The Beavers rallied from a 24-14 third quarter deficit to defeat their in-state rivals the Oregon Ducks, 34-24. Late in the second half, the Beavers ran the ball 21 straight times and scored 20 unanswered points on 3 straight touchdown drives. Ryan Nall led the Beavers with 155 yards on 31 carries, and he had 4 touchdowns. The Beavers Civil War victory over the Ducks is their first since 2007. Here’s what we learned from the Oregon State’s big time victory.
Game Ball Goes to the Offensive Line
Sean Harlow, Blake Brandel, Gavin Andrews, Fred Lauina, Dustin Stanton, and Gus Lavaka were heroes Saturday night. They were able to force their will against an athletic Oregon front 7. The Beavers were able to rush for 310 yards (5.8 yards per carry). This group got stronger as the game carried on. One play that stood out, was when Artavis Pierce was almost stopped in the backfield, but the O-Line worked in cohesion to help drive Pierce to an inspiring 6 yard gain. The coaches were so confident in the O-Line that they called 21 straight running plays in the 2nd half.
The Offensive Line struggled at the beginning of the season, yet the big guys developed into a strong, cohesive unit this season. Their growth throughout the season correlated with the improvement of the Beavers. The Offensive Line set a perfect example of perseverance and determination for the underclassmen and future Beaver football players learn from.
Hard Work and Perseverance
It’s been noted consistently by the Beaver coaching staff and the sports media that Coach Gary Andersen’s Oregon State team constantly plays hard. The hard work and perseverance paid off as the Beavers earned a victory, which gratified the team and Beaver Nation. The win over the Ducks, arguably, is the most significant so far in the Gary Andersen era. The Beavers won the game playing to their identity. They outplayed and out-hustled the Ducks, and they fought to the end to preserve victory for themselves and Beaver Nation. The Beavers also didn’t let the weather negatively affect them. In fact, the rain seemed to make them play with more determination.
The Seniors End Their Careers in Style
The victory over the Ducks, was the first for the Senior class who created a special memory on their last game as Beavers. This particular Senior Beaver class faced turmoil throughout their football career at Oregon State. Most of the Seniors experienced two head coaches, 4 different Offensive Coordinators, and 3 different Defensive Coordinators. In addition, the Seniors watched multiple players either transfer, be dismissed from the team, leave for personal reasons, or retire due to unfortunate injuries. Although the Seniors didn’t experience constant success as far as wins and losses go, this particular group will be fondly remembered as the group that helped end the Ducks 8 game win streak. Additionally, these Seniors set a positive example for underclassmen and incoming Beaver recruits that hard work and dedication pays off.
The Beavers are a True Blue Collar Team
The Beavers have established themselves as a blue collar team that will continually pound the football on opposing Defenses. As noted in the opening paragraph, the Beavers ran the ball 21 straight times against the Ducks with Ryan Nall, Artavis Pierce, and QB Marcus McMaryion. Granted, the weather was a factor as to why the Beavers ran the ball frequently, yet it was the Beaver Offensive Line that was able to push around the Duck Defensive front 7. Along with Ryan Nall’s 155 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns, Marcus McMaryion was able to rush for 81 yards on 11 carries, and Artavis pierce had 72 yards on 7 carries. The best part was that the Beavers were able to run down the clock, while completing successful scoring drives in the 4th quarter. The Beavers were able to win the game by playing to their strengths.
Momentum Toward the 2017 Season
The Beavers ended their 2016 season on an extremely positive note. Not only did they defeat their in-state rivals, they ended the year on a 2 game winning streak. Also, they finished the season in 4th place in the Pac-12 North. The Beavers were able to exceed expectations this season. Most Media prognostics and the Pac-12 Media poll predicted Oregon State to finish last in the Pac-12 North. In addition, the Beavers were competitive in all but two losses. The bottom line is, the Beavers are a much better team in 2016 than 2015. Additionally, Oregon State’s recruiting class is currently ranked 27th in the nation by rivals.com, with the potential to move up in the rankings. Potentially, it could be the Beavers highest ranked recruiting class of all time. This season the Beavers played many talented underclassmen that gained valuable game time experience. Although, the 4-8 record is not what the players and coaches hoped for, the Beavers will enter the 2017 season with confidence. The expectations will be higher for the Beavers in 2017. The players and coaching staff understand that the hard work and drive from the end of this season needs to continue next fall. Beaver Nation can’t wait for the September 2nd, 2017 against Portland State!