WTS: Beavs victorious in defensive struggle

FOR BEAVER FANS it was both frustrating and refreshing. The offense struggled, but the defense was back to its old form. In the end it didn't matter as Beaver Nation agreed - a win is a win. Pittsburgh fans on the other hand are wondering where their offense went. The national media is wondering where both offenses went and are calling the Sun Bowl the worst game of the 2008 bowl season thus far.

| From an Oregon State Perspective |

Beaver defense shines like the sun
YOU COULD EXCUSE the Pitt quarterback, running back and entire offensive unit if they came away from the Sun Bowl thinking the color of the sun is orange rather than yellow. A cadre of orange-clad Beaver defenders cut off the daylight on the last day of the year, swarming the Panther offense on a windswept afternoon in El Paso as No. 24 Oregon State belted No. 18 Pitt by a 3-0 score.

Fans of high scoring games may not have enjoyed it but for fans of tension filled, defensive smashmouth football, the 75th Sun Bowl was a treat ... more from BeaverFootball.com.

Sammie delivers
IN A DEFENSIVELY dominated game like the 75th Sun Bowl, where the Beavs knocked off No. 18 Pitt by the smallish score of 3-0, the limelight will shine brightest on the Oregon State defense -- and well it should. But don't discount what guys on offense like senior wide receiver Sammie Stroughter did to help secure the victory.

There will be plenty written about what the Beaver defense did in the Sun Bowl. A dominating performance that held Pitt and their All-American running back scoreless with but 178 total yards on offense. But although the Beaver offense managed only three points, guys like Sammie Stroughter were instrumental in the win ... more from BeaverFootball.com.


Paea set the Sun Bowl table
IMAGINE WHAT HE would do if he were 100 percent. Actually, you don't have to, you saw it during the season before Stephen Paea's knee started acting up. An inflamed bursa sac and an MCL sprain hampered the d-tackle in November and until three days before the Sun Bowl, Mike Riley was noncommittal on how much he would play. But Paea set the table in El Paso. And then the Beaver D sat down to eat.

The stat line doesn't do his play justice ... more from BeaverFootball.com.


OSU defense finds redemption
Oregon State didn't redraw its defense or add any new X's to combat the offense of Pittsburgh.

All the Beavers did Wednesday was throw a shutout at the Panthers, winning the 75th Sun Bowl 3-0 ... more from the Register Guard | Game Report


Freshman punter picks up the slack for Beavers
Why not just put the challenge out there?

Oregon State coach Mike Riley did, telling freshman punter Johnny Hekker on the eve of Wednesday's Sun Bowl against Pittsburgh that "it's going to be a big, big deal in this game how you compete against that punter," Dave Brytus of the Panthers ... more from the Register Guard.


Heavy heart, big game
Thirty minutes after the game, the tears were gone from the eyes of Oregon State running back Jeremy Francis when his coach, Mike Riley, grabbed him in a hug and kissed him on the cheek.

But the tears had been there, overflowing, in the immediate aftermath of the Beavers' 3-0 victory over Pittsburgh in the Sun Bowl, and when the Beavers recount the story of Wednesday's victory there will be a special chapter for Jeremy Francis ... more from the Register Guard.


Beavers' hearts still beating strong
One day, perhaps, the Beavers will get back to a bowl game in January. For now, you can define this era of Oregon State football by the fact that the Beavers have been so damn tough in December.

The program's fifth straight bowl win under coach Mike Riley, 3-0 over Pittsburgh in the Sun Bowl, before 49,037 in Sun Bowl Stadium and a no-doubt bored television audience on CBS, won't earn Oregon State any national accolades in the post-bowls reviews ... more from the Register Guard.

Beavers barbecue Pitt
There was no other way.

With its offense hampered by the absence of two key playmakers, its quarterback off target and three critical turnovers, too, Oregon State had to win Wednesday with defense, and the 24th-ranked Beavers did exactly that, shutting out Pittsburgh, 3-0, to win the 75th Sun Bowl ... more from the Register Guard.


Panthers can't make up for inept offense
Without the huge performance delivered by the University of Pittsburgh's defense on Wednesday, the 75th annual Sun Bowl likely would have been an embarrassing return to the bowl stage for the Panthers.

Without Pitt's two stops in the red zone — an interception at the end of the first half by star linebacker Scott McKillop and a third-down sack by Greg Romeus that forced a missed field goal — Pitt probably wouldn't have had a chance ... more from the Register Guard.



The Butler did it on defense for OSU
Early in the fourth quarter of the 75th Brut Sun Bowl and with Oregon State clinging to a 3-0 lead, Pitt made its bid to get back in the game.

