September 28th – at Oregon State          Oregon State 44, Colorado 17

Sean Mannion passed for 414 yards and a school-record six touchdowns and Oregon State won its fourth consecutive game Saturday with a 44-17 victory over Colorado.

Brandin Cooks caught nine passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns for the Beavers (4-1, 2-0 Pac-12), and had five carries for 47 yards.

Mannion battled gusty wind conditions to complete 27 of 52 passes.

The Buffaloes’ offense, which hadn’t seen action for three weeks due to the postponement of the Fresno State game, was out of sync for most of the game. Quarterback Connor Wood connected on just 14 of 34 passes for 146 yards. Paul Richardson, who came into game as the country’s leading receiver averaging 208.5 yards per game, was held to five receptions for 70 yards.

On the first play from scrimmage on a rainy afternoon in Corvallis, the Buffs’ star wide receiver, Paul Richardson, carried the ball for seven yards on a sweep. Unbeknownst to the Buff faithful, that was the last meaningful contribution from the Buffs’ best player with the game still in question.

After a first down, the Buffs drive stalled after a holding call. A 16-yard punt by Darragh O’Neill set the Beavers up at their 48-yard line. A 20-yard pass from Mannion to Cooks was followed by a 17-yard completion to Richard Mullaney. Suddenly, after only two plays, Oregon State was at the Colorado 15-yard line. There, however, the Buff defense stiffened, and the Beavers had to settle for a 36-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead with 10:03 to play in the first quarter.

A three-and-out had the 44,279 at Reser stadium smelling a rout. On second-and-ten at their 36-yard line, however, Sean Mannion threw only his second interception of the season. Cornerback Greg Henderson caught a tipped pass and took the interception down to the OSU 17-yard line. A Connor Wood keeper set the Buffs up with a first-and-goal at the four, but the Buffs could not convert, tying the score with a Will Oliver 19-yard field goal.

The teams traded punts before Mannion connected with Cooks for a 52-yard gain in the CU red zone. A three yard touchdown pass from Mannion to Caleb Smith gave the Beavers a lead they would never relinquish.

Oregon State 10, Colorado 3.

Some good runs by true freshman running back Michael Adkins, seeing his first carries as a Buff, were negated by a tripping penalty on the Buffs near midfield.

The Buffs’ defense played its best ball of the game early in the second quarter, continuously forcing punts, even after a Connor Wood interception ended a one-play drive for the CU offense. When Oregon State did put a drive together, the CU defense snuffed it out with a forced fumble. Defensive end Chidera Uzo-Diribe forced a Sean Mannion fumble at the CU 19 … the first time in over 50 attempts in which the OSU offense failed to score inside an opponent’s red zone.

Late in the second quarter, the Beavers pieced together a 12-play, 71-yard drive which included a fourth-and-ten conversion at the CU 33-yard line. With 16 seconds left in the half, Mannion hit Brandin Cooks for an eight-yard touchdown.

The teams left the field with Oregon State taking its first two-score lead of the game, and all of the momentum.

Halftime score: Oregon State 17, Colorado 3.

While the Buffs were still in the game on the scoreboard at halftime, the stats were telling a different story. Oregon State at 285 yards of total offense at the break, to just 112 for Colorado. Connor Wood was 4-of-15 passing for only 22 yards. The Buffs’ go-to star, Paul Richardson, had one catch … for two yards.

While the first half had been a struggle, the third quarter in Corvallis gave Buff fans eerie flashbacks to the 2012 season.

It took the Beavers only seven plays to cover 75 yards to turn a game in question into a game of domination. Three plays in the drive covered over 20 yards, including the touchdown pass of 22 yards from Sean Mannion to Brandin Cooks. 24-3, Oregon State.

The Buffs fumbled the ensuing kickoff, but the CU defense held. After a Colorado punt, the Buffs had the Beavers backed up, with a third-and-18 at the OSU 16-yard line after a sack by Nate Bonsu. Instead of getting the ball back in good field position, though, the Buffs surrendered a 19-yard completion and a first down.

With the Buff defense demoralized after the first down, it took only two plays to cover the remaining 65 yards of Reser Stadium turf. A 42-yard touchdown pass from Mannion to Terron Ward ended any doubt about the outcome of the game. 31-3, Oregon State.

When the Buffs were unable to cover the squib kickoff, Oregon State took over at the CU 26-yard line. Four plays later, Mannion had another touchdown pass, and the rout was on. 38-3, Oregon State.

In the third quarter, Colorado ran 11 plays for 12 yards, while Oregon State had 25 plays for 191 yards. If the Ducks hadn’t turned the ball over on downs at the CU nine yard line late in the stanza, it would have been a 28-0 quarter, instead of merely a 21-0 quarter.

The fourth quarter opened with the Buffs putting together their first decent drive of the game. Freshman running back Michael Adkins, seeing his first action of the season, led the way, contributing 18 yards rushing on the ten-play, 80-yard drive. Aided by an offsides call on an incomplete pass on fourth-and-five at the OSU 29-yard line, Connor Wood connected with Tyler McCulloch for a 24-yard touchdown pass with 10:51 to play to give the 800 or so CU fans on hand something to cheer about. A two-point conversion pass from Wood to Devin Ross made the new score 38-11.

