Huskies burst Beaver bubble with second-half onslaught
CORVALLIS — For Oregon State, the first half Saturday against Washington at Reser Stadium was encouraging, even invigorating.
The second half? Deflating.
Jake Browning threw for 293 yards and three touchdowns — all to Dante Pettis — as sixth-ranked Washington (5-0 overall, 2-0 in Pac-12 play) scored 35 points after intermission en route to a 42-7 win over the Beavers.
Defense kept Oregon State in it for a half, the Huskies taking only a 7-0 lead into the break.
Then the floodgates opened, and the Beavers (1-4, 0-2) were ill-equipped to handle the monsoon.
"We got some things going in the second half," Washington coach Chris Petersen said. "That's how it goes sometimes."
Oregon State had little going on the offensive side of the ball, but the defense rose to the occasion early.
"We had a good first half on defense," Oregon State coach Gary Andersen said. "We threw a lot at them. We had some changeups. We used everything we could possibly throw at them. The kids executed pretty well, and we were able to make some plays.
"In the second half, when we got in position to do that, we weren't able to make those plays."
The Huskies took the ball to start the third quarter and, benefitting from a pair of pass-interference calls, moved quickly into Oregon State territory.
On fourth-and-10 from the OSU 25, Petersen eschewed a field-goal try — kicker Tristan Vizcaino had missed a 42-yard attempt in the first half. Browning noticed OSU's defense loaded up for a blitz on one side, audibled to a run in the other direction, and Lavon Coleman scampered 20 yards to the 5.
"There was literally nobody (on defense) over there (on the right side)," UW's junior quarterback said.
On the next play, Browning found Pettis in the end zone for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead.
After an Oregon State three-and-out and a punt, Washington took only six plays to score again. On third-and-14 from the OSU 34, Pettis snared a pass from Browning and found the end zone to make it 21-0 with 8:51 left in the third quarter.
On its next possession, Oregon State moved into Washington territory, but Artavis Pierce fumbled after a reception and the Huskies recovered on their 45. On the second play of the series, Browning's pass was tipped and intercepted by OSU's David Morris, who returned it to the OSU 30. But the Beavers couldn't move and punted, and when Myles Gaskin got loose for 32 yards and a score, the game was out of hand.
"Coming out (the way the Beavers did in) the third quarter absolutely killed us on the defensive side of the ball," Andersen said. "We had some unfortunate penalties. (The Huskies) took over in the run game and got some throws down the field."
The Beavers have been within striking distance at halftime in each of their losses, but have been outscored 147-49 in the second half and 79-21 in the third quarter.
"That's an absolute,100-percent trend," Andersen conceded. "It's difficult to deal with."
So was Oregon State's ineffectiveness on offense.
The Beavers managed eight first downs, 74 yards passing and 184 yards total offense. And 74 of the yards were gained on their one scoring drive late in the game with Washington safely ahead 42-0.
"Didn't get a first down in the second half until (the Huskies) went to their backups," Andersen said. "You pretty much got no chance when that happens."
With quarterback Jake Luton out with a thoracic spinal fracture, Oregon State streamlined its offensive plan under Darell Garretson, opting for ball control and few vertical passes.
But tailback Ryan Nall found little running room, rushing nine times for 18 yards. Garretson completed 11 of 22 passes for only 74 yards, but had several on-target balls dropped by receivers.
"We were dysfunctional," Andersen said. "That's a really good defense, but you have to be able to get some first downs and put some points on the board. We could not run the ball at all."
Washington entered the game ranked 10th nationally in scoring defense (11.8 points per game and 17th in total defense (274.0 yards per game) and improved on both. The Huskies' front seven, in particular, is outstanding.
"They're as good as you'll face in college football," Andersen said. "They allowed no creases in the run game. It was a dominant performance by a very talented defense. I don't care if you have Larry Csonka in there tonight. I don't think he'd find any creases, either.
"We tried to get some zone read things going to the edges, but whatever we tried to do, they did a nice job of not making it work."
Said OSU center Sumner Houston: "That's probably the best defensive line we'll face this whole season. They did their job, and we just didn't do ours."
