CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) – Jacquizz Rodgers ran for 132 yards and two touchdowns and James Dockery sealed the game with an interception in No. 25 Oregon State's 35-28 win over Louisville on Saturday night.
Ryan Katz threw for 142 yards and the Beavers re-established Rodgers as the focal point of the offense, but the Cardinals gave Oregon State a major scare and may have caught the Beavers (1-1) looking ahead to a matchup with No. 3 Boise State next week.
The Cardinals (1-2) moved the ball effectively in their third game under new coach Charlie Strong, rolling up 453 yards of offense.
Quarterback Adam Froman threw for 288 yards and helped the Cardinals come back from a three touchdown deficit. Louisville had a final chance to tie or win the game and was driving at the Beavers' 49 with under a minute left but Froman's errant pass to Dockery ended the threat.
Rodgers was unusually inconspicuous in the Beavers' 30-21 loss to then-No. 6 TCU two weeks ago, rushing for just 75 yards and failing to catch a pass. But the Beavers' Heisman candidate carried the ball 25 times against Louisville and caught five passes, one for a touchdown. The Beavers re-entered the top 25 this week despite a bye week.
Doug Beaumont had nine catches for 121 yards, and Bilal Powell had 83 yards rushing. But missed opportunities and a leaky defense had the Cardinals playing catch up all game.
Louisville marched down the field on their first two possessions — gaining 100 yards of offense — but squandered both chances to take an early lead. On the first drive the Beavers stuffed Powell on a fourth and one from the 2. On the second drive, Froman ran 12 yards on a quarterback keeper but had the ball punched out of his hands and through the back of the end zone when he was a foot from the goal line.
Katz found tight end Joe Halahuni for a three-yard touchdown pass to put the Beavers up 7-0 just before the end of the first quarter. Froman kept the ball on an option and ran 17 yards for a touchdown to tie the score.
Rodgers ran for two touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass for the Beavers, who went up 28-14 in the third quarter. Rodgers took a direct snap and handed off to split end Markus Wheaton, who ran for a 28-yard score, which appeared to put Oregon State in the driver's seat.
But Froman ran for a five yard touchdown and connected with Cameron Graham for another one that got Louisville within seven.
Louisville dominated Oregon State 63-27 when the two teams met for the first time in 2005. However, that was two coaching regimes ago, under Bobby Petrino. Strong replaced the fired Steve Kragthorpe this season. The Cardinals lost to Kentucky 23-16 in their first game but beat Eastern Kentucky last week.
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• Game time weather was cloudy at 63 degrees and raining. Wind was 1 mph from the South, Southwest.
• Attendance for the game was 45,379. The attendance figure is the largest ever at Reser Stadium for a non-conference game. It is the fourth-largest mark at an OSU home game (trailing 11/29/08 vs. Oregon, 11/15/08 vs. California and 11/10/07 against Washington).
• The game aired live on FSN Northwest with Tom Glasgow, while Steve Preece did color. Rashad Floyd was the sideline analyst.
• Captains for OSU at the start of the game were James Rodgers, Stephen Paea, Dwight Roberson and Alex Linnenkohl.
• Oregon State won the toss and deferred to the second half.
• Oregon State wore all black uniforms while Louisville was clad in all white.
Oregon State Team Notes
• The Beavers’ victory gives Oregon State a victory in their last nine home openers.
• Head coach Mike Riley improved his all-time record to 65-48. The 65 wins is nine shy of tying Lon Stiner’s school record 74.
• Sept. 18 is tied for the latest date the Beavers have played their home opener under head coach Mike Riley. OSU also opened at home on Sept. 18 in 2004 against New Mexico.
• The Beavers came into the game ranked 25th in the Associated Press Top 25 poll. It is the latest in the month of September that the Beavers have been ranked since 2001.
• The Beavers improved to 20-2 in its last 22 games when a rusher gets to the 100-yard mark.
