TUCSON, Ariz. — Oregon State interim coach Cory Hall has stressed the need to both run the ball successfully and stop the run as the key to winning football.
Last week, the Beavers were unable to contain Cal’s Patrick Laird and he rushed for 214 yards to spark the Golden Bears to the win.
On Saturday night, the Beavers faced Arizona and quarterback Khalil Tate, who has been shredding his way through the Pac-12 with his legs.
The Beavers could not contain Tate from the start and were unable to get the offense going until the second half in a 49-28 loss before 40,984 fans at Arizona Stadium.
Arizona set a school record for rushing yards in a game with 534.
“You have 602 total offensive yards for Arizona and 360 for Oregon State football,” Hall said. “There are some things that have to change and in my opinion those players deserve better.”
Tate had 123 yards and a touchdown at the half and the Wildcats piled up 329 on the ground. J.J. Taylor had 100.
Meanwhile, the Beavers managed a paltry 82 total yards.
Tate finished with 206 yards on 16 carries with two TDs before Brandon Dawkins replaced him in the fourth quarter.
“To be honest with you, he’s a good player,” OSU safety Jalen Moore said. “But at the end of the day it’s on us. We were making mistakes, technical mistakes. So we kind of shot ourselves in the foot. That team right there, they’re a good team and I’d say they’re a fast team, but we were just not technically sound.”
Said linebacker Kee Whetzel: “He’s a good player, so when you make mistakes he’s going to make you pay for it.”
The Wildcats pushed the pace on offense and rarely let the Beavers get too much of a breather.
“They ran the ball well,” Whetzel said. “You really can’t take away from that. So as a defense we’ve just got to get better at that.”
The Beavers got off to a good start in the third. They drove 65 yards in nine plays and Noah Togiai gathered in a 15-yard touchdown pass from Darell Garretson despite tight coverage.
A moment later and it was 35-7 when Tate got the corner and raced 71 yards to the end zone.
The Beavers put together another scoring drive, going 75 yards in eight plays with most coming on the run. Garretson made a nice touchdown toss to Isaiah Hodgins for a 6-yard TD.
OSU forced Arizona’s first punt of the game with about 3½ minutes left in the third.
The Beavers could not put a drive together and Alex Bland’s punt went 23 yards and set up Arizona at the OSU 34. The Wildcats quickly made it 42-14 with the short field.
OSU went 75 yards in 10 plays to cut it to 42-21. Garretson hit Togiai for 17 yards on a fourth-and-12 and then went to a wide open Timmy Hernandez for a 15-yard score.
Garretson hit Ryan Nall for a 44-yard touchdown to get within 49-28 before recovering an onside kick with just over three minutes left.
But an interception ended that drive.
Arizona won the toss and took the ball 75 yards in 11 plays for a 7-0 lead.
Tate did the bulk of the damage, scrambling for 22 yards on a third-down play and hitting Tyrell Johnson for 23 to the OSU 6. Two carries by Nick Wilson and Arizona had its TD.
After Garretson hit Hodgins for 14 on the second play of OSU’s first possession, the drive melted down. But Shawn Wilson intercepted Tate to get the offense back on the field at the OSU 3.
The Beavers moved over midfield but wound up punting back to UA.
This time, the Wildcats made OSU pay. They drove 85 yards in eight plays as Tate had an 18-yard run and Taylor got loose for 29. Zach Green scored from the 4.
Tate finished the first quarter with 96 yards rushing.
Tate got his first touchdown of the game with a 19-yard burst up the middle, shedding five tackle attempts by the Beavers on the way.
Taylor got loose again, this time up the middle for 56 yards before Whetzel ran him down. Tony Ellison scored on a 27-yard reverse and OSU was in a 28-0 hole.
“Probably like the first three touchdowns I think it was lost gaps or missed assignments,” Whetzel said.