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Stanford holds off Oregon State

Stanford v Oregon State Getty Images

On a night when its offense was once again stagnant, No. 6 Stanford’s vaunted defense stepped up to the plate, slowing down Oregon State’s nation-leading passing attack just enough to secure a hard-fought 20-12 victory over the Beavers in Corvallis on Saturday night.

The game wasn’t in hand until the very end as OSU drove to the Stanford seven-yard-line in an attempt to send the game into overtime, but Sean Mannion’s pass to Kevin Cummings was batted away in the end zone with one second left and the Cardinal survived.

Stanford set the tone for the game early, punishing Mannion early and often with a ferocious pass rush. By the time the game was over, the Cardinal got to Mannion eight times — with Trent Murphy getting 2.5 of those sacks — and held the Beavers to 17 net rushing yards.

Mannion, who entered the game averaging 427 yards and four touchdown passes per game, was held to 271 yards on 41 of 57 passing. His favorite target, Brandin Cooks, led the nation with an average of 11 catches and 168 receiving yards per game, but he was limited to just nine catches for 80 yards and one score.

But the Cardinal offense almost wasted this fine defensive effort. Quarterback Kevin Hogan was 8 of 18 for 88 yards and Stanford finished with just 273 total yards and 13 first downs. Luckily, running back Tyler Gaffney stepped up with 145 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries. It was Gaffney’s fifth 100-yard effort of the season and third in a row.

As good as he was on the night, it was Gaffney’s fumble that allowed Oregon State to chip away at a 20-9 deficit with a Trevor Romaine field goal with three minutes to play. Up eight points, the Cardinal just needed a first down to ice the game. But the Beavers defense held up and Stanford punted away.

Cooks returned the punt 28 yards to the Cardinal 43 yard line and that’s when Mannion and OSU went to work and almost pulled it out.

The Beavers now have one loss in conference, but they’ll need some help if they are going to win the league. You can also kiss Mannion’s Heisman hopes goodbye.

As for Stanford, the win keeps its slim national title hopes alive and sets up a huge matchup with Oregon on Nov. 7. That one could be for a lot of marbles.

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7 Responses to “Stanford holds off Oregon State”
  1. pdcooper08 says: Oct 27, 2013 3:20 AM

    The way the Stanford offense has been playing, I don’t see it being much of a game against the Ducks. I’m calling for a blow out on Nov. 7th.

  2. chachooga says: Oct 27, 2013 12:32 PM

    It is a shame that all the TV people rank Stanford so high??? I honestly don’t get it.

    THEY LOST TO UTAH!!!!!!!!!

    Why are they ranked so high, they look bad, their QB doesn’t look good, they have a loss to a horrible team….the preseason love affair is why.

    it is not deserved.

  3. longborer69 says: Oct 27, 2013 1:23 PM

    Utah is not a horrible team. They are talented and inconsistent. They got Stanford on a good day. They’ve also had bad days.

    Stanford has a very good defense, very good special teams, and has played a reasonably tough schedule.

    You’re going to have to deal with the fact that the Pac-12 had an outstanding non-conference record, quality wins, only one bad loss among the 12 teams. So the computers are going to like Pac-12 teams, and the pollsters give respect for that, too. It’s just the way it is.

  4. skwackquackwoof says: Oct 27, 2013 2:34 PM

    The Beavs played Stanford pretty tough yesterday. They have definitely come a long way since week 1. I know I’m not supposed to like the Beavers (with me being a Ducks fan and all) but it’s hard not to like and respect Mike Reilly.

  5. phatallen says: Oct 27, 2013 9:36 PM

    @ chachooga: Yes, Stanford’s offense looks sub-par, and they lost to Utah. They have wins over four top-25 teams, and that’s why they’re highly rated. It’s not rocket science.

  6. pdcooper08 says: Oct 28, 2013 1:03 AM

    I know the one loss you are referring to is the Oregon St loss to Eastern Washington. I’m not so sure that really is that bad of a loss. Have you seen Eastern play. They’re a pretty good team. I watched them go into Montana yesterday and work them. There QB is a D1 guy and there pretty solid through out.

  7. longborer69 says: Oct 28, 2013 3:47 AM

    pdcooper, I haven’t seen them, and I know they are pretty good, but it would be hard to categorize it as a good loss. It was a home game for the Beavers, too. If you want to be a top 25 team, you don’t lose that game. I guarantee that hurts the conference more in the rankings than any of the other non-conference losses. The only one that might even be comparable is Cal losing at home to Northwestern, and few really expected anything different.

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