Courtesy: OSU Sports Information
SAN DIEGO – Steven Nelson’s fourth interception of the 2013 was his biggest of the 2013 season.
The cornerback returned an interception 16 yards for a touchdown to send the Beavers to a 34-30 comeback victory over San Diego State Saturday at Qualcomm Stadium.
San Diego State quarterback Quinn Kaehler attempted a swing pass deep in the Aztecs’ territory, but misfired on his attempted target. The pass went wide and right into the hands of Nelson, who returned the ball for an easy score, sending the Beavers to the comeback victory.
Oregon State found itself down nine with 5:18 remaining after a 30-yard field goal by SDSU’s Wes Feer.
The Beavers immediately drove down the field, with Sean Mannion connecting on a 10-yard touchdown pass to Terron Ward with less than three minutes remaining. The touchdown highlighted a 10-play, 81-yard drive that lasted a little more than two-and-a-half minutes.
Trevor Romaine, instead of attempting an onside kick, drove the immediate kickoff into the SDSU end zone for a touchback, essentially setting up the game-winning interception.
Mannion threw for 367 yards and three touchdowns on the strength of 38-for-55 passing. It was his sixth career 350-plus game, and the 38 completions were just two shy of tying his program-record 40 against Arizona State in 2011.
Fourteen of Mannion’s 38 completions went to Brandin Cooks, who tied Mike Hass for the most in a single game by an OSU player. Cooks ended the game with 141 yards through the air.
Mannion’s first touchdown pass was a 2-yarder to Kellen Clute with 2:03 remaining in the first quarter. It put the Beavers (3-1 overall) up 14-7, but that lead did not last long as the Aztecs scored just 17 seconds later on an 80-yard reception by Colin Lockett.
SDSU (0-3) went into halftime with a 24-14 advantage after Feer connected on a 45-yard field goal and Adam Muema scored on a 2-yard rush with 3:35 remaining.
The Beavers, after Feer hit a 40-yard field goal with 1:55 left in the third, opened scoring in the fourth quarter when Mannion connected on another 2-yard pass, this one going to Kevin Cummings. It brought the Beavers to within six, 27-21.
Ward scored his first touchdown of the game, this one on the ground, on a 1-yard rush that came with 6:17 remaining in the first quarter.
Richard Mullaney caught seven passes for 86 yards to back up Cooks. Lockett led the Aztecs with five catches for 113 yards.