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Beavers take steps backward in 41-0 loss to UCLA
OFFENSE, ATTITUDE AMONG THE PROBLEMS FOR OSU, AS BRUINS DOMINATE AT RESER STADIUM
CORVALLIS -- It took only about a half of football Saturday at Reser Stadium to wipe away any good feelings about Oregon State's competitive loss at Utah last week.
UCLA's 24-point second-quarter blitz pinned the Beavers on their heels, and it didn't get much better from there.
The scoreboard at Reser Stadium read UCLA 41, Oregon State 0.
It was the first shutout loss for the Beavers in 61 games, since a 38-0 whitewash by Stanford in 2010. It was Oregon State's most one-sided defeat against the Bruins since a 49-0 pounding at Portland's Civic Stadium in 1986 during the Dave Kragthorpe era.
On Saturday, the Beavers (2-7 overall, 0-6 in Pac-12 play) reminded their fans of the worst of the bad ol' days under Craig Fertig, Joe Avezzano, Kragthorpe and Jerry Pettibone.
"I would not expect anybody to be happy with that performance out there today," first-year coach Gary Andersen tersely told the media. The Bruins "dominated the game, basically, and the score showed that."
UCLA coach Jim Mora was happy, of course, as his 22nd-ranked Bruins (7-2, 4-2) stayed alive in the South Division race. They amassed 33 first downs and 674 yards total offense -- extraordinary in that they had only three first downs and 64 yards through a scoreless first quarter.
To make matters worse for Oregon State, there appeared to be dissension on the ranks. At least one player, redshirt freshman receiver Datrin Guyton, was sent to the locker room by OSU coaches in the second half. If Guyton had the wrong attitude, he wasn't alone, judging by Andersen's post-game comments when asked what he told his players after the game.
"We have to sit back and understand the situations we're in," he said. "We definitely took some steps backward in a lot of different ways today that I talked to them about, but I don't think that's for this moment.
"We need to continue to work to grow up and handle some situations we have inside our football team that are nobody's business that's here right now. We'll see if guys want to continue to move forward or not."
Later, Andersen offered this:
"It's a struggle right now for everybody. It's a struggle for every kid in that locker room. It's a struggle for every fan. It's a struggle for every coach. I understand all those struggles.
"It's easy to jump off the ship. I'm not jumping off the ship, but I will never change from demanding (players) learn how to be disciplined and how to carry themselves in a professional manner, because that's how football games are won. We have got a way to go with some people on our team in that situation. We'll just keep trying to fix it."
UCLA's prize true freshman quarterback, Josh Rosen, completed 22 of 33 passes for 333 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Just as important, he was sacked only once. Rosen sidestepped pressure when it was there, but generally was well-protected.
"Their offensive line locked us down," Andersen said. "I know he's a freshman, but he's an experienced quarterback. The pressure on the quarterback today was poor."
UCLA's Thomas Duarte caught six of Rosen's aerials for 116 yards and a pair of scores. Sos Jamabo (nine carries, 90 yards) and Paul Perkins (23 carries, 89 yards) helped the Bruins pick up 284 yards on the ground.
Oregon State, meanwhile, managed 12 first downs and 246 yards total offense. That's not to mention the goose egg on the scoreboard.
"You have to score points," Andersen said. "We might be the lowest-scoring team in the country now. If we're not, we're probably pretty close."
The Beavers entered the game 116th among the 127 FBS teams in scoring offense at 19.4 points per game. They'll slip further down the list, of course, after Saturday's performance.
"On offense, we had basically nothing going," Andersen said. "We can't sit back and say one thing about our quarterback or about any position group. Offensively, we were ineffective at best."
Oregon State did enough offensively to move into UCLA territory six times. To do that and come away with no points seems almost hard to do.
"It sucks," OSU senior center Josh Mitchell said. "We got whupped out there. Offensively, you can't get shut out.
"We did some good things; we did some bad things. Too much high and low. It starts with the run game. You rush for five yards and then get a zero, you're not helping yourself out. We have to get ourselves ahead of the chains more."
Actually, the run game was probably the highlight of Oregon State's day -- that and Nick Porebski, who punted seven times for a 42.1-yard average, including boots of 66 and 59 yards. Storm Barrs-Woods rushed 14 for 87 yards, and Ryan Nall picked up 35 yards on eight carries despite sitting out the second half with concussion-like symptoms.
