Provo • The BYU defense that has carried the Cougars this season couldn’t deliver another victory on Saturday afternoon. In fact, BYU’s inability to stop Oregon State’s prolific offense was the key factor in a 42-24 loss to the Beavers at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Oregon State became the first team in 13 games to record more than 300 yards of offense against the Cougars in front of 63,484 fans and the No. 10 Beavers improved to 5-0 for the first time since 1939.
Oregon State took the lead early in the fourth quarter when Kyle Van Noy tipped a pass and it fell into the hands of Colby Prince for a 5-yard TD reception. The touchdown was set up by Brandin Cooks’ 59-yard reception to the BYU 5 on second-and-8.
After an exchange of punts, the Cougars drove 69 yards to the OSU 10, but two passes fell incomplete and Riley Nelson was sacked on third down. Justin Sorensen’s 35-yard field goal trimmed the deficit to 28-24.
However, OSU increased its lead with an 11-yard reverse touchdown run by Markus Wheaton with 5:30 remaining, taking a 35-24 lead.
Two plays later, OSU’s Jordan Poyer picked off a pass by BYU quarterback Riley Nelson and returned it 47 yards for a touchdown, sealing the win for the Beavers.
Oregon State took a 21-14 lead in the third quarter on Storm Woods’ 16-yard touchdown run, but the Cougars put together a nine-play, 75-yard drive to tie it at 21-21 with 2:50 remaining in the third quarter. Jamaal Williams did the honors with a 2-yard run, his second TD of the game.
Defenses were supposed to dominate, but the game was tied 14-14 at halftime and the teams had combined for 393 yards.
The Beavers drove 75 yards for a touchdown the first time they touched the ball, capped with an 11-yard touchdown pass from new starter Cody Vaz to Markus Wheaton. The TD ended BYU’s streak of 13 quarters without allowing an offensive touchdown, but it wouldn’t be the last.
With Riley Nelson getting the start at quarterback, the Cougars scored on their first possession as well, driving 75 yards for a TD on 10 plays. Jamaal Williams’ 1-yard run tied the game at 7-7.
However, an exchange of punts, OSU struck quickly. Vaz threw a 43-yard strike to Brandin Cooks, then a 24-yard touchdown pass to Wheaton as the Beavers regained the lead.
The Cougars tied it with 3:25 remaining in the first half when Nelson threw a 2-yard TD strike to Devin Mahina on 4th-and-goal.