Oregon State looks to start over after loss to BYU
Instead of building on a win, Oregon State finds itself starting over.
The Beavers (1-5, 1-2 Pac-12) were reeling after a 38-28 loss to BYU on Saturday. It was not the result Oregon State has hoped for a week after their first win of the season over Arizona.
The Cougars capitalized on Oregon State's mistakes to run away in the second half.
''We shot ourselves in the foot,'' said Oregon State receiver Markus Wheaton, who had eight catches for 104 yards.
The Beavers have a history of problems containing mobile quarterbacks, and BYU's Riley Nelson became the latest to make Oregon State a victim. He passed for 217 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 87 yards, using his athleticism to neutralize the pass rush.
All told, the Beavers gave up 499 yards, including 282 on the ground to a team that came into the game averaging just 116.
''Even if they had done everything they did, we certainly had enough opportunities to score 38 points in that game,'' Oregon State coach Mike Riley said.
That was true.
The Beavers had four turnovers, running their season total to 18. Three of those came on three consecutive possessions during a maddening third quarter, when BYU's Brandon Ogletree intercepted quarterback Sean Mannion and then forced two fumbles.
Mannion completed 27 of 43 passes for 306 yards but his two interceptions were both the result of bad decisions. Malcolm Agnew returned after missing three games with a hamstring injury but did little to energize the run game, which managed only 59 yards. It was the fourth time in five games Oregon State failed to reach the century mark.
Several injuries during the game decimated the defensive front. Defensive tackle Castro Masaniai is likely gone for the season after suffering a fractured fibula. Other injuries included linebackers Feti Unga (strained calf), Tony Wilson (bruised hip), Cameron Collins (strained groin) and defensive end Taylor Henry (sprained shoulder). Safety Lance Mitchell played sparingly because of an ongoing groin and abdominal issue.
Adding insult to injury, cornerback Jordan Poyer, whose 51-yard interception and touchdown was one of the few exciting moments for the Beavers, said Sunday on his Twitter account that someone had keyed his car and left a profane message referencing the Beavers' on-field woes.
Reality seems to have set in for the Beavers and their fans: The door has all but closed on a bowl appearance. Oregon State would have to win five of its last six to be eligible, and the Beavers' schedule includes tough road games against No. 7 Stanford and No. 9 Oregon.
''We've just got to go back to practice and not give up on our season,'' Poyer said. ''We can still do some things.''
There are some opportunities. The Beavers are a young team with room to grow. Key players Mannion, Agnew, receiver Brandin Cooks and defensive ends Scott Crichton and Dylan Wynn are all freshman.
Next up is Washington State, which Oregon State will play Saturday in Seattle. The Cougars lost 44-14 to Stanford to fall to 3-3 on the season and 1-2 in the conference. Quarterback Jeff Tuel was disappointing in his return after missing a month and a half with a broken clavicle.
The Beavers know that they will enter that game, and probably the rest of the season, as the underdog.
''We are on the bottom with five losses,'' Wheaton said. ''We can't go nowhere but up. But we have a lot of work to do.''