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at Oregon State 37 … Arizona 27

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Oct 8, 2011


Week 6 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - Arizona at Oregon State


2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 6 - Arizona at Oregon State

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Oct. 8 at Oregon State 37 … Arizona 27
CFN Analysis: Finally, Oregon State’s offense looked like it’s supposed to with Sean Mannion throwing for 267 yards and two scores, completing 32-of-41 passes, and Jovan Stevenson and the running game came up with a decent day to provide a little balance. There were two picks, but the defense made up for it with four takeaways against the mistake-prone Wildcats led by a huge day from Jordan Boyer who made eight tackles with four broken up passes. There are still a slew of problems, and the pass rush isn’t getting the job done, but finally the team has a W with winnable games against BYU, Washington State, and Utah up next. The Beavers won’t win all three games, but the season could turn around off of this.

This is what it looks like when the wheels come flying off. Nick Foles and the passing game, as always, rolled, but the defense continues to be a disaster with too many missed tackles and little production in the secondary, and the running game is non-existent. The big problem was turnovers; the Cats aren’t good enough to overcome four giveaways. Despite the 378 yards, Foles wasn’t sharp missing on way too many third down chances and giving up two picks. This loss cements Arizona as the worst team in the Pac-12 at the moment, but that all can change quickly with UCLA and Utah at home and a trip to Colorado coming up soon. There’s still time to turn this around, but the defense has to find a pass rush and the stops have to come.

(AP) CORVALLIS, Ore. -- -- Sean Mannion threw for 267 yards and two touchdowns and Oregon State defeated the mistake-prone Arizona Wildcats 37-27 on Saturday for the Beavers' first victory of the season.

Quarterback Nick Foles was intercepted twice and the Wildcats (1-5, 0-3 Pac-12) lost two fumbles in their fifth straight loss overall and eighth straight conference loss.

Oregon State (1-4, 1-2) led 27-6 at halftime and nearly squandered it but held on to snap a six-game losing streak dating to last season.

With only a narrow 30-27 lead and 5:22 left, Oregon State went for it on fourth-and-2 -- succeeding when Mannion hit diving tight end Joe Halahuni for the touchdown.

The Beavers made a crucial stand on the other end when the Wildcats also took a chance on fourth down with two yards to go, and Dan Buckner couldn't catch Foles' pass in the end zone. Foles completed 31 of 45 passes for 378 yards and a touchdown to Buckner, who caught eight passes for 144 yards.

Mannion, a redshirt freshman who didn't become the Beavers' official starter until the third game of the season, completed 32 of 41 passes.

The Wildcats were hurt early after starting wide receiver Juron Criner left with what appeared to be a right knee injury. Criner, ranked second in career touchdown catches for the Wildcats, has three this season.

The Beavers went up on Jovan Stevenson's 1-yard touchdown run, then extended it in the second quarter when Clayton York blocked an Arizona punt and ran the ball back for a score.

Arizona answered with Foles' 28-yard TD pass to Buckner, but Alex Zendejas' extra-point attempt was wide left to make it 14-6.

The Beavers pulled off a fake punt to keep alive a drive that ended with Trevor Romaine's 37-yard field goal. On Arizona's ensuing drive, Foles' arm was hit and he was intercepted by Michael Doctor and the Beavers capitalized with Mannion's 3-yard scoring pass to Halahuni.

The Wildcats had one more chance in the first half, but fumbled and gave the ball back to the Beavers, who got a 40-yard field goal from Romaine.

Arizona running back Daniel Jenkins fumbled on Arizona's first drive of the second half and Beavers safety Lance Mitchell recovered, before the Beavers went up 30-6 on Romaine's 20-yard field goal.

The Wildcats had a scary moment midway through the third quarter when Foles was hit hard and stayed prone on the field for several moments while trainers attended to him. After he made his way to the sidelines, Keola Antolin ran 13 yards for a score. Foles came back and completed the two-point conversion pass to David Douglas.

The Wildcats' rally continued when Mannion was intercepted by Shaquille Richardson, who ran it back 20 yards for a touchdown. This time the two-point try failed, but Arizona was back in it at 30-20.

