Everything seemed to fall apart for the Beavers on Saturday night at Reser Stadium.
Yeah, the Ducks were well rested, and had a week off to prepare. Yeah, we didn't have Quizz. I think we can all agree that the officials made some poor decisions, but aside from all of that, nothing was going right for the Beavers.
Oregon State was simply overwhelmed.
I utter those words not as excuses, because really, they're not. Give us Quizz, and maybe the game is closer at the end. Give us that touchdown off of the non-reviewable fumble, and maybe it is closer at the end.
But ultimately, the Ducks outright won the 112th rendition of the Civil War. And I take nothing away from them.
I'm proud of the way our team has handled this season. We exceeded expectations all year long, and made it so close to smelling roses.
Trust me, Beaver Nation, it won't be 44 years until we get a whiff of those aromas again. But, the job isn't done yet. There's still one more game to play.
Mike Riley has built this program into something special. It's something we can all be proud to be a part of, and it's now a program that's going to be relevant for a long time.
It's definitely a sad time for Beaver Nation. But it should also be a proud time.
Look at OSU's baseball program in 2005. Out of nowhere, they earn a trip to Omaha, and are quickly eliminated in two games. It was definitely a disappointment to get that far and be stopped short of the dream, but look at what they did the next two years.
That being said, the foundation is here. I feel for the seniors whose blood, sweat, and tears helped boost this program to heights greater than anything that had been witnessed before. Those players will never know what it feels like to strap on the pads on January 1, but because of their efforts, an equally impressive group of men probably will.
But don't worry, even though those seniors lost their last game in Reser Stadium, they'll be back. In 10 years, it will be Al Afalava, Sammie Stroughter, Victor Butler, Brandon Hughes, Slade Norris, Shane Morales, Andy Levitre, and all the others who are introduced in front of record crowds at Reser Stadium. The ride they've brought us on won't always be remembered in the brightest light, but we'll all remember just how close they came to breaking through. They're lifelong members of the Beaver Family. I mean, look at this guy:
You've gotta admit: For Corvallis, Oregon, this ride has been and continues to be special.
Would anyone have ever expected that we could have made it this far 20 years ago?
Thanks, Coach. And thanks, seniors. You'll be missed.