, three touchdowns and two interceptions.  His 34 completed passes is the second most completions in school history; only Erik Wilhelm has completed more.

    "Lyle competed like crazy. I think that he went to the well once too often with the interception for a touchdown," coach Mike Riley said.  "He missed some throws he would normally make all the time, but he made a ton of plays tonight."

    He was a little rattled early in the third quarter after a vicious helmet to helmet which knocked him out of the game for one play.  After the hit he threw one incomplete pass and on the next series was sacked and threw the lateral for a safety.

    "It was just a miscommunication.  The back thought one thing and I thought another," Moevao said.  "I thought he would look sooner."

    Moevao was red hot in the first half completing 12-for-18 (67%) for 172 yards and two touchdowns.  When he was hot, he was on target, but when he was off he missed low and had a hard time hitting the running backs out of the backfield.

    The junior completed passes to five different players.  Here is how he spread them around the field: Over 25 yds: 1 for 55 yards, one TD | 10-25 yds: 19 for 289 yards | Under 10 yds: 14 for 60 yards, two TDs.
  • Moevao and the offense didn't have any trouble moving the ball as they racked up almost 500 yards of offense.  The unit was the most successful when in hurry up mode using the shotgun formation - a rarely seen formation for OSU a year ago.

    Quick passes to the receivers and great blocking by the receivers helped the Beavers move the ball.

    The offense drove deep into Stanford territory all night (inside the STAN25 five times, but only six points), but couldn't cash in with touchdown.  Here's the dirty details: 
    • In the first quarter first and goal from the STAN7, only three points. 
    • In the third quarter, first and 10 from the the STAN11, field goal. 
    • In the fourth, first and 10 from the STAN23, interception.
    • In the fourth, first and 10 from STAN18, fumbled snap on third down, no points. 
    • In the fourth, third and five from the STAN16, Catchings gets the first down and then fumbles.
  • Backup QB Justin Engstrom has already seen his first action of the year as he came in for one play in the third quarter, handing the ball off to Quizz, after Moevao was knocked out of the game following the helmet to helmet hit.
  • WR Shane Morales, who had just 16 catches for 115 yards all of last year, hauled in 13 passes, one short of the school record by Mike Hass, for 151 yards and his first career touchdown.

    "The coaches were calling good plays, and I was open," Morales said.  "It's just hard to lose. Losing in general — I can't handle it."

    He also had a reception on a two point conversion which is not counted in his catch total.
  • WR Sammie Stroughter had 12 catches for 157 yards and two touchdowns, but could have had at least two more scores.  In the second quarter Moevao threw the ball high in the back of the endzone causing Stroughter to leap for the catch.  The Stanford defender pushed Stroughter out of bounds which is an incomplete pass in college. 

    In the third quarter Moevao barley overthrew a streaking Stroughter who had at least six yards on the cornerback and the safety.  Luckily just four minutes later Moevao connected with Stroughter on a 55-yard touchdown, the longest completion of Moevao's career,  on the same play, just on the opposite side of the field.  It was the Beavers first touchdown of 2008.

    Stroughter's 157 receiving yards gives him 1,733 yards in his career, moving him into 10th on Oregon State's all-time list.
  • WR James Rodgers picked up where he left off last year as he did a little bit of everything finishing with 247 all purpose yards.  He caught four passes for 39 yards, ran five times for 49 yards, either on the fly sweep or quick passes that were ruled laterals and returned 7 kickoffs for 159 yards.
  • WR Darrell Catchings grabbed four passes for 54 yards.
  • Despite spraining his ankle on his first carry of his collegiate career, RB Jacquizz Rodgers played the majority of the game at running back carrying the ball 10 times for 54 yards (5.4 ypc) .  Rodgers provided a glimpse of what is to come in the third quarter when he left a Stanford cornerback grabbing for air after a juke during a 10-yard gain.

    Quizz was stellar at pass blocking flipping linebackers on a regular basis while giving Moevao plenty of time to throw.
  • RB Ryan McCants started the game but finished with just four carries for 14 yards.
  • OG Adam Speer missed most of the third quarter due to cramping in his right leg, but returned in the fourth.  He was replaced by sophomore Ryan Pohl in the lineup.
  • OT Andy Levitre missed the last three and half minutes of the third and some of the fourth quarter due to cramping in his legs.  Redshirt freshman Wilder McAndrews replaced him in the lineup.
  • Despite fielding a patchwork offensive line that at one point had two redshirt freshman walk-ons in the lineup, the big boys up front only gave up two sacks and one sack was the result of Levitre cramping up.
  • The tight ends were held into block most of the game and were only thrown to twice.  Junior John Reese had the only reception by a tight end, a three yard gain.

