Brandin Cooks reeled in a six-yard touchdown in overtime to give the Oregon State Beavers a thrilling 51-48 victory over the Utah Utes in Pac-12 Conference action at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Cooks finished the game with nine receptions for 210 yards and three scores for the Beavers (2-1, 1-0 Pac-12) as they won their second in a row after losing the season-opener to Eastern Washington. Quarterback Sean Mannion converted 27-of-44 passes for 443 yards and five touchdowns, while kicker Trevor Romaine knocked through all three of his field goal chances.
The Utes (2-1, 0-1) were paced by Travis Wilson who not only connected on 19- of-33 passes for 279 yards and two touchdowns, he also produced a game-high 142 yards and three more TDs on 13 rushing attempts in the losing effort. Wilson, who was sacked once, did have three passes picked off.
OSU raced out to a 13-0 lead as Romaine connected on field goals of 36 and 49 yards in the first and second quarters, respectively, and in between Mannion hooked up with Richard Mullaney for a 17-yard touchdown play.
Utah finally broke through at the 10:03 mark of the second when Wilson found Dres Anderson with a 49-yard TD pass to cut the deficit to 13-7.
Mannion struck again on the ensuing possession as he took the Beavers on an 11-play, 90-yard drive that culminated with a seven-yard TD pass to Connor Hamlett.
With only 20 second remaining in the half, the Utes responded with a 27-yard field goal by Andy Phillips, but still the hosts trailed by double digits at the break, 20-10.
Within the first minute of the third the Beavers were back on the attack, this time on defense as Sean Martin returned an interception 27 yards for a score.
Down by 17 points, Wilson brought Utah back moments later with a 35-yard scoring run. Eight minutes after that, James Poole capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive with a one-yard TD run for the Utes in order to draw the team to within three points at 27-24.
From there the teams went on a wild scoring spree that saw them combine for 48 points with just over one minute remaining in the third. Mannion's 55-yard TD pass to Cooks at the 1:04 mark of the frame again pushed the OSU lead to double figures.
Once again Wilson put the hosts on the attack, utilizing a 15-yard TD pass to Lucky Radley early in the fourth, but the Beavers didn't buckle as they used a 20-yard field goal on their next possession to take the lead back to six points at 37-31.
The action paused with 8:12 remaining in regulation when Oregon State running back Storm Woods attempted to block an oncoming defender and appeared to injury his neck. Woods remained motionless on the field for several minutes as staff attended to him. He was eventually loaded into an ambulance, during which time he gestured with his right hand before being taken away.
Utah's first lead of the night came about four minutes later when Wilson scampered 24 yards over the goal line to move to a 38-37 edge.
On the very next possession, Mannion engineered a 79-yard drive that took less than two minutes and was capped by an 18-yard TD pass to Cooks. Back up by five points at that stage, Oregon State elected to go for a two-point conversion and completed the attempt with a pass between Mannion and Hamlett.
Utah still had more than two minutes left on the clock and used the time to easily move the ball into the red zone. The Utes had the ball down inside the 10-yard line on their final drive of regulation as Wilson scrambled to the right corner of the end zone for the touchdown. With the successful PAT, the score was knotted at 45-45 with 21 seconds to play.
Oregon State elected to kneel down and run the clock out deep in their own territory rather than risk a turnover, taking the game to overtime.
Utah struck first with a 41-yard field goal to go up 48-45, but it was the combination of Mannion and Cooks that decided the outcome.
Mannion had completions to Kevin Cummings and Terron Ward for 15 and four yards, respectively, setting up the game-winning catch by Cooks who maintained his concentration even as the ball was tipped at the goal line.
The Utes came up short despite generating 539 yards of total offense on the night.