Run 'D' dooms Beavers

SALT LAKE CITY — If one wants to figure out how Oregon State loses football games, a look at the rushing statistics for the opposition is all he or she needs to do.

In a season of inconsistency for the Beavers, OSU's losses have all had one thing in common: 200-yard rushing games by the other team.

In Saturday night's 27-8 loss to Utah before 45,017 at Rice-Eccles Stadium, the Utes pounded Oregon State for 225 yards on the ground.

Most of those, 205 of them to be exact, belonged to John White, a junior running back with the burst and the quickness needed to punish the Beavers at the seams.

It's the fourth time this season that OSU has surrendered 200 or more yards on the ground to an opponent. Oregon State has lost all four games.

"We thought we could be successful running the ball," Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said. "We just did a nice job with the blocking schemes. The coaching staff did a nice job with the running game this week. I'm surprised Oregon State didn't load the box. They stayed in base stuff they've been playing in all season."

Whittingham has a point. The one thing Utah can't do is throw the football, especially with starting quarterback Jordan Wynn done for the season. His backup, Jon Hays, has been a non-threat through the air, and a week ago California loaded the box with eight players and the Utes offense found itself struggling to do anything.

Conversely, OSU ran for just 32 yards on 26 attempts, which led to Sean Mannion attempting 49 passes, which led to three interceptions, which led to Utah finding itself with a short field to work with much of the first half. As a result, the Utes were up 24-0 at intermission and the game was all but over at that point.

"I knew it was going to be hard to run the football," Beavers head coach Mike Riley said. "I saw other teams having a hard time against the defensive front. I made the statement that this might be the best defense we've played against so far. They're very, very physical."


MAX PROTECT?: Mannion had a rough day against the Utes. Seemingly every time he dropped back to pass, he found himself under siege from Utah's front four, who pressured and harassed him, sacking him six times. Mannion had precious little time to deliver the football down the field, and the offense stalled for much of the night.

"I think individually they are a good pressure team," Riley said.

"They were very good one-on-one tonight. They can make plays and they were able to cut loose with the blitzes when they had the lead late in the second half. That put us on our heels. They really outplayed us and we turned it over way too much"


ODDS AND ENDS: Markus Wheaton caught his first touchdown pass of the season and the eighth of his career in the fourth quarter... Mannion has thrown at least one touchdown in six consecutive games... Andrew Seumalo recovered his first career fumble in the fourth quarter... James Rodgers became the third player in Oregon State history to record 200 career catches... Johnny Hekker set the Oregon State single-game punting record by averaging 52.5 yards per punt. He totaled 315 yards on six attempts.

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