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Oregon State Football: What We Learned From the Stanford Game

The Beavers outplayed #20 Stanford, but came up short on the scoreboard. Momentum is gaining in the Cory Hall Era.

NCAA Football: Stanford at Oregon State Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

For the second game in a row, Oregon State outgained their opponent but were unable to come away with the victory. Oregon State held a 264-212 advantage over the Stanford Cardinal in total yards, but they came up just short on the scoreboard as Stanford escaped with a narrow 15-14 victory.

Stanford jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after Kicker Jet Toner’s 40 yard Field Goal. The Beavers were able to drive 75 yards in 12 plays to take the 7-3 lead thanks to Darrell Garretson’s 3 yard TD run. Garretson and Ryan Nall had a bad exchange deep in Stanford territory at the end of the first half. The Beaver Defense held the Cardinal to a Field Goal, and the Beavers held on to a 7-6 lead at the half.

Thanks to two costly Stanford Personal Foul penalties, the Beavers were able to score on the opening drive in the Second Half, which was capped off by RB Thomas Tyner’s 18 yard TD run. Stanford was able to add another Field Goal by Toner to lower the Beaver lead to 14-9. On that particular drive, Stanford had a TD nullified because of offset penalties, and Beaver CB Isaiah Dunn was called for a personal foul. Both Defenses remained stout in the Fourth Quarter. The Beavers gained control of the game when LB Jonathan Willis sacked Stanford QB Keller Chryst at the Stanford 19. Stanford was forced to punt and all the Beavers needed was two First Downs to pull off the monumental upset. Tyner was able to get the First Down on a 7 yard run on 2nd-and-6. However, Ryan Nall had the ball stripped from him and Stanford had a shot to take the lead. After only completing 4 of his last 18 passes, Chryst completed a pass to his TE Kaden Smith for 25 yards on 4th and 10. Several plays later, Chryst completed a 3 yard TD pass to JJ Arcega-Whiteside with 20 seconds left in the game. Stanford did not complete a 2pt conversion. Garretson’s Hail-Mary attempt at the end of the game was intercepted and Stanford escaped with the narrow victory. Stanford played without Heisman Trophy Candidate RB Bryce Love. Here’s what we learned after Thursday’s game.

The Team Has Rallied Around Cory Hall

The Beavers have played their best football since Cory Hall took over after Gary Andersen’s departure on October 9th. The Interim Head Coach demonstrates passion and fire that the Beaver team has responded to. The ESPN announcers constantly praised Coach Hall for his energy on the sidelines. The players have made it known on social media that they want Hall to be the permanent Head Coach for the Beavers. The players have started a petition for Hall to remain permanent coach, which reached over 1000 signatures on Saturday. Here is the link.

The Bottom Line is that the team is playing much better under Hall than they did under Andersen. Just look how much the Offense has improved. They put up 569 yards against Colorado, and although they didn’t put up huge numbers against Stanford, they were able to control the Time of Possession. How about the Beav Defense? Wow! Sure, Stanford did not have their best player play in the game, RB Bryce Love, but they held Stanford to 212 yards. If it weren’t for Nall’s fumble, they would have likely held Stanford without a touchdown. The Beavers were double-digit underdogs in their last two games, yet they were one play away fromwinning each game. In addition, they arguably outplayed both teams. Cory Hall has done an amazing job, and he should be strongly considered to be the Beaver’s permanent Head Coach. Hall has four games to prove himself. If Oregon State is not careful, there could be a possibility of other programs looking to offer Hall a coaching position.

A Bowl Game is Likely Out of the Picture ( Unless the Beavers are 5-7 and somehow sneak in). Yet, the Future of Oregon State Football Could be Effected in the Last 4 Games.

After Oregon State’s 1-5 start, it was quite clear that something was not right in the Beaver Program. There were rumors from insiders with ties to the program that there was dissension within the Football Program. Text messages from former Head Coach Gary Andersen surfaced where he blasted his coaching staff. The attendance was dwindling at Reser Stadium. The program lost all momentum they gained from their 34-24 victory last November against the Oregon Ducks. When it was announced that Andersen and the University “mutually parted ways,” the speculation for the next Oregon State Head Coach spiked exponentially.

On paper, the last four games for Oregon State might not look important from an outsider’s perspective. However, if I was an interested candidate for the Head Coaching position at Oregon State, I would be watching these next games closely. Basically, Oregon State is playing to attract high quality coaching candidates. Imagine that you are a coveted coaching prospect and you are watching the Oregon State games and are impressed with the young talent, and the growth they made during the later part of the season. This might make you think strongly about being apart of the Beaver program. Also, coaches could be evaluating talent from this seasons team and figuring out how best to use them for next season.

Cory Hall and the coaching staff would like to win out to not only try and lead Oregon State into the future, but also have the possibility of looking for jobs at other programs. Recruits will be watching closely. There are lots of interesting story-lines right now for the Oregon State program. It has been mentioned that the Athletic Department hopes to hire the new coach sometime in late November or early December, in order to get a jump start on recruiting. There are lots of things behind the scenes. Athletic Director Scott Barnes and OSU President Ed Ray have a major decision upcoming for Oregon State. Do they already have the right person to lead Oregon State in Cory Hall, or are there candidates that the Athletic Department feel are better suited to lead the Oregon State Football Program?