2Q: OSU scrambles to stay close

"Blake Martinez with a huge tip at the line of scrimmage on third down, and the Stanford defense holds. ... OSU chip shot field goal, Stanford knees, and it's halftime. Lead's a lead, I guess." A late goal-line stand for the Cardinal D is the difference in Corvallis through 30.

As we start the second quarter, Stanford's D is on its heels a bit, and I'm not mad for a second. Two weeks now, with Cody Kessler and now Seth Collins, opposing quarterbacks are doing an incredible job of staying alive and avoiding the rush, and buying their receivers enough time to finally work themselves open. Collins is now rolling out of the pocket as often as not, as OSU picks up a first down with a zone read to the running back as the D keys on Collins. The spread is alive, and after the Beavers gash their way all the way into the end zone to reknot this one at 14, Stanford's D needs to adjust.

Stanford 14, Oregon State 14, 13:59 remaining, second quarter

Offense starts off running – oh wait, Rollins Stallworth is in, guess we have another run coming. Remound Wright makes up for the predictability, pirouetting off another hit in the backfield to turn third and seven into third and one, which he then converts.

Hogan should have run with guaranteed first-down yardage on the play-action fake to tight end bomb, but he goes for the home run ball, and it's long, off Cajuste's fingertips. Hogan overthrows, Stanford punts, and Beavers will try to take the lead from their own 20. Stats dead even, as is the scoreboard.

D comes up nails, as has been the case ever since the Fiesta Bowl really, with a three-and-out. Collins overthrowing a guy with half a step helps the cause, but after he's created four first downs out of nothing, I'll take it gladly.

Card from their 30 after a hold wipes out a solid McCaffrey punt return. Barry Sanders Jr. cameo gains no yardage, but Hogan checks down to McCaffrey to move the chains. Ooh, this'll be interesting. Stanford looked to be stonewalled, as I think Wright could have bounced outside but picked the wrong hole, and now OSU is going to challenge the spot. Stanford needs to have a fourth and inches play ready to go from the OSU 43.

Call stands?!? Wow, maybe the league does protect its ranked teams. Bad call in Stanford's favor. Then McCaffrey is so open it's hard to tell if his guy fell down or he found a hole in the zone. Either way, he takes a nice route in the open-field to maximize his yardage, and is to the OSU five before he's forced out. Wright looked to have an opening on second and goal from the three, but couldn't break the tackle he'd pirouetted out of two times earlier this game. Off a Stanford timeout, I'd run here, anticipating this is four-down territory and we can get three yards on two plays. Instead, it's a Stanford timeout off a Stanford timeout, which wow, that's a first.

Again it's Wright hit in the backfield, spinning out of contact, and sprinting to paydirt. Nice trick he's pulled off a few times today, and Stanford would be in some serious trouble without it.

Stanford 21, Oregon State 14, 3:03 remaining, first half

Oh no, Aziz Shittu goes down. Pretty soon, they're going to be calling up my 5-foot-10-and-3/8s self and ask me to suit up at this rate. After losing Harrison Phillips and now Shittu going now, man are we thin at the position we can least afford it. Don't look now, but the Beavers are running semi-hurry up with one timeout left and 1:20 and counting on the clock, and after a slant route goes for 20-plus, they're to the Cardinal 15.

Lot of hands on Cardinal hips, and the Beavers now have first and goal at the Stanford 5, threatening to tie. QB zone read keeper loses a yard, and OSU calls its last timeout with 35 seconds left. Have to figure a tackle in bounds just about ends the half, so OSU should be passing here. Yup, fade route out the back corner of the end zone – that'll look familiar to Stanford fans. Blake Martinez with a huge tip at the line of scrimmage on third down, and the Stanford defense holds.

OSU chip shot field goal, Stanford knees, and it's halftime. Lead's a lead, I guess.

Stanford 21, Oregon State 17, Halftime

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