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Washington State uses strong second half to overcome Oregon State, 35-31

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Washington State made just enough plays to walk out of Reser Stadium with the victory.

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

It was a long game for the Oregon State Beavers inside Reser Stadium on Homecoming night.

After a strong first half by the Beavs, the Washington State Cougars clawed their way back, overtaking OSU 35-31.

First Half:

Oregon State came out ready to play. A now-healed Ryan Nall got things off to a dominating start, running in an 89-yard touchdown to put OSU on the board first. Just 3 minutes later, a fumble recovery only added to the Oregon State momentum. With 7:04 to go before the half, Beaver WR Seth Collins ran it in to the end zone off a trick play. The Beavs had arguably their best first half of the season. In fact, Washington State didn’t make it onto the scoreboard until 4:39 left in the first half. They headed into the half with a 24-6 lead.

Second Half:

I so badly wish I knew what WSU head coach Mike Leach said in that locker room... because when the Cougs took the field to start the 3rd quarter, it was like night and day. Before the 3rd quarter was even up, Washington State came back, taking the lead 28-24. Led by junior QB Luke Falk, the Cougs made some truly incredible pass receptions. Don’t believe me? Just watch:

The final few minutes of the game turned into a game of take-over on downs, with both WSU and OSU going for it on 4th down and getting rejected. The final possession for Oregon State was Ryan Nall trying to power through on 4th and 1. That play was ruled short by the referee’s, prompting OSU head coach Gary Anderson to challenge.

But in the end, it was the Cougs improving their record to 6-0 in conference play. Oregon State now falls to the bottom of the North in Pac 12 standings, with 1-4 conference, 2-6 overall.

Final Score: WSU: 35 OSU: 31

Takeaways:

The Beavers have got the be thanking their lucky stars that Ryan ‘Wrecking Nall’ is back. Nall scored 3 of OSU’s 4 touchdowns, and made a few crucial 3rd down plays. However, the Beavs cost themselves precious yards with penalty call after penalty call.

WSU’s Luke Falk took a physical beating from the beaver defense, but made some incredible throws under pressure. He did seem to be favoring his side early in the 3rd, after a hard hit. That may be something the Cougs need to watch out for next week.

Up Next:

Oregon State heads to 2-3 Stanford next Saturday, November 5th.

Washington State will take on 0-5 Arizona at home also on Saturday.