Returning to Reser Stadium for the the first time since November 11 of last year (that's 308 days, folks), the Beavers finally earned their first win of the 2008 season. Lyle Moevao threw for 268, James Rodgers ran for 110, and Shane Morales had 93 receiving yards. Oregon State attained twice as many first downs as Hawaii, had twice as many offensive yards, and about four times as many rushing yards. And Oregon State was 3-3 on fourth down conversions, by the way.
The game started with Oregon State in great field position thanks to a 35 yard kickoff return by James Rodgers. Two Moevao incompletions made it 3rd and 10, but Lyle found Shane Morales over the middle for a twenty yard reception to convert the third down attempt. The Beavers would get a big 9-yard gain from Jacquizz on 1st and 10, but James was tripped up on a flysweep the very next play for a loss of 7. Oregon State couldn't do much of anything else, with the Beavers sending kicker Justin Kahut on for a field goal try.
It went left.
On Hawaii's first drive, Tyler Graunke completed three passes for longer than 10 yards to three different receivers, and Kealoha Pilares looked like Penn State RB Evan Royster on his 16 yard touchdown. Luckily, it would be the only time that the Rainbow Warriors would find the promised land.
It was also the drive that included the "contact above the shoulders against a defenseless player" penalty on Afalava. It's like anytime #9 lays the crap out of someone, it's a flag. I'm kind of getting tired of it, and I don't think I'm alone. If you watch the replay, it's clearly shoulder to shoulder.
Patrick Henderson took the next kickoff almost to the fifty, giving Lyle and the Beaver offense another short field to work with. On this drive, the Beavers scrapped and clawed for small gains here and there, with the big play of the drive being a 13 yard pass from Lyle to James Rodgers on an out pattern. This got the Beavers to the 28 yard line. A Jacquizz four yard gain advanced the ball to the 24 yard line, then two incompletions set up a fourth and six field goal attempt.
It went left.
Leading 7-0 with the ball, the Hawaii offense had dreams of leading the Beavers 14-0 early in the first quarter. Libre gained six yards on first down and three yards on first down, setting up a third and one play from Hawaii's own 34. Hawaii again handed the ball of to Libre, who was touched first in the backfield by DE Slade Norris. Dwight Robinson, Stephen Paea, and Pernell Booth soon arrived on the scene, smothering Libre for a six yard lost. In the grand scheme of things, this might have been the best play of the game. Why you ask?
Because moments later, the momentum shifted from Hawaii to Oregon State in the blink of an eye. Tim Grasso was forced to punt from his own 18 to Sammie Stroughter, who fielded the punt at his own 20. Sammie took the ball from the right sideline to the left, got a few blocks, and wound up with a 49 yard return, giving the Beavers the ball inside the 40 yard line.
On first down, Moevao faked to both of the Rodgers before hooking up with Shane Morales over the left side for 25 quick yards. Jacquizz took care of the rest.
Tie ball game.
From there, the Beavers never looked back. One the preceding kickoff, the Beaver kickoff coverage team stopped Jovonte Taylor at the Hawaii 14. Four plays later the Warriors were looking at a 4th and 20 from their own four yardline.
The Oregon State offense took over on the Hawaii 25 yardline after a Hawaii facemask penalty on Sammie Stroughter's punt return. Five plays later, the OSU band was playing the fight song after Lyle hooked up with Shane Morales for a seven yard touchdown. 14-7 Beavers.
Three boring possessions ensued, two for Hawaii and one for Oregon State. They all ended with punts.
With less than eight minutes remaining in the half, Oregon State took control of the ball near the 50 yard line. The Beavers didn't gain much on the ground or in the air, but a Hawaii personal foul penalty gave the Beavers 15 free yards. On fourth and nine from the Hawaii 31, OSU placekicker Justin Kahut again trotted onto the field for a field goal attempt.
It went left. Waaay left.
Things got interesting on the next drive, when Tyler Graunke completed a pass to Greg Salas for 17 yards, but then threw an interception that initially hit Keenan Lewis in the hands, caromed off of Bryant Cornell in some way, then magically fell into Keenan Lewis' hands again. Okay, it wasn't all luck, but it was comical.
On the next play, Lyle went deep to Morales for 24 yards. A few plays later, Howard Croom dropped a textbook touchdown pass. However, it didn't matter because before Oregon State fans could get restless, Lyle hooked up with Sammie Stroughter for a touchdown on the next play. The score: 21-7.
Points scored by the Rodgers Brothers: 18
Points scored by Hawaii: 7
That took us to halftime, and from halftime on, the game was downhill. Oregon State added 17 points in the third quarter and an additional 7 in the fourth, making the final 45-7.
I know I belabored on the first half, but, that's when the game was decided. The Warriors didn't put up much of a fight after that. We'll elaborate on more of the nitty gritty stuff tomorrow and throughout this bye week. It's USC next, fellas.