Defense Notes:

  • The defense gave up 301 yards of total offense, 91 via the pass, 9.1 ypc, and 210 on the ground, 4.4 ypc, while holding onto the ball for 31:14.
  • The defense yielded 18 first downs, 10 via the run, 4 via the pass and 4 via penalty while converting 4 of 13 on third downs and converting 2 of 2 redzone opportunities.
  • The defense did not give up a pass over 25 yards and yielded just four completions that went for 10-25 yards.
  • Here is how the rushing yards were gained against the Beavers:  Left: 10 attempts, 92 yards, 9.3 ypc | Middle: 21 attempts, 76 yards, 3.6 ypc | Right: 12 attempts, 59 yards, 4.9 ypc.
  • In the previous five match ups with Stanford the Oregon State defense gave up an average of 40.4 yards per game.  On Thursday night the defense yielded 210 total rushing yards including 147 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries to Toby Gerhart.
  • DE Victor Butler proved he can be an every down player as he grabbed six tackles, including a game high two tackles for loss, as he was in the Stanford backfield all game long.  His half sack in the first quarter gave him 14 in his career, moving him into a tie for seventh on Oregon State's all-time list.

    Butler wore the name Strong-Butler on the back of his jersey to surprise his father who was in the stands.  His father's last name is Strong.
  • MLB Bryant Cornell led the team in tackles with 11 stops.  He had some solid sticks, but also missed some crucial tackles as well.
  • CB Brandon Hughes had the team's only pass breakup.  He also added four tackles and did not have give up a completion on his side of the field.
  • S Suaesi Tuimaueni recorded five tackles, all solo, in his first career start.  He replaced Al Afalava, the team's top returning tackler, in the lineup who was suspended for the game for an off-season DUI incident.
  • Splitting time with Tuimaueni at safety were Cameron Collins and Lance Mitchell, who both grabbed their first collegiate tackles, and Austin Hall who had one tackle and played the nickel back.
  • S Greg Laybourn, who was the team's sixth leading tackler in a reserve role last year, grabbed seven stops, including half of a sack.  Riley singled him out for playing an exceptional game in pass coverage and run support.
  • CB Brandon Hardin, a special teams player, sprained his shoulder but is not expected to miss any playing time.
  • DT Stephen Paea (4 tackles), S Cameron Collins (3), DT Latu Moala (2), DT Sioeli Nau (1), S Lance Mitchell (1), and LB David Pa'aluhi (1) all recorded the first tackles in their Oregon State careers.
  • Junior Ben Terry and redshirt freshman Kevin Frahm rotated in with Victor Butler and Slade Norris at defensive end although the two seniors played the majority of the game.  Terry and Frahm did not record a tackle.

    It looked like Butler and Norris got tired by the end of the game.  DE Simi Kuli is still expected to be on campus in early September but the coaches plan on redshirting him.
  • The defensive tackles struggled to get any type of push as they were manhandled by the more experienced Stanford offensive line.  Pernell Booth and Stephen Paea started with Latu Moala, Sioeli Nau, and Brennan Olander rotating in.
  • The linebacker rotation consisted of starters Keaton Kristick (7 tackles), Bryant Cornell (11)and Keith Pankey (4) who combined for 22 tackles and backups Casey Noack (1), Isaiah Cook (2), David Pa'aluhi (1), Dwight Roberson (3) and Will Darkins (0).

Special Teams Notes:

  • P Johnny Hekker had his first collegiate punt partially blocked as he took three steps to get the ball off.  He shorted up his stride on his next two punts as he finished with a 32 yards average on three punts.  Hekker did not have to punt the entire second half.

  • K Justin Kahut did Alexis Serna proud as he connected both of his field goal attempts (27 and 23 yards).  He also made both extra point kicks.  Kahut averaged 61.1 yards per kickoff.

  • KR James Rodgers averaged 22.7 yards on seven kickoff returns, including returns of 41, 33 and 27 yards.  He finished with 247 all purpose yards.

  • While true freshman snapper Marcus Perry didn't sail any snaps over the heads of punter Johnny Hekker or holder Taylor Kavanaugh he didn't put any on the money either as both Hekker and Kavanaugh did solid jobs of fielding the off target snaps.

Miscellaneous Notes:

  • The last time OSU opened a season on the road against a Pac-10 opponent was in 1994 (a 22-16 loss to Arizona State).  It has now been 18 years since the Beavers won a conference opener on the road (1989, 20-16 win over Stanford).
  • A Mike Riley led team has never won a season opener on the road or lost a season opener at home (with road losses to LSU in 2004 and Stanford in 2008).
  • The Beavers are now 7-14 under Riley when committing more turnovers than its opponent.
  • This was Stanford's first season opening win in three years and first home opening win in four years.
  • The game took 3:39 to play.
  • The Beavers have lost their conference opener five straight seasons.  Their last victory in a conference opener was in 2003,a  45-17drubbing of Arizona State in Corvallis.
  • Oregon State was penalized 12 times for 100 yards. Last year the Beavers averaged 58.5 yards of penalties per game.

  • Three events on Oregon State's second possession of the second half spelled doom.  A holding penalty on the kickoff return put the ball inside their own 20-yard line, a sack on first down moved the offense even further back (Levitre cramped up on the play) and then the errant pass by Moevao resulted in a safety.  The two points were the first of 19 consecutive by the Cardinal.

    "That turned the game totally around," Riley said.  "Those three plays, the penalty, the sack, and the obvious swing pass safety, to me that was the real turning point."

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