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Its a Dawg Night at CenturyLink

OSU's Poyer: 'Its not the end of the world'


SEATTLE — In a season in which Oregon State has made breaks and caught some of them, too, the Beavers got too few of either Saturday night at CenturyLink Field.

Travis Coons’ 30-yard field goal with 1:20 remaining was the difference as Washington (4-4 overall, 2-3 in Pac-10 play) won 20-17 to take down the seventh-ranked Beavers (6-1, 4-1) from the ranks of the undefeated.

“We’re 6-1,” OSU cornerback Jordan Poyer said. “It’s not the end of the world, really. We go home to take on Arizona State next weekend. We can still have a really good season.”

The loss probably eliminates Oregon State from national championship consideration, though. And it slows momentum built through the first half of a Cinderella season for a team that finished 3-9 a year ago.

“The key now is our reaction to it and where we go from here,” OSU coach Mike Riley said. “We’re just past the midway point (of the season). There’s a lot of football left.

“We’ll get back to work on Monday. I have a good sense these kids will work very hard for next week’s game.”

Oregon State won the statistical battle handily, beating Washington in first downs (19-15), passing yardage (318-194) and total offense (427-293).

The Huskies “didn’t really have that much production,” Riley said. “I thought we played pretty good defense tonight.”

The biggest stat, though was turnover differential. The Beavers — who came into the game leading the Pac-12 in that category, committing only six turnovers in the first six games — had four Saturday night to only one for the Huskies.

“The thing we’ll regret the most is turning the ball back to them when we had scoring opportunities,” Riley said. “If one or two of them would have even turned into field goals, it makes a big difference.”

All four of the turnovers were interceptions of passes thrown by Sean Mannion, the sophomore quarterback who returned to duty after missing the previous two games following knee surgery.

Mannion was replaced in the fourth quarter by Cody Vaz, who had stepped in for him during his two-game absence. Vaz led Oregon State to a game-tying touchdown and had the Beavers on the move in Husky territory in the game’s waning seconds.

“I just thought it would be good for our team to put in Cody,” Riley said. “He made some good plays — almost made a couple of good ones at the end.”

Oregon State went the final three quarters without the services of star receiver Markus Wheaton, who suffered an apparent concussion after a hit by UW safety Sean Parker. Wheaton took off his football gear at halftime and watched the second half in sweats from the OSU sidelines.

The Huskies “took him out of the game,” Riley said when asked about Wheaton’s injury. “That’s all I really know.”

The Beavers never led, but they didn’t go down easily, either. They battled to the end, when on fourth-and-19 from the Washington 47, Vaz’s pass for Kevin Cummings was incomplete.

A vehement Riley chased the officials down after the play.

“I just wanted some clarification,” the OSU coach said. “I thought (it was) pass interference on Cummings down the seam, but they didn’t think so.”

It was a contentious game with plenty of big hits on both sides. The Huskies, who entered on a three-game losing streak, considered it a pivotal game in their season and played with passion.

“We were in aggressive attack mode defensively,” Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said. “It was fun to watch. (The UW defenders) played great.”

“There’s not a whole lot you can say,” Poyer said. “They outplayed us. They outphysicaled us.”

“I expected it would be very physical,” Riley said. “They have a lot of good athletes. They have played a real tough schedule, so they’re used to this.”

Oregon State picked up 307 of its 427 yards total offense in the second half as it rallied from a 10-0 halftime deficit. The Beavers came from behind twice to tie the score but never led in the game.

“We came in at halftime, rallied up the guys and said, ‘10 points is nothing,’ “ Poyer said. “We came out the third quarter and got a touchdown and a stop. We were right there in it.”

At that point, OSU defensive end Scott Crichton said, “I had a feeling we were going to win. I knew we were going to win. But unfortunately, it didn’t happen like that.”

Washington got on the scoreboard after a 12-play, 66-yard drive that started at the UW 7-yard line stalled at the Oregon State 27. Coons’ 45-yard field goal put the Huskies ahead 3-0 with 3:12 left in the first quarter.

Oregon State moved from its own 23 to the Washington 17, where Mannion’s pass was intercepted by Parker in the end zone. Replays showed Parker trapped the ball, but the interception was affirmed after review.

“It was a combination of things,” said Mannion, who had four interceptions in his four games before the surgery. “Not a very good throw and a misread.”

Washington went three-and-out and, after a punt and a fair-catch penalty, Oregon State started on the UW 43. On first down, Wheaton was leveled by Parker — on what appeared to be a helmet-to-helmet hit — as he reached out to catch a deep ball from Mannion. The ball bounced off Wheaton and was intercepted by Justin Glenn at the Husky 17.

Washington went ahead 10-0 after Keith Price hit Michael Hartvigson for 31 yards to the Beaver 5-yard line. On fourth-and-goal, Bishop Sankey powered into the end zone for a score and a 10-0 lead with 4:08 remaining before halftime.

On their second possession of the third quarter, the Beavers struck about as quickly as possible — moving 83 yards in two plays.