Oregon State missed a chance to extend its lead when James Rodgers' catch in the end zone was called back by a penalty and Romaine's 42-yard field goal attempt at the end of the third quarter went wide left.

Arizona pulled to within 30-27 early in the fourth quarter on Ka'Deem Carey's 1-yards scoring run.

The Wildcats have struggled this season with a brutal schedule, with losses to top-10 teams Oklahoma State, Stanford and Oregon, as well as their 48-41 loss last weekend at USC.

The Beavers were off to their worst start since 1996. After a season-opening overtime loss to lower-division Sacramento State, Oregon State dropped games to Wisconsin, UCLA and Arizona State.

Last season, Foles threw for 440 yards and three touchdowns against the Beavers, but Oregon State pulled out a 29-27 upset over the then-No. 9 Wildcats. Rodgers went down with a knee injury in that game that would require two surgeries and keep him out until the Beavers' third game this season.

The Beavers without true freshman Malcolm Agnew, who rushed for 223 yards in the opener, because of a hamstring injury that has forced him to miss the past five games.

Arizona (1-4) at Oregon State (0-4) Oct. 8, 3:30, FCS

Here’s The Deal … When the Pac-12’s two worst teams meet in Corvallis Saturday afternoon, someone will get a temporary reprieve from its miserable season. And someone else is going to sink further into the abyss of a campaign gone horribly wrong. More than a month into 2011, Arizona and Oregon State have combined for one win, an opening day rout of Northern Arizona. The Wildcats have now dropped nine straight games to FBS opponents dating back to last November, creating a sense of desperation among the players and head coach Mike Stoops.

The Beavers have been nearly as big of a disappointment thus far, performing as if it’s the early 1990s all over again. They couldn’t even manage their lone FBS game on the schedule, losing to Sacramento State in the opener. Oregon State has gotten back some of its troops in recent weeks, which the program hopes will spur a revival before it’s too late.

Why Arizona Might Win: The team has been losing, but it hasn’t been the fault of the offense. In fact, the Wildcats have scored 72 points in the last two games, spearheaded by the nation’s No. 3 passing attack. The chief beneficiary of the program’s defensive problems has been QB Nick Foles, who’s used the first half of the year as an audition for NFL scouts. He’s thrown for 14 touchdowns and nearly 2,000 yards, while spreading the ball around to receivers Juron Criner, Dan Buckner, David Douglas and David Roberts. The strong-armed senior will go right after a vulnerable Oregon State secondary that ranks 114th nationally in pass efficiency defense.

Why Oregon State Might Win: Short on defensive playmakers, Arizona’s big issue continues to be its inability to make stops. To be fair, the Wildcats have played a who’s who of future NFL quarterbacks over the last month, but allowing more than 500 yards and 37 points a game is still reason for concern. Plus, the ‘Cats have managed just one sack in the last four games, a lack of pressure that’ll give Beavers QB Sean Mannion the time he needs to survey the field. When he does, he’ll find an eclectic assortment of options, such as H-back Joe Halahuni and receivers James Rodgers and Markus Wheaton. Wheaton’s 32 catches put him on pace to set the school record for receptions.

What To Watch Out For: Can either team establish a semblance of a running game? While the Wildcats and Beavers have been heaving the ball at a stunning rate, it’s been more out of necessity than choice. Neither team ranks higher than 100th nationally on the ground. In defense of Oregon State, no one has been able to overcome the loss of rookie Malcolm Agnew, who’s been out with a hamstring injury since debuting with 223 yards and three scores in the opener. Arizona showed a little more life at USC a week ago, getting 87 yards rushing from Keola Antolin and three total touchdowns out of freshman Ka’Deem Carey.

What Will Happen: Oregon State is at home. Arizona has the far better quarterback. Go with the team that has the more polished hurler, especially since the Beavers have already lost to Sacramento State and UCLA in Reser Stadium. Playing with slightly more desperation, the Wildcats will once again place their fate on the shoulders of the passing game. Foles will respond with a couple of scoring strikes and his fifth 300-yard game of the year to help snap the nasty losing streak.

CFN Prediction: Arizona 34 … Oregon State 24
- Click For Latest Line From ATS: Arizona -1   O/U: 58.5

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