Notebook | Late TD pass turns Cougs crimson
This one will be remembered for a while, for two reasons: Oregon State's 66-13 victory over Washington State marked its highest point total...
Seattle Times staff reporter
CORVALLIS, Ore. — This one will be remembered for a while, for two reasons: Oregon State's 66-13 victory over Washington State marked its highest point total over a Pac-10 team, and the Cougars felt the Beavers rubbed their faces in it with a 39-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter.
One WSU assistant held his arms outstretched on the sideline as he looked over at the Oregon State coaches. Another appeared to stare at the Beavers' sideline after the score, which completed the final margin.
"Ahead or behind, I don't think too much about it," said Mike Riley, the Oregon State coach. "If somebody does that against us, I've never said anything about it."
He pointed out the pass was thrown by Sean Canfield, who had spring shoulder surgery and has been working back toward playing time. Oregon State starter Lyle Moevao was on the bench by then.
Washington State coach Paul Wulff said, "No comment" when asked about the play.
Said A'i Ahmu, WSU defensive tackle, "It was uncalled for. We just told the younger people, 'Remember that, and when you come back to Corvallis, lay it on 'em.' "
Washington State got a lift with three second-quarter interceptions, one for a 16-yard touchdown by true freshman Louis Bland, whom Wulff has been touting as a bright spot for the future.
"It was a blitz," said Bland. "The linebackers have the running back [Jacquizz Rodgers]. He flared out and I kind of baited the quarterback and he threw it right to me."
Said Wulff, "Louis is playing as well as anybody on the defense. Just turn on the film and watch him play."
But like a lot of Cougars, Bland is undersized at 5 feet 10 and 203 pounds.
Wulff said he and his staff had to make a quick decision when quarterback Marshall Lobbestael was injured. The two choices were true freshman J.T. Levenseller, whom the Cougars would like to redshirt, and walk-on Dan Wagner.
They chose Wagner to finish the game, because they believe Kevin Lopina, who suffered a broken bone in his back three weeks ago, will be ready to play against USC on Saturday. Lopina has received medical clearance to return, Wulff said.
• Wulff seemed to concede that he didn't think WSU's effort when the game was out of reach was consistent. "That's something we've got to continue to work out and clean up," he said. "When you're down by a lot of points, are you going to accept that? We're making some headway, but we don't have that out of our system yet."
• Against California on Sept. 6, WSU suffered its worst loss ever. This game tied the second-most points surrendered by the Cougars, topped only by USC's 70 in 1970. It also marks the only season in history when WSU has allowed 60 or more three times.
• Along with the loss of Lobbestael, the Cougars also lost one of their better players, tight end Devin Frischknecht, who suffered a high ankle sprain in the first half.
• WSU played without its top two tailbacks. Chris Ivory has a hamstring injury, and Dwight Tardy has been nursing multiple leg problems.
• Small solace for WSU, but it actually won the turnover battle, 4-2. The Cougars had a negative-14 ratio entering the game, worst in the Pac-10 and near the bottom of Division I.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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