Beavers Fall To Washington State, 34-27

Oct 6, 2001

Associated Press Writer

PULLMAN, Wash. - David Minnich ran for a career-high 195 yards andthrew a touchdown pass as Washington State beat Oregon State 34-27 Saturday.

Washington State (5-0, 3-0 Pac-10) won five games for the first time sincethe Rose Bowl season of 1997, when they opened 7-0. Oregon State (1-3, 0-2),ranked 11th in the preseason, fell behind 31-0 in the first half to lose itssecond consecutive game.

Minnich, a 27-year-old ex-Marine, rushed 34 times for his best game in twoseasons for the Cougars. He also caught a touchdown pass and threw a scoringpass in his first college passing attempt.

Oregon State running back Ken Simonton, who gained more than 1,000 yards ineach of his first three seasons, continued a disappointing campaign as he washeld to just 19 yards on 12 carries.

Washington State beat OSU coach Dennis Erickson, who used to coach theCougars, for the first time in three tries since Erickson returned to thePacific 10.

The pounding started early as Erik Coleman intercepted Oregon Statequarterback Jonathan Smith on the fourth play of the game and returned the ball47 yards for a touchdown.

On Washington State's first possession, Jason Gesser hit Minnich on a swingpass and Minnich bulled seven yards for a 14-0 lead. Gesser completed 12 of 22passes for 93 yards in the game.

Drew Dunning added a 37-yard field goal for the Cougars late in the first.

In a bizarre sequence on their next possession, Gesser was intercepted byTerrell Roberts, but Roberts fumbled on the return. The Cougars' JoeyHollenbeck pounced on the ball to give Washington State possession on OregonState's 23. Gesser was injured on the pass and replaced by Matt Kegel.

Minnich took a handoff from Kegel and threw a 22-yard pass to Nakoa McElrathfor a 24-0 WSU lead.

Oregon State's Noah Happe recovered a Minnich fumble in Washington Stateterritory early in the second quarter. But Smith fumbled on a handoff toSimonton on the first play and Fred Shavies recovered for the Cougars. Gesserlofted a 13-yard scoring pass to Mike Bush for a 31-0 lead with 10:23 left inthe first half.

Oregon State came back in the third quarter. Smith threw a 19-yard touchdownpass to Patrick McCall on fourth-and-3 for the Beavers' first touchdown. RyanCesca added his second field goal of the game.

Oregon State's Kenny Farley blocked Alan Cox's punt midway through thefourth and Jason Lowe picked it up and ran into the end zone to cut the deficitto 34-20 with 6:41 left. Oregon State's Mitch Meeuwsen added a touchdown on afumble recovery in the final seconds.

Smith finished 16 of 26 for 180 yards, with two interceptions.

Roberts had two interceptions for the Beavers.

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