OSU hangs on for win over Bruins
CORVALLIS — Relying too much on Justin Kahut's kicking leg got Oregon State in trouble. James Rodgers' running legs rescued the Beavers.
Rodgers, the Beavers' speedy wide receiver, took a handoff on an end-around play and ran for a 17-yard touchdown with 44 seconds left for the winning score, and the Beavers beat UCLA 26-19 for their first win over the Bruins at home since 1999.
"We kept playing and held our heads high," Oregon State linebacker Dwight Roberson said. "Giving up was not an option. We battled it out and knew we would not give up the win."
Rodgers had seven catches for 106 yards and his brother, Jacquizz Rodgers, had 112 yards rushing, 96 yards receiving and a touchdown pass for the Beavers (5-3, 3-2 Pac-10).
With the Rodgers brothers carrying most of the load, Oregon State had 463 yards of total offense but had comparatively little to show for it, settling for four Justin Kahut field goals when drives stalled.
Kahut's fourth field goal of the game put Oregon State up 19-3 in the fourth quarter. Given UCLA's offensive performance up to that point — the Bruins (3-4, 0-5) had just 164 yards of total offense in the first three quarters — it was a lead that seemed comfortable.
But Kevin Prince made it uncomfortable for the Beavers, throwing a 58-yard touchdown to Rosario Nelson. He connected again with Nelson for the two-point conversion.
After a defensive stop, the Bruins were forced to punt, but got another chance when the Beavers were called for having 12 men on the field during the return. Given new life, Prince connected with Nelson again for a 45-yard reception that set up a 7-yard strike to Taylor Embree. The Bruins were successful on the two-point conversion to tie up the score with 2:06 left.
"I had trust in my receivers all along," Prince said. "We were put in a position where we had to do it, and I think it was good for us. It gives us confidence that we know how to do it."
That gave the Beavers one final drive, but Oregon State quarterback Sean Canfield nearly gave the game away on the first play — throwing a ball right to UCLA cornerback Alterraun Verner, who couldn't hang on to what would have likely been an interception for a touchdown. Canfield then completed four consecutive passes before James Rodgers took the handoff and galloped around the right side for the go-ahead score.
"I was proud of our composure to go down and score," Oregon State coach Mike Riley said. "In no way did we ever think it was going to be easy moving the ball against that defense."
That left Prince and the Bruins with 44 seconds and only one timeout to make a final drive, but time ran out after a completion to Taylor Embree at the Beaver 27.
"It's a tough loss," UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel said. "Our guys really fought to get back in the game. We had some chances to pull off a memorable one."
Prince completed 22 of 34 passes for 323 yards and two touchdowns for UCLA, which fell for the fifth straight week to match its worst-ever start in conference play. Nelson had six catches for 152 yards and a touchdown for the Bruins.
Canfield was 25 of 34 for 305 yards for the Beavers. The Beavers' lone first-half touchdown came with a direct snap to Jacquizz Rodgers in the wildcat formation. The tailback put his head down and dashed right, then straightened up to connect with Brady Camp for a wide-open, 14-yard TD pass. Added to three Kahut field goals, this gave Oregon State a 16-0 halftime lead.
Oregon State lost another scoring chance in the third after failing to convert a third down at the UCLA 25. The Beavers lined up for a field goal and holder Taylor Kavanaugh picked up the ball and started to run for a first down, but the play clock had run out. The penalty pushed the Beavers back five yards and Kahut was short on a 47-yard field goal try.