Washington ended up with 32 first downs and 509 yards total offense. The Huskies had a big advantage in first downs (14-3) and total yardage (194-65) but still led by only seven at intermission. Oregon State's defense covered well and put plenty of pressure on Browning, sacking him three times — 1 1/2 by linebacker Manase Hungalu.
OSU had only 29 yards rushing in the first half — 22 on one play by Pierce. Garretson completed 6 of 11 passes for 36 yards. The Beavers' best weapon was Nick Porebski, whose first two punts covered 57 and 58 yards and put the Huskies in poor field position.
The only touchdown of the half came in a 10-play, 98-yard drive on Washington's first possession. On third-and-seven from the OSU 11, Browning scrambled left and scored for a 7-0 advantage with 7:10 left in the first quarter.
Late in the second quarter, Washington took it from its 5-yard line to the Oregon State 17. But Hungalu sacked Browning on third down, and Vizcaino's 42-yard field-goal attempt bounced off the left upright.
"The first half, it felt like we made huge progress from the first few games," said Hungalu, who finished with a game-high 11 tackles. "We handled situations, whether it was the run or pass."
The second half, the bottom fell out, in part because the OSU offense could get nothing going.
"We just need to make sure everybody keeps their heads up and stays after it, no matter what happens with the offense," OSU linebacker Jonathan Willis said.
Garretson was asked to assess where the Beavers are as a team at this point in the season.
"We're playing hard," the senior QB said. "We're playing really hard. We have guys always in the (video) room, playing hard in practice, playing hard in the games.
"It's not like guys are easing up. We're fighting to the very last second. That's all we can ask for. We just have to keep executing, keep getting after it."
NOTES — Oregon State tight end Noah Togiai (ankle) did not play. Neither did receiver Isaiah Hodgins, though Andersen said he didn't know why in the post-game media session. "You'd have to ask (offensive coordinator) Kevin McGiven and our passing game coordinator, coach (Jason) Phillips," Andersen said. "I have no idea. I'm trying to do what I do. I can't function and handle every kid who goes in and out. To my knowledge, (Hodgins) was available. I didn't see him on the injury report." … Nall (ankle), Pierce (head), receiver Trevon Bradford (knee) and defensive end Paisa Savea (knee) all left the game and did not return, although initial reports were the injuries weren't serious. … Nall caught five passes for 44 yards. OSU wideouts totaled two receptions — Jordan Villamin and Trevon Bradford each had one for five yards. … After missing the previous two games with hamstring and hip injuries, Thomas Tyner saw extended duty, rushing nine times for 54 yards and scoring his first touchdown as a Beaver from 12 yards out. "It's good to get Thomas in a position to be healthy," Andersen said. "He was excited about having an opportunity."
OSU true freshman cornerback Isaiah Dunn saw his first action, making five solo tackles. He was also burned on a 34-yard reception by Pettis — who caught a career-high 12 passes for 105 yards — in the third quarter. Pettis came in with punt returns for touchdowns in three of the Huskies' four games, returned none Saturday as Porebski did a nice job punting the ball away from him. Porebski averaged 43.8 yards on eight punts and put three of them inside the 20. … Gaskin rushed for 92 of his 113 yards in the second half. … Browning's father, Ed, played quarterback at Oregon State for Dave Kragthorpe (1987, 1990) and Jerry Pettibone (1991). In 14 games, Browning completed 44 of 113 passes (38.8 percent) for four touchdowns with five interceptions.
Washington 7 0 21 14 — 42
Oregon State 0 0 0 7 — 7
UW — Jake Browning 11 run (Tristan Viscaino kick), 7:51
UW — Dante Pettis 5 pass from Browning (Van Soderberg kick), 12:43
UW — Pettis 34 pass from Browning (Soderberg kick), 8:51
UW — Myles Gaskin 32 run (Soderberg kick), 2:33
UW — Pettis 15 pass from Browning (Soderberg kick), 13:59
UW — Sean McGrew 4 run (Soderbergh kick), 8:53
OSU — Thomas Tyner 12 run (Jordan Choukair kick), 3:23
Att. — 37,821