Arizona State Torches Oregon State

On a night when it poured from the beginning of pregame warmups through the game and well into the night, one would assume it would be impossible to burn anything. 

However, Arizona State still managed to burn the Oregon State defense to the ground. The Sun Devils hit big play after big play after big play on their way to 514 total yards, including 375 rushing, and a 46-33 win. 

For their own part, the Beavers rolled up some numbers as well, 474 total yards, 250 on the ground. But multiple turnovers, multiple messed up punts, and too many trick plays that backfired more than overcame some offensive creativity, and yet another 100 yard rushing game by Jermar Jefferson. 

Big plays, often as a result of a defense that didn’t account for Arizona State primary threats, were a real big problem as well, as Oregon State gave up touchdown plays of 64, 53, 55, & 29 yards in length. 

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Stanford Does “Stanford” To Oregon State Again

Oregon State played well, especially considering they were short handed going into the game, and then got beat up some more. But with the game tied just past the mid-way point in the 4th quarter, Stanford did what Stanford does. The Cardinal ate up nearly 5 ½ minutes, kicked the go ahead field goal, fought a rear guard action to bleed away most of the rest of the game, and then forced a fumble, the only one of the game the Beavers suffered. It was the only turnover by either team in their last 2 meetings.

As a result, the Cardinal got out of Reser Stadium with a 27-24 win, and Oregon State continued to have a “Stanford problem”.

 

The Cardinal spent the week in the hotel across the street from Reser Stadium, after being exiled by Santa Clara county Covid restrictions that force the game to be moved from Palo Alto to Corvallis. Stanford Coach David Shaw even declared his team residents of Corvallis. As such, they made themselves comfortable enough to win their 3rd close game in 4 years in Reser.

Chance Nolan, in his second start for Oregon State in place of the injured Tristan Gebbia, who suffered a hamstring injury late in the win over Oregon, and had season ending surgery this week, improved markedly over his first start.

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Utah Holds Off Oregon State

It was going to be hard for Oregon State to beat Utah on the road in any event, and the loss of quarterback Tristan Gebbia late in last week’s win over Oregon didn’t help. But the big blow came when Covid contact tracing forced running back Jermar Jefferson into quarantine Tuesday evening, and out of the game, though Oregon State didn’t disclose that development until after it came out Saturday morning, after Jefferson didn’t make the trip to Salt Lake City.

Things got worse early in the third quarter when backup running back BJ Baylor was forced out of the game with a shoulder injury. Shortly thereafter, wide receiver and kickoff returner Champ Flemings also left, also with a shoulder injury.

When Utah’s Britain Covey started off the 4th quarter with a 64 yard punt return for the touchdown that put the Utes ahead 30-10, it probably would have sent most of the crowd for the exits on a frigid night in Salt Lake City, with temperatures in the 20s, had there actually been a crowd.

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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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