CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — After last season’s struggles, Oregon State’s defense appears to have righted itself.
The Beavers made a season-opening statement with a 10-7 victory over then-No. 13 Wisconsin last weekend — holding last year’s Big Ten champions scoreless until the final minutes.
Oregon State shut down Badgers running back Montee Ball, a Heisman finalist last season, holding him to 61 uneventful yards. Overall, the Beavers held Wisconsin to 35 yards rushing and 207 yards of total offense.
The effort was in marked contrast to those turned in by last year’s overmatched — and often star-crossed — defensive squad.
The 2011 defense was too often slow, tentative and technically sloppy. It ranked 84th in the country overall, and yielded nearly 200 yards a game on the ground.
Oregon State has this weekend off before visiting UCLA on Sept. 22.