PULLMAN – At the beginning of the season, Oregon State head coach Mike Riley said, he never would have guessed that the Civil War – the Apple Cup-like rivalry between Oregon State and Oregon on Dec. 1 – could feature two backup quarterbacks.
But after the Beavers’ 52-17 rout of the Cougars on Saturday, Riley’s not feeling too nervous. His backup passer, Lyle Moevao, has proved himself in his first two starting games in the place of Sean Canfield (shoulder strain).
“I’m really proud of Lyle Moevao and the story needs to be told that he is doing this, because he never quit,” Riley said. “He just kept working hard and we gave him a lot of turns in practice so that he stayed active.”
So when Moevao walks into Oregon’s Autzen Stadium, he’ll have two wins under his belt – one against Washington on Nov. 10, in which he threw for 109 yards, and Saturday’s game against the Cougars, in which he netted 202 yards and a touchdown.
Completing 15 of 28, Moevao charged his team through the rainy rout. All but one of the Beavers’ seven touchdowns came from within the red zone.
“We knew as an offense it was our job to put away those points and those drives when the defense is doing their job,” Moevao said. “It was an overall team effort and that was the main goal for us.”
Moevao didn’t throw for as many yards as WSU quarterback Alex Brink, who had 314. But the Beavers had a well-rounded game, tallying 218 rushing yards to the Cougars’ 83. That proved to be just the thing they needed to propel themselves into the Civil War, and into a guaranteed bowl game.
As for the upcoming Civil War: Oregon’s star passer, Dennis Dixon, left Thursday’s game with a knee injury and is out for the rest of the season. Arizona upset the Ducks 34-24.