Sunday, December 03, 2006

Beavers Roll Into Sun Bowl, Take Down # 24 Hawai'i

The unexpectedly strong season from the Oregon State Beavers continued tonight, as the gang from Corvallis flew into the sweet-but-hostile territory and came out of Honolulu with a win over the 24th-ranked Rainbows, 35-32. Beavers QB Matt Moore stole the spotlight from Hawai'i QB Colt Brennan, who was seeking to match or break the I-A single season pass TD record. Moore threw for 245 yds and three scores, while the heavily assaulted pass defense (50 attempts) gave up 401 to Brennan but left him at 53 TD, one pass shy of David Klingler's 1990 mark.

At the beginning of the season it was Oregon, not Oregon State who had expectant things said about them, and for a time the projections seemed accurate. Then the Ducks' loss against California seemed to take the wind out of their sails for the year, and right about that time Oregon State seemed to catch fire. This game meant more to the Rainbows than the Beavers; one way or another OSU was Sun Bowl bound. But this victory over the 2nd ranked team in a row not only gives them strong credibility as a national notable (I predict they'll debut in the top 25 as high as 24 or 23), it gives the program a rare shot at 10 wins, the hallmark of any truly successful year.

It was a back and forth contest, although after Sabby Piscitelli's 2nd interception OSU seemed safely on top. The turning point of the game, however, was his first interception that directly led to the 80 yard strike to Sammie Stroughter, giving the Beavers a 28-21 lead.

Team and staff now have almost a whole month until their next game, which is a bit of a pity. All that momentum wasted--and the Beavers offense had suddenly found such a groove. So before you get caught up in the unruly maelstrom of college bowl season, a nod of the cap for a great season. Besides 10 wins, another barometer that turns a good year into a great year is sponsored by something natural--orange, cotton, sun-- as opposed to say, a battery or a bag of processed chips. Along with the stunning baseball championship earlier this year, 2006 has been kind to Corvallis athletics!

Update, 12/3 2pm--
I apologize for this error-ridden, poorly constructed sports story. I've written a million of them (and I did 5 for my kid's peewee football team this fall), so I have no excuse except a late night and the desire to toss off a quick one after the result from the Hawai'ian time zone. When you're corrected on the facts it's polite in blogging to leave the error up with the change next to it, but I've always thought grammatical errors should be seamlessly fixed when you notice them. Occassionally I'll let a minor one slip through--this isn't the Times, of course--but if you got the opportunity to read the "draft" version of this earlier today, I humbly atone for the shitty craft. The worst example was turning a 28-21 Beaver lead into a 21-point Beaver lead. Ugh...