The Beavers played a surprisingly tough Stanford team even through the first half, but inconsistancy, turnovers and poor decisions plagued the Orange and Black in the second half, as the Cardinal rallied for a 36-28 win last night in the Pac-10 opener for both teams, in front of 30,223 fans at Stanford Stadium.
Justin Kahut put Oregon State on top with a 27 yard field goal on the opening play of the second quarter. Stanford then scored ten straight points, getting a 1 yard touchdown run from Toby Gerhart, plus a PAT and a 41 yard field goal from Aaron Zagory. The Beavers tied the game on a 55 yard tounchdown pass from Lyle Moevao to Sammie Stroughter, with Kahut adding the PAT. Soon after, Gerhart, stopped on a blast up the middle, bounced off two tacklers and around the right side, scoring on a 46 yard run. Zagory's PAT put the Cardinal up 17-10 late in the first half. Oregon State responded quickly though, as Moevao hit Shane Morales with a 4 yard scoring strike, with just 14 seconds remaining in the half. Kahut's PAT tied the game 17-17.
Kuhut put the Beavers on top 20-17 with a 23 yard fieldgoal halfway through the third quarter, but things started going Stanford's way from there. Zagory tied the game 20-20 with a 42 yard fieldgoal, than the Cardinal took the lead 22-20 after three, as Moevoa's backwards pass in the shadow of the Oregon State goaline rolled out the side of the endzone for a safety.
Stanford took control in the 4th, as Tavita Pritchard found Anthony Kimble for a 15 yard touchdown pass on the first play of the quarter. Bo McNally then returned an interception in the left flat 34 yards for another score. Zagory added a pair of PATs, putting the Cardinal up 36-20, with just under ten minutes remaining. Oregon State rallied however. Stroughter caught a 3 yard touchdown pass from Moevao, who then hit Morales for the two point conversion, cutting the deficit to 8 at 36-28, with just three minutes remaining. The Beavers got the ball back, then drove down the field, for what appeared would be a chance to tie the game and force overtime. Daryl Catchings took a pass on the left sideline at about the five yard line with just under a minute remaining. As he was being pushed out of bounds, Catching tried to stretch the ball over the goaline from the 2. A defender forced the ball loose and the resulting fumble rolled into the endzone then out the side, resulting in a touchback, preserving the victory for the Cardinal, 36-28.
After the game Stanford Safety Bo McNally told the Associated Press "You don't necessarily like winning that way, but a win's a win. We would have liked to do a lot of things better defensively than we did. We are in no way satisfied. We have to do a lot of things better." Talking about his fumble at the end of the Beavers final possession, Catchings told the AP "I was trying to make a play for the team but unfortunately it didn't work out that way. It didn't happen. I have to learn from this and try to make better decisions."
Oregon State quarterback Lyle Moevao passed for 404 of the Beavers 490 yards of total offense, completing 34 of 54 passes. Stanford had 301 yards total offense, 210 on the ground, 147 of those by Gerhart.
The Beavers, who had their 8 game Bay Area win streak snapped, travel to State College on Saturday, September 6th, to meet the 22nd ranked Penn State Nittany Lions. The game, which can be seen on ABC, kicks off at 2:30p.m. CDT.