Beavers Edged By No. 6 Cougars
By JOHN K. WILEY
Associated Press Writer
PULLMAN, Wash. - Scott Lunde ended up taking his frustration out on Oregon State - instead of his own coach.
Matt Kegel threw three touchdown passes, two to Lunde in the fourth quarter, and Jonathan Smith scored twice as No. 6 Washington State rallied to beat Oregon State 36-30 on Saturday.
Lunde, a fifth year senior with only two previous touchdown catches, confronted offensive coordinator Mike Levenseller after a bad play in the first half and spent some time on the sideline.
'It was tough. I was holding back the tears the whole first half because it's my last year ... and I want to play every second of the game,' Lunde said. 'It was hard, but it turned out pretty well.'
Kegel avoided blitzes by finding Lunde on slant routes across the middle.
'Today was just my time,' Lunde said of his fourth-quarter successes. 'I felt like I was in the zone.'
Kegel was 21-of-40 for 305 yards, but threw five interceptions - one more than he had in the Cougars' previous seven games this season - and also lost two fumbles.
'I haven't seen anything like this in my life. It was a nightmare,' Kegel said. 'I'm not blaming anything on anything, except a couple batted balls, a couple tipped balls. Guys being in the right place at the right time for them. They got me.'
Oregon State's Mitch Meeuwsen had three interceptions, one that he returned 45 yards for the Beavers' first score.
Washington State (7-1, 4-0) held Pacific-10 Conference rushing leader Steven Jackson to fewer than 100 yards for the second consecutive week, but Cougars miscues kept the Beavers in the game. Jackson had 85 yards on 28 carries, but the Beavers (5-3, 2-2) were held to just 15 net yards rushing.
'He never really got on track, but he made a lot of good, tough runs,' Oregon State coach Mike Rille said of Jackson. A five yard run was a big run tonight for either team. We knew it was going to be this type of game.'
Cougars coach Bill Doba gave credit to defensive coordinator Robb Akey and his staff for coming up with a scheme to contain Jackson.
'They had a great plan,' Doba said. 'Steven Jackson is as good a running back as you're going to see. He is strong, big and fast.'
Kirk Yliniemi kicked field goals of 51, 35, 41 and 35 yards for the Beavers, who had hoped to bounce back from a 38-17 loss to Washington last week in Corvallis.
The win sets the stage for a Pac-10 Conference showdown next weekend between Washington State and Southern California.
Oregon State's Derek Anderson was 16-of-42 for 276 yards and was intercepted twice.
Washington State jumped to a 14-0 lead, but the Beavers stormed back for a 25-14 halftime lead.
Trailing 14-7, Oregon State scored 18 straight points in the final 5:18 of the second quarter after Kegel's two fumbles and a sack in the end zone for a safety - the first of two safeties by the Beavers. Anderson connected on a 66-yard scoring pass to Mike Haas to give the Beavers a 22-14 lead.
Lunde finished with 110 yards on eight catches. His second TD catch, with 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, put Washington State back on top, 29-28.
Smith ran 2 yards for the Cougars' first score, then added a 22-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
Kegel also hit Devard Darling with a 16-yard scoring pass.
Cougars punter Kyle Basler took a knee in the end zone to run out the clock, giving the Beavers their second safety.
'I don't know if we ever had control, but we had the lead' Riley said. 'We had some opportunities and they made some plays. That's how it came down.'
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