Man, that was fun. I left Reser stadium soaked, with a smile on my face. For the first time since 2007, Duck fans were somber, quiet and eager to get out of the stadium; while Beaver fans were the ones enjoying the celebration.
I went to the double-overtime Civil War in 1998 when the Beavers ended another Oregon Civil War streak (4 straight). I felt it was time to go see a streak end once again. And it certainly was beautiful.... Seeing Ryan Nall, Artavis Pierce and the Oregon State offensive line punish the Ducks defense was glorious. The Beavers executed their game plan brilliantly and bullied the Oregon defense with a physical running attack.
I, like Gary Andersen, couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. It was a fitting end to the season and it was needed. This was the win the doubters needed, as proof that Oregon State is a program on the rise.
And believe me, Oregon State’s future is BRIGHT! While the program 47 miles to the South seems to be in turmoil, just two season removed from playing for a national championship. Coach Andersen is bringing in some serious talent, while the roster is already loaded with youth who’ve enjoyed considerable playing time.
Coach Andersen’s gritty and tough demeanor is reflected by his players. When Oregon State found themselves down by ten in the third quarter they responded. They flipped the script and scored 20 unanswered points. They also ended the game with 21 straight run-plays. Ryan Nall, Artavis Pierce and Marcus McMaryion ran for over 300 yards, on a defense that was tired and had their hands on their hips.
Marcus McMaryion grew a lot this year once he took over the starting job and made his case to be the starter next season. With Darell Garretson expected to make a full recovery and Jake Luton and others being added to the mix, the quarterback competition this off-season will be fierce. Whoever wins the job will take comfort in the fact that they’ll be able to hand it off to Ryan Nall. He’ll make the QB’s job a lot easier the next few years.
The growth showcased by the Beavers this season, is remarkable. To the Seniors who are moving on, we thank you. A 4-8 record doesn’t do it justice, but Gary Andersen is quickly building the toughest team in the Pac-12.