The Oregon State Beavers lost a physical game against Stanford today. They struggled to move the ball against Stanford’s defense, but the Beaver defense fought hard to keep them in the game for so long.
The start of this game could not have gone any better for the Beavers. Stanford fumbled on their first possession and Oregon State recovered with outstanding field position. After a 15-yard passing interference the Beavers had a first-and-goal from the six yard-line. But, then after three unsuccessful plays Garrett Owens missed a 26-yard chip shot. Stanford took possession and subsequently put together a nice drive that was capped off by an impressive 52-yard field goal by Conrad Ukropina. Oregon State’s offense continued to struggle throughout the first quarter and later Stanford running back, Bryce Love, took off for a 56-yard touchdown run to put Stanford up 10-0.
The offense showed signs of life in the second highlighted by this 75-yard touchdown pass from Marcus McMaryion to Victor Bolden.
Both offenses (especially quarterbacks) struggled after this score though. Late in the second Christian McCaffery broke a 51-yard run that lead to a short field goal for Stanford. And Oregon State took a 13-7 deficit into the half.
Oregon State started with the ball in the second half but Marcus McMaryion quickly threw an interception. It was not a good pass as he tried to force it to Seth Collins who was completely covered. The Beavers were able to hold Stanford to a field goal despite some nifty moves from McCaffery. After another McMaryion interception (this one due to a tipped pass at the line of scrimmage) Stanford marched 59 yards for a touchdown. All of those yards were on the ground. After the extra point Stanford took a 23-7 lead and with Oregon State’s offense struggling mightily things did not look promising. Thankfully, Ryan Nall returned to the game (he was shaken up after making a low-block) and he proceeded to break a long 52-yard run before being forced out of bounds.
Nall’s long run lead to a short Marcus McMaryion touchdown run. The Beavers went for two and converted to make it a one score game (23-15). Stanford answered with another field goal though. Stanford essentially abandoned the passing game in the second half and really started to wear down Oregon State’s defense. It didn’t help that Oregon State’s offense couldn’t sustain any drives and the defense was on the field for most game. With just over two minutes remaining Stanford found themselves on the one yard line trying to punch it in to put the game out of reach. David Shaw elected to go for it on fourth-and-one, but the Beavers defense came up big once again stuffing McCaffery before he could reach the endzone. But, the offense predictability struggled and couldn’t get anything going on their final possession. Stanford lined up for the victory formation and walked away with a 26-15 win.
- Oregon State’s defense played a really great game. They held Stanford to multiple field goals despite dealing with short fields. They also were on the field for over 39 minutes of game time, but continued to fight.
- The Beavers shut down Stanford’s passing attack limiting them to 60 yards in the air and got good pressure on Keller Chryst when he was in the pocket.
- Oregon State’s offense was not good today. They managed just 266 yards of offense and almost half of those yards came from two big plays. Marcus McMaryion did not look sharp throwing the ball and despite running numerous option plays he rarely kept the ball and tried to scramble for positive yards. Stanford keyed in on Nall and company, making the offense a struggle all game long.
- The missed opportunity to score a touchdown or at least put points on the board early in the game really killed Oregon State’s momentum in my opinion.
Oregon State continues to be competitive against their fellow Pac-12 schools this season but the tough losses are starting to pile up. Gary Andersen and his staff will not be happy to ‘just be competitive’ they want to win these type of games. In order to do so, they will have to figure out a way to get Marcus McMaryion and the rest of the Beaver offense going. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of changes they make this week as they prepare for a struggling UCLA team.