CORVALLIS, Ore. – Twenty-fifth ranked Oregon State came within 7 yards of tying No. 6 Stanford Saturday night, but was unable to score in the closing seconds in a 20-12 loss in front of 44,519 fans at Reser Stadium.
The Beavers tried for the end zone four times with less than 20 seconds remaining, but Sean Mannion was unable to connect with an OSU receiver for the game-tying score. His last pass, to Kevin Cummings, was batted away at the last second by a Stanford defender to give the Cardinal (7-1 overall, 5-1 Pac-12 Conference) the win.
The game, which was expected to feature two potent offenses, turned into a defensive battle. Oregon State managed 288 yards of total offense, 271 of which came from the arm of Mannion who failed to throw for more than 300 for the first time this season. He did, however, surpass the 3,000-yard mark for the season and tossed his school-record 30th touchdown of the season to Brandin Cooks in the third quarter.
Stanford, meanwhile, gained 273 yards of total offense, with 185 on the ground. Tyler Gaffney carried the ball 22 times for 145 yards, including 32 yards on a game-winning score in the fourth quarter.
Trevor Romaine, who kicked a career-long 50-yard field goal in the second quarter, connected on a 39-yarder with three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. It was made possible by a Gaffney fumble, which was recovered by the Beavers’ Dylan Wynn at Stanford’s 20-yard line.
The Beavers kicked deep to Stanford, which stalled at its own 35. Cooks took the Cardinal punt and returned it to the Cardinal 43 with 1:30 left. Mannion moved the Beavers to Stanford’s 7 on the strength of two catches by Cooks and a pass interference on the Cardinal on a pass to Richard Mullaney.
Cooks caught nine passes for 80 yards and one touchdown, which was his school-record 13th of the season. It was also the 21st of his career, also an Oregon State record.
Romaine’s 50-yard field goal came with 12:48 remaining in the first quarter. The Cardinal went up 7-3 with a 4-yard rush by Gaffney with seven seconds remaining in the half.
He made it 13-3 in favor of the Cardinal 52 seconds into the second half with a 9-yard touchdown rush.
Neither team intercepted a pass. Both teams fumbled twice, with the Beavers recording two recoveries and the Cardinal picked up one.
The Beavers nearly doubled up on Stanford in time of possession, totaling 38:26 to the Cardinal’s 21:27.
A.J. Tarpley led Stanford with 13 tackles, while Trent Murphy tallied a team-best 2.5 sacks.