CORVALLIS, Ore. -- For the first time in 105 years, the Oregon State Beavers have won their first six games of a football season.
The Beavers defense came up big, collecting three turnovers that were probably the three most important plays of No. 8 Oregon State's 21-7 victory over the Utah Utes.
Utah (2-5, 0-4 Pac-12) had a golden opportunity to tie the game in the third quarter when a pass-interference penalty on OSU gave the Utes first-and-goal from the 3-yard line. The Beavers stopped two running plays and then Scott Crichton recovered a fumble on third down.
Oregon State's offense sputtered throughout but finally pieced a successful drive together in the fourth quarter, going 67 yards on seven plays. Storm Woods went three yards for the touchdown with 7:41 left in the game to give the Beavers a two-score cushion.
The Beavers (6-0, 4-0 Pac-12) haven't stood at 6-0 since 1907, a bygone era in which the team played Astoria, Whitman, Pacific (of Oregon), Oregon, Willamette and St. Vincent College (now Loyola Marymount).
OSU's offense was fairly anemic throughout and finished with only 226 yards. Brandin Cooks, who entered the game second nationally in receiving yards per game, ended with a single catch for eight yards and two carries for 10.
Utah's run defense was sensational throughout, holding the Beavers to 55 yards on the ground.
But Oregon State's defense, because of the way it set up the team's first two scores, was even more impressive. In three home games at Reser Stadium this season, the defense has yielded just 20 points.
Woods had 47 hard-going yards on 16 carries for Oregon State to go with his three touchdowns.
Oregon State's defense helped the Beavers take control of the game early, using a pair of turnovers to set up short fields.
Michael Doctor picked off freshman quarterback Travis Wilson's deflected pass and returned it 19 yards to the Utah 16. Four plays later, Woods put Oregon State on the scoreboard from a yard out, making it 7-0 with 57 seconds left in the first quarter.
Then, Rudolf Fifita hit Wilson and jarred the ball loose. Dylan Wynn recovered it for the Beavers. It was a 19-yard loss for Utah and set up Oregon State at the Utah 9. Again, Woods made the Utes pay with another short touchdown run.
Utah finally responded with an 88-yard, 10-play drive. Wilson hit tight end Jake Murphy on a post route for 18 yards and a touchdown with 6:00 left in the half. That cut Oregon State's lead to 14-7.
Oregon State's offense mustered only 98 yards in the first half and punted five times. The Utes had 175 yards at halftime.
A "black out" crowd of 45,769, fifth largest in Reser Stadium history, came to see the Beavers try to go 6-0 for the first time in more than 100 years and become bowl eligible earlier than any year in the history of the program.
NOTES: No. 8 Oregon State came into the game enjoying its highest ranking since closing the 2000 season at No. 4 after beating Notre Dame 41-9 in the Fiesta Bowl. ... The Beavers were seeking their first 6-0 start since 1907. Back then, the school was called Oregon Agricultural College and had an enrollment of 1,361. ... Utah had won four of the previous five meetings with OSU and trails the all-time series 6-9-1. ... True freshman Travis Wilson made his second start at quarterback, while Oregon State's Cody Vaz had his second straight start. Vaz was the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week after throwing for 332 yards at BYU last week.