Just like after Oregon State's late November 42-36 loss to USC, the more you look back on the game, the easier it gets to see just what could have been. The missed opportunities in (or near) the red zone were abundant.
It's hard to go through Oregon State's highlights from the game without thinking about the fumble recovery that put OSU at the UO 17 yard-line (result: field goal), or the 48-yard pass from Canfield to Quizz that put the Beavers deep into Oregon territory (result: field goal), but that's exactly what we're going to do with the help of Mike Parker. As you'll see, many of these highlights should have been followed up with an exuberant "TOUCHDOWN BEAVERS!!" call by Parker, but were not.
Let's get started.
Mike Parker: First down and five for Oregon, at it's 25 yard-line, just getting started... Masoli out of shoutgun, takes the pass from center, the ball is tipped, AND PICKED OFF BY DOCKERY!! Down the left sideline! Dockery inside the 25 and down he goes at about the 23. A 12 yard return for James Dockery, and the Beavers get the first turnover of the game, and they set up shop first and ten at the Oregon 23.
On Monday I claimed that turnovers would be a big factor in the game-- and they were. Oregon fumbled once and threw an interception, and it could have been worse than that. Remember OSU's kickoff at the very end of the first half that was almost fumbled? How about the snap that was well over Masoli's head late in the game? The Beavers won the turnover battle, but Oregon more than made up for their two mishaps with three killer fourth down conversions.
The Oregon State drive after the Dockery interception was a bad omen for the remainder of the game: it took a fourth down conversion to score a touchdown. Imagine if Riley would have called for a field goal at that point... it could have meant four first half field goals.
Mike Parker: It's an I formation-- power formation for the Beavers. Three tight ends, Jacquizz the running back... fourth and goal, turn, give to Quizz, running to the right, and QUIZZ IS IN! TOUCHDOWN BEAVERS!
Oregon State took an early 7-0 lead on that play, but Oregon came right back down the field and tied it up. Oregon State's next drive stalled at about the 25-yard line, and another Kahut field goal made it 10-7, Beavers. After Jeff Maehl burned James Dockery for a 73-yard score, the Beavers found themselves trailing for the first time of the game, 14-10. It was at this point that the game slowed down... both teams exchanged several punts... but Oregon State would be the next team to knock on the door:
Mike Parker: Trips formation to the right, play clock down to two, Canfield out of shotgun, throws over the middle to Jacquizz Rodgers, breaks one tackle at the 40, comes back to the 45, HAS A CHANCE DOWN THE LEFT SIDELINE!. 35-30. 25-20. Cuts back inside at about the 15 yardline!
He indeed had a chance there... perhaps OSU's best chance of scoring on that drive. After the long pass play got the Beavers to the Oregon 15, a penalty backed them up five yards, bringing up 1st and 15. A 9-yard pass to Kjos made it 2nd and 6-- then a Jacquizz Rodgers rush for no gain and an incomplete pass intended for James Rodgers brought out the field goal unit, and the Beavers brought it to within one: 14-13 Oregon.
Immediately after the field goal, Oregon regained possession with 7 minutes remaining in the half:
Mike Parker: On first down, Masoli, THE BALL IS LOOSE, being chased! The Beavers after it! The Beavers trying to come up with it! Matt Lagrone says he has it... and I believe he does. The ball knocked loose, AND LAGRONE RECOVERS FOR THE BEAVERS! And the Beavers have a first down at the Oregon 17!
And guess what? Again... Oregon State settles for a field goal. But nonetheless, the Beavers took a 16-14 lead.
Oregon would then take the lead with a touchdown by LaMichael James. I'll point out that the Ducks fumbled the ball a play before scoring on that drive... but Jeremiah Masoli recovered, and the Ducks took a 21-16 lead with 1:09 remaining in the half.
A pass interference call on Talmadge Jackson III (could he have been more obvious?) and four completions got the Beavers into Oregon territory at the 33. Another completion to Brady Camp (after a false start, ugh) set the Beavers up with a 2nd and 5 play:
Mike Parker: Second and five at the Oregon 28. Canfield out of shotgun, from the left hashmark, takes the snap from center, surveys his options, throws down the middle, CAUGHT BY JAMES RODGERS, TOUCHDOWN BEAVERS!
The Beavers then headed into the locker room with the lead, which never hurts the confidence levels heading into the second half. After a first half in which they settled for field goals way too many times, the Beavers needed to come out and drive the ball down the field and score, which is exactly what they did:
Mike Parker: Third and six from the nine, left has. Canfield from shotgun to throw, down the middle to Casey Kjos, TOUCHDOWN BEAVERS!!!
That made it 30-21 Beavers... and that's when Chip Kelly turned to the physicality of Legarette Blount, and it paid off with a quick score. That drive was when the first crucial Oregon fourth down conversion occured-- a quick slant from Masoli to Maehl on 4th and 6. After that, the Beavers got (guess what?) another field goal (score now 33-28), then Oregon scored a touchdown to take the lead for good (34-33).
Morgan Flint added a field goal for the Ducks early in the fourth quarter as Oregon attempted to chew up the clock. Oregon State's only drive of the fourth quarter was the one that ended in James Rodgers diving out of bounds just past the first down markers, oh-so-close to a crucial conversion. But Oregon regained possession of the ball, converted two first downs, successfully eating six minutes of clock to seal the victory.
I told you it's hard to rehash all those missed opportunities.