It was a very long three minutes for Beavers

CORVALLIS — Within a span of less than three minutes, the Oregon State football team saw its 14-12 lead turn into a 33-14 deficit. OSU went onto lose 40-14 to UCLA on Saturday at Reser Stadium and fall to 2-3 on the season.

"We disintegrated," said OSU coach Mike Riley. "It feels somewhat like last week. It was a good football game, and then we made a series of blunders and mistakes."

Riley was referring to OSU's 44-32 loss to Arizona State in Tempe. The Beavers jumped out to a 19-0 lead before watching ASU storm back. This time around, OSU led 14-0 after the opening period.

All it took, though, was one play for the Bruins to get rolling. UCLA wide receiver Brand Breazell caught a screen pass from quarterback Ben Olson and raced 69 yards for the go-ahead score to put the Bruins up 19-14.

"We had a guy there to make the play (on the screen pass), but the tackle got broken," Riley said.

That player was middle linebacker Alan Darlin, who actually made a second attempt to take down Breazell while he was on the ground, but the wideout eluded that tackle attempt as well.

"We just had a couple of tough breaks," said senior outside linebacker Joey LaRocque. "It's football, things happen, you just have to rebound from it, and I am sure we will."


ADD TWO MORE: Sophomore quarterback Sean Canfield continued his erratic play this season. While he completed 22 of 35 passes, he threw for only 146 yards. And Canfield, who entered the game as the nation's leading thrower of interceptions, had two more picked off, breaking his season total to 11.

One came in the red zone in the first quarter, denying the Beavers a chance to build their lead.

"We can't do that," Canfield said. "We can't turn over the ball like that. That one was on me, but turnovers are killing us."

Canfield also fumbled twice and lost one of them, which led to UCLA's first touchdown in the third quarter and cut the Beavers' lead to 14-12.


PUNTING WOES FOR SERNA: Not only did kicker Alexis Serna miss his lone field goal attempt of the day, a 45-yarder, but he had a miserable day punting the ball too.

The senior punted seven times, averaging just 28.9 yards. Many of his punts were wobbly or shanked. He also had a punt blocked late in the fourth quarter and was hit hard by the opposing player in the process. Serna's inconsistency may force Riley to look for options.

"As he stepped and up and volunteered to punt for this team, he was our one-for-sure best option to do that," Riley said. "But I am concerned for him because he's practiced for a long time as an elite player, so I will explore other options."

As for Serna's best punt of the day, it was negated. In the fourth quarter, with the Beavers leading 14-12, he launched a 51-yard punt that went out of bounds inside the 20. Unfortunately, Gerard Lawson tackled the returner out of bounds and was flagged. That was a major turning point, said Riley.

"That's a pretty good description of how the night went for us," Riley said. "We finally get a good punt, good field position and I think we still had the lead at the time, and we get a 15-yard penalty."


THREE TOO MANY: Things went downhill even more for Lawson after his personal foul. He fumbled on three straight kickoffs, losing two of them. That gave the Bruins a short field to work with and allowed them to pad their lead.

It was a surprising turn of events for a player who has been hailed as one of the best special teams players in the country because of his game-breaking ability on returns and his big hits in coverage.

"Wasn't that amazing," Riley said. "I know a lot of his teammates have put their arms around him. He's one of our very best, committed players. He works so hard. It was just a tough series of events for him."


SUDDEN IMPACT: Junior free safety Greg Laybourn stepped in nicely when starter Daniel Drayton left the game in the second quarter with a strained groin. The former walk-on finished with a team-high 15 tackles, including eight solo.

Share This Story