Fast start helps key Beaver win

CORVALLIS – Stanford came in atop the Pac-10 conference and with pundits talking Heisman campaign for Toby Gerhart. But sophomore running back Jacquizz Rodgers doubled the offensive output of his senior counterpart in helping deliver the fourth victory of the year for the Beavers. And though Quizz grabbed the limelight, there was another compelling offensive storyline authored by the Beavs.

It was the Quizz show from the get-go and it opened to rave reviews. The sophomore racked up over 100 rushing yards in the first quarter. His four rushing touchdowns tied the record for most in a game by an Oregon State player.

Quizz lined up for the first time ever in a "Wildcat" formation on the first drive, taking a direct snap, faking the end around to freshman wideout Markus Wheaton, and going up the gut for 61 yards, the longest of his young career. It was the first of four scores on the night.

If the storyline of the game was the performance by Jacquizz Rodgers, then the subplot for the evening had to be the efficiency of quarterback Sean Canfield.

The senior played nearly error free football for four quarters, completing 22 of 32 pass attempts for 290 yards and a touchdown. While Canfield was sacked three times in the game, his pocket awareness and decision making has improved the last few weeks, and he looked nothing like the QB who struggled against Arizona a few weeks back.

Oregon State pulled away to a 31-7 lead at halftime on the legs of Quizz and Canfield and did not look back, coasting to a 10-point victory.

With a big lead, Oregon State's playcalling went more conservative in the second half, and the Beavers scored only one touchdown for the remainder of the game. Four of the six Oregon State possessions in the second half resulted in punts. In the first half, the Beavers did not punt the ball at all.

But with such an early lead, OSU relied on their defense. The Beavs held Gerhart to 96 yards and they had QB Andrew Luck rattled.

Stephen Paea broke through on more than one occasion and the DT forced Luck to throw sooner than he would have liked. Cameron Collins was omnipresent, with a team-high 10 tackles. Keaton Kristick had a few slobberknockers of his own, with eight sticks. David Pa'aluhi and Lance Mitchell each added six more.

But it was the pressure more than the tackles that helped decide this one. Gabe Miller and Brennan Olander each joined Paea in getting Luck out of his comfort zone.

And when they needed to capture back momentum, they put together a 16-play, 80 yard drive early on in the fourth quarter.

There were no mistakes that killed the Beavers in the second half as had been seen earlier in the year -- No interceptions thrown, no fumbles lost.

Oregon State heads into their bye week and will invade The Coliseum in two weeks to take on USC.

NOTABLE NOTE:
Tonight's game was Rodgers' tenth 100-yard rushing game of his career, ending a dry spell for the running back, who was without a 100-yard rushing game since the UNLV game earlier this year.


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