But starting quarterback Nick Mitchell got nothing done through the air, completing 9 of 19 passes for 84 yards. Mitchell had four turnovers -- three interceptions and a fumble. Three of those turnovers led to 17 first-half points by the Bruins.
Oregon State's defense played well in the first quarter. But once the flood gates opened in the second quarter, the water came rushing through like a blast from a fire hose.
"I think we competed," Andersen said. "We got into some spots, though. We got down to having two (backup) corners in there. That's a factor at times, but nobody cares about any of that stuff. Did we play well? Absolutely not."
Oregon State trailed 10-0 midway through the second quarter when Porebski's 66-yard punt pinned UCLA on its 4. With the partisans howling support and the Bruins facing second-and-16 at their 14, Rosen was nearly sacked but dropped a pass off to fullback Nate Iese for a 10-yard gain. On the next play, Rosen launched a perfect bomb to Duarte for 63 yards. Soon it was 17-0 UCLA.
"The crowd was unbelievable in that setting right there," Andersen lamented. "That was as good an environment as I've been around in college football. It was loud, it was energetic, it was juiced, it was awesome.
"And we couldn't respond. That's tough. You let (Rosen) run around, scramble a couple of times he makes a play we get a deep one thrown over our heads. That's a problem. That was a big turning point. Very disappointing."
It was a defensive struggle through a scoreless first quarter. Oregon State moved inside the UCLA 40-yard line on its first three possessions but came away with nary a point.
On OSU's third drive, Mitchell fumbled and UCLA recovered at its 34. The Bruins then moved to the OSU 20, settling for a 38-yard Ka'imi Fairbairn field goal and a 3-0 lead with 11:31 left in the second quarter.
Randall Goforth then intercepted Mitchell's pass and returned it six yards to the Oregon State 42. The Bruins took seven plays to find paydirt, Rosen connecting with Duarte for the final eight yards and a 10-0 lead with 8:58 remaining before halftime.
UCLA tacked on another score, covering 96 yards in eight plays after Porebski's 66-yard punt. And the Bruins weren't done. Mitchell's third-down pass was intercepted at the Bruins' 42. Again, Rosen avoided a rush and hit Duarte for 51 yards to the OSU 7. Perkins carried over for the TD, and the Beavers were all but buried at 24-0 with 2:01 left before the break.
The Bruins took the opening kickoff in the third quarter and scored quickly. Nate Starks' 11-yard touchdown run made it 31-0, and by that time, two-thirds of the Reser crowd of 38,074 had hit the highways.
By the fourth quarter, Oregon State was minus both starting cornerbacks -- Larry Scott, who started after missing the previous two games with a sprained ankle, and Dwayne Williams, who was hauled out of Reser in an ambulance after a third-quarter collision.
"We moved Devin (Chappell) to a corner, then Naji (Patrick) came in at the end," Andersen said. "But Rosen was already icing his arm for next week by that point."
Andersen's frustrations were obvious as he finished his media session, talking about his players and what must be done the final three games of this season, and beyond.
"The tough guys will survive; the weak ones won't," he said. "That's where we're at. And if we don't think we're at that point, we're all sadly mistaken."
NOTES: UCLA had no turnvoers, while Oregon State committed four. ... In an eight-minute stretch to start the second half, Oregon State had four defensive players exit due to injury: ends Jalen Grimble and Jaswa James, nickel back Cyril Noland-Lewis and Williams. Grimble, James and Noland-Lewis all returned to the game. Williams (concussion-like symptoms), who was taken to the hospital for precautionary measures, was moving his extremities and was OK, OSU officials said. Oregon State went into the game without safety Justin Strong (concussion). The Beavers started sophomore Brandon Arnold and redshirt freshman Adam Soesman at the safety positions.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
UCLA 0 24 17 0 -- 41
Oregon State 0 0 0 0 -- 0
UCLA -- Ka'imi Fairbairn 38 FG 11:31
UCLA -- Thomas Duarte 8 pass from Josh Rosen (Fairbairn kick) 8:58
UCLA -- Duarte 10 pass from Rosen (Fairbairn kick) 2:46
UCLA -- Paul Perkins 7 run (Fairbairn kick) 2:01
UCLA -- Nate Starks 11 run (Fairbairn kick) 13:18
UCLA -- Fairbairn 29 FG 4:45
UCLA -- Sos Jamabo 30 run (Fairbairn kick) 0:00
ATT. -- 38,074