CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — This was the type of game where No. 8 Stanford thrives, the sort of bare-knuckled, physical brawl where yards and points are hard to come by.
Tyler Gaffney ran for three touchdowns and the Cardinal held off Oregon State's fourth-quarter comeback bid in a 20-12 win Saturday night.
Gaffney ran 22 times for 145 yards and scored on runs of 4, 9 and 32 yards to highlight a slow offensive night for Stanford (7-1, 5-1 Pac-12). Stanford totaled 276 yards of offense as quarterback Kevin Hogan completed just 8 of 18 passes for 88 yards.
Oregon State didn't top 300 yards either, held to 288 — well off the Beavers' season average of 515 yards. OSU quarterback Sean Mannion, the national leader in yards passing and touchdown passes, was 41 of 57 for 271 yards and one touchdown.
Beavers receiver Brandin Cooks, tops in the nation in receptions and yards, finished with nine catches for 80 yards.
"Defensively, I thought we played extremely well, against the No. 1 quarterback and the No. 1 receiver in the nation. To hold Cooks down was phenomenal," Stanford coach David Shaw said.
Stanford's defense came up big in key situations, as it turned back Oregon State on downs four times inside the Cardinal 35. Stanford held Mannion to less than 350 yards passing for the first time this season, and sacked him eight times.
It wasn't pretty for the Cardinal offense, and in particular, Hogan. The Beavers' defense had him scrambling, and Hogan was able to complete only three passes longer than 10 yards.
"We should have played better in the passing game. I can't tell you exactly why, or what happened new. One thing I knew is this is the most pressure we have faced," Shaw said.
But Gaffney, who leads Stanford in rushing with 878 yards this season, picked up the slack. Gaffney, who often gained yardage after the first contact, was effective in the second half, when he ran for 79 yards and two touchdowns.
"If you can just get those extra yards, it's something I take on myself as a pride thing, and you know, I think Stanford football is about it," Gaffney said.
The Beavers (6-2, 4-1) trailed 20-9 with less than 4 minutes remaining and nearly forced overtime. Down by eight, Oregon State drove to the Stanford 7 with 30 seconds remaining, but four consecutive incompletions stopped the rally and ended the Beavers' six-game winning streak.
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