Oregon State let one slip away on Thursday night as Utah left Reser Stadium with a 29-23 Pac-12 football win to continue its strong start to the season.
Neither offense played particularly well. The Beavers trailed 9-6 in the fourth quarter until quarterback Sean Mannion was able to connect with Jordan Villamin for a 72-yard touchdown that gave the Beavers a 13-9 lead.
With the way the OSU defense had been playing, it seemed like that would be enough.
And when punter Keith Kostol pinned the Utes at their own 6 with 7:41 left, it seemed there was no way the Beavers would lose.
Coach Mike Riley felt so strongly about the play of his defense he only considered trotting kicker Trevor Romaine out for a 55-yarder that could have given OSU a seven-point lead for a second.
He figured pinning the Utes deep would do it.
“With a for-point lead right there, I thought we could punt them like I know we can inside the 5, the 10 yard line, I thought that would be a big, big factor. And frankly it should have been.”
But the Utes scored to take the lead and the Beavers rallied to tie it and force overtime.
Utah (5-1, 2-1) keeps pace in the Pac-12 South Division with USC, which is 3-1 heading into Saturday’s game at home against Utah.
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The Beavers (4-2, 1-2), meanwhile, head to The Farm to take on Stanford.
“Obviously this was a very physical game so we want to make sure we get them back physically to play another physical game at Stanford,” Riley said.
Here’s our coverage from Thursday’s game.
My game story here focuses on Utah’s Devontae Booker and his big game on the ground.
Kevin Hampton has a sider here on the play of OSU’s defense, which was brilliant until late.
My notebook here leads off with Sean Mannion moving to No. 2 on the Pac-12 career passing yards list.
Kevin Hampton has a blog on Trevor Romaine here.
And check out postgame video here.