Okay so I agree with Coach Riley and it didn't look good there for a good part of that second half but wow sometimes you have to win it with offense and sometimes with defense. The18th ranked Beavs did it with defense against Wisconsin but tonight against an incredibly feisty Arizona team (hats off to Matt Scott and that performance) Sean Mannion had a career night (433 yards) and the offense pulled out a gutsy 38 to 35 win in the last moments of a back and forth game.
Additionally Mike Riley wins his 75th game as OSU head coach to go to all time wins in program history.
It was a game that looked to have the Beavs well in control at half leading the Arizona Wildcats 17 to 7, then the Wildcats came out in the 3rd quarter with a vengeance and scored 21 points to lead the game 28 to 24 going into the fourth quarter. That's when things really opened up and the Beavs reclaimed the lead 31 to 28 at the 9:09 mark on a beautiful drive that included a wonderful play call for TD to Markus Wheaton that was beautifully set up by the previous screen plays. After a questionable defensive holding call the Beavs again lost the lead again to Arizona 35 to 28. This is when the offense and Mannion shined the most as they drove the field from the 25 yard line to score with 1:17 left. The defense finally held on to intercept a Matt Scott pass and OSU was able to run out the clock.
I guess it wasn't a 70 to 63 type of game like the West Virginia vs. Baylor one, but this one saw 613 of offense on the Beavers side and 545 yards on the Wildcats side. Along with Mannion other notable performances included Storm Woods rushing for 161 yards on 29 carries, Markus Wheaton receiving for 166 yards, and Brandin Cooks added on another 149 yards.
Not sure I was quite ready for this much of an outstanding hard-fought football game and I probably would have been heartbroken if the Beavs lost, but it was a heck of a game. One that I was glad I was able to hold out for to the end!
Now I think we can really start to reflect on what this team has done and it would be remiss of me to not mention that the team now has matched their win total from last year of three, and this season three wins in as many games. Additionally, this is the first 3 and 0 start under Coach Riley and the first 3 and 0 start since 2002.
I personally will be at the WSU game and hope as many of Beaver Nation as possible can welcome home this OSU football team. I think we may be in for something special this year.