FCS opponents are supposed to be opportunities for the fans to witness the depth of their team. Going into last week's game against Portland State, many Beaver fans were dreaming of the three (or more) touchdowns that Ryan Nall would total. They were dreaming of Jake Luton putting up a cool 300 yards through the air and a comfortable win for Oregon State within the friendly confines of Reser Stadium.
The dream nearly turned into a nightmare though, as the Beavers struggled all day against an athletic Vikings opponent. Oregon State found themselves down by four points as the fourth quarter reached its final minutes, but Luton led a game-winning drive that was capped by an Isaiah Hodgins touchdown catch with one minute left to play.
If not for Portland State's kicking woes, as well as a timely pick-six by Manase Hungalu, the Beavers wouldn't have escaped the game with a victory. Minnesota won't be so forgiving. For the Beavers to have any chance of seeing a bowl game in 2017, they need to leave the field tonight with a 2-1 record going into Pac-12 play.
Let's look at the numbers for our record chasers before tonight's kickoff.
Ryan Nall, RB - The powerful runner was bottled up for most of the Portland State game, tallying only 59 yards on 16 carries. He did manage to find the end zone once, bringing his career total to 18.
Jordan Villamin, WR - Oof. Not a good day for the talented pass-catcher. In fact, he didn't catch a pass at all against Vikings, getting completely shut out on the stat sheet. Villamin would have had at least one reception on the day, but was interfered with on the play so the yards gained came from the flag thrown rather than the ball in his hands.
2017 Record Tracker (career totals) - 2 games played, 10 to go
- Ryan Nall - 1,580 rushing yards (#10 Sam Baker - 1,947 rushing yards)
- Ryan Nall - 18 rushing touchdowns (#9T Dick Twenge & Dave Schilling - 20 rushing touchdowns)
- Jordan Villamin - 106 receptions (#10 Reggie Bynum - 149 receptions)
- Jordan Villamin - 1,568 receiving yards (#10 Roddy Tompkins - 1,845 receiving yards)
- Jordan Villamin - 12 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.