CORVALLIS, Ore. – Jacquizz Rodgers ran for 132 yards and two touchdowns and James Dockery sealed the game with an interception in No. 25 Oregon State's 35-28 win over Louisville on Saturday night.
Ryan Katz threw for 142 yards and the Beavers re-established Rodgers as the focal point of the offense, but the Cardinals gave Oregon State a major scare and may have caught the Beavers (1-1) looking ahead to a matchup with No. 3 Boise State next week.
The Cardinals (1-2) moved the ball effectively in their third game under new coach Charlie Strong, rolling up 453 yards of offense.
Quarterback Adam Froman threw for 288 yards and helped the Cardinals come back from a three touchdown deficit. Louisville had a final chance to tie or win the game and was driving at the Beavers' 49 with under a minute left but Froman's errant pass to Dockery ended the threat.
Rodgers was unusually inconspicuous in the Beavers' 30-21 loss to then-No. 6 TCU two weeks ago, rushing for just 75 yards and failing to catch a pass. But the Beavers' Heisman candidate carried the ball 25 times against Louisville and caught five passes, one for a touchdown. The Beavers re-entered the top 25 this week despite a bye week.
Doug Beaumont had nine catches for 121 yards, and Bilal Powell had 83 yards rushing. But missed opportunities and a leaky defense had the Cardinals playing catch up all game.
Louisville marched down the field on their first two possessions — gaining 100 yards of offense — but squandered both chances to take an early lead. On the first drive the Beavers stuffed Powell on a fourth and one from the 2. On the second drive, Froman ran 12 yards on a quarterback keeper but had the ball punched out of his hands and through the back of the end zone when he was a foot from the goal line.
Katz found tight end Joe Halahuni for a three-yard touchdown pass to put the Beavers up 7-0 just before the end of the first quarter. Froman kept the ball on an option and ran 17 yards for a touchdown to tie the score.
Rodgers ran for two touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass for the Beavers, who went up 28-14 in the third quarter. Rodgers took a direct snap and handed off to split end Markus Wheaton, who ran for a 28-yard score, which appeared to put Oregon State in the driver's seat.
But Froman ran for a five yard touchdown and connected with Cameron Graham for another one that got Louisville within seven.
Louisville dominated Oregon State 63-27 when the two teams met for the first time in 2005. However, that was two coaching regimes ago, under Bobby Petrino. Strong replaced the fired Steve Kragthorpe this season. The Cardinals lost to Kentucky 23-16 in their first game but beat Eastern Kentucky last week.