Beavers Fall To Fresno State, 16-14

Sept. 5, 2003

AP Sports Writer

FRESNO, Calif. - Bryce McGill watched from the back bench on the far end of Fresno State's sideline. Pat Hill was nearly on the field.

When Brett Visintainer's 47-yard field goal split the uprights, both the nervous linebacker and the confident coach celebrated with a mixture of shock and glee as the Bulldogs upset Oregon State again, 16-14 on Friday night.

Visintainer's kick capped a desperate 58-yard drive from the Fresno State 12 to the Beavers 30 in the final 3 minutes. The march was led by quarterback Jeff Grady, who shrugged off a rough performance with a series of gritty passes.

When McGill and his teammates stopped Oregon State's last-ditch drive in the final seconds, the Bulldogs (1-1) improved to 6-0 against the Beavers in Fresno - and not even McGill, the talented team leader, could deny a bit of surprise.

'I still would have felt good about us if we had missed it, but this is the best feeling you can have,' said McGill, who made seven tackles. 'I was watching the referee, because I couldn't look anywhere else. When he raised his hands up, I started waving a towel.'

Visintainer, who missed a 46-yarder in the second quarter, was mobbed by teammates after the third field goal of his college career.

'We need to start developing a personality, and we certainly did that tonight,' Hill said.

Grady, filling in for injured starter Paul Pinegar, was 22-of-49 with three interceptions and 276 yards.

Steven Jackson rushed for 128 yards and caught five passes for 116 more for the Beavers (1-1), who couldn't survive Derek Anderson's five interceptions and their 14 penalties for 128 yards. Anderson went 15-of-44 for 285 yards, surely shaking his teammates' confidence in him.

'We lost as a team on offense, defense and special teams,' said Oregon State coach Mike Riley, who got the first loss of his second stint in charge of the program. 'This is a wakeup call for everyone. We need to get better.'

Marque Davis caught seven passes for 129 yards for Fresno State, which got a surprising win over the talented Beavers for the second straight time in Bulldog Stadium. The previous win was arguably the biggest in school history: a shocking 44-24 victory over then-No. 10 Oregon State in 2001.

Oregon State went ahead 14-13 on Mike Hass' 39-yard TD catch with 3 seconds left in the third quarter, but the Beavers failed to score on two opportunities from the Fresno State 1 a few minutes later. Kirk Yliniemi's 20-yard field goal was blocked - and after a penalty gave the ball back to Oregon State, Jackson was stuffed on a fourth-down rush.

'In retrospect, it was a bad decision,' Riley admitted of the Beavers' touchdown try.

Bernard Berrian caught a 30-yard TD pass in the home opener for the Bulldogs, who managed just 21 total yards between their first and final drives of the second half.

Both quarterbacks were terribly sloppy, combining for seven interceptions in the first half - including three in the final 3:47 by Anderson. Fresno State's Dee Meza and Oregon State's Mitch Meeuwsen got two apiece.

Jackson rushed for 50 yards during a first-quarter scoring drive capped by his 4-yard TD run, but the Bulldogs finally got rolling with a five-play, 96-yard drive midway through the second quarter. Berrian, weakened by a virus and held out of the first quarter, slipped behind Oregon State's safeties for a 30-yard score.

Anderson wasn't the only one making big mistakes. Oregon State committed eight penalties for 83 yards in the first half, including two 15-yard penalties on left tackle Brandon Lockheart for a late hit after Rodney Marshall got the Bulldogs' fourth interception 20 seconds before halftime.

The penalties helped set up Visintainer's first field goal, giving Fresno State a 10-7 halftime lead.

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