7:00 PM ET, October 21, 2006
Arizona Stadium, TUCSON, AZ
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Make it two in a row on the road for the rejuvenated Oregon State Beavers.
Yvenson Bernard rushed for 107 yards and the Beavers shut down Arizona's offense most of the game, then held on to beat the Wildcats 17-10 Saturday.
Bernard, the No. 2 rusher in the Pac-10 behind Cal's Marshawn Lynch, carried 26 times to top 100 yards for the second game in a row and fourth time this season. But Bernard left with an ankle injury late in the game.
Coach Mike Riley said it was too soon to know if the injury was serious.
The Beavers took a 14-0 first-quarter lead, then withstood a pair of late threats to win their second Pac-10 road game in a row and climb above .500 (4-3, 2-2 Pac-10) heading into next weekend's home game against No. 3 Southern California.
"The only word that comes to mind is momentum I think," said Oregon State's Matt Moore, who completed 16 of 22 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown but was intercepted twice. "That's what we talked about in the locker room. We've got to stay focused and play at home like we did on the road."
The Beavers have turned it around after home losses to Cal and Washington State.
"Our players are getting gutsier and feeling more ownership on the team," Riley said. "The staff is doing a great job pulling these guys back and focusing on the fundamentals. We have made a progress this year. I think if you don't have growth during the season you don't have anything, but we definitely do."
Syndric Steptoe returned a punt 67 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter to keep Arizona close, but the Wildcats (3-5, 1-4) couldn't muster much offense behind third-string quarterback Kris Heavner, until the frantic final few minutes.
Starter Willie Tuitama is out with a concussion and backup Adam Austin injured his knee in last week's win at Stanford. Heavner completed 17 of 26 passes for 161 yards but was intercepted twice late in the game.
"In this league, you've got to score points," said Arizona coach Mike Stoops, who fell to 9-21 in his third season in Tucson. "When you score three, 10, whatever, it's just not getting it done."
After Alex Serna's 18-yard field goal put Oregon State up 17-10 with 7:26 to play, Arizona drove from its 20 to the Beavers' 45, but Joey LaRocque intercepted.
The Wildcats got the ball back at their 20 with 59 seconds left and Heavner completed three passes to get Arizona to the Oregon State 28. But Alan Darlin sacked Heavner at the Beavers' 40. On the final play of the game, Heavner underthrew an open Mike Thomas in the end zone and Daniel Drayton intercepted at the 1.
"He was kind of moving away and he just didn't have enough strength to get it over the top of him," Stoops said.
Arizona managed just 183 yards, 22 on the ground.
"It's very tough," Wildcats cornerback Antoine Cason said. "Outside people don't know how tough it is to work so hard and get so close, then just have those little mental mistakes creep up and bite you on the back."
Moore connected with Sammie Stroughter on a 34-yard play for the game's first score, capping a 10-play, 94-yard drive on Oregon State's first possession.
An interception stopped the Beavers' next drive, but the defense held Arizona to its third consecutive three-and-out possession. After the punt, Bernard carried four times in a row for 34 yards, then Moore sneaked in from the 1 to make it 14-0 with 12 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Wildcats intercepted Moore again, Dane Krogstad returning it 29 yards to the Oregon State 13. Arizona moved to first-and-goal at the 3, but couldn't score. Heavner threw incomplete from the 1 and Oregon State took over.
The Wildcats' held and forced the Beavers to punt from their end zone.
That led to Nick Folk's 30-yard field goal with 3 to seconds to play in the half to cut Oregon State's lead to 14-3.
Steptoe's second career punt return for a touchdown came down the left sideline to cut the lead to 14-10 with 6:40 left in the third quarter.
Bernard fumbled on a hit by Dominic Patrick and Spencer Larsen recovered at the Beavers' 41 early in the fourth quarter, but the Wildcats couldn't take advantage.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||4-10||2-12|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||2-3|
|TD||8:18||SAMMIE STROUGHTER 34 YD PASS FROM MATT MOORE (ALEXIS SERNA KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 94 yards.
|TD||0:12||MATT MOORE 1 YD RUN (ALEXIS SERNA KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 45 yards.
|FG||0:03||NICHOLAS FOLK 30 YD FG|
Drive info: 5 plays, 32 yards.
|TD||6:40||SYNDRIC STEPTOE 67 YD PUNT RETURN (NICHOLAS FOLK KICK)||14||10|
|FG||7:26||ALEXIS SERNA 18 YD FG|
Drive info: 11 plays, 84 yards.