Bruins keep Beavers winless

CORVALLIS — UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel will take any win, even if it's less than perfect.

"Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder," said the Bruins embattled coach after a 27-19 victory on the road against Oregon State on Saturday.

Bruin quarterback Richard Brehaut completed just seven of 11 passes, but one of those was for a score. He ran for another touchdown in the gritty victory that was marked by some missed opportunities on both sides.

Derrick Coleman ran for 100 yards and the Bruins collected 211 yards on the ground — while holding Oregon State to just 88.

After the Bruins scored to make it 27-19 with 6:15 to go, the Beavers drove down field a final time but were stopped at the UCLA 22-yard line when they tried to go for it on fourth-and-eight.

The win in the conference opener gives the Bruins (2-2, 1-0 Pac-12) a little bit of breathing room going into next Saturday's game at Stanford.

The loss spoiled redshirt freshman Sean Mannion's debut as starter for the Beavers, who fall to 0-3 for the first time since 1996. Mannion completed 24 of 40 passes for 287 yards and a touchdown, but he was also intercepted and had a costly fumble for a UCLA score.

The Bruins vacillated between quarterbacks in their first three games, but Neuheisel settled on Brehaut as the starter for game after Kevin Prince threw three interceptions in the 49-20 loss to the then-No. 23 Longhorns last week. After the loss, the pressure mounted on the Bruins — and particularly Neuheisel — to turn the season around.

The Beavers have had their own trouble, with a stunning overtime loss at home to Sacramento State in the opener before a 35-0 blanking by Wisconsin. During last week's bye, coach Mike Riley decided to make a change at quarterback, replacing junior Ryan Katz with Mannion.

While "bitterly disappointed" with the loss, the always optimistic Riley was looking for the positives.

"There was a ton of good football," he said. "We just gave them some opportunities that turned out to be the difference in the game."

One boost for Oregon State was the return of flanker James Rodgers and tight end Joe Halahuni, who had not played this season because of injuries.

Rodgers, who has had two surgeries on his left knee, was formally cleared to play by doctors earlier this week. He was greeted by a standing ovation when he started, and had a 31-yard reception on the Beavers' first series.

Oregon State went up 3-0 on Trevor Romaine's 25-yard field goal, but Brehaut answered for UCLA with a 69-yard pass to Josh Smith that put the Bruins in position for his 22-yard touchdown pass to Taylor Embree.

Brehaut ran five yards for another score to put UCLA up 14-3.

Mannion's fumble on the Beavers' 4-yard line led to Jordan James' touchdown run for UCLA. But Oregon State narrowed it to 21-10 before the half on Jordan Poyer's 85-yard punt return. It was the second-longest such return In Oregon State history. Dwayne Owens had a 97-yard punt return for OSU against UCLA in 1992.

"I'm disappointed in myself and the end of the first half, allowing a chance for the great punt return by Oregon State. We should have been kicking the ball out of bounds," Neuheisel said. " That's on me. I take responsibility for that."

UCLA starting running back Jonathan Franklin hurt his hip in the first half and while he was not ruled out, he did not return in the second.

Romaine opened the second half with a 30-yard field goal for the Beavers, and the momentum looked to shift in Oregon State's favor after Andrew Seumalo blocked a UCLA field goal attempt.

Mannion's 45-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Bishop pulled Oregon State within 21-19, but the two-point conversion pass was intercepted.

The Bruins got more breathing room on Anthony Barr's 1-yard scoring dive for the final margin with 6:15 left. Seumalo blocked the extra point, but then the Beavers were unable to narrow it their final drive.

Rodgers was ranked sixth in the nation with an average of 176.75 all-purpose yards last season when he was hurt five games into the season at Arizona. The Beavers asked for and received a fifth year of eligibility for him.

He played sparingly, finishing with five catches for 76 yards.

Halahuni, who had six touchdown catches last season, had surgery this spring on his left shoulder. He had five receptions for 26 yards.

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