Oregon State used another signature slow start to dig themselves into another hole they couldn’t climb out of, and Oregon took advantage of a significant speed advantage against the overmatched OSU defense to build a 3 touchdown first half lead. The Beavers rallied in the second half, but ill-advised point chasing on conversions kept them from ever getting the game back to a 1 possession contest. As a result, Oregon took a 38-29 win in the 125th episode of the local Civil Competitive Conflict, which took back the Platypus trophy, locked up the Pac-12 North Championship, and a third consecutive trip to the Pac-12 Championship game.
Oregon State is the best rushing team in the Pac-12, and Arizona State found out about that cold, hard truth Saturday night. The Beavers used both a relentless grinding ground game and a couple of big runs to cap a perfect home season, the first one since the one the 2000 Fiesta Bowl team honored at the game, and with throwback uniforms, with a 24-10 in what’s become an annual late season tradition, a frigid night game against the Darkness Devis from the dessert. It was the 3rd season in a row where Oregon State’s last home game has been a visit from Arizona State, a cold situation the Beavers have capitalized on at the Darkness Devils’s expense 3 times since 2014.
BJ Baylor, as usual, did the heavy lifting, with 20 carries for 150 yards, both easily game highs, but the highlight play of the game, and effectively the knockout punch in what was essentially a rock fight, came from the omnipresent Jack (of all positions) Colletto, who delivered the breakaway 47 yard 4th quarter 4th down and 2 touchdown run that re-shifted the momentum to Oregon state after Arizona State’s second half surge had turned the game the Beavers had controlled throughout the first half into a 1 score game.
Coupled with Oregon State’s best adjusted for the quality of opponent defensive effort of the year, it was cause for serious celebration on Senior Night, and a fitting “Last Ride” for the soon to be demolished west side of Reser (and Parker, the first 40 rows of seats date to the original construction of Parker) Stadium that will be replaced and updated.
Oregon State ended a couple of losing streaks Saturday, beating Stanford 35-14. The Cardinal had won 11 in a row against the Beavers, dating back to 2010. Also, the third time was the charm for Oregon State to get their elusive 6th win of the season, after losing the last 2 weeks to California and Colorado, finally earning bowl eligibility for the first time since 2013.
The game also marked a milestone of sorts, the first game after Head Coach Jonathan Smith fired Tim Tibesar, who had been Smith’s Defensive Coordinator since Smith was hired 4 years ago, and elevated assistant coach Trent Bray to be the Defensive Coordinator, on an interim basis, at least for the moment.
The result was the lowest total yardage the Beavers have yielded to a Pac-12 opponent during Smith’s career, and by a significant amount.
Stanford, struggling minus over a dozen starters and regulars, including starting quarterback Tanner McKee and starting a true freshman quarterback who hadn’t played significant football since he was a sophomore in high school, before he gave way to eventually the Cardinal’s 5th string quarterback, in his place, had lost 4 straight games entering the game, was overmatched both offensively and defensively.
But Oregon State still had to make plays, and made ones they hadn’t all too often, regardless of the game circumstances. The result was a 3-0 edge in turnovers that negated a lot of Cardinal positives (and Beaver negatives), and set the stage for other OSU positives, and ultimately the third straight home game that ended in a significant win, and the Oregon State fan base coming over the walls onto the field to make up emotionally for 7 ½ years of losing.
Yet again, Oregon State’s players fought hard to the finish. The effort was unquestionable, and the Beavers came from behind and had chances to win, become bowl eligible, and ensure a non-losing regular season.
But also, yet again, Oregon State came out ill-prepared, the 3rd time in a row on the road, and that dug an unnecessary hole that has proven time and again to be too deep to climb out of on the road when the problem is compounded by injuries and awful coaching errors that spotted the opponent scores. A record long 60 yard field goal by Everett Hayes (after a shorter miss) afforded a chance to overcome it all in overtime, and finally earn that increasingly elusive bowl eligibility.
Only to have questionable play-calling lead to another missed field goal, and ultimately another loss, where despite tremendous effort, the fact of the matter is Oregon State got beat again, this time 37-34 by Colorado, because they were again out-played and out-coached.
Oregon State got jumped early by Cal Saturday afternoon in Strawberry Canyon, and though the Beavers twice rallied when they were on the verge of getting blown out, the Bears countered, and pulled away to a 39-25 win that wouldn’t have been that close but for a questionable spot that negated a knockout punch, and the subsequent decision by Cal to pull off when they could well have piled on.
Too many turnovers were troubling (Oregon State had 3 of them, including one on the first play of the game when Marqez Bimage stripped BJ Baylor that Cal turned into a touchdown less than 3 minutes into the game), and there were also (again) too many (Defensive Coordinator Tim) Tibesar signature turn some primary receiver loose for an undefended touchdown (2 more tonight) coverage scheme failures. And there was too much of the most experienced quarterback in the conference (Cal’s Chase Garbers) to get away with that.