• Oregon State improved to 27-1 in its last 28 non-conference games at Reser Stadium dating back to 1996. OSU’s only loss during that stretch was at the hands of Cincinnati in 2009.
• The Beavers improved their series record against Louisville to 1-1. The Cardinals won the first meeting, 63-27, in 2005 in Kentucky.
• James Dockery’s fourth-quarter interception gave the Beavers three as a team this season after tallying just eight in 2009.
Oregon State Individual Notes
• Joe Halahuni’s first-quarter touchdown was his first of the season.
• Jacquizz Rodgers scored two first-half rushing touchdowns giving him nine career multiple-rushing touchdown games at OSU. He now has at least one such game in all three of his seasons at OSU.
• Jacquizz Rodgers’ two rushing touchdowns gives him 35 for his career. He is now three shy of tying Yvenson Bernard for third-most in school history. Ken Simonton is the all-time leader with 59.
• Jacquizz Rodgers also finished the game with five receptions, giving him112 for his career. He now needs six to tie Yvenson Bernard for second-most by an OSU running back. Pat Chaffey has the most with 124.
• Jacquizz Rodgers hit the 100-yard rushing plateau for the first time this season and the 15th time of his career. He is just one of four Beavers all-time to have 15 or more, joining Ken Simonton, Steven Jackson and Yvenson Bernard. Rodgers’ 132 yards rushing was his
• Jacquizz Rodgers’ third-quarter touchdown reception was the third of his career and his first of the season.
• Jacquizz Rodgers’ accounted for 18 points in Saturday’s win, giving him 228 for his career, now good for fifth on the OSU top 10 list. Up next is No. 4 Yvenson Bernard, who had 242 during his tenure at Oregon State.
• Markus Wheaton’s third-quarter touchdown run was his first of the season and second of his career. It came on just his second carry of the season.
• James Rodgers finished the game with two receptions, giving him 167 for his career.
• James Rodgers tallied 239 yards of all-purpose yardage, his fourth-highest total in a single game. It trails on 303 against Oregon in 2009, 249 vs. Arizona in 2009 and 247 against Stanford in 2008.
• James Rodgers now has 5,546 all-purpose yards for his career, second only to Ken Simonton’s 5,606. He needs just 60 to tie Simonton.
• Cody Vaz made his first career appearance in the fourth quarter, coming in to pilot the Beavers with 14:54 left. OSU was at the 3-yard line when he came in. Vaz did not complete his only pass attempt.
• Dwight Roberson set a personal single-game high with 16 tackles, surpassing his previous record of nine set against Oregon in 2009 and Utah in 2008.
• James Dockery’s fourth-quarter interception was his first of the season and third of his career.
Head Coach Mike Riley
On the win….
“It is good to win. We’ll take that every time. We don’t really have to qualify it until tomorrow, and then when we look at it we can go back and look at some things we’d like to do better or differently. I was proud of the win, I was appreciative of how Louisville came and played. I’ve been saying all week that they’re going to be a good-looking team, and they’re playing very efficiently. Like I said, they played better than Kentucky for most of the game that they lost this year, so they really had me worried. They had a good runner, a good quarterback, and big guys up front and some guys today that made plays. They dropped balls against Kentucky and they made the plays today, they made a ton of plays.”
On Louisville’s offense…
“He [Adam Froman] really is a good player. He gets rid of the ball, he escaped from the pocket, got first downs, extended the play, made throws. It was a very impressive outing by him. They got in the wildcat, as we call it, the ‘wild beaver’, and made a bunch of plays in that. They did a very nice job today; luckily we had a few more points than they did. Probably the return game for the Beavers in the special teams area was the difference in the game.”
On James Rodgers’ performance…
“That was a big play coming out of our end [Rodgers’ catch in the fourth quarter] and we had a couple chances earlier to come out of our end with some success, but we didn’t execute like that and then Ryan made a throw, James made a catch, at that point [it] was a major-league play in the game. It moved us out, we kept the ball, and we were able to take enough time off the clock after that to make them use their time outs to not have much time left.”
