Everything was lined up for one of those strange Pac-12 after dark games.
Stanford, ranked No. 20 in the country, was visiting Reser stadium. On a Thursday night. In late October. Oregon State was coming off an inspiring effort in interim head coach Cory Hall's debut. Stanford's incredible running back (and Heisman candidate) Bryce Love was sitting this one out.
And then a defensive battle began. A scoreless first quarter. A long drive that resulted in Stanford settling for a field goal to go up 3-0 followed by a long drive by the Beavers that resulted in an Oregon State touchdown to take the lead at 7-3. A fumble by the Beavers in their own territory followed by a Stanford drive that netted zero yards but resulted in a field goal to cut the lead to 7-6.
And that was the halftime score. After weeks of the Beavers defense being steamrolled, they were holding a ranked team to a pair of field goals through two quarters. And, better yet, it would continue. Oregon State opened the second half with a long touchdown drive to go up 14-6. The Beavers then missed a field goal, Stanford made on on their next drive, and it was 14-9. With 2:30 remaining in the game, Ryan Nall took a handoff on first down—and fumbled the ball.
Stanford still had to go 40 yards to score, and—shortly after completing a 25-yard pass on fourth down—they found the end zone with only 20 seconds left in the game.
And that was it. That's how the Beavers came from ahead to lose a heartbreaker by the thinnest of margins. 15-14.
The (statistically speaking) bright spot? Ryan Nall, with his 84 yards on the night, surpassed 2,000 career rushing yards and moved into tenth on the Beavers career rushing yard list. Realistically, Nall should finish the season around seventh all-time in the Beaver record books, as he needs only 230 more rushing yards to reach that mark. He's also still only two touchdowns away from reaching fifth in career rushing touchdowns as a Beaver.
Jordan Villamin, our other record watch player, had a fairly quiet night. He tallied three receptions for 23 yards, and now sits on the verge of the Oregon State career top ten in three categories. He's 26 catches away from tenth place in career receptions, 78 yards away from tenth place in receiving yards, and one touchdown away from tenth place in receiving touchdowns.
Ryan Nall, RB - 19 carries, 84 yards, no touchdowns.
Jordan Villamin, WR - Three receptions, 23 yards, no touchdowns.
2017 Record Tracker (career totals) - 8 games played, 4 to go
- Ryan Nall - 2,003 rushing yards - #10 (#9 J.J. Young - 2,084 rushing yards)
- Ryan Nall - 23 rushing touchdowns - tied at #7 with Sam Baker (#5 Bill Enyart & Storm Woods - 25 rushing touchdowns)
- Jordan Villamin - 123 receptions (#10 Reggie Bynum - 149 receptions)
- Jordan Villamin - 1,767 receiving yards (#10 Roddy Tompkins - 1,845 receiving yards)
- Jordan Villamin - 13 receiving touchdowns (#10 Sammy Stroughter - 14 receiving touchdowns)
Author's Note: Each week in 2017, I'm going to look at the players that are within reach of the all-time ranks in Beaver history, as well as any surprise efforts that might land among the single-game or single-season records. Stay tuned as 2017 progresses, and we'll track where Nall and Villamin—as well as any other Beaver athletes that emerge as record-setters—end up by season's end.