Oregon State Leaves Oregon In A Fog

The newly renamed “Rivalry” game between the Beavers and Ducks put itself prominently in history with the greatest of the “Civil Wars”, as Oregon State pulled out the 41-38 win. 

The local sunshine pumpers accidentally hooked up the pumps to fog, and the resulting shrouding of Reser was easily the most obscured game since the 2004 Fog Bowl against USC. 

But no amount of fog could take away from a battle that had it all; a record setting performance by Jemar Jefferson, an even better start by Oregon, egregious coaching errors, key missed penalties, timing management issues that made spot gate seem trivial, arguably Beaver quarterback Tristan Gebbia’s best game, multiple key injuries, including one to Gebbia at a key juncture, and a game winning score in the final minute of the game. By a player who had never played a Division I down before. 

And as a result, the outcome was better for Beavers than the famous but unsuccessful battle with the Trojans. 

Along the way were enough notable plays on both sides that will keep columnists and chat boarders occupied for years.  Continue reading

Oregon State Wins Wild One over California

Oregon State started fast and finished strong Saturday in their first day game of the season Saturday, and it was enough to pull out an exciting 31-27 victory for the Beavers’ first win of the season. 

The Beavers scored on the first play of the game, and again on their first pass play of the day, got the last score of the game, after blocking a punt, got an interception after the Bears had driven inside the Oregon State 10 yard line, and got one last big Jemar Jefferson run that sealed the victory. 

Jefferson’s 65 yard run that setup victory formation bookended the game nicely with his 75 yard touchdown run that started the day.  Jefferson’s first and last runs of the game are the 2 longest in his career.

In between, Tristan Gebbia had the most exciting day on a day where lots of Beavers and Bears got excited. Gebbia had the rare trifecta, throwing for the Beavers 2nd touchdown, catching a pass for a go ahead touchdown in the 4th quarter, and finally, rushing for the game winning touchdown with 4 ½ minutes to go.  

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Washington Slugs Oregon State

Oregon State made progress Saturday night in soggy Seattle, but in the end, it wasn’t enough, and Washington whipped the Beavers for the 9th year in a row. The Huskies got a 27-21 win in new Head Coach Jimmy Lake’s coaching debut, and their first game of the season. 

For those who like 50’s football, this game was for you. If you eliminate one 42 yard catch and run, Oregon State’s Tristian Gebbia and Washington’s redshirt freshman Dylan Morris, in his mystery first start, combined to throw for 184 yards. The Beavers and Huskies meanwhile combined to run for 434 yards. 

If you don’t like Pac-12 officiating, this game was not for you. Oregon State will decry “the spot”, which not only turned the ball over in a 4 point game inside the Washington 5 yard line, earning comments of “egregious” and “horrible” from multiple national journalists. In truth, it was only the most glaring of several ball spotting excursions. 

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Washington State Hands Oregon State Double Digit Loss

Oregon State entered the Pac-12 season opener as a 3 point favorite over Washington State, which was implementing a new offense, the run and shoot, and a revamped defense, for a new coach, and completely new coaching staff, and with a new quarterback. It was the first time the Beavers have been favored over a Power-5 opponent in years.  

It was also a major mis-calculation. The Cougars dominated a majority of the game, and held off a Beaver rally to come away with a 38-28 win on a damp and chilly night in empty Reser Stadium. 

Oregon State started with back to back 3 play and punt possessions. Washington State then took a 7-0 lead, when true freshman Jayden dE Laura, the first true freshman to ever start at quarterback for the Cougars, connected with Travell Harris for a 29 yard touchdown completion. 

The Beavers answered that with another 3 and punt, which ended with a bad snap on the punt, which set the Cougars up in Oregon State territory. Only an interception by Jaydon Grant in the Beaver endzone prevented another Washington State score, but then came a a 5 play and punt effort.  

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Oregon Sees Opportunities And Seizes Civil War Win From Oregon State

Oregon saw a number of opportunities in Saturday’s 123rd Civil War game against Oregon State, and the Ducks capitalized on all of them, seizing a 24-10 win over the Beavers as a result.

Key injuries to both the Oregon State offense and defense, assignment problems on defense, questionable play calling on offense, and special teams breakdowns all contributed to the problem, and the opportunities, which Oregon converted into both a 2 touchdown halftime lead, and the 2 touchdown win.

The Beavers got bad news when senior starting quarterback Jake Luton determined in pre-game warmups that an injury to his throwing arm fore-arm initially sustained in last week’s game against Washington State had not responded to treatment enough for him to grip or throw the football effectively.

As a result, red-shirt sophomore Tristan Gebbia, with 10 minutes notice, made his first start since high school in the Civil War, in front of an Autzen Stadium capacity crowd of 56,243, the biggest crowd of the year to watch the Beavers.

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Washington State, And Oregon State, Gets The Best Of Oregon State

Washington State got the best of Oregon State Saturday night in Pullman, needing every second of the game to pull out the 54-53 win that sends the Cougars to a bowl game. In more ways than one.

