|All smiles for Washington after the Huskies ended a three-game skid with an upset of Oregon State. (US Presswire)|
WASHINGTON WON. After losing three straight games - including two of them by 30+ points, Washington decided it was time to step up and beat a competitive Pac-12 opponent. The Huskies' defense showed up in a way that has not been seen since the Stanford win, and the same result of upsetting a ranked team at CenturyLink Field followed.
HOW WASHINGTON WON: Oregon State outgained Washington 423-293, but it was the four interceptions of Sean Mannion and timely defensive stops in the second half that contributed to the Huskies' win. Keith Price completed only 18 of 30 passes for 194 yards, but he found wide receiver Kasen Williams for some key receptions in two different fourth quarter scoring drives. Mannion's early return from surgery will be analyzed in the next week, particularly with his four interceptions and Cody Vaz's success when he took over in the fourth quarter. Vaz completed 7 of 11 passes for 97 yards and a game-tying touchdown with less than five minutes remaining.
WHEN WASHINGTON WON: In retrospect, the game changed when Markus Wheaton left the game in the second quarter. The senior wide receiver was ruled out after absorbing a brutal hit from Washington safety Sean Parker. Not that the hit necessarily changed the tone, but Wheaton is one of the leader's of this Oregon State team and he was missed on the field in those second half drives once the offense got rolling. Between Wheaton's absence and Mannion's apparent rust, it was too much for the Beavers to overcome.
WHAT WASHINGTON WON: A springboard win heading down the stretch in Pac-12 play. Washington's schedule opens up after Saturday's contest, assuming they can pull together a road win on a short week at Cal. Utah, Colorado, and Washington State await the Huskies in the final weeks of play, and Washington should be able to find enough wins to both reach bowl eligibility and improve their bowl game if Saturday night's play continues.
WHAT OREGON STATE LOST: Their odds of continuing the undefeated streak were low, particularly considering the injuries at quarterback and the backloaded schedule. However, losing this game created a game of separation between the Beavers and their in-state rivals in Eugene. A Pac-12 title is not out of the question for Oregon State, but with one loss there is now no room for error down the stretch. If they can bounce back with wins over Arizona State, Stanford, and Cal; then the Beavers will still be playing for the North Division when they host the Ducks in the Civil War on Nov. 24.
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