OSU defensive tackle Paea continues to impress

STANFORD, Calif. — Oregon State senior defensive tackle Stephen Paea became just the fifth player to sack Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck this season, and the first to force him to fumble.

Luck never saw, or felt, the massive 6-foot-1, 311-pounder coming from his blind side and the Cardinal lost 15 yards on the play, although they kept the football when receiver Ryan Whalen was able to fall on the loose ball.

Paea has been impressing schools all season, despite playing through a sore knee. He recorded his ninth career forced fumble, an Oregon State record.

"I'm just glad he feels better," head coach Mike Riley said after the Beavers dropped a 38-0 Pac-10 decision to host Stanford Saturday night. "He did nothing but raise his (NFL) stock."

Paea, who received a cortisone shot to help ease the swelling and pain in his knee, is not about to miss any part of his senior season. He also wants to give pro scouts something to remember when the Beavers host Oregon next Saturday.

"I had a cortisone shot and I figured we have two more games left," he said. "I want to let it all out and help my team win. It will be the biggest game in my career. It's the Civil War, against the No. 1 team. It's my bowl game to showcase what I can do."

All he did against Stanford was lead the team with eight tackles, including two for a loss. He's recorded at least one tackle for a loss in 12 of the last 17 games.

Paea played in front of a crowd that included at least 40 of his family and friends. He lived in nearby Los Altos for a few years before moving to Utah, and his younger brother, Pora, plays for Foothill Junior College, a mere three exits south of Stanford on I-280.

"I only had 30 tickets so some of them had to buy their own," Paea said smiling. "I couldn't get enough."


KATZ TAKES A STAND: Oregon State quarterback Ryan Katz figured enough was enough. Stanford was ahead 31-0 late in the third quarter when Katz took exception to Stanford's Taylor Skaufel laying atop running back Jacquizz Rodgers after a play went for no gain.

Katz rushed to the scene and tried to get the Cardinal safety off his teammate, taking a personal foul as a result. In the ensuing scuffle, Stanford's Michael Thomas was also whistled for a personal foul.

"Some guy was on top of Quizz and the whistle had blown," said Katz. "I'm not going to stand for stuff like that anymore. We can't let it happen."

Katz, who left the game momentarily after having the wind knocked out of him, challenged his team for next week's game against Oregon.

"We have to make a choice," he said. "It can be our last game or we can come out and play, and beat, a team I know we can beat. We have to gather ourselves."

Katz attended Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh's summer camp before committing to Oregon State, though he didn't feel much like talking about it.

Harbaugh said Katz was a guy "I watched and recruited. I saw him throwing the ball and got this feeling I should pursue him. I wish I had followed my first instincts. I've seen him quickly grow into a starting quarterback."


BOWL GAME HOPES FADING: The Beavers need a win over top-ranked and undefeated Oregon to become bowl eligible. They won't be favored in the Civil War, even though they are playing at home and Game Day will be coming to Corvallis.

"I don't think in terms of bowl eligibility," Riley said. "I think that's fairly evident. I'm just thinking about the game. There's a chance for us to do something very good when our season has been so up and down."

Oregon State owns victories over then No. 9 Arizona and No. 20 USC, but has also lost to three nationally ranked opponents.

"We have to come back ready to play," Paea said. "Oregon has a very good team and we have to show up and play like we did against USC."

OVERTIME: Owen Marecic, who starts at fullback and linebacker, is the only player on Stanford's roster from the state of Oregon. The senior starred at Jesuit High in Portland, where he was teammates with Oregon State starting right tackle Mike Remmers and reserve linebacker Leo Camat ... Senior tight end John Reese recorded a career-high four receptions (43 yards) and made a catch for the first time since the 2008 Sun Bowl ... Katz's streak of touchdown passes ended at 11 games ... Fullback Will Darkins left the game with an injury. Riley said he had no details but that it looked bad. Running back Joe Halahuni also left the game with soreness in his neck ... Freshman Rashaad Reynolds returned a kickoff (24 yards) in the third quarter, the first of his career.

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