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BYU's vaunted defense torched by a backup QB in 42-24 loss to Beavers
First Published Oct 13 2012 07:06 pm • Last Updated Feb 15 2013 08:03 am

Perhaps linebacker Spencer Hadley summed it up best after the Cougars lost 42-24 to No. 10 Oregon State at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday afternoon in front of 63,489 chilly fans.

"That's sports, right?" Hadley said. "The football does weird things sometimes, and that was one of them."

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Hadley was referring the pass that Kyle Van Noy tipped, but was caught in the end zone for a touchdown by Oregon State tight end Colby Prince. It was the same end zone, the north one, in which Marcus Mathews caught a tipped pass a year ago to give the Cougars a 27-24 win over Utah State.

The Cougars were on the receiving end of a break that night. Not so this time around.

Basically, the Cougars' postgame thoughts were that the offense played well enough to deliver a win, but the defense, yes, the defense, was thoroughly outplayed by OSU's prolific offense.

The Beavers rolled up 450 total yards against the No. 5 defense in the land and scored five touchdowns against a unit that had given up just four in its previous five outings.

"Oregon State's ability to throw it over the top of us -- big pass plays -- I thought was the difference in the game. They were able to execute on a lot of critical situations, just giant chunks," BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "And so our inability to defend the pass well, on downfield throws, and Oregon State's receivers' ability to keep making the play, I thought was the different in the game."

Two of the better receivers to ever grace the field at LES, Brandin Cooks and Markus Wheaton, torched BYU defensive backs the entire game. Cooks caught eight passes for 173 yards; Wheaton caught five passes for 66 yards and two TDs and also rushed 11 yards for a TD on a reverse.

"They had some darn good receivers," said Spencer Hadley. "And we have [Cody Vaz] too much time to make throws."


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Not sure if the Beavers headed off to the Orem In-and-Out burger joint like they did when they defeated UCLA in Los Angeles, but they deserved to celebrate after a big win with a backup quarterback.

"I don't think anybody in our locker room was particularly surprised that Cody played well," said OSU coach Mike Riley. "I think they've had faith in him as a teammate for a long time. I knew this was going to be a hard venue to step into but I thought guys helped him out and made plays."

Riley said the game plan was to try to beat BYU over the top with skilled receivers and max protection. It worked.

"I knew we couldn't play BYU just slugging it out up front, and I knew Cody could throw the ball," he said. "BYU is a very good defensive football team and I thought we handled that part of it pretty well and allowed Cody to do what he can do. ... We had to throw the ball down the field against this team. You can't just plan on throwing the same plays at BYU's front line. BYU was on their game today, but we just kept plugging and made enough plays to win the game."

Couple of odds and ends from the game:

* BYU's defense gave up more than 300 yards for the first time since the 38-28 win over OSU last year in Corvallis when the Beavers totaled 365.

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