The game, in a picture - Steve Dykes
Dropped passes, fumbles, a missed field goal, questionable playcalling, and a crucial penalty combined to equal a Beaver victory.
#8 Oregon State has gotten a lot of credit this year for winning in different ways. A 10-7 defensive battle, a 38-35 offensive explosion, and now a game where their opponent outplayed them for much of the game. Utah outgained Oregon State by 81 yards. The Utes had 4 more first downs than the Beavs. They led the time of possession battle by nearly 9 minutes. And yet the Beavers remain undefeated.
Throughout the game the Beaver offense looked quite dysfunctional. They traveled just 12 yards in their first drive when Cody Vaz made two bad throws on first and second down, and fumbled the snap on third down, forcing the first of 8 Keith Kostol punts. But, and this was a theme for the game, Utah couldn't capitalize, missing a 42 yard field goal after driving 55 yards down the field. Kostol's third punt pinned Utah at their own 14 yard line. A third down pass was tipped by the Ute receiver and landed in the hands of Michael Doctor, who returned the ball all the way back to the 16 yard line.
From there, it was elementary for the Beavers. A 12 yard pass to Connor Hamlett set the stage for a Storm Woods touchdown. The next Utah drive ended when Rudolf Fifita got in the backfield and put quite a hit on Ute's QB Travis Wilson, dislodging him from the ball, which was jumped on by Dylan Wynn at the 10 yard line. A roughing the passer call was followed by Woods' second touchdown of the day.
The Utes took advantage of what was a somewhat soft Beaver defense in the second quarter, driving 88 yards on 10 plays and scoring their only points of the day on a 18 yard touchdown. It feels quite weird to write that sentence, as Utah had first and goal from the 3 in the first drive of the second half. The run game had been dominating the Beaver D throughout the drive, so it didn't seem like the Beavers had much hope. On first down, the QB draw was stopped by the Beavers. On second, the same result. And on third, Utah tried a reverse that, had it been held onto, might have gotten into the end zone. But it wasn't, and Scott Crichton was there to jump on the ball, keeping it a 14-7 Beaver lead.
The final Beaver scoring drive was also aided by a Utah mistake. On 3rd and 13, Vaz threw a short pass to Kevin Cummings, who dropped well short of the first down. However the Utah tackler decided to lower his helmet right into the facemask of Cummings. That's a 15 yarder and a first down. After a 24 yard pass to Markus Wheaton, Woods was there yet again to finish the drive.
The game wasn't over yet, though. Utah had 3rd and 10 on the Oregon State 19 with a little over 3 minutes left in the game. They ran the ball. They gained a yard. DJ Alexander picked up a sack on 4th down and the Beavers had the win.
The Beavers somehow remain undefeated. I'm just glad this one's over.