Saturday, September 26, 2009

Poor tackling/blocking, late pick spell defeat for Beavers

An inability to tackle in the open field, or to protect their quarterback with good blocking spelled doom for the Oregon State Beavers in their Pac-10 opener Saturday night, as they lost at home to the Arizona Wildcats 37-32, in front of 42,119 fans at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon.

Arizona took the lead as Nick Foles flipped a 2-yard pass to Delashaun Dean for the touchdown. Alex Zendejas kicked the PAT with 6:25 left in the first quarter, putting the Wildcats on top 7-0. It was the first points allowed in the 1st quarter by Oregon State this season.

The Beavers would grab the lead with a pair of touchdowns. Sean Canfield passed 11-yards to Damola Adeniji with 2 seconds left. Kahut's PAT tied the game 7-7. Then, Jacquizz Rodgers bulled his way across the goal line from a yard out, with 8:25 still to go in the first half. Kahut converted, putting Oregon State up 14-7. Arizona responded with a 19-yard touchdown run by Greg Nwocko. Zendejas kicked the point after, tying the game 14-14, with 3:39 to go in the half. Kahut's 22-yard field goal on the 2nd quarter's final play, gave the Beavers a 17-14 halftime lead.

Canfield threw his second interception of the season early in the third, setting the 'Cats up with a chance in Oregon State territory. Foles barged in from a yard-out on a quarterback sneak, capping a 7-play, 47-yard drive. Zendejas kicked the extra point and with 6:21 remaining in the 3rd, Arizona was on top for the first time, 21-17. Numerous missed tackles throughout the third hurt the Beavers, and Foles hit Juron Criner with a fade pass to the left corner of the endzone, from the 3. Zendejas's kick put the Wildcats on top 28-17, with 1:48 left in the 3rd, capping a 4-play, 80-yard drive.

To Oregon State's credit though, they drove for a big score to start the 4th quarter, Jacquizz Rodgers scored on a 2-yard run, then James Rodgers, who appeared on TV replays to touch a knee down at the 2, was given a huge benefit of the doubt, diving just barely across the goal line for the two-point conversion, cutting the deficit to 28-25, 1:16 into the final period. Terrell Turner caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from Foles and with the Zendejas PAT, Arizona was back up by 10, at 35-25. The Beavers drew to within 3 once again, as Canfield passed to Aaron Nichols who did the rest, scoring a 13-yard touchdown. Kahut's PAT made it 35-32, with 4:13 remaining. Oregon State held the 'Cats on their next possession, but got the ball back when Canfield was picked off by Devin Ross near midfield. The Beavers stopped Arizona, but Keenyn Crier's punt bounced out-of-bounds at the 3-yard line. Earl Mitchell sacked Canfield in the back of the end zone for a safety with 31 seconds remaining, making it 37-32. Oregon State recovered the onside free kick just across the 30, but Canfield was sacked on the next two plays and with no time outs left, the Beavers couldn't stop the clock, losing their conference opener for the sixth-straight year, 37-32.

Nick Foles led the Wildcats, with 25-of-34 passing for 254 yards and 3 touchdowns and also ran for a score. Greg Nwoko rushed for a touchdown, while Juron Criner, Delashaun Dean and Terrell Turner caught touchdown passes. For Oregon State, Sean Canfield was 31-of-47 passing for 303 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, while also being sacked 5 times. Lyle Moevao, stepping on the field for the first time this season after off-season shoulder surgery, threw incomplete on his only play of the game. Jacquizz Rodgers rushed 16 times for 85 yards and 2 touchdowns, Damola Adeniji and Aaron Nichols caught touchdown passes, and James Rodgers caught a two-point conversion pass. Alex Zendejas kicked five conversions for Arizona, Justin Kahut has three PATs and a field goal the Beavers.

Oregon State had 30 first downs, was 7-of-14 on third down and 2-of-2 on 4th down. They had 406 yards of total offense, 2 turnovers and were penalized 7 times for 42 yards. The Wildcats had 27 first downs, went 5-for-11 on third down, while failing on their only attempt on 4th down. They racked up 388 yards of total offense, did not turn the ball over and allowed no sacks. They also committed 6 penaties, for 48 yards.

Arizona is now 3-1 on the season, 1-0 in the Pac-10. The Beavers, who lost at home for the second straight week, fell to 2-2 on the season, and 0-1 in the Pac-10.

Oregon State hits the road next Saturday to play former coach Dennis Erickson and the Arizona State Sun Devils. Kickoff is set for 7:00p.m. EDT, with the live broadcast on, and the live telecast on the Versus network. The Wildcats next action is in Seattle against Washington on Saturday, October 10th.

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