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A big day statistically did not result in a win against Colorado for Oregon State.

Unfortunately for the Beavers, piling up 569 total yards could not get them past the Buffaloes in a 36-33 loss.

But those numbers indicated that the offensive line had a strong game.

The linemen opened holes all game for the OSU running backs and the Beavers rushed for 280 yards and three touchdowns.

They kept quarterback Darell Garretson safe in the pocket on pass plays and he threw for 289 yards with no sacks.

OSU co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach T.J. Woods said it was the best performance of the season by the linemen.

"We've had our ups and downs this year for sure and it was nice to see them finally put it together," Woods said.

"I think they approached this game with all the turmoil and that type of stuff around the program with a chip on their shoulder and I think that kind of showed up on game day."

Center Sumner Houston said it was a great performance by the line and all the players meshed.

"We haven't really had any problem with IDing or anything like that, being on the right people the whole season," Houston said. "Just sustaining and using technique throughout the whole play and that mainly came to fruition in the last game. We did well, we just need a little bit more play here or there, but it was still a good game by the O-line, I feel.

"The main thing was just being consistent and playing our ball and doing what we're coached to do throughout the whole game and not having a letdown."

Getting the kind of push needed to put together the rushing performance on Saturday should give the linemen momentum moving forward.

"Every offensive line wants to run the ball. That's when you can be the most violent. It's a violent sport and so when those things work and you're getting (consistent yardage), those type of things in the run game, it's fun. You can get into a rhythm. You can have a 10-play drive, a 12-play drive and you're not going three and out. That's the whole point of running the ball," Woods said.

"The other thing I was really impressed with is it was a really good rushing performance without a 70- or 80-yard run, which we're accustomed to seeing when we put those type of numbers up, so that was a positive, too. I think that shows the consistency of what was going on."

The line started the season made up of a mix of new and experienced players.

Last year's unit had Sean Harlow at left tackle, Gavin Andrews at center and Dustin Stanton at right guard and it pushed around several defensive fronts, including Arizona and Oregon to get two wins at the end of the season.

Harlow has moved on to play for the Atlanta Falcons. Stanton got a shot at the Cincinnati Bengals as a free agent and the Buffalo Bills brought Andrews in for a look.

With three holes to fill, the Beavers moved Blake Brandel from right to left tackle next to left guard Gus Lavaka.

Fred Lauina was switched from guard to right tackle, Trent Moore moved into the starting role at right guard and Houston switched from defensive line to center.

It was rough going at times this season.

"It hasn't ever been a matter of being on the right people or targeting or any of that type of stuff," Woods said. "All year it's just been a little bit of lack of focus in the how, how we're doing things.

"Really for us it's just about technique, and we didn't beat ourselves in that game and I think you see the results when we play the right way."

Some of the players were acclimating to their roles.

That was particularly true of Houston, who was not only getting used to playing offense instead of defense but was taking on a big responsibility at center.

"Before I played slower, personally," Houston said. "I wouldn't stay on blocks and I wasn't trusting mainly in myself to be able to do the plays the right way, my technique and everything like that, so that slowed me down."

Woods said Houston, Lavaka and Moore all had their best game of the year against Colorado, which helped spark the overall performance.

"Blake and Fred have kind of been consistent all year," Woods said. "Trent has steadily improved every game, in my opinion. He has played his best two games the last two games, and Gus and Sumner really stepped up and played the way they can play and that was really nice to see."


Sports Reporter

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