Instead, in a scene that summed up the game, Victor Butler slammed the door, or perhaps more accurately, broke it over the Panthers' head. With Pitt on the Beaver 37-yard line following a big punt return, Butler sacked Bill Stull, stripped the ball, recovered it and, less than an hour later, walked away with the C.M. Hendricks Most Valuable Player Trophy ... more from the Mail Tribune.


It's a shutout, not a shootout — and happy Beavers will take it
Judging by the way Oregon State's players and fans celebrated the Beavers' 3-0 victory over Pittsburgh in Wednesday's 75th Sun Bowl, the score didn't matter much.

"A win is a win," Oregon State senior safety Greg Laybourn said. "We'll take it any way we can get it." ... more from the Portland Tribune.


Finishing touch still the norm for Riley's Beavers
As Mike Riley walked to the podium to address the media following Wednesday's Sun Bowl, he couldn't help but offer a short little history lesson.

"Three to nothing, Oregon State over USC, 1967," the OSU coach said with a wink ... more from the Portland Tribune.


Surprise dynamic duo – with Rodgers brothers injured, it's consistent Hekker and banged-up Kahut
Through the 2008 season, punter Johnny Hekker and Justin Kahut have often been in the news concerning Oregon State football, and it hasn't all been good.

Imagine the surprise, then, that the pair played such a key role – in an all good way – in the Beavers' 3-0 Sun Bowl victory over Pittsburgh Wednesday ... more from the Portland Tribune.


Beavers bury Civil War collapse in Sun
Redemption achieved.

Oregon State wanted to use the 75th Sun Bowl as a way to atone for a poor performance in the regular season finale, which was a brutal loss to Oregon that cost it a berth in the Rose Bowl, and the Beavers accomplished their goal ... more from the Gazette Times.


Beavers pulled off a difficult achievement (Jan. 1)
Maybe Oregon State's 3-0 Sun Bowl win Wednesday over Pittsburgh wasn't the prettiest football game ever played, but we think we speak for all of Beaver Nation when we say we liked it a lot better than that Civil War game.

The Beaver defense played Wednesday as if it still had a bad taste in its mouth from its last outing, that horrible game against Oregon when the Ducks put up 65 points and nearly 700 yards in offense. Wednesday's impressive defensive effort against Pitt eases some of that sting, but Beaver fans can't be blamed if they watch today's Rose Bowl with a tinge of regret for what might have been ... more from the Gazette Times.


Jeremy Francis delivers emotional performance for crippled offense
That something special the Rodgers brothers bring was missing.

The Oregon State football team's offense didn't have two of its most dynamic players due to injury, and it never really got going in the 75th Sun Bowl on Wednesday ... more from the Gazette Times | Sideline briefing

Hekker puts past inconsistencies behind him
It had been an inconsistent year for Johnny Hekker, but the true freshman punter saved his best game for the end.

Hekker was a quarterback first in high school and only punted when he had to. The Oregon State football team took a shot on him as a walk-on, expecting him to turn into a standout ... more from the Gazette Times | Report card


3 points, 3 cheers for Beavers in Sun Bowl victory
Scrappy, determined Oregon State won the lowest-scoring Sun Bowl in 68 years Wednesday, beating No.18 Pittsburgh 3-0 on Justin Kahut's 44-yard field goal in the second quarter.

A few million television viewers on CBS might have given this game an 'F' for excitement, but after No. 24 Oregon State had survived the Panthers' final shot and defensive end Victor Butler had sacked Pitt backup quarterback Pat Bostick, nobody wearing orange gave a hoot about style points ... more from The Oregonian | Notes

A career high for OSU's Francis, with thanks to mom
The tears streaming down Oregon State tailback Jeremy Francis' face Wednesday said more about the 75th Sun Bowl than any pass, kick or field goal.

"I couldn't sleep last night," Francis said. "I kept waking up in the middle of the night, thinking about this game." ... more from The Oregonian.


Beavers' defense rules
The wind was blowing hard, the big-play guys were sidelined, and the Oregon State offense was mostly futility and wishful thinking.

The Sun Bowl came down to guts and grit, and the OSU defense had plenty of both Wednesday in a 3-0 victory over Pittsburgh ... more from The Oregonian.



| From a Pittsburgh Perspective |

No. 24 Oregon State 4, No. 18 Pitt 0
With Oregon State missing its best two offensive players and Pitt playing with Bill Stull at quarterback, the 75th annual Sun Bowl Wednesday in El Paso, Texas was destined to be a defensive struggle.

But who would have believed only three points would be scored? ... more from PanthersDigest.com.


Pitt's football season goes dark with dismal Sun Bowl outing
There are many words to describe the way Pitt's offense performed yesterday in the 75th edition of the Sun Bowl.