Storm Woods rambled for 29 yards up the middle on first down. On the next play, Mannion fired a quick strike to Brandin Cooks, who raced 54 yards down the sidelines for a touchdown to draw the Beavers to within 10-7 with 7:37 left in the third quarter.

“We’d played the bubble (screen) great all night,” Sarkisian said. “Sean (Parker) went out with an injury and had to get his ankle taped. We had a little miscommunication. The backup comes in, and they popped a big one on us.”

Suddenly, the Beavers were in business. After a Washington punt, Mannion went deep to freshman Richard Mullaney for 45 yards to the UW 16. On second down, though, Mannion threw high for Colby Prince on a play that probably would have gone for a TD.

On fourth-and-six from the 12, Trevor Romaine booted a 29-yard field goal to tie the score at 10-10 with 2:42 left in the third quarter.

After another UW punt, Oregon State drove to midfield. But Mannion’s pass was intercepted by linebacker John Timu, who returned the ball 50 yards to the goal line. His fumble there was recovered by the Huskies for an apparent touchdown, but the score was negated by a personal foul penalty, though Washington retained possession.

After a Washington punt, Mannion was intercepted for a fourth time — by cornerback Marcus Peters, who returned it 26 yards. The Huskies were flagged for a personal-foul penalty, though, and started the possession on the OSU 30.

On first down, Price unloaded for 29 yards to Kasen Williams to the OSU 1-yard line. On the next play, Sankey scored and the Huskies were back in front 17-10 with 8:18 remaining.

Mannion — who finished 18 for 34 passing for 221 yards — was then replaced by Vaz, who coolly moved the Beavers from their 24 to the game-tying score. Vaz was 4 for 5 for 70 yards passing on the drive, covering the final 29 yards on a beautifully thrown ball to tight end Connor Hamlett that squared the score at 17-17 with 4:58 remaining.

Washington answered, marching from its 25 to the OSU 12, aided by a 15-yard “targeting” penalty by OSU’s Anthony Watkins. From there, Coons drilled a 30-yard field goal to put the Huskies on top 20-17 with 1:20 to play.

Starting at the Oregon State 36, Vaz hit Mullaney for 10 yards, then Cooks for 16 to move the Beavers to the UW 38 with 44 seconds left. It’s as close as the Beavers were to get, though, and soon Husky supporters were storming the field to celebrate the victory.

Mannion said his replacement by Vaz — who finished 7 for 11 passing for 97 yards — “was a little bit of disappointment. Of course I want to play. But I support Cody and our team 100 percent. That’s the coaches’ call to make. It’s about the team; it’s not about me.”

Did Mannion feel rusty after returning from his surgery?

“No,” he said, “that’s not an excuse.”

The Beavers weren’t making excuses about the loss, either.

The Huskies “just played better than us today,” Crichton said. “The scoreboard showed it.”

“It’s a tough pill to swallow,” Mannion said, “a tough loss to a good opponent. You have to tip your hat to (the Huskies). They came ready to play. They played well tonight.

“I’m unhappy we lost, but we’re going to bounce back. This team has a ton of character, a ton of toughness. We’re going to be ready next week, that’s for sure.”

NOTES — Poyer and Woods both suffered late knee injuries, though Poyer finished the game. “It was hurting pretty bad at the end of the game,” Poyer said. ... Riley, asked who he would start at quarterback against Arizona State: “We won’t have any talk about that tonight.” ... The 10-point deficit was Oregon State’s largest of the season. ... Wheaton has caught at least one pass in 30 consecutive games. ... Woods rushed for 61 of his 90 yards in the second half, finishing with 15 carries, and had four receptions for 37 yards. ... Cooks caught nine passes for 123 yards and a TD and rushed four times for 22 yards. ... Mullaney, in the first significant action of his career, caught four passes for 70 yards.

Sankey had 67 of his 92 rushing yards in the first half. ... The Huskies were only 2 for 12 on third-down conversions. ... Washington had only 15 of its 99 yards rushing in the second half. ... Washington had eight penalties for 84 yards; Oregon State six for 50. ... After most OSU losses, Riley goes to lengths to compliment the opponent. He had a hard time doing that Saturday night. The Huskies “made some plays,” he said. “I don’t know that they did anything unique.” ... Oregon State’s normally sure-handed receivers dropped at least three balls in the first half. ... ... Both teams are young. Oregon State started seven seniors, three on offense; Washington started five seniors, two on offense.

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SCORE BY QUARTERS

Oregon State 0 0 10 7 — 17

Washington 3 7 0 10 — 20

FIRST QUARTER

UW — Travis Coons 45 field goal 3:12.

SECOND QUARTER

UW — Bishop Sankey 1 run (Coons kick) 4:08.

THIRD QUARTER

OSU — Brandin Cooks 54 pass from Sean Mannion (Trevor Romaine kick) 7:37.

OSU — Romaine 29 field goal 2:41.

FOURTH QUARTER

UW — Sankey 1 run (Coons kick) 8:18.

OSU — Connor Hamlett 29 pass from Cody Vaz (Romaine kick) 4:58.

UW — Coons 30 field goal 1:20.

ATT: 60,842