But as much as anything, and anything also includes amended officiating, Oregon State got the best of itself, outguessing itself, and playing such atrocious defense all night long that 5 takeaways couldn’t slow Washington State down enough to avoid a literally last second defeat, when Cougar running back Max Borghi scored from 2 yards out with 1 second left to complete a 2 touchdown comeback in the last 4 minutes of the game.

As a result, it is the Beavers, not the Cougars, who will have to go on the road next week to win a rivalry game against an favored angry opponent to end what will otherwise become a 6 year bowl drought.

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Beavers Win A November Game To Remember

Oregon State won a November game to remember Saturday night. Also one that mattered to all concerned. That hasn’t happened in almost exactly 5 years, coming 1 night after the freezer bowl win over the same Arizona State team that left Reser Stadium after a series of unexpected game events then as well.

When Jake Luton knelled down to end the game, the Beavers led the Darkness Devils 35-34. Shortly thereafter, an assortment of students and family members spilled onto the field, and the band played on.

It came after over 3 hours of offensive fireworks and fizzles, both of which have been repeated story lines for both Oregon State and Arizona State all season. It came after some brilliant defense by both teams, but also numerous breakdowns. Also a recurring theme in both Corvallis and Tempe. It came after some questionable officiating. A standard across the conference for years.

It also came after some bold and aggressive decisions by both head coaches late in the game, one of which worked, albeit aided by both a defensive mistake and the last of a long line of officiating surprises. It was another success story by a second year coach who has been right more often than not when rolling the dice.

And one which didn’t work, something of a surprise from an experienced coach who has had a considerable amount of success late in games in his current 2 year stint by making good calls, not one that was highly likely to lead to losing, when an alternative that likely would have led to overtime, and more, maybe much more, 50-50 football, was available.

“But its football.”

So said senior Oregon State safety Jalen Moore in analysis of both Arizona State Coach Herm Edwards’ decision to go for 2 points, and the lead, after the Devils had pulled within 1 point on Brandon Aiyuk’s 2nd touchdown catch of the game with 1:40 to go, and Oregon State Coach Jonathan Smith’s decision to pull punter Daniel Rodriguez off the field, and have Luton try to pick up a win sealing first down with a 4th down pass.

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Husky Defense Hammers Beavers

Prominent talking points around the Pac-12 this season have been about how the Washington Purple Reign defense isn’t what it has been, and how efficient the Oregon State offense has been.

Both were, and still are, true.

But Jimmy Lake and Pete Kwiatkowski, the Huskies Defensive Coordinator and Co-Coordinator had none of it Friday night at Reser Stadium though.

From the get-go, Washington shut down the Oregon State offense, and as a result, despite what was arguably the best defensive performance by the Beavers since well back into the days when Mark Banker was actually a successful defensive coordinator, the Huskies claimed the 19-7 win.

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Oregon State Wins Shootout In Arizona

Oregon State started both halves fast, but used bigger finishes to both halves to outdistance Arizona in a shootout in Tucson Saturday. The Beavers scored on their first possessions of the game and after halftime, but it was a 28 point 2nd quarter and 2 more scores in the last 8 minutes of the game that produced the Wildcat Homecoming spoiling 56-38 win.

The Beavers rolled up 572 total yards, including 385 in the first half, using a balanced attack that saw both Artavis Pierce and Jemar Jefferson run for over 100 yards, and Jake Luton complete 20 of 26 passes, for 328 yards and 3 touchdowns.

The 1-2 punch of Pierce (114 yards on 15 carries), above, and Jefferson (105 yards on 22 rushes), who was seeing his first significant action since the Hawaii game, also accounted for 4 of Oregon State’s 5 rushing touchdowns, 3 by Jefferson.

Isaiah Hodgins had another monster game, with 7 catches for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns, and overcame a knee injury that knocked him out of action briefly late in the 2nd quarter, but Noah Togiai also had 5 catches for 69 yards and a score as well. Luton found 6 other Beavers as well.

The offensive barrage came despite the naming this week of Arizona Hall-Of-Famer Chuck Cecil as the ‘Cats’ new Defensive Coordinator.

Oregon State needed nearly all of it though, as the Beaver defense, though continuing their trend of being better at times, still gave up 526 yards, 378 in the air to a combined effort of Kalil Tate and Grant Gunnell, who combined to complete 26 passes.

The ‘Cats also got 78 yards and 2 touchdowns rushing from JJ Taylor, and another 54 yards and a score from Gary Brightwell, most of that on a late 3rd quarter Arizona drive that pulled the ‘Cats within 42-31. Taylor also had 7 catches for 89 yards.

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Oregon State Pulls A Tough Win Out Of Berkeley

Oregon State spent a lot of time answering tough questions Saturday in Berkeley, and the Beavers had enough good answers to pull out a 21-17 win against California.

The first question was whether the Beavers would bounce back after last week’s 52-7 blowout loss to Utah. Jumping out to a 14-0 first half lead against Cal, and another of the best defenses in the country, never mind the conference, was a definite yes.

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