Oregon rewrote the record book in the 121st Civil War in the process of obliterating Oregon State 69-10.
When Royce Freeman ran for his second touchdown of the day to make the score 31-7 not 5 minutes into the 2nd quarter, he passed Oregon State’s Ken Simonton to set a new conference record for rushing touchdowns with 60.
It was part of a Civil War record 35 points scored by a team in a quarter that was part of the a 52 point first half that was a new team record for Oregon and a new Civil War record for most points scored in a half.
That was also the most points scored this year in any half by any CFB team against a CFB opponent.
That set the stage for a game in which Oregon posted the most points ever scored in the Civil War and the largest margin of victory, 59 points, ever in a Civil War.
Oregon executed well on both offense and defense, against an Oregon State defense that routinely was in unsound alignments, regularly failed to address primary coverage responsibilities, repeatedly failed at gap cancellation, and often abandoned back side coverage responsibilities.
Meanwhile, the Beaver offense was again plagued by poor passing, struggled to establish the run, floundered aimlessly with personnel and play calling, and compounded the problem with a foolish special teams call that gave the Ducks the ball at the Beavers’ 19 yard line, which resulted in another Oregon touchdown on the next play. Oregon State also missed a 38 yard field goal, committed numerous turnovers, and drew multiple major penalties, including personal fouls on the opening kickoff of both halves.
Despite the ignominious to the game, the Oregon State defense held Oregon to a field goal on the Ducks first possession of the game. And though they had fallen behind by 17 points by then, the Beavers pulled back within 10 points before the end of the first quarter, when Timmy Hernandez got behind Oregon’s Thomas Graham, and then adjusted to an underthrown pass to still haul in a 43 yard touchdown pass, below, from Darell Garretson to make it 17-7.
It was the longest catch of his career for Hernandez, who was Oregon State’s leading receiver for the game, the longest play of the day by the Beavers, and the longest completion of the season by Garretson.
But that was the high point of the day for Oregon State, and as close as the Beavers would come, before the 2nd quarter happened. It was undoubtedly the worst quarter of football of the season, in a 1-11 season that was filled with bad quarters, bad halves, and bad games.
Coached for the first 6 games of the season by Gary Andersen, and the last half of the campaign by interim head coach Cory Hall after Andersen walked away from the disaster mid-season, it was the 9th game this year in which Oregon State was non-competitive, including all 6 road games, which extended the Beavers road losing streak to 19 games, only one of which has been competitive.
The Beavers didn’t stop a Ducks drive from scoring until they forced a punt with 4 minutes & 10 seconds left in the first half. By that time, Oregon State was already down 45-7, and responded with their 5th 3 and punt of the game, and 7th drive of 3 or fewer plays. That led to the longest play of the game, a 53 yard touchdown pass from Justin Herbert, below, to Dillon Mitchell, his second scoring catch of the game. Mitchell was the game’s leading receiver in terms of catches, yards, and touchdowns, with 6 catches for 119 yards and 2 scores.
Oregon outgained OSU 431 yards to 121 in the half, a number deflated by taking a knee on the last play before the break.
The Ducks would finished with 577 total yards for the game, and picked up 28 first downs, before scoring 9 touchdowns, despite going 3 deep at quarterback in the second half, and playing clock ball.
Oregon State only got to 211 yards for the game, and only 98 on the ground.
Freeman, above, finished with a co-game high 122 yards rushing, on 19 carries, exactly matching the 119 yards Kani Benoit ran for for the Ducks.
Garretson’s game, and career, ended face down on the field 5 1/2 minutes before the end of the 3rd quarter, ironically at the end of his 2nd best play of the day, a 40 yard completion to Trevon Bradford, the longest catch of Bradford’s college career.
That gain, and the roughing the passer penalty that was tacked on for the mercy killing-like hit that gave the beleaguered Garretson a concussion, brought on Mason Moran for his first collegiate action, which looked like it.
It did lead to Jordan Choukair’s 24 yard field goal that cut the deficit to 62-10, after the Beavers were unable to do anything with a 1st and goal, on their only trip to the red zone of the game.
The blowout win that led to Ducks dancing everywhere in Autzen Stadium after they avenged last year’s 34-24 Civil War loss concluded a 7-5 season for Oregon, which will in all likelihood send the Ducks flying south for a Cactus Bowl appearance over winter break.
In what might be his last game as a Beaver, Ryan Nall, above, finished with only 41 yards, on just 14 carries, though that was offset by a 7 yard loss, the biggest non-turnover negative play of the game, on his only catch. This after being the dominant player in the Civil War the last 2 seasons.
Thomas Tyner, above, had all of 8 carries, in his return to Autzen Stadium, where he initially played at for Oregon. That was 8 more touches than Jordan Villamin, below, got in his last game in his career in which he finished in the top 10 in receiving as a Beaver.
The disaster concluded Oregon State’s worst season since the 0-11 debacle in 1980, and matched the 3 1-10 seasons in 1990. 1991, & 1995 for futility in the last quarter century.
It ended the 4th consecutive non-bowl season, and 6th in the last 8 years, for the Beavers.
Why there was ever any trash talking, during the week, or before or during the game, by Oregon State, is as big a mystery as why the Beavers also believed playing fundamentally unsound football would be a good idea.
Despite the demonstration of total program failure, Oregon State Athletic Director Scott Barnes would not comment during or post-game about reports that surfaced Friday that Oregon State will be hiring California Offensive Coordinator, and former Eastern Washington head coach, Beau Baldwin to begin what will be a near total rebuild of the program.
Lets hope its because Barnes is still working on how to fix at least some of the cultural and institutional problems that will cause Baldwin to fail in Corvallis as well if they are all allowed to persist.
(Photos by Andy Wooldridge)
(Originally published 11/26/2017)