Oregon State lost a hard-fought game on the road against UCLA Saturday night. Penalties and lack of offensive production doomed the Beavers despite some valiant efforts from the defense (and Manase Hungalu in particular).
The Beavers won the toss and elected to kick. On the second play of the game UCLA running back, Soso Jamabo, fumbled the ball after a nice run. The defense recovered it and returned it to the UCLA 4-yard line. Artavis Pierce quickly punched it in the endzone to give Oregon State a quick 7-0 lead. UCLA got back on track with a 7 play, 70-yard drive to tie the game up. Later, Marcus McMaryion hit Jordan Villamin for a 9-yard gain, that he subsequently fumbled. To make matters worse he lost his helmet and was hit with a 15-yard penalty for continuing to participate in the play. UCLA capitalized, turning the turnover into a touchdown. On the ensuing possession Oregon State went three-and-out, sending the punting unit in. The punt was easily blocked and returned for a touchdown to give UCLA a 21-7 lead, after the first quarter.
Things started to turn around for the Beavers in the second quarter. After forcing a UCLA punt, Oregon State pulled off some special teams trickery. Victor Bolden and company acted as if the punt was headed to the right side of the field, while Rahmel Dockery fielded the punt on the opposite side of the field and returned it 39 yards to the UCLA 16. This led to another touchdown run for Artavis Pierce and cut into UCLA’s lead. The Beavers were putting together another nice drive and were looking for the game-tying touchdown until Marcus McMaryion botched a read-option handoff and UCLA recovered the fumble. After some poor Oregon State clock-management, UCLA got into field goal range and hit a 49-yarder to take a 24-14 lead into halftime.
Midway through the third with the Beaver offense sputtering the defense came through big-time. After a short UCLA completion Devin Chappell forced a fumble and Manase Hungalu scooped it up and ran it back 40-yards for an Oregon State touchdown! With UCLA’s lead at just three (24-21), the Bruins capitalized on some Oregon State penalties (targeting/face mask) and scored another touchdown to push the lead back to ten. Oregon State found themselves on UCLA’s 38-yard line and decided to go for it on fourth-and-four. Seth Collins drew a pass-interference penalty, but the Beavers were stuffed at the goal-line and had to settle for a field goal, but were within striking distance headed into the fourth (31-24).
The fourth quarter was a back and forth affair. After a frustrating UCLA drive which was aided by an Oregon State pass-interference call, the Bruins found themselves at a crucial 3rd and goal situation. The Beavers appeared to make the stop but were called for an offside penalty. The crushing penalty actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise because on the very next play Manase Hungalu picked off UCLA quarterback, Mike Fafaul, in the endzone to keep UCLA off the scoreboard. The Beavers had the ball with under 5 minutes to go and needed a touchdown to tie the game. They offense was moving, but Marcus McMaryion was picked off by Randall Goforth who returned it 40 yards for a UCLA touchdown to put the game away.
- Manase Hungalu put himself in prime position to win Pac-12 defensive player of the week. Recording 3 turnovers (2 fumbles, 1 interception) and a touchdown.
- Artavis Pierce got the start at running back with Ryan Nall out and performed admirably. He amassed 110 total yards and scored two touchdowns.
- Despite losing the total yards battle to UCLA, Oregon State actually held an advantage in time of possession (33:13 to 26:47).
- The Beavers were just 3-for-15 on third down conversions tonight.
- Oregon State killed themselves with penalties (12 for 119 yards). Many of them came at critical times that helped keep UCLA drives alive.
- Turnovers were massive momentum killers as well for Oregon State. All three seemed to occur just as the offense started clicking.
Oregon State will return home for their final two games of the season. They will face Arizona and Oregon; who represent great opportunities for the Beavers to end the season on a high-note.