In 2011, Oregon State lost its home opener to Sacramento State and never recovered. The Beavers got routed the next week at Wisconsin and finished with a record of 3-9.
The same thing could have happened this year after Oregon State suffered another embarrassing opening-game loss to a lower-division opponent. This time it was Eastern Washington.
This year, though, Oregon State has bounced back with four consecutive wins. Saturday’s victory over Colorado in Corvallis was the easiest of the four as quarterback Sean Mannion and receiver Brandin Cooks dissected the Buffaloes’ secondary in a 44-17 win.
Mannion, who has been brilliant this year after winning the starting job from Cody Vaz, passed for six touchdowns and 414 yards.
Cooks had nine catches for 168 yards and, if he played for USC, would be touted as a Heisman Trophy candidate. Cooks also had 47 yards rushing against Colorado.
After the Eastern Washington loss, Oregon State defeated Hawaii and then survived at Utah, winning in overtime. The Beavers appeared on the verge of defeat last week at San Diego State but were rescued on Steven Nelson’s interception return for a touchdown with 2:31 left in a 34-30 win.
Oregon State is now 4-1 and plays at Washington State and at Cal the next two weeks.