Sept. 30, 2012
TUCSON, Ariz. - Sean Mannion passed for a career-high 433 yards and three touchdowns, including a game-winning 9-yard touchdown strike to Connor Hamlett with 1:09 left in the game and No. 18 Oregon State (3-0, 2-0 Pac-12) held off a furious second-half rally from Arizona (3-2, 0-2 Pac-12) to win 38-35, Saturday night inside Arizona Stadium.
Arizona scored the go-ahead touchdown with 5:34 left in the game, but it gave the high-powered Oregon State offense plenty of time to put a drive together. The touchdown pass to Hamlett capped off an impressive 10-play 75-yard drive, which also burned 4:25 off the clock.
The Wildcats had 1:09 with two timeouts left to put a drive together, but Matt Scott's pass was intercepted by Rashaad Reynolds to seal the victory for the Beavers.
"We just tried to play better in the second half and we did that, offensively," head coach Rich Rodriguez said. "We just didn't execute well enough to make it happen. I was proud of our guys -- we showed heart and fight. We had backups in there and they played hard."
The Beavers put up 613 yards of total offense as the two teams combined for 1,158 yards. Running back Storm Woods rushed for a game-high 161 yards on 29 carries with a touchdown for OSU. Meanwhile, Markus Wheaton had 10 catches for 166 yards and two touchdowns.
After a bit of a slow start, Arizona still managed to put up 545 yards of total offense. Scott threw for a career-high 403 yards on 31-of-53 passing with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
Ka'Deem Carey had another strong rushing night for the Cats as he toted the ball 17 times for 115 yards with two touchdowns. Dan Buckner had six catches for 119 yards and a touchdown, while Austin Hill had eight grabs for 74 yards with two touchdowns.
After both teams had two empty possessions apiece to open the game, it looked as if Oregon State was going to come up empty on its third trip down the field on a missed field goal. However, a roughing the kicker call against Arizona gave the Beavers a fresh set of downs. OSU needed just three plays after the penalty to cash in on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Mannion to Wheaton.
Following a field goal on their next possession, the Beavers got the ball back after an Arizona missed field goal. OSU capped off a seven-play 77-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run by Tyler Anderson, giving the Beavers a 17-0 lead.
The Wildcats finally got on the scoreboard with 3:29 left in the first half when Carey punched in a one-yard touchdown run to cap off a nine-play 85-yard drive that pulled the Cats within 10 at 17-7. The Beavers drove down the field on their next possession, but missed a 35-yard field goal with 10 seconds left to keep the score at 17-7 at the half.
Arizona started to click offensively early in the second half by scoring on its opening possession. The Cats put together a beautiful 10-play 91-yard drive, which was capped off by a 3-yard touchdown pass from Scott to Hill to make the score 17-14.
After forcing an Oregon State three-and-out, the Wildcats cashed in on their next possession thanks to a 24-yard touchdown run by Carey, giving the Cats their first lead of the night at 21-17.
Oregon State regained the lead just four minutes later by capping off a seven-play 50-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run by Storm Woods.
The Wildcats answered with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Scott to Buckner right at the end of the third quarter to pull back in front, 28-24.
Once again, Oregon State put together a long scoring drive that was concluded by a 20-yard pass from Mannion to Wheaton with 8:35 left to put the Beavers back in front 31-28.
Just three minutes later, the Wildcats put together a beautiful scoring drive of their own as Scott found Hill for a 7-yard touchdown pass to cap a 10-play 75-yard drive.
The game-winning final drive by Oregon State was its long scoring drive of the night, which left the Wildcats just over a minute to try and tie or take the lead.
Oregon State won the time of possession battle as the Beavers had the ball more than 13 minutes more than Arizona.
The Wildcats travel to Palo Alto, Calif. next Saturday for a 12:00 p.m. kickoff against No. 8 Stanford. The game will air live on FOX.
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