But words such as awful, atrocious, terrible, horrendous, disgraceful and embarrassingly bad probably aren't strong enough to describe the Panthers' performance ... more from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Notes


Unfortunate Sun:  Pitt shut out
The Brut Sun Bowl celebrated its 75th anniversary by staging a throwback game, as Pitt and Oregon State provided the game's worst display of offensive ineptitude in decades.

No. 24 Oregon State scored the game's only points on a Justin Kahut 45-yard field goal in the second quarter, and hung on for a 3-0 victory over No. 18 Pitt Wednesday afternoon before 49,037 at Sun Bowl Stadium ... more from the Pittsburgh Tribune | Notes


| From a National Perspective |

Sun Bowl Final: Beavers 3, Pitt 0
Three points, 20 punts and 10 sacks. Go ahead and say it was unsightly, but Oregon State coach Mike Riley saw nothing short of a masterpiece.

In the lowest-scoring major bowl game in a half-century, the 24th-ranked Beavers shut down No. 18 Pittsburgh 3-0 Wednesday in the Sun Bowl on Justin Kahut's 44-yard field goal ... more from the Associated Press.


5 Thoughts - 2008 Sun Bowl
No, I'm not insane, at least not clinically, and my brain surgery was close to 20 years ago; I liked this game. I know, I know, it didn't have the offense of the Armed Forces Bowl earlier in the day, and this will likely be remembered more for the offensive futility and ineptitude than anything else, but it was sort of like watching a bad movie that appeared to be on the verge of a big payoff

That it never came didn't take away from the anticipation ... more from CollegeFootballNews.com.


Oregon State-Pittsburgh match up a snoozer
Joe Garcia didn't seem to mind that the final score of the 75th annual splash of a college football game known as the Brut Sun Bowl looked more like a pitcher's dual than a clash between two Top 25 teams.

"It's 3 to 0. I was expecting a high scoring game," he said from underneath the scoreboard on the southeastern side as fans trickled out of Sun Bowl Stadium with a hefty 12:53 left in the game ... more from the El Paso Times | Notes


Pittsburgh's defense came out swinging against Oregon State
It would seem that this game was tailor-made for the team from Pittsburgh -- a defensive slugfest, the kind of games the Panthers usually relish.

But while the University of Pittsburgh's defense came out swinging against Oregon State, the team's offense cowered in the corner ... more from the El Paso Times.


Fans of defense winners at Sun Bowl
If you are a fan of defense -- and very few people really are -- the Sun Bowl was the place to be on New Year's Eve.

Oregon State and Pittsburgh got together for the 75th annual Brut Sun Bowl and it was a head-knocking good time ... if you are one of those rare few defensive lovers. For most, well, they just kept waiting and waiting and waiting for the offenses to get going ... more from the El Paso Times.


Offensive headache: Pitt Panther defense couldn't carry entire Sun Bowl game
Without the huge performance delivered by the University of Pittsburgh's defense on Wednesday, the 75th annual Sun Bowl likely would have been an embarrassing return to the bowl stage for the Panthers.

Without Pitt's two stops in the red zone -- an interception at the end of the first half by star linebacker Scott McKillop and a third-down sack by Greg Romeus that forced a missed field goal --Pitt probably wouldn't have had a chance ... more form the El Paso Times.


Leave it to Oregon State Beavers: Field goal delivers victory for OSU
The Oregon State defense began the 75th Brut Sun Bowl with a huge black eye suffered in a 65-38 loss to Oregon that cost it the Rose Bowl.

By the end of Saturday's game, the Beavers made sure Pitt left with all the scars ... more from The El Paso Times.


OSU's Victor Butler named Sun Bowl MVP
The words were simple and prophetic.

Under the right eye, the word was printed clearly -- Fear. The message was completed under the left eye -- Me!!.

FEAR ME!! ... more from The El Paso Times.


Oregon State punter Johnny Hekker punter honored with Most Valuable Special Teams Player Trophy
Oregon State punter Johnny Hekker won the John Folmer Most Valuable Special Teams Player Trophy. The 6-foot-5 freshman from Bothell, Wash., punted 10 times with an average of 45.0 yards per punt, including five punts inside the 20-yard-line.

"I felt good today, today was a good day," Hekker said. "No one was rushing me. I was able to stay back and get in a tempo. The elevation helps a lot. I was comfortable back there the whole game." ... more from The El Paso Times.


'W' is all that matters: OSU's offense never got going
For all of Oregon State's offensive struggles, there was a point in Saturday's Sun Bowl when the Beavers could see the corner. They were right on the verge of turning it.

After 61-yard drive to close the first half ended in an interception, Oregon State got the ball for its first drive of the third quarter and took it 75 yards ... more from the El Paso Times.

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