Oregon State suffered their 10th loss of the season as they quickly fell into a 30-0 hole ,and ultimately lost 40-24 to the Arizona State Sun Devils. The Sun Devils, who became bowl eligible with their victory in Corvallis, outgained the Beavers 453-375. The Sun Devils led at Halftime 30-7. The Beavers outscored ASU 17-10 in the Second Half and had an opportunity to make the game a one score game in the Fourth Quarter, but QB Darrell Garretson fumbled the snap on the Arizona State 10 yard line and the Sun Devils recovered. Arizona State was able to run out the clock. It was Senior Day at Reser Stadium. The Beavers were 1-5 at home this season, their worst home record since they went 1-4 at home in 1995. Here is what we learned from Saturday.
Defensive Woes Continue
Arizona State racked up 286 yards rushing at 5.8 yards per carry. In addition, they added 456 yards of Total Offense and 38 points (plus 2 with the Safety). The Oregon State front 7 was bulled over all afternoon. In addition, the Arizona State passing game was effective when needed. Credit the Defense for limiting Arizona State during the Second half to 10 points, but ASU could do anything they wanted Offensively in the First Half. If the Beaver Defense plays the way they did in the first half against Oregon, they will be boat raced in Eugene.
Despite the Turmoil, the Beavers Continue to Play Hard
The First Half was atrocious for Oregon State. They found themselves down 30-0 early in the game, and they were down 30-7 in a scene that Beaver Nation has seen way too many times as of late.
Arizona State was able to match its biggest lead after Demario Richard’s 3 yard TD run to give ASU a 40-10 lead with just under 14 minutes left in the game, which seemed like the game was pretty much over. The Beavers kept battling as they were able to score 14 consecutive points to close the gap to 40-24 with 7 minutes left in the game, which was aided by the Beavers recovering an onside kick for the second consecutive week. The Beaver Defense was able to stop Arizona State, and the Beaver Offense drove down to the ASU 10 in an effort to make the game a one score game. Darrell Garretson bobbled the snap and Arizona State was able to recover with under 3 minutes left. The Beaver Defense was able to force another punt but Adam Soesman was called for Roughing the Punter, which gave ASU an opportunity to run out the clock. Although, the Beavers made crucial mistakes in the fourth quarter, the team battled hard to put themselves in a position to make the game competitive near the end.
The State of the Football Program
Arguably, the most important task for the Oregon State Football program takes place off the field as Athletic Director Scott Barnes and Oregon State President Ed Ray decide who the next head coach is going to be. As a result of Gary Anderson and Oregon State parting ways halfway through the season on October 9th, Oregon State’s coaching search has been relatively long compared to the last two coaching searches at Oregon State. As of today, (11/19) the search is 41 days long. Compare that to the length of the last coaching search when Andersen was hired in December of 2014, which was 6 days. The Beavers need to hit a home run with this hire. The program has lost a lot of momentum since their 6-1 start in 2013. If the new coaching staff can turn Oregon State into a constant bowl team, the hire would be a success.
A special thanks goes out to the Seniors for all their hard work at Oregon State. During their time at Oregon State, most of the Seniors (at least the Seniors that have been at Oregon State all 4-5 years) have had three different coaches during that span (Riley, Andersen, Hall). Credit the Seniors for representing the University well and for their dedication to the Oregon State Football Program despite the teams lack of success.
The Civil War will be the last game Oregon State plays in 2017 and could be the last game that not only Seniors play in a Beaver uniform, but some of the underclassmen that choose to take their talents to different schools as a result of whomever is hired. The Players and the Coaching Staff need to approach this game as if it were their championship game. They have a golden opportunity to defeat their rivals for two seasons in a row. The Ducks open as 23 1⁄2 point favorites. They looked very good against Arizona and things seem to be clicking in Eugene. The Beavers are looking for their first win since September 2nd against a win-less Portland State team from the FCS. The last Beaver win against an FBS opponent was November 26, 2016 against the Ducks. The Beavers need to play the game of their lives in order to try an keep the game competitive. The Beavers still have Ryan Nall who has been a thorn in the Ducks side. Nall rushed for over 100 yards in both Civil War contests he has played in. It may not be as easy this Saturday as the Ducks Run Defense is strong this season, especially compared to the last two seasons. Also, it will be interesting to see current Beaver RB and former Duck, Thomas Tyner make his return to Autzen Stadium.
The Beaver Defense will need to play a million times better this Saturday to give the Beavers a chance. The Ducks have three excellent Running Backs in Royce Freeman (1353 yards rushing) , Tony Brooks-James (5.8 yards per carry), and Kani Benoit (6.5 yards per carry). In addition, QB Justin Hebert is back, and he is very good. The depleted Oregon State secondary has a major challenge on their hands.
The bottom line is the Beavers have a chance to redeem a nightmare season with an inspiring performance against the Oregon Ducks this Saturday. Although the Ducks are 23 1⁄2 point favorites, rivalry games, including the Civil War, are known for throwing all records out the window. For the Beavers, they need to flush the season out of their minds and play as hard as they possibly can on Saturday.