After Oregon State missed a 42-yard field goal attempt on its next drive, Connor Wood promptly gave the ball back, throwing an interception which was returned to the CU 11-yard line. On the next play, Sean Mannion set a school record for touchdown passes, with six, hitting tight end Connor Hamlett for a touchdown. The score remained at 44-11 when the extra point attempt was botched.

A 28-yard touchdown pass from Connor Wood to Paul Richardson with 13 seconds left to play gave both players a boost in their stats, but little else of consequence in the rout.

Final Score: Oregon State 44, Colorado 17.

“Turnovers. That’s what the difference in the game was,” said CU head coach Mike MacIntyre, suffering his first loss as CU’s head coach. “We had the mishaps there on the kickoff returns. We work catching squib kicks and bloops and all that. We send our guys out early before the game in pregame to do that. We also do it in practice, so we have to make sure we handle that. That kind of flipped the game for sure. Mainly to me it was turnovers and taking care of the ball.”

The stats sheet indicated, however, that the Buffs had more problems than turnovers. Colorado had 330 yards of total offense, 176 of which came in the fourth quarter when the game was already out of hand. At one point in the game, the Buffs had 31 yards passing, and the Beavers had 38 … points.

The Beavers posted 540 yards of total offense, including 420 yards passing. Connor Wood went 14-of-34 for 146 yards and two interceptions. Paul Richardson, who had over 200 yards receiving in each of the first two games of the season, had five catches for 70 yards, with four catches for 68 yards coming in the fourth quarter.

For a coach who was all about team in the two victories, coach MacIntyre gave some disconcerting quotes after the game:

On the two fumbles on the kickoffs … “Those weren’t coaching mistakes — those are kids not doing what they are supposed to do — holding on to the ball correctly and recovering it correctly. Those are things we work on all the time. So we’ll just need to keep working at it” …

On the play of the offensive line … “I’ll look at it on film. We had too many penalties in the first half. One of them was a late hit that kind of flipped the game on us, and he didn’t play anymore the rest of the game. You can’t be doing that kind of stuff. It’s ridiculous” …

On the play of the defense … “They didn’t hold up. They gave up (540) yards. We can’t be doing that. We should have had three picks. We were right there and double covering the kid (on the 52-yard completion to Brandin Cooks in the first quarter, setting up OSU’s first touchdown). We were all over him and we don’t make the play. We don’t make the play. So we need to work on making that play. We need to work harder in practice and do a better job as coaches. We should have had three picks in the first half. I mean we were right there. We had a better chance of catching it than he does, and we don’t catch it.”

Unfortunately for the Buffs, the situation isn’t likely to improve anytime soon. Up next is Oregon, which raced to a 41-0 lead over Cal in the second quarter before coasting to a 55-16 victory. Then the Buffs take to the road to face Arizona State, which posted 62 points in a rout of USC.

It’s not going to get any easier anytime soon …

Game Notes –

– While Oregon State did run up 540 yards of total offense, the Buff defense did force six three-and-outs. The new total for three-and-outs, three games into the season, is 20 … after the CU defense forced just 29 three-and-outs in all of the 2012 season.

– Despite a five-catch, 70-yard game, Paul Richardson still leads the nation in average receiving yards per game, with 162.3, just ahead of Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks, with 161.4. In total yards, Richardson fell to 10th (in only three games, some players now have five).

– Michael Adkins 98 yards were the second most for a true freshman running back in their debut (Marcus Houston had 100 yards against CSU in Denver in 2000).

– Oregon State had scored in the red zone in 54 consecutive trips, dating back to last season. The total was the nation’s best streak. Twice against Colorado, however, the Beavers failed to score once they were in the red zone (a fumble and a turnover on downs).

Injury report … No new significant injuries were reported by the CU staff …



4 Replies to “Oregon State 44, Colorado 17”

  1. Not surprised they lost the game but how they lost it is disappointing!I am certainly not making any excuses for how they played but did the three week lay off have anything to do with the loss? Michael Adkins sure looked good wondering why he hasn’t been playing since the start of the year? GO BUFFS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I think the play of the game was the 4th and 10 that CU gave up near the end of the 1st half. OSU scored soon after and the Buffs lost momentum for the rest of the game. If we stop them on that 4th down, we could’ve carried that momentum into halftime. I’ll be interested to see what you think Stuart. I think overall the defense played better than the score indicates; the offense and special teams lost this game. Looks like Mac got his first taste of what we really have and how far we still have to go. The lack of team speed really showed in this game.

    1. I definitely think the 4th down play was huge. Also lack of team speed was evident as you mention. But I don’t think the defense played better than the score indicates. I think the score indicates precisely where our defense stands. We got absolutely manhandled at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball (to me this is the key to the game-utter domination in the trenches on both sides). The only reason it was close in the first half was because of a couple of opportune turnovers and some huge drops by the O State receivers. They could have run the fly sweep all game long on every play and eaten us up. That being said, every game a new player shows a ton of potential in the years to come, which provides some positive takeaways. First its #44, today it was the freshman running back. The new Mac has made us competitive schematically, now we need a year or two of depth provided by solid recruiting. Also, on the bright side, I don’t think Wood played as bad as it appears. He is certainly not a ‘game changing’talent, but given decent protection (which he didn’t have today) he can be a solid QB. Having P Rich doesn’t hurt either.

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