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Oregon State Football: Top 10 Moments During the 2016 Football Season

Relive exciting moments during the 2016 season. Enjoy!

Oregonlive

The Beavers ended the 2016 season exceptionally well by winning their last two games, including defeating their hated rivals the Oregon Ducks for the first time in 8 tries. Although, the 2016 season might not be on top of your list of stories you’ll tell your grandchildren 50 years for now, it was a season that will be remembered as the year where the Beavers became a competitive team under Coach Gary Andersen. As the players and coaching staff have already started using the off-season to capitalize on the growth that was made during the 2016 season, I would like to take a moment to look back at the top 10 moments.

10. The Idaho State Victory

It may not have been the most glamorous game. Confetti did not rain on the field, the goalposts were unharmed, and fans didn’t rush the field to celebrate the Beavers 37-7 victory over the FCS’s Idaho State Bengals. However, the victory ended a 10 game losing streak that stretched from 2015. In addition, with all due respect to FCS teams, the Beavers avoided a humiliating loss to a lower division opponent. CB Treston Decoud had two interceptions, including a 75 yd. interception return for touchdown. Victor Bolden had a 92 yd. touchdown run, which was the second longest run since Heisman Trophy Winner Terry Baker’s school record 99 yd. touchdown run against Villanova in the 1962 Liberty Bowl.

9. 1st Half of the Washington State Game

It was nearly a perfect half of football. Beavers dominated a good Washington State team for one half of football. The Beavers marched to a 24-6 lead at the half. The Beavers held a 394 to 188 advantage in total yds. over the Cougs in the first half. The Beaver Offense was mostly balanced with 234 passing yds. and 160 rushing yds., which was significant because the Beavers could not get much of the passing game going at this point of the season. The Defense deserved credit for shutting down one of the most prolific offenses in college football. Although the Beavs ultimately fell short, 35-31, let’s remember for 30 minutes that a young, rebuilding Beaver squad were pushing around a Cougar team that spent most of the second half of the season ranked in the top 25.

8. Manase Hungalu vs UCLA

Although, the Beavers lost in a competitive road game against the Bruins, 38-24, Junior Linebacker Manase Hungalu nearly won the game single-handily. Hungalu had two fumble recoveries including, one for a 40 yd. fumble return for touchdown and one returned 31 yds. to the UCLA 4 yard line, setting up an Artavis Pierce touchdown. In addition, Hungalu had a key interception in the end zone, which prevented a UCLA score.

7. Marcus McMaryion

Credit Sophomore Quarterback Marcus McMaryion for constantly keeping his head up after being demoted to 3rd-string QB. After starting the 2015 Civil War game, McMaryion was beat out by Darrell Garretson for the starting QB spot. Freshmen Conor Blount moved up to backup, which demoted Marcus to third string. During the Utah game, the Beavers lost Garretson for the season. In addition, Blount suffered a knee injury that caused him to miss most of the season. McMaryion was the next in line and did a solid job completing the season for the Beavers. McMaryion got better as the season progressed. He threw 5 TD passes vs. Arizona and had a memorable 33 yd. run against the Ducks on the drive that regained the Beaver lead that they never lost. McMaryion made a strong case for the starting QB spot for the 2017 season.

6. Victor Bolden’s Big Plays

The Senior Wide Receiver was a major bright spot for the Beavers. Bolden bounced back from a rough 2015 season to have a tremendous 2016 season. Bolden became the go-to guy in the passing game. He added another dimension to the Beavers in the running game. Bolden was also a threat in the return game. He had a 99 yd. kickoff return vs. Boise State. Some memorable plays by the senior include his 92 yd. TD run vs. Idaho State, a 75 yd. TD run vs. Washington, and a 75 yd. TD reception vs. Stanford.

5. Ryan Nall’s Dominance

When Nall was healthy, he was a dominant force for the Beavers. Nall ran for 951 yds. on 147 carries, which is an impressive 6.5 yds. per carry. Nall had a season long 89 yd. touchdown run vs. Washington State and an 80 yd. touchdown run vs. Cal. Beaver Nation wonders what kind of numbers Nall could have had in 2016 if he and the rest of the Offensive Line could have stayed healthy. Beaver Nation will never forget his performance against the Ducks in the Civil War, but more on that later...

4. The Fight and Desire of the Beavers Throughout the Season

This was a running theme all season. The Beavers faced numerous injuries. Rather than throwing in the towel, the 2016 Beavers fought gallantly in games as underdogs. For example, the Beavers were 8-4 against the spread, which is a sign that the Beavers played better than people expected. The Beavers gave bowl teams Stanford and Minnesota a run for their money on the road. In addition, the Beavs nearly pulled off two huge upsets at Reser against Utah and Washington State where many in Beaver Nation feel they should have won. The Beavers adapted this quality trait from Coach Gary Andersen and his Staff. The hard work and dedication led to continual growth throughout the season, which resulted in a memorable end to the 2016 season.

3. Arizona Victory

It was the Beavers first Pac-12 double-digit victory since they defeated the Cal Bears 49-17 in 2013. The Beavers defeated the Wildcats soundly at Reser Stadium 42-17. The Beavers dominated in total yds. 475 to 350. QB Marcus McMarion threw 5 TD passes. Ryan Nall added 124 rushing yds., a rushing touchdown and receiving touchdown. The defense did an outstanding job limiting Arizona’s scoring opportunities.

2. Cal Victory

The Beavers entered the Cal game with a 1-3 record, and Vegas had them as 14 point underdogs at home. The Beavers were coming off a 47-6 blowout loss to Colorado. After the Colorado game, it looked like the Beavers were the worst team in the Pac-12. The never-say-die Beavers bounced back in an inspiring way against a Cal Bears team. Cal possessed one of the best offenses in the nation. The Beavers jumped out to a 41-24 lead thanks to strong rushing games by Ryan Nall (224 yds. 3 TD’s), and Darrell Garretson (105 rush. yds. 2 TD’s) and excellent pass defense. Cal was able to make a 4th qtr. comeback to tie the game at 41 and send the game to OT. The Beavs held Cal to a field goal in OT, and the Beavs were able to win the game thanks to Garretson’s 16 yd. TD run. The Beavers were able to earn their first Pac-12 win under Coach Gary Andersen.

1. The Civil War Victory!

For 8 seasons in a row Beaver Nation left the Civil War game with their heads down. On November 26th., 2016 the Beavers earned a special victory over their in-state rival the Oregon Ducks. It was the type of victory that makes a 4-8 season a special season. It is difficult for any team to lose to their rivals, let alone 8 seasons in a row. 6 out of 8 of the losses were double-digit victories by the Ducks. At the half, the Beavers and Ducks were tied at 14. The Ducks were able to jump out to a 24-14 lead, and they were containing the Beaver running game. However, the rain started to pour hard on Reser Stadium late in the 3rd qtr. Many in Beaver Nation believe the heavy rain was symbolism of the end of the streak. The Beavs scored late in the 3rd qtr. on a 14 yd. TD run by Ryan Nall. Nall, Marcus McMaryion and Artavis Pierce were able to weather the storm and run all over the Duck Defense. The Beavers ran the ball 21 straight times during their comeback. The Beavers outscored the Ducks 13-0 in the 4th quarter to win the game 34-24 and end their losing streak against the Ducks. A victory in the Civil War was celebrated in Beaver Nation similar to winning a Championship. It was the most significant win in the Gary Andersen era.

Let me know your thoughts and opinions of your top moments in the 2016 season. Your top 10 list is likely to look different than mine. As always, thank you for reading!