Freshman quarterback leads OSU charge
CORVALLIS — Trailing by a touchdown heading into the second half, Oregon State's Storm Barrs-Woods said the Beavers turned to one of the team's youngest players for inspiration.
True freshman quarterback Seth Collins is quickly gaining that type of pull with the Beavers.
Collins ran for two touchdowns, passed for another and ran for 114 yards Saturday night to lead Oregon State to a 35-21 win over San Jose State.
Collins threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Villamin midway through the third quarter to tie the game at 21-all, then put the Beavers (2-1) ahead for good two minutes later with a 4-yard touchdown run.
"This young man demands greatness. It's the look in his eyes, the tone of his voice, we're ready to go," Barrs-Woods said. "That's our leader, that's our captain. That's what changed. He got us going. I see him making plays, and I had to make plays."
Collins took it in stride.
"I'm just out there playing football. It's nothing I think about, like I'm going to get this weird look in my eye. I just felt compelled to score," said Collins, who completed 13 of 25 passes for 135 yards.
Barrs-Woods, absent for most of last week's 35-7 loss to Michigan with a knee injury, ran for 151 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown. The running back said speculation regarding his Michigan status didn't bother him.
"I treated it as a normal game. With all due respect, I don't need an edge. I don't need something to tick me off," Barrs-Woods said.
Oregon State's first-year coach Gary Andersen was pleased with the Beavers' bounce back from Michigan, and response from his team showed after trailing 21-14 at halftime.
Oregon State's offense clicked against the Spartans, particularly on the ground. The Beavers had 438 yards, including 303 yards rushing. Defensively, the Beavers held San Jose State (1-2) to 253 yards. OSU had two second-half interceptions, one that linebacker Caleb Saulo returned 41 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter to give the Beavers a 35-21 lead.
"Overall, very proud of the way we were able to run the ball. It was good to get Storm back. I thought our offensive line got better and better as we went. The defense played very well. We got a pass rush going," Andersen said.
San Jose State, which had been going with two quarterbacks, played three against Oregon State, partially out of necessity. Starter Kenny Potter completed 8 of 9 passes before leaving the game early in the second quarter with an ankle injury. Joe Gray, who started the Spartans' season opener, was ineffective and was lifted late in the third quarter for Malik Watson.
Spartans coach Ron Caragher said they were cautious with Potter because of a similar ankle injury he had in junior college. Caragher said he was optimistic that Potter would play next week against Fresno State.
Gray had completed 4 of 10 passes for 20 yards when he was pulled.
"Joe had a real tough night, and it was disappointing because I thought we could have continued doing what we were doing in the first quarter," Caragher said.
Collectively, San Jose State's three quarterbacks completed 20 of 33 passes for 149 yards.
Tyler Ervin ran for 93 yards and two touchdowns to lead San Jose State (1-2). The Spartans lost their 12th consecutive game to a Pac-12 Conference opponent.
After Villamin's 31-yard touchdown reception tied the game at 21 midway through the third quarter, the Beavers quickly capitalized on a special team's mistake. The Beavers tackled San Jose State punter Michael Carrizosa after of a bad center snap, and two plays later took the lead for good on a 10-yard touchdown run by Collins.