CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Jordan Poyer was confident he would play well heading into Saturday's game against the Cougars.
"To be honest with you — I wouldn't lie to you — I did," Oregon State's cornerback said after his three interceptions in the No. 14 Beavers' 19-6 win over the Cougars.
"It's just something you feel."
With the entire varsity squad from Poyer's alma mater, Astoria (Ore.) High School, attending the game, the senior handled Washington State quarterbacks Connor Halliday and Jeff Tuel.
Poyer's second interception forced Halliday from the game. His third, with 3:18 remaining, sealed the victory.
"It was the biggest performance," said Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton, who added three sacks. "That's a superstar right there. He carried us."
The Beavers (4-0, 3-0 Pac-12) needed the defensive effort, as the offense — and quarterback Sean Mannion — struggled.
Mannion threw three interceptions and finished 25 of 42 for 270 yards. He was sacked three times.
Markus Wheaton had 95 yards receiving and a touchdown. Oregon State has surpassed its win total for the 2011 season and is 4-0 for the first time since 2002.
Tuel was 11 of 17 for 126 yards after replacing Halliday, who threw three interceptions.
Marquess Wilson had four catches for 54 yards to lead the Cougars (2-4, 0-3). Halliday was 9 for 20 for 81 yards.
Turnovers hurt the Cougars as they continue to implement new coach Mike Leach's pass-heavy offense.
Crichton and sophomore defensive end Dylan Wynn kept both Halliday and Tuel on the run. All together, the Cougars had four interceptions and a fumble.
"(The Beavers) were jumping routes because they were playing a lot of man coverage," Tuel said. "They were playing it tight, and honestly, it's just a small place to throw a football."
Mannion was selected the Pac-12 offensive player of the week after throwing for 433 yards last week in a 38-35 win over Arizona. But he was not sharp to start Saturday's game, missing receivers and throwing two interceptions early.
The Beavers had another promising drive stopped when they failed to convert a fourth-and-2 at the Washington State 24. Oregon State had to settle for Trevor Romaine's two field goals and a 6-3 halftime lead.
Mannion showed more poise in the second half. He led the Beavers down the field for a 75-yard scoring drive to start the third quarter, hitting Wheaton for a 12-yard touchdown pass.
"I'm really proud of the way our team came out in the second half," Mannion said. "I think that says a lot about us."
In the fourth quarter, Mannion led a 13-play, 86-yard drive that Tyler Anderson capped with a 1-yard run. The Beavers were 3 for 3 on third downs during the drive.
"And two of those third-down conversions were major league," said Oregon State coach Mike Riley, who became the school's winningest coach in last week's win at Arizona.
Helped out by two 15-yard Oregon State penalties, Tuel completed 5 of 7 passes on a drive early in the fourth, but the drive ended in Andrew Forney's 32-yard field goal.
"I thought we were pretty disjointed on offense," Leach said. "Oregon State's defense was more physical than our offense."
• Weather at game time was 74 degrees and sunny. Wind was 11 mph from the North.
• The game aired on the Pac-12 Networks for the first time ever from Reser Stadium. Kevin Calabro was the play-by-play announcer while Adam Archuleta was the analyst. Yogi Roth was the sideline reporter.
• Washington State won the coin toss and elected to receive to start the game. Oregon State kicked off from the East end zone.
• Oregon State captains were Markus Wheaton, Andrew Seumalo, Tyrequek Zimmerman and Jordan Poyer.
• Oregon State wore orange uniform tops with white pants. Washington State wore all white.
• Attendance for the game was an Oregon State single-game record 46,579.
• Oregon State celebrated the 60th birthday of its mascot, Benny Beaver. Also honored was the first Benny, Ken Austin, who is now the owner of A-dec, a worldwide manufacturing leader in dental equipment located in Newberg, Ore.
Oregon State Team Notes
• Oregon State improved to 4-0 for the first time since the 2002 season.
• The Beavers’ four-game win streak is their longest since the 2009 season when defeating UCLA, California, Washington and Washington State.
• The Beavers’ defense held Washington State from scoring a touchdown. Oregon State last kept a team out of the end zone when shutting out Pittsburgh in the 2008 Sun Bowl.
• The Beavers held WSU scoreless in the first quarter; no team has scored in the first quarter against the Beavers this season. The Cougars were 1-of-4 on third-down conversions in the quarter, as opponents are 3-for-15 in the first this season.
• Washington State was 2-of-10 on third-down conversions. Oregon State opponents are now just 10-for-49 (.204) on third-down conversions this season.
• The Beavers held Washington State to just 22 first-quarter yards. Oregon State has allowed 158 yards cumulative in the first quarter of games in 2012.
Oregon State Individual Notes
• Jordan Poyer intercepted three passes, becoming the first OSU player with multiple interceptions since he had two against Arizona State in 2011. His three interceptions are tied for second-most in school history and is the most since Mitch Meeuwsen tallied three against Washington State on Oct. 25, 2003.
• Poyer now has 10 interceptions for his career, needing one to break into the top 10 in school history.
• Poyer managed to return his first punt for yardage this season in the first quarter. He returned it 24 yards. Entering the game, he had two returns for no yardage.
• Scott Crichton tallied three sacks, becoming the first OSU player to do so since Stephen Paea against UCLA on Oct. 31, 2009.
• Crichton also finished with four tackles for loss, tying for the third-most in a game by an Oregon State player.
• Rudolf Fifita recovered his first fumble of the season in the second quarter. It was also the first of his career.
• Anthony Watkins’ interception in the second quarter was the second of his career and first since 2009. He returned it for 39 yards.
• Markus Wheaton caught nine passes for 95 yards. He is now in sole possession of fourth in school history with 172 career receptions. He also moves into sole possession of fifth in yardage with 2,248.
• Wheaton caught his fourth touchdown pass of the season in the third quarter. That gave him eight touchdown receptions for his career.
• Caleb Smith caught his first career pass, for 3 yards, in the third quarter.
• Tyler Anderson’s 25-yard rush in the fourth quarter was the longest carry by any OSU player his season.
• Anderson’s 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter was his second score of the year.