Last week I wrote that this might get worse before it gets better, and then Washington State went out and beat Oregon State by a score of 52-23. Perhaps there is some sort of solace in the fact that Washington State just upset USC in a classic Pac-12 After Dark type of game—proving that the Cougars are a real threat—but moral victories only go so far when you lose by more than four scores.
Unfortunately, today is not the day that things get easier, despite the Beavers having had two weeks to recover from their last game. Washington now enters Reser with a perfect 4-0 record, as well as a #6 ranking in the country. The Huskies are experiencing a resurgence under the guidance of head coach Chris Petersen, and they have displayed stout defenses ever since his arrival. Currently, Washington is ranked #17 in total defense in the country, allowing just 274 yards per game, and the Beavers have the added challenge of competing without starting quarterback Jake Luton due to an injury suffered during the Washington State game.
Once again: it might get worse before it gets better.
From a statistical perspective, the Beavers most recent game did see our record chasers—Ryan Nall and Jordan Villamin—pace the team with some decent numbers despite the lopsided score. Nall crossed the goal line twice on the ground, which put him on the list in a three-way tie at #9 all-time for career rushing touchdowns at Oregon State.
Ryan Nall, RB - After a strange showing against Minnesota, Beaver fans were pleased to see Nall carry the ball 15 times for 118 yards, including a 45-yard run that ended with a visit to the end zone—his second of the day. Those two scores put Nall in a three-way tie with Dick Twenge and Dave Schilling for #9 all-time in rushing touchdowns in the Oregon State record books, and only two scores away from #8 Terron Ward. If the Beavers can somehow manage to keep today's game against Washington close, it will likely have to be on the shoulders of the running backs as they eat up clock and slow the game down.
Jordan Villamin, WR - Villamin led the Beavers in receiving yards against the Cougars, but that only added up to 55 yards on six catches. He was also held out of the end zone against Washington State, which leaves him still one touchdown catch short of tying Sammy Stroughter at #10 all-time in the Beavers record books.
2017 Record Tracker (career totals) - 4 games played, 8 to go
- Ryan Nall - 1,729 rushing yards (#10 Sam Baker - 1,947 rushing yards)
- Ryan Nall - 20 rushing touchdowns - tied at #9 with Dick Twenge & Dave Schilling (#8 Terron Ward - 22 rushing touchdowns)
- Jordan Villamin - 115 receptions (#10 Reggie Bynum - 149 receptions)
- Jordan Villamin - 1,678 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.