Season wrap: Oregon State

At the midway point, we pointed out Oregon State's season was clearly divided into an easier portion (the first seven games) and a decidedly more difficult portion (the final five).

Other than the surprising upset to FCS Eastern Washington in the season opener, the Beavers held serve in the former -- reaching bowl eligibility by their seventh game.

And the latter? A much different story.

Oregon State dropped its final five games of the regular season to mar a season that featured standout performances from receiver Brandin Cooks and quarterback Sean Mannion. Mannion, who set the Pac-12 single-season record with 4,662 yards, will return for his senior season.

The Beavers ended on a high note with a win against Boise State in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl.

You can read our graded review of Oregon State here.

Offensive MVP: Cooks. The Biletnikoff Award winner set single-season Pac-12 records with 128 catches and 1,730 yards. He finished his career with a school-record 24 touchdown receptions, including a single-season school record 16 in 2013. After the season, Cooks announced he would head to the NFL.

Defensive MVP: DE Scott Crichton. Crichton finished the season with 19 tackles for loss, which was tied for third in the Pac-12, and he led the team with 7.5 sacks. Like Cooks, Crichton made himself eligible for the NFL draft. He is the first Oregon State defensive player to leave early for the NFL since Brandon Browner in 2005.

Best moment: Winning 51-48 in overtime at Utah on Sept. 14. Mannion tossed five touchdowns, including the game winner to Cooks in the first overtime in one of the most exciting Pac-12 games of the season. Without the win, Oregon State would have been home for the holidays.

Worst moment: Losing 69-27 at home against Washington on Nov. 23. It wasn't that they lost, it's how they lost. The Beavers fell behind 48-0 through the first three quarters in one of the worst performances of Mike Riley's tenure.