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November 4, 2012
Sun Devils drop third straight
(AP) CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Cody Vaz recovered from a shaky start to throw for 267 yards and three touchdowns to lead Oregon State (No. 11 BCS, No. 13 AP) to a 36-26 victory over Arizona State on Saturday night.
Terron Ward rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown for the Beavers (7-1, 5-1), taking on extra work when starting running back Storm Woods left early in the game with a sore left knee.
Arizona State (5-4, 3-3) scored on the return after Vaz fumbled on Oregon State's opening drive, but the Beavers pulled away after a 19-all tie at the half to keep the Sun Devils from bowl eligibility.
A fan in the crowd held a sign reading "We're All BelieVaz" for the junior quarterback who was awarded the start after Sean Mannion struggled the week before with four interceptions in a loss to Washington.
Vaz had started two games for the Beavers and won them both while Mannion recovered from left knee surgery. Mannion, a sophomore, started the Beavers' first four games and averaged 339 yards passing, but was off when he returned in the 20-17 loss to the Huskies.
Vaz's night started disastrously when he lost the ball on Oregon State's own 1 on the opening drive and Arizona State defensive end Junior Onyeali returned it for the touchdown to give the Sun Devils the early lead.
Vaz appeared unsure of himself, but the Beavers ensuing drive ended with Trevor Romaine's 41-yard field goal. Arizona State answered with Cameron Marshall's 1-yard scoring run for a 14-3 lead.
Vaz bounced back with a 50-yard scoring pass to Markus Wheaton, but then Arizona State got a safety on a blocked punt for a 16-10 lead. The Sun Devils added a 31-yard field goal from Jon Mora.
Ward's 53-yard TD run narrowed it again for Oregon State and the Beavers tied it at 19 going into halftime on Romaine's 45 yard field goal.
Vaz came out of the break looking steadier, and opened with a scoring drive that ended with a 17-yard TD pass to Markus Wheaton as the Beavers pulled in front 26-19.
Romaine tied his career high with his third field goal, a 33-yarder, later in the third quarter.
Vaz found Brandin Cooks with a 49-yard scoring pass to make it 36-19 with 10:54 left. In the end, Vaz completed 14 of 33 passes. He was intercepted once and sacked six times.
Arizona State quarterback Taylor Kelly found Marion Grice with a 2-yard scoring pass with 22 seconds remaining. Kelly finished with 153 yards passing, a touchdown and an interception.
Arizona State saw the return of defensive tackle Will Sutton, considered one of the top defensive players in the Pac-12. He missed Arizona State's last game after injuring his right knee early in the Sun Devils' 43-21 loss to Oregon on Oct. 18.
The loss to the Ducks was the first of two straight at home for Arizona State after a three-game winning streak. The Sun Devils fell 45-43 to UCLA last weekend, but they are still in the thick of the Pac-12 South race behind USC and the Bruins.
The Beavers got Wheaton back from a concussion he suffered the week before in the 20-17 loss to the Huskies. But running back Woods, who nursed a sore left knee this past week, played just briefly at the start of the game before leaving for good.
Oregon State was also without cornerback Jordan Poyer, who has five interceptions this season and is tied for second nationally, because of a sprained right knee.
It was Arizona State's fourth straight loss in Corvallis.
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