Corvallis, Ore. • The Utah Utes needed to be at their best to have a chance to upend the No. 8 Oregon State Beavers on Saturday.
Unfortunately for them, they were far from perfect as a series of meltdowns helped Oregon State take early command of the game, which forced the Utes to play from behind and trail 14-7 at the break.
The Beavers’ first two scores were set up by mistakes by Utah freshman quarterback Travis Wilson.
The first was an overthrown ball that was picked off by Oregon State linebacker Michael Doctor, who returned it to the Utah 16-yard line.
Oregon State running back Storm Woods scored on a 1-yard run three plays later.
Wilson fumbled as he was getting sacked on Utah’s next series. Oregon State recovered on Utah’s 10-yard line. A roughing the passer call on the Utes moved the ball to Utah’s 2-yard line, and Woods scored on the next play to make it 14-0.
Just when the game appeared on the verge of a blowout, Wilson led the Utes on an 88-yard drive that ended with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Jake Murphy with six minutes remaining in the first half.
Earlier in the game, Utah missed a prime chance to get on the board first when the Utes drove from their 20-yard line to Oregon State’s 25-yard line, but Utah kicker Coleman Petersen missed a 43-yard field-goal attempt.
The Utes put the ball in the hands of John White as promised, but the back had mixed results. He finished the half with 11 carries for 51 yards, but 29 of those yards came on one play.
Wilson was 10 of 14 for 118 yards in the half, while Cody Vaz was 9 of 14 for 72 yards.