On Jacquizz Rodgers’ performance…
“That’s more like it. We can do better. I haven’t seen the stats, but I don’t imagine that we were very good on third down, or good enough on third down. That’s where Quizz does a lot, because he made a couple of those today, but we can do better than that. Besides that, the combination of running and catching the ball was good. We have to get our screen game going a little better, but we did hit one that was a big one for us for a first down finish. ”
On the third quarter offensive performance…
“Everything was going good, and then we missed a little roll out pass – I think it was second and four – we missed it wide open and then we really never executed like we did earlier in the third quarter the rest of the day. That one play it seemed, and then we didn’t convert the third down, and it was tough sailing after that. They were putting the pressure on us, they were making plays, they were scoring touchdowns, and we were going three downs and out. That’s why the game got down to where it was at the end. I actually think that at the end, it’s good to be in games like that, to have [Johnny] Hekker have to punt the ball and us go down and down it, play defense to win the game at the end, it’s all invaluable practice. Those experiences should help you the next time it come up.”
Quarterback Ryan Katz
On spurts where OSU good offensively …
“I felt really good. That is how we look, and we went over all of that stuff in practice. They did what we thought they were going to do. We had drive killers, and we need to convert on those. “
On the fact ‘Quizz looked like a guy on a mission …
“He definitely played very well, the line opened some pretty big holes. When holes were no there, he even made some plays. He bounced back very well.”
On Louisville surprising the team …
“They were a good team and we saw that on film. The team is very well coached, with some great players.”
On converting …
“It’s one that did it for me. We need to be a fourth quarter running team, especially when we had a lead like that. We need to convert those short third downs, and that is something that we will look at and get better.”
On his first game at home as a starting QB …
“It was great, I had my first start here at Reser stadium. The crowd really got loud, and it helps with our defense, especially on those third downs is where it helps a lot.”
On facing Boise State next week …
“We are going to enjoy this win tonight, and we will watch the film tonight and get back to work with working on Boise State. I just want to enjoy this win tonight, and I will think about that tomorrow.”
Running Back Jacquizz Rodgers:
On the general feel about the win …
“It’s a good thing to win, you can always go back and fix the things that you need to work on. The problem that we have, to keep this thing rolling and become successful later on in the season.”
On spurts with the offense being pretty impressive…
“I feel like we dialed out towards the end. We need to keep the ball moving. Toward the end we went three and out to close the game.”
On the mood in the locker room …
“Everyone is pretty happy because it is a win. For me personally, I am not satisfied. I know what the team is capable of, and Louisville made a couple of plays down the stretch. For us, we need to stay on the field during the third down, and convert them.”
On Boise State next week …
“It’s the moment you have been waiting for. We will go in tomorrow and look at film, and Monday look at film. That is when we will learn about Boise State and try to study them, in order to find ways to make the plays against them.”
On his 100 yard day …
“Those are just statistics to me. It’s more about winning games and let everything else come.”
On the ‘Wildcat’ handoff …
“Markus Wheaton is one of the fastest guys on the team. If you can get him in the space, it will be very hard to catch him.”
Cornerback James Dockery
On the Interception …
“I just took a gamble. It wasn’t the first time I got beat on the fade. Earlier in the game they were throwing at Brandon (Hardin). Brandon communicated to me that it was a back shorter fade, so I went up to play the hands so I didn’t give separation. A pivot on an outside move is a little different than a regular fade route. It didn’t work out the first two times so I said if they come at me again I got to look back and take a chance.
On the difficulty with scrambling QB …
“It’s extremely hard. We will be calling a defense and we will be locked up and everyone is in good position. And we will be covering for about 3-4 seconds and now it’s five, six and however many seconds he has in the pocket and then the receivers can break off and do whatever they want. It turns into backyard football after that point. That’s really hard. You just got to do a better job containing the quarterback because I think we are doing good keeping guys in front of us. That’s just something we have to work on. We are going to see a lot of running quarterbacks in our conference, so we will get better at that.”