Beavs come up Aces in Las Vegas

THIS ONE FELT all too familiar. On the road, in a non-conference tilt, and the Beavs -- poised on the edge of victory, only to see it all slipping away. But Sean Canfield wasn't buying. And Justin Kahut had unfinished business. And a strong performance by the Beaver D would not go begging. Not on this night. Not in Vegas.

Justin Kahut had already clanked one field goal attempt off the upright -- and duck hooked an extra point. But with it all on the line, with 0:07 left and the Beavs trailing 21-20, Kahut drilled a 33-yarder right down Main Street. Beavs win. It felt like Arizona '08 all over again.

Before the winning boot, Oregon State faced an impossible 3-and-26 from their own 13-yard line with under two minutes to play. But UNLV bailed out the Beavs with a pass interference penalty and OSU breathed new life. (The replay angle was both brief and poor but it appeared a) a no-brainer call, and b) an unnecessary action on part of the UNLV defender.)

Sean Canfield took full advantage, smartly directed the Beavs downfield and setting up Kahut's heroics. Before any of that, a heretofore fine Oregon State defensive effort was somewhat diminished in the final stages of the fourth quarter.

Lance Mitchell was among those leading the early charge, with a monster hit and forced fumble that changed the tone of the game.

Keaton Kristick and Kevin Frahm gave UNLV fits much of the night. And Stephen Paea, Dwight Roberson and David Pa'aluhi combined on a number of occasions to make orange and white road kill out of Rebel ballcarriers.

BUT IT WAS Mitchell who struck first.

The Beaver safety picked off a pass and later, with UNLV driving strong towards the end zone and OSU unable to mount much on offense, Mitchell forced a fumble and Kristick recovered. On the play, the UNLV receiver made an ill advised attempt to hurdle a Beaver defender. Mitchell swooped in and decaffeinated him, jarring the pigskin loose and parking 'ol Mo in Oregon State's corner.

Jacquizz Rodgers had been kept in check the first half, and so too had the OSU offense. But just before halftime, with Sean Canfield utilizing the short digs and slants, and Quizz just starting to find the first rays of daylight, the Beavers found a little rhythm.

Jovan Stevenson zipped off a 23-yard inside seam and Canfield to Brady Camp polished off the final yard between the Beavs and the goal line. But Justin Kahut, who had found the left upright on an earlier FG attempt, shanked the extra point.

INTO THE BREACH once more stepped the Beaver D. And with a minute left before halftime, an eternity in college football, UNLV didn't even bother to try. At home, they were more than happy to draw up two running plays and let the clock run out, heading into the locker room down 6-0.

Quizz opened the second half with a bang, spinning and darting his way downfield. Having broken free of the shackles UNLV had placed on him in the first half, and having listened to the UNLV players talk some first half trash, the normally low key sophomore let loose with a yell and demonstratively banged his chest.

Quizz was now geared up, the offensive line was giving Canfield enough time and the Beaver front seven was locked in.

Still, the Beaver secondary had some lapses along the way. But Oregon State owned much of the second half, and the lead felt secure within the flow of the game. Another 45-yard Quizz run here, a defensive orange and white wall there. You could feel the air coming out of the Rebel balloon.

BUT THIS WAS a out of conference road game. And the Beavs have gone 1-8 over their last nine non-con road trips. With the way the defense had played to that point, a 20-7 Beaver lead felt safe. It wasn't.

UNLV put together a touchdown drive. On the OSU end, a drive, despite Jordan Bishop's incredible windmill grab-and-hang-on, couldn't be sustained and prospects dimmed just a touch on the OSU side of the ledger.

An ill advised QB sneak call on fourth down turned the ball over on downs. And UNLV scored again, and this time taking the lead. All the good that had been crafted by OSU was suddenly undone.

THERE WAS TIME for one more Beaver charge. And on the game winning drive, Canfield's pulse rate looked like it never got about 40.

After the penalty gave the Beavs one more chance, it was Canfield and the OSU offense's turn to seize victory with both hands and squeeze tight.

On third down, when Canfield found Damola Adeniji to move the chains, the Beaver QB looked like he was out on a Saturday evening stroll. Next, a rope to Bishop -- and hitting him on the play side -- another chain mover. One more first down toss to James Rodgers, setting the ball at the UNLV 17-yard line.

Cue Kahut. Cue redemption. And chalk up the "W" and the Beavs' first 2-0 start since 2005. Vegas, baby.

BeaverBlitz Top Stories