Oregon State started both halves fast, but used bigger finishes to both halves to outdistance Arizona in a shootout in Tucson Saturday. The Beavers scored on their first possessions of the game and after halftime, but it was a 28 point 2nd quarter and 2 more scores in the last 8 minutes of the game that produced the Wildcat Homecoming spoiling 56-38 win.
The Beavers rolled up 572 total yards, including 385 in the first half, using a balanced attack that saw both Artavis Pierce and Jemar Jefferson run for over 100 yards, and Jake Luton complete 20 of 26 passes, for 328 yards and 3 touchdowns.
The 1-2 punch of Pierce (114 yards on 15 carries), above, and Jefferson (105 yards on 22 rushes), who was seeing his first significant action since the Hawaii game, also accounted for 4 of Oregon State’s 5 rushing touchdowns, 3 by Jefferson.
Isaiah Hodgins had another monster game, with 7 catches for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns, and overcame a knee injury that knocked him out of action briefly late in the 2nd quarter, but Noah Togiai also had 5 catches for 69 yards and a score as well. Luton found 6 other Beavers as well.
The offensive barrage came despite the naming this week of Arizona Hall-Of-Famer Chuck Cecil as the ‘Cats’ new Defensive Coordinator.
Oregon State needed nearly all of it though, as the Beaver defense, though continuing their trend of being better at times, still gave up 526 yards, 378 in the air to a combined effort of Kalil Tate and Grant Gunnell, who combined to complete 26 passes.
The ‘Cats also got 78 yards and 2 touchdowns rushing from JJ Taylor, and another 54 yards and a score from Gary Brightwell, most of that on a late 3rd quarter Arizona drive that pulled the ‘Cats within 42-31. Taylor also had 7 catches for 89 yards.