The close of Saturday's Stanford-Oregon State game can best be described as a rout, given how the Cardinal rolled over them for much of the second half. However, up until the latter part of the third quarter, the Beavers turned this game into a dogfight and had several opportunities to capture a lead. But much like we have seen from Stanford all season long, the Cardinal wore down Oregon State over the final 20 minutes of gametime and rolled to a 38-13 victory.
Stanford started extremely slow as they were shut out in the first quarter for the first time all season. Andrew Luck entered the game 0-2 in his only two games in the state of Oregon and he was struggling to get that first victory. Stanford climbed on top 14-0 in the second quarter behind strong rushing and appeared to ready roll. However, Oregon State was not going to go anywhere as they looked to continue their giant-killer reputation. The Beavers cut the lead in half on a Sean Mannion-James Rodgers connection and held Stanford to a field goal before the half. Stanford led 17-7 but the game was much closer than even that score might indicate.
The Beavers grabbed a third quarter touchdown to cut the lead to 17-13 but then missed the extra point. They forced a Stanford punt on the subsequent drive, but could not capitalize. OSU punted away and Stanford began to take control of the game. Stanford went to their power rushing ways, grabbing 44 yards on rushes and 16 yards on passes to get down to the Oregon State 27. Andrew Luck then connected with Stepfan Taylor on a 27-yard touchdown pass to give Stanford a 24-13 lead.
On the ensuing Oregon State possession, the Stanford defense made its presence felt. After a Mannion incompletion, Stanford recorded back-to-back sacks, with the second sack resulting in a fumble recovery by the Cardinal. Three plays later, Luck connected with Coby Fleener on a 14 yard touchdown pass to give Stanford a 31-13 lead. The Cardinal would add one more touchdown as Oregon State could nothing going with any consistency the rest of the game.
The big news of the day came on a pair of injuries. Stanford lost tight end Levine Toilolo early in the second quarter and wide receiver Chris Owusu late in the second quarter. Toilolo was taken into the locker room after taking a hit to the head. He returned to the sidelines in pads but did not play the rest of the game. Owusu suffered a scary hit to the head that resulted in a stretcher and ambulance coming onto the field. He suffered a concussion but had full range of motion following the hit.
The Cardinal now head into their biggest game of the year as they host the Oregon Ducks in a week. Oregon still has to play Washington tonight at 7:30pm PT. Barring an upset in Washington, Oregon will head to the Bay Area next week looking to battle for the top spot in the Pac-12. It is easily the biggest game on tap for next week.