Beavers Take Away 37-7 Win From Bengals
Oregon State took a 30 point win from Idaho State today. Literally.
When you win the turnover battle by a +4 margin, with a pick-6 included, something resembling a 30 point win usually results, no matter what else may have happened. Especially when you have the bigger, faster, more talented team to begin with.
None of those characteristics have often been in the Beavers favor often of late, but today they all were against a game bunch of Bengals, but a bunch that are still from a below the median in the FCS Big Sky Conference, not a Power 5 conference team, or a FBS top 25 contender.
It took a while for Oregon State to get rolling, and that was only the first of many items of concern to come out of what even coach Gary Andersen considered to be one of the least satisfying 4+score wins you will ever see.
“We aren’t ready to win at this level yet,” Andersen said post game.
“This level” didn’t refer to the level of competition in the drizzle today; Andersen was actual speaking of “that level” that the Beavers are about to encounter on the next 10 Saturdays, beginning with Boise State next Saturday, and then the run of 9 Pac-12 games without a bye week, and the number of errors that combined to keep the game as close as it was.
The slow start could have been in part a product of the distraction and excitement of the first home game of the season.
The Oregon State University Marching Band, which is celebrating their 125th year, and is the oldest band in the Pac-12 (yes, we had a band for a couple of years before we had a football team, and the university decided to start one to give the band something to play for), debuted new uniforms, above, and the newly remodeled Valley Football Center was unveiled, complete with a new team entrance, below.
The 16 day layoff since the season opening game at Minnesota had to have had an affect as well.
The result was despite great starting position at midfield, and a 44 yard completion from Darell Garretson to Paul Lucas, who had slipped out of the back-field unaccounted for by the Idaho State defense, Oregon State’s erratic offense still stalled out, and the Beavers had to settle for a Garrett Owens field goal.
That foreshadowed things to come, as the Beavers had to turn to Owens 4 times, and one of those would sail wide.
It wasn’t until Ryan Nall’s 2 yard touchdown just over 4 minutes before halftime, above, which opened the Beavers’ lead to 20-0 that anything about the game began to feel comfortable.
And if there was some comfortableness in the 23-0 halftime lead, the recurring rain on the Beavers’ opening day parade not withstanding, nervousness quickly came back on the first play of the third quarter, when Jakori Ford promptly romped past the Oregon State defense for a 75 yard touchdown.
The Oregon State defense made Ford, above, resemble Christian McCaffrey, as the Bengal’s RB rolled up 200 all-purpose yards, including 122 on the ground, and 46 returning kicks.
Turnovers Turn The Game
The story of the game was the Oregon State defense, which recorded 5 take-aways, including 4 interceptions, and their first 4 sacks of the season, one of which produced a fumble by Idaho State quarterback Tanner Gueller that Titus Failauga caused, and Manase Hungalu recovered that stopped the Bengals’ first drive (in Oregon State territory), and produced another short field that resulted in Garretson’s 7 yard touchdown run that made it 10-0 Beavers.
Treston Decoud was the player of the game, with 2 interceptions, including the 75 yard pick-6, left, that ended the scoring before the mid-way mark of the 3rd quarter. That was the longest interception return for a touchdown by a Beaver since 2000.
Caleb Saulo, see the story lead photo, and Brandon Arnold, below, also got in the path of Gueller throws. In all, 24 of Oregon State’s points came off of turnovers.
Oregon State fans also got to see the second longest rushing touchdown in program history, behind only Terry Baker’s 99 yard Liberty Bowl run, and one of the 4 longest scoring plays from scrimmage in Beaver history, when Victor Bolden turned the corner on a fly sweep for a 92 yard touchdown run.
(Too bad it shouldn’t have counted; note the obvious hold on the play, with an official looking right at it!)
But the play stood, and Bolden wound up leading the Beavers in both rushing, with 111 yards, and receiving, with 56 yards on just 2 carries.
Bengals Battled Beavers Close Except On Scoreboard
Had it not been for the turnovers, it might have been a very close contest. Oregon State only outgained Idaho State by 55 yards, and if the Center Judge been paying attention to what he was seeing, the Bengals would have had the overall advantage, and almost out gained the Beavers on the ground.
Aside from the 4 picks (not that that can be overlooked), Gueller, who threw for 227 yards on 28 of 46 passing, easily out-performed Garretson, who only completed half of his throws, 15 of 30, and for only 172 yards. 92 of those came on 2 tosses, meaning Garretson had a disastrous 2.85 yards per attempt on his other 28 throws. And a number of throws were well off target, including missing what should have been touchdown tosses on more than one occasion.
Garretson also absorbed 2 of the 3 sacks the Oregon State o-line allowed.
Nall, despite the critical second quarter score, struggled to get going on the ground, and managed only 39 yards on 13 attempts.
Seth Collins got several direct snaps in the Wild Beaver formation, and was targeted several times in the passing game, but the Bengals’ defense was all over Collins all day, right, and the Beavers’ most versatile weapon wound up with only 28 yards.
Jordan Villamin was missing in action again as well, following up his 1 catch opening night with 3 catches, but for only 27 yards. The first 2 of which came on consecutive plays, but didn’t come until the 3rd quarter.
The offense didn’t produce a point in the final 26 1/2 minutes of the game.
And despite the take-aways, the defense wasn’t immune from problems either. Low-lights included a pass interferrence penalty on a 4th down throw that was a good 5 yards uncatchable, an unsportsman like penalty on Decoud for the celebration following the pick-6, another unsportsmanlike penalty on Elu Aydon that wiped out a sack on 3rd & 1 (Aydon also got the unsportsmanlike penalty at the end of the Minnesota game that allowed the Gophers to run out the clock), and Jalen Moore getting a targeting penalty, which resulted in not only an ejection, but his disqualification for the first half of next week’s Boise State game, which came with Oregon State ahead by 30(!) points.
Totaled up, Oregon State had 9 penalties for 95 yards.
The Beavers also lost tight end Noah Togiai, who suffered a knee injury on an illegal cut block on the game’s opening kickoff. Togiai managed a couple of plays, but was then pulled from the game by the training staff. Togiai was on crutches by the end of the first quarter, and Dr. Aukerman said Togiai’s knee will be looked at closely on Monday to determine the severity of the injury. His status won’t be known until at least after that examination.
These were among the issues Andersen was alarmed about, and he’s right. If the Beavers don’t clean up a lot of stuff, the Broncos will trample them. And don’t think Boise St. didn’t take notice; the Broncos had a bye this week and doubtless to a man watched every play of today’s game.
But their first win in a year, after 10 straight losses, never mind by 30 points, will make working on cleaning up their act a lot easier task to take on.
Cue the fight song, at least for this week!
(Photos by Andy Wooldridge)