The Beaver defense was shredded by the experienced and mobile Garbers, who converted 13 of 19 third down situations, and repeatedly found something when the bullets were really flying. The result was a balanced Bear attack Garbers directed that ran for 255 yards and 2 touchdowns (58 by Garbers), while Garbers was throwing for 262 yards and 3 more touchdowns. A staggering 517 yards. Compounding the problem for Oregon State, Cal controlled the ball for 8 more minutes of the game, limiting the Beavers’ opportunities to come back.
Familiar Beavers All Figure In Homecoming Win
Oregon State had to overcome numerous obstacles, some self-created, some courtesy of officiating, and certainly some created by a very tough opponent, in order to come from behind multiple times, and defeat Utah 42-34 Saturday evening.
First there were the after-effects of the upset loss 2 weeks ago to Washington State in Pullman, due in significant part to their own miscues. A bye week should have been long enough to get back on track, but instead, Oregon State came out unready to play an opponent of the level of Pac-12 South leading (and still leading, despite the loss Saturday) Utah, and the Utes promptly jumped out to a 14-0 lead, scoring on their first 2 possessions of the game.
Oregon State came up about a foot short on 4th & 19 with 33 seconds left, when Trey Lowe was hauled down just shy of the first down that would have at least allowed the Beavers to try to pull out a win Saturday in Pullman. It continued a trend where Oregon State had come up short in a number of situations as the afternoon went along. The result was a 31-24 come from behind Washington State win.
An awful pass that resulted in an interception late in the first half didn’t wind up hurting Oregon State, mostly because the Beaver defense came up with one of their own to preserve a 10-3 halftime lead.
Oregon State continued its run of changing recent, and not so recent, trends, ending another major losing streak, this one 9 straight losses to Washington, most of them in blowout fashion, Saturday night with a 27-24 win over the Huskies.
It took an all-night effort by the Beavers, who came from behind multiple times, including in the 4th quarter, and a 24 yard field goal by Everett Hayes as time expired, to overcome the Huskies, in what turned out, thanks to Stanford’s controversial 31-24 overtime win over third ranked Oregon, to be a straight up dog fight for sole possession of first place in the Pac-12 North.
Washington struck first, when Husky QB Dylan Morris found Terrell Bynum on a crossing route, and Bynum turned on the jets, above, to outrun the Oregon State defense for a 44 yard touchdown not 3 minutes into the game to cap the opening drive of the evening.
It took until early in the second quarter for the Beavers to pull even, using their tried and true Jack Colletto package to even it at 7-7 on Colletto’s 3 yard scoring run, above.
The 3 play drive came after Rejzohn Wright recovered a Cameron Davis fumble on the first play of the second quarter, and wiped out what looked like was going to be a possibly game-altering sequence featuring an egregious officiating error, followed by a bad-rule induced replay failure.
Oregon State scored first, on a touchdown pass to Tegan Quitoriano barely 5 minutes into the game, came from behind in the 2nd quarter to take a 21-17 halftime lead, dominated the 3rd quarter, and scored 46 seconds into the 4th quarter to open a 4 score lead, going up 42-17, having punched in touchdowns on 5 consecutive drives.
The Beavers then withstood a 10 point Trojan rally, and ended the game with a field goal for the last points of the 45-27 win, and then an interception that allowed Chance Nolan to again give away a couple yards from of a dominant rushing total yardage, with a couple of victory formation plays, the like of which Oregon State has never been able to do in the LA Coliseum.
But how the Beavers went about the win was even more impressive than the score, which was the most points Oregon State has ever scored against USC, eclipsing their record of 38, which had stood since 1914. Or that they got their first win in the Coliseum since 1960. Oregon State took the fight to USC wire to wire, and never backed down, on offense or defense.
Oregon State did what they wanted and needed to do Saturday; overwhelm Idaho 42-0. The Beavers scored touchdowns on their first 4 drives, and 6 of 7, the only exception coming when the first half ran out, and defensively, not only shut out the Vandals, they held them to under 200 total yards, and only gave up 4 plays of 10 yards or more. Oregon State also snagged 2 interceptions, and turned over Idaho on 4th down 4 times.
Idaho isn’t a bad team, as evidenced by the fact that they made Oregon State work for the lopsided win. But the FCS division Vandals from the Big Sky Conference were outmanned, and gradually overwhelmed time and again.
Oregon State only had one play for more than 25 yards, Champ Flemmings’ 30 yard touchdown reception, above, early in the third quarter that opened the lead to open the lead to 35-0. And the Beavers only had 4 plays of more than 20 yards.
But the efficient Beavers mounted 4 8 play scoring drives, and another that took 9 plays, and finished off the game with another 9 play drive that ate up nearly 6 minutes, and preserved Oregon State’s first shutout win in nearly 13 years, since the win in the 2008 Sun Bowl.