Oregon State vs. Wisconsin: Beavers Upset Badgers Thanks to Defense

Alan BlackAnalyst IIISeptember 8, 2012

Sept. 8, 2012; Corvallis, OR, USA; Oregon State Beavers linebacker D.J.Welch (4) defends against Wisconsin Badgers running back Montee Ball during the second half at Reser Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-US PRESSWIRE

The Oregon State Beavers were looking for a turnaround this season after a disappointing 2011 campaign that included a loss to FCS team Sacramento State. 

After last week's opening game against Nicholls State had to be rescheduled due to Hurricane Isaac, the Beavers found themselves facing the daunting task of trying to start the season off on the right foot against visiting powerhouse Wisconsin.

Apparently no task is too daunting for the Oregon State defense, as they did the unthinkable and shut down Wisconsin running back Montee Ball, as well as the rest of the Badger offense, en route to a landmark 10-7 win.

Wisconsin's defense was as good as advertised, holding Oregon State to only 354 yards of total offense, and allowing the Beavers to get into the red zone only once.  Unfortunately for the Badgers, Oregon State's offense was even better.

The Beavers came in with a game plan to slow down Ball, and it worked. They limited him to only 61 yards on 15 carries and made it so that the Badgers were reluctant to use Ball as a workhorse. 

Once that happened, the Beavers were even more effective in putting the pressure on Wisconsin QB Danny O'Brien, sacking him three times. They also forced him to fumble and throw an interception.

The Oregon State offense had several missed opportunities, as QB Sean Mannion passed for almost 300 yards but only one touchdown.  It wound up not mattering, as his one touchdown and one long Trevor Romaine field goal wound up being all the Beavers needed to get the win. It was made possible thanks to a defense that kept Wisconsin off the scoreboard until there was only one minute left in the game.

Oregon State coach Mike Riley now has a signature win on his resume for his second stint in Corvallis, thanks to a defense that carried the team to victory.