Saturday, November 26, 2011
Beavers hand Huskies third straight loss 38-21
The Oregon State Beavers(3-8,3-5) delivered the Washington Huskies(6-5,4-4) a smack of reality check with a 38-21 victory on senior night. The Huskies who started freshman quarterback Nick Montana struggled on offense, defense and special teams. Steve Sarkisian for the third straight year has seen his team drop three games in a row late in the season and now must regroup his team to take on the Washington State Cougars in the apple cup. For the Beavers who were led by freshman quarterback Sean Mannion throwing for 339 yards and a rushing attack which gained 145 yards on the ground this was a good win in an otherwise trying season for Mike Riley. The Huskies now must face reality that their once promising season of 5-1 and then 6-2 is headed towards disaster after losing three in a row. The Huskies will have finished this year 1-4 on the road and will look to win their seventh regular season game for the first time since 2002 this Saturday against the Washington State Cougars.
The Huskies began the game off with a very Don James esque type of drive as Sarkisian tried to ease Montana in his first career start. With the Huskies having the ball first on their own 30 yard line after a run of no gain for Chris Polk that is when Polk started to dominate the Beavers. Polk busted an 18 yard run to their own 48 yard line. Then Montana on a play action boot leg completed a 12 yard pass to Austin Seferian-Jenkins to the Beavers 40 yard line. Polk would rush for three yards and to be tackled was face masked for 15 more yards to the Beavers 22 yard line. After two Polk runs of eight yards the Huskies facing a third and two just gave it to Polk in the wild cat for a gain of seven yards down to the Beavers seven yard line. Polk would rush up the middle for a gain of three yards setting up a second and goal from the four yard. Sarkisian once again called a play action boot where Montana found the open Seferian-Jenkins for a four yard touchdown pass to give the Huskies a 7-0 lead. On that drive Polk carried the ball seven times for 39 yards as the Huskies appeared to be headed towards a good game.
The Oregon State Beavers would respond to the Huskies score with a nice drive of their own. Starting from their own 29 yard line facing a second down Terron Ward rushed for 29 yards to the Huskies 42 yard line. Sean Mannion completed a nine yard pass to the Huskies 33 yard which he followed up by hitting James Rodgers for a gain of 25 yards to the Huskies eight yard line. The Beavers started to go backwards first with a rush attempt that went backwards for two yards, then Mannion completed a pass for four yards but could have been picked off had Cort Dennison played the ball instead of the man. Facing a third and goal from the six Mannion hit Rodgers underneath as he ran by two Husky defenders for the touchdown to tie up the score at 7-7. The Huskies moved the ball to the Beavers 44 yard line but facing a third and 13 Montana threw an interception as the Beavers took over.
The Beavers began their drive after a 15 yard penalty on their own 23 yard line. Mannion began the drive by hitting Rodgers for a gain of 15 yards to their own 38 yard line. Markus Wheaton took the fly sweep 56 yards down to the Huskies six yard line. The Huskies defense would get tough and stop the Beavers for no gain on back to back plays. Once again the Huskies couldn't record that key third down stop as Mannion hit Micah Hattfield for a gain of six yards for the touchdown to give the Beavers a 14-7 lead over the Huskies. The Beavers had made their first two drives look pretty easy against a Huskies defense which has struggled all season long. The Huskies had allowed the Beavers to rush for 83 yards despite not rushing over 70 yards the prior three games while being able to do so in the first quarter. The Huskies with a freshman quarterback making his first career start knew they were in trouble as the defense wasn't going to be stopping anyone anytime soon.
The Huskies offense would end the half going three and out as Montana had a costly intentional grounding. Which allowed the Beavers to have the ball on the Huskies 26 yard line with three minutes left. The Huskies would stop the Beavers holding them to a field goal as the Beavers led at halftime over the Huskies 17-14. The third quarter featured plenty of missed opportunities for both teams as neither team could score. The Beavers were driving for a touchdown but Sean Parker made a great diving interception for the Huskies. Meanwhile Seferian-Jenkins dropped a wide open pass from Montana that nobody was around him then Erik Folk missed a 39 yard field goal that would have tied it up. The game remained 17-14 heading into the fourth.
The Beavers clinging to a 17-14 lead had the ball on their own 21 yard line. Mannion completed an eight yard pass which was fumbled out of bounds. Facing a third and one from their own 30 yard line Mannion completed a three yard pass for the first down. On a crucial third and four from their own 39 yard line completed a 58 yard pass to Obum Gwacham down to the Huskies three yard line. On the next play Jovan Stevenson ran it in from three yards out giving the Beavers a 24-14 lead. On the Huskies first play from their own 22 yard line Nick Montana fumbled the ball as the Beavers regained possession on the Huskies 15 yard line. After an incomplete pass Stevenson once again ran it in from 15 yards out giving hte Beavers a commanding 31-14 lead over the Huskies. After that is when Sarkisian made the decision to end Montana's day and put in injured quarterback Keith Price as the Huskies were on the verge of getting blown out. The Huskies still had 11 minutes left in the game but were facing a 17 point deficit as the game was in danger of getting away from the Huskies.
The Beavers would put away the Huskies for good as they went on a 12 play 99 yard drive. The key was Mannion going over the top to Wheaton from his own one yard line for 52 yards. Facing a fourth and goal from the one Riley decided to ice the game as Stevenson ran it in for his third rushing touchdown of the game as the Huskies would eventually lose 38-21. The Beavers were led by Mannion who was 26-37 with 339 yards passing with two touchdowns and one interception. Wheaton caught seven passes for 125 yards while also rushing for 66 yards. Stevenson ran for 41 yards with three touchdowns.
For the Huskies they had a long day as they were dominated by an inferior team. No man struggled more individually thank Nick Montana who was 11-21 for 79 yards(3.8 YPA) with two touchdowns, an interception plus a fumble. Keith Price off the bench was five for nine passing for 76 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Chris Polk ran the ball 25 times for 109 yards(4.4 YPC) but had just 13 carries the final three quarters. Kevin Smith had a nice 24 yard run while Jesse Callier ran three times for 22 yards. Bishop Sankey had two rushes for 12 yards as well. Once again Kasen Williams like he has done in previous weeks led the team in receiving yards with three receptions for 54 yards. Devin Aguilar had three receptions for 42 yards with a touchdown. Austin Seferian-Jenkins had six receptions for 40 yards and two touchdowns but a costly drop. Jermaine Kearse continues his slump with just one reception for 10 yards. Even their reliable kicker Erik Folk had a costly miss. The Huskies simply didn't play very well as this was easily the worst loss in the Sarkisian era.
All in all, the Huskies must regroup fromt his loss. The Huskies have now lost three games in a row for the eighth straight season a streak that has to end hopefully next year. The Huskies are hoping to avoid the four game losing streak something they have done just once in the Sarkisian era(his first year). This was a tough loss indeed and the Huskies will have better days ahead of them.