Every Aztec fan remembers last seasons game against the Oregon State Beavers- for all the wrong reasons. SDSU went into the fourth quarter with a commanding 27-14 lead, only to see it fall apart. The Beavers went on to score 20 points in the fourth, while the Aztecs could only muster 30-yard a field goal.
To make matters worse the Aztecs lost the game on home turf. Now they will be headed to Oregon to take on a team eager to win after dropping their last five regular season games in 2013-14. Lets get to know the Beavers.
Coach: Mike Riley. Riley enters his 14h season as the Beavers head coach where he has completely revamped the program and in that time captured six bowl games. The Oregon native is under contract until 2021, making him the longest tenured Pac 12 coach. The former San Diego Chargers head coach has compiled an win/loss record of 88-73 in 13 seasons, the most wins ever at Oregon State.
Conference: Pac 12, North Division
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Five Key Players:
#28 Terron Ward RB (Senior)
Entering the 2014-15 season Ward will be relied on heavily for the Beavers. Last year as a junior he rushed for 512 yards in 113 attempts while he recorded 280 receiving yards on 34 receptions. What he is most remembered for last season was his exceptional performance against University of Oregon where he recored 145 rushing yards to go along with 21 receiving yards in a disappointing 36-35 loss.
#2 Steven Nelson CB (Senior)
Going into the 2014-15 season Nelson was rated the no. 4 senior cornerback in the nation by ESPN's Mel Kiper following a stellar performance in 2013-14. Nelson led the Beavers with 62 tackles to go along with six interceptions.
#4 Sean Mannion QB (Senior)
Mannion enters the 2014-15 season being ranked the no.2 senior quarterback in the nation by ESPN's Mel Kiper. Kiper had somewhat of a breakout year in 2013-14 throwing 4,662 yards to go along with 37 touchdowns. This dwarfs his 2,446 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2012-13.
#24 Storm Woods RB (Junior)
Expect 2014-15 to be Woods' breakout season. The junior has 1,417 career rushing yards to go along with 753 career receiving yards. After suffering a head injury against Utah, Woods missed two games against San Diego State and Colorado.
#8 Richard Mullaney WB (Junior)
Mullaney missed of spring practice last season rehabilitating his shoulder, but that didn't stop him. He had 52 receptions good for 788 yards and three touchdowns. Mullaney is rated 6th on the Biletnikoff Award Pac-12 watch list by ESPN.
Offensive Overview: Oregon State shines in their passing game. In the 2013-14 season they were rated 3rd overall in the FBS rankings for passing averaging 372 yards per game. However, that was when they had Brandin Cooks who had 1,730 receiving yards. Cooks was drafted in the 2014 NFL draft no. 20 overall by the New Orleans Saints.
Defensive Overview: In addition to senior Steven Nelson commanding the defense, safety Tyrequek Zimmerman will dominate the defensive backfield for the Beavers. He recorded 104 tackles, including three tackles for loss, with four broken passes in 2013-14. San Diego State will have tough time trying to contain Nelson while at the same time trying to avoid Zimmerman's speed.
SDSU fans don't get your hopes up, I don't see the Aztecs beating the Beavers; especially on their home turf. Look for Mannion to have a strong passing game and for Woods to rush at least 60 yards. Oregon State 28 San Diego State 20