MIZELL TAKES DOWN RODGERS
PULLMAN – Football players rarely hold fond memories of 15-yard personal fouls, but C.J. Mizell and his Washington State teammates might make an exception for Mizell’s penalty at Oregon State last year.
On the first play from scrimmage, star Beavers running back Jacquizz Rodgers took the handoff from quarterback Ryan Katz and managed to gain just 1 yard before he went out of bounds.
Of course, Rodgers didn’t get credit for the additional 10 yards or so that he traveled after he crossed the sideline, courtesy of Mizell.
The late hit, blatantly obvious to everyone in the stadium, drew a flag. Click for Video.
It incurred the wrath of Paul Wulff. And it also drew the attention of Mizell’s teammates, who responded to Mizell’s intensity by playing perhaps their best game of the season in a convincing 31-14 victory.
“It got everybody fired up,” Mizell recalled after Tuesday night’s practice at Rogers Field. “It wasn’t something that was planned.”
“Oh man, I mean, that was the PLAY last year for me,” quarterback Jeff Tuel said. “He did that and then he got all fired up. He was like, ‘Bring it on! Let’s go!’ Everyone had his back. That just kind of sling-shotted us forward and got us all fired up. We played great.”
The Cougars, who were riding an eight-game losing streak, came into the game as 23 1-2-point underdogs. Washington State thoroughly outplayed the Beavers, and Mizell’s late hit seemed to play a key role.
“That set an attitude for the game,” OSU quarterback Ryan Katz said later.
“The whole defense got mad,” Mizell said. “That just led to the offense firing up. They started feeding off of us. We just came together and started clicking on all cylinders.”
Mizell, a true freshman last year, was smothered in boos from Oregon State fans after he nailed Rodgers, one of the Beavers’ all-time greats.
“I loved that, too,” Mizell said with a smile. “They’re not supposed to like me at the end of the day.”
Did Rodgers have anything to say at the end of the play?
“Oh, he got up and mouthed off a few words,” Mizell said. “Somebody (an OSU player) from their sideline pushed me. I just wish someone would have hit me and got kicked out of the game! He (Rodgers) said a little something, but I wasn’t really worried about it. He’s just a little bitty guy.”
Mizell pleads guilty as charged to hitting Rodgers WAY out of bounds.
“Yeah, I’ve seen the play,” Mizell said with a sheepish grin. “We were out of bounds a LOT. I mean, it wasn’t like I was trying to do it. I contacted him, and I hit until you go to the ground, and he was still trying to run.”
So, C.J., what were Oregon State’s fans yelling at you? Somehow, we don’t think it was anything along the lines of “Go, C.J., go!”
“I THOUGHT that’s what they were saying!”