2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 7 - BYU at Oregon State
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Oct. 15 BYU 38 … at Oregon State 28
CFN Analysis: Riley Nelson continues to be a savior for the season with his legs as well as his arm, running for 87 yards while throwing for 217 yards and three touchdowns in an effective day. As good as Nelson was for the offense, Brandon Ogletree was better for the defense with two forced fumbles, a pick, 1.5 sacks, and six tackles as the Cougars forced four key turnovers. The pass defense had a few problems and the pass rush still isn’t anything special, but on a four game winning streak with Idaho State up next, the disastrous season has done a quick turnaround because there’s finally an offense. Nelson has everything to do with that.
Oregon State has to stop making so many mistakes. Sean Mannion threw well, but he gave up two picks and he was good enough in the fourth quarter to keep up the pace. It didn’t help that the running game continues to be non-existent, gaining just 59 yards and two touchdowns with Malcolm Agnew not able to find much room taking off for 49 yards on ten carries. James Rodgers is trying to get back to form, but he only caught four passes for 47 yards while Markus Wheaton did the most work with eight grabs for 104 yards. Rashaad Reynolds made 14 tackles and Anthony Watkins got in on 11 stops, but the D couldn’t get off the field when Riley Nelson and the BYU offense got rolling. The Beavers go on the road for three of the next four games with the lone home game against Stanford.
(AP) CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Riley Nelson threw for 217 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 87 yards to lead BYU over Oregon State 38-28 on Saturday.
Cody Hoffman had nine receptions for 162 yards and a TD for the Cougars (5-2).
Sean Mannion was 27 of 43 passing for 306 yards for Oregon State (1-5) but was intercepted twice, bringing his season total to nine.
BYU has won four straight. It is 3-0 since Nelson replaced Jake Heaps in the middle of a 27-24 win over Utah State on Sept. 30.
Michael Alisa rushed for 84 yards as the Cougars compiled 282 as a team. They averaged 116 yards on the ground in their first six games.
BYU was 6 for 6 in the red zone and maintained control of the game despite three turnovers.
The Cougars took a 14-0 lead on touchdown runs by Alisa and JJ Di Luigi. Oregon State tied the game after a 1-yard touchdown run by Mannion and Jordan Poyer's 51-yard interception return for a score.
The second half belonged to the Cougars, who rolled off 24 points as Nelson threw touchdown passes to Hoffman, JD Falslev and Kaneakua Friel.
Meanwhile, linebacker Brandon Ogletree wreaked havoc on the Oregon State offense, intercepting a pass and forcing two fumbles on three straight possessions.
Oregon State hoped to the return of tailback Malcolm Agnew would boost its struggling running game, but the team managed just 59 yards on the ground.
It was a victorious homecoming for Cougars head coach Bronco Mendenhall, who played for the Beavers in 1986-87 and served as defensive coordinator under then-Oregon State coach Jerry Pettibone in 1995-96.
Oregon State defensive tackle Castro Masaniai fractured his fibula in the first half.
BYU (4-2) at Oregon State (1-4) Oct. 15, 4:00
Here’s The Deal … Oregon State’s first win of 2011 wound up being the final straw for Arizona head coach Mike Stoops. The Beavers finally broke through against the Wildcats in Corvallis a week ago, 37-27, hastening the ouster of Stoops in Tucson. It’s the first small step for Mike Riley’s crew, which is still holding out hope that it can salvage something positive out of this fall. Riley has shown a penchant in the past for rallying the troops after slow starts.
BYU is set to hit the road for the first time in more than a month, winning three straight in Provo. While the Cougars have regrouped nicely from back-to-back losses to Texas and Utah, how much can really be gleaned from defeats of UCF, Utah State and San Jose State? A road trip into Pac-12 country will provide a much better window into this program’s upside potential in November and December.
Why BYU Might Win: Although big plays have come at a premium, the Cougars have gelled into a cohesive unit. Tough up the middle with NT Hebron Fangupo and linebackers Kyle Van Noy, Jordan Pendleton, Uona Kaveinga and Brandon Ogletree, BYU has limited four of six opponents to no more than 17 points.
Oregon State’s struggles on offense are going to continue versus this group. Young QB Sean Mannion continues to make poor decisions with his throws, and the nation’s 104th-ranked ground game has been besieged by injuries. Even in scoring 37 points a week ago, the Beavers needed help from the defense and special teams to reach that level of production.
Why Oregon State Might Win: Slowly but surely, the Beavers are locating solid footing on defense as well. In the last two games against the Pac-12’s Arizona schools, they created five turnovers, and have allowed just 161 combined yards on the ground. BYU has played to mixed reviews on offense, ranking 101st nationally in scoring.
Oregon State is getting a jolt from a pair of newcomers at defensive end, Glendale (Ariz.) Community College transfer Rusty Fernando and redshirt freshman Scott Crichton. Crichton has been a revelation in his first season of action, coming off the edge to collect three sacks and a Pac-12-high eight tackles for loss.
What To Watch Out For: A top priority for the Beavers defense on Saturday afternoon will be to contain the dual-threat ability of BYU QB Riley Nelson. The former Utah State transfer adds a different dimension to the Cougars offense, picking up first downs with his feet, by design and when the pocket breaks down. He’s rushed for at least 60 yards in each of the last two games, which will force Oregon State linebackers Feti Unga, Michael Doctor and Cameron Collins to prevent the lefty from breaking containment. When Nelson gets loose, he has the ability to do a neat impression of former BYU legend Steve Young.
What Will Happen: Take your pick. The book is still out on Oregon State after winning for the first time in 2011. And BYU has gotten fat at home versus questionable competition. The outcome could go either way, with turnovers playing an even bigger role than normal. The Cougars will thrive on the strength of their superior collection of veterans, grinding out drives on offense, and frustrating Mannion when the Beavers have the ball. Nelson, on the other hand, will be sharp, using his arm and his nifty feet to help lead his team to a hard-fought fourth win in-a-row.
CFN Prediction: BYU 24 … Oregon State 20
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Oregon State -1.5 O/U: 49
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