The Beavs were always in the driver's seat, thanks in part to another terrific performance from Brandin Cooks. - Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports
There was never really a momentum shift in this game, it was an exponential growth of momentum until the end of the game with the Beavs strictly in control of the game. There were four moments where the momentum did increase however.
The first moment that started to get the flow moving towards the Beavs was the defense holding the Buffaloes to a field goal after a deflected interception off of Richard Mullaney. The Beavs had not built a lot of momentum to this point after coming up short on the previous offensive drive and settling for a field goal. The defense gave up one first down, but then stuffed two runs up the middle, and then on third down Jabral Johnson wrapped Colorado qb Connor Wood on a keeper. It was the kind of tackle in space that the Beavers had failed to make for the majority of this season, but getting that stop helped prevent the Buffaloes from getting too much confidence.
After Oregon State's first touchdown the teams traded punts, and everything just stayed stagnant, but then on a third down Connor Wood let one fly and it appeared D.D. Goodson had hauled it in and that the Buffaloes had a chance to move things and change the complexion of the game, but Sean Martin got a hand in and did not let him complete the catch. It looked good in real time, and on the one replay they showed it was tough to see, but the officials seemed certain and it completely stopped any momentum Colorado could have earned.
The first touchdown drive of the second half was when the Beavers started to put things out of reach. The Buffaloes had been hanging on and were down by two scores, but the Beavs took over on that drive and really looked unstoppable. There was still some doubt in the Beavers, as they have had a tendency to not close games out, but at this point it did not look like Colorado would be able to keep up anymore.
The final nail in the coffin was when Terron Ward converted a third and sixteen, which took all the hope away from Colorado. They had finally gotten a negative play on the Beavs with a sack on Sean Mannion, but the Beavs got it done anyways. Ward caught the ball short and just ran the ball to the outside, and no one was able to catch him. Colorado had seemed like they had some hope still before that point, they were still within reach, but after that, they did not believe that they could win. Even in an advantageous situation they could not stop the Beavers, and once that play happened there was no chance of them recovering.
Out of all of these moments, the touchdown drive in the second half was the critical moment, because after that play the Beavers just started to take control. It forced Colorado to start to press and the Beavs took full advantage of that moment. All the others were milestones in the progression, but that touchdown drive displayed which team was better and in that game it was OSU.
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