It wasn't always pretty, but Oregon State found a way to win in their 2012 debut, defeating 13th ranked Wisconsin 10-7 at Reser Stadium. This was a game of opportunities, those missed and those taken advantage of, and the Beavers took advantage of their opportunity first and that was the difference in the victory.
Wisconsin and Oregon State battled for field position in the first quarter and the 0-0 stalemate wasn't broken until the Beavers knocked home a 43 yard field goal to go up 3-0 with 13:03 left in the second quarter.
The game would remain that way past halftime and the Beavers were able to stretch their lead to 10-0 thanks to a 20 yard TD pass from sophomore Sean Mannion to Brandin Cooks.
Mannion would finish the day 29-47 for 276 yards and had a touchdown and interception in the victory for the Beavers.
Oregon State would hold on to the 10-0 lead until late in the 4th quarter as an inconsistent at best Badgers offense couldn't get the ball moving all game long. When they did it was too little too late, or so it seemed.
Wisconsin scored on a pass from Danny O'Brien (20-38, 172yds, 1TD, 1INT) to Jacob Pederson to make it a three point game with just 1:31 left in the game.
This wasn't a game without controversy though, as a furious late comeback attempt by Wisconsin came up just short thanks to a questionable at best replay attempt.
After the Badgers scored to put the game within three points they attempted an onside kick, one they recovered. However, upon further review it was determined that Wisconsin kicker Kyle French touched the ball before an Oregon State player did, despite replays on that showed otherwise.
Any hope of a comeback died with that replay call and Oregon State went on to celebrate a big win over a top 15 team.
Heisman hopeful Montee Ball was held in check all game long, rushing for 61 yards on 15 carries and was held without a touchdown for the first time in 22 games in his career. As a team the Badgers were held to just 41 yards for the game – their lowest total since rushing for just 12 yards against Ohio in 2007.
A bigger concern for Wisconsin came when star wide receiver Jared Abbrederis was injured in a nasty collision during an attempted catch over the middle in the second quarter. He would walk off the field of play, but would later be taken to a hospital for observation.
Oregon State should learn a lot, both good and bad, from this narrow victory over Wisconsin today.
It's safe to say more questions than answers came out of this game for a preseason favorite to win the Big Ten. It's also safe to say Oregon State has just put the nation on notice that they are a team to be dealt with and not taken lightly.