Rick Scuteri-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
The last game against Arizona was littered with big moments, both on offense and defense. No big defensive stands this week, but here's the rundown of the biggest plays of the game:
- The running into the kicker penalty on Arizona. This play moved OSU from a field goal to scoring a touchdown on a Sean Mannion toss to Markus Wheaton and in the shootout that was to come those four points made a big difference. This was completely avoidable by Arizona and it proved to be extremely costly.
- All the deep strikes to Brandin Cooks and Wheaton in the 1st half. This helped to open up the running game and gave OSU the advantage for the first half. The Beavs were more contained for the rest of the game, but those passes helped set up OSU for the rest of the game.
- The Jordan Poyer circus interception. Arizona had taken control of the momentum in the 2nd half and was looking to drive again. Poyer stepped in front of a Matt Scott pass and should have had the pick right there, but it went through his hands, was juggled by the receiver and then fell into Poyer's falling hands. This led to the a 50 yard drive for a touchdown getting the Beavs right back into the game after losing the early lead.
- The Wheaton touchdown catch off the fake screen pass. This was my favorite play of the game by far, perfect play call by Coach Mike Riley and brilliantly set up throughout the whole game. The screen to Cooks had been working fairly well through the whole game and the Arizona defense had keyed in on that play. That whole side of the defense was sucked in to try and stop the screen and Wheaton, who had been throwing blocks on the screens, released free and was wide open for the touchdown. It was an excellent play, designed well, executed perfectly and it was called at the perfect time.
- Cooks breaking through tacklers on a screen pass. This play might not have been quite as important as some other plays, but it really stuck with me. Cooks got the screen pass and broke through two tacklers before he got taken down by his face mask. I just remember the image of Cooks leaping through the two defenders as being especially incredible, Cooks wanted the first down so badly that neither defender could hold him off.
- The late TD strike to Connor Hamlett. First catch on the day for a touchdown, namely the go-ahead touchdown. Another good play call, Hamlett had not seen the ball all day and then gets it at the most critical moment in the game. He worked for the touchdown too, he was still a couple yards away but powered through to reach the pylon. Another sign of the hunger that this Beaver team is feeling.
- The game ending interception by Rashaad Reynolds. Reynolds got a great jump on the ball and took it away, completely closing off the game. Reynolds had a good game and got another big hit, just like last week against UCLA. The defense had been getting beat up all day, but here Reynolds showed up when the defense needed someone to step up.