Coming into tonight’s game, Stanford had been a very uneven team, so there was some hope that Oregon State might be able to catch them off guard, not unlike in their win over Colorado. Stanford axed that notion quickly, scoring just two minutes into the game off a 28 yard touchdown run from Bryce Love.
Oregon State then got the ball, and on their first drive looked to be executing well. Jake Luton was making great throws, and Jermar Jefferson was popping off for good yardage. The drive stalled out the Stanford 37, and instead of attempting a long field goal, which have not exactly been OSU’s strength this season, Coach Smith decided to go for it on 4th and 8. Jake Luton’s throw was then picked by Frank Buncom.
The Beaver defense stood tall and got a three and out right after, and on the first play of Oregon State’s next drive Jake Luton connected with Trevon Bradford for a 63 yard TD to tie the game 7-7.
Following that, Stanford marched right down the field and took the lead back with a K.J. Costello throw to Colby Parkinson, but missed the extra point. After the Beavers then went three and out, and the Cardinal decided they wanted to try that again, driving down the field to finish with another K.J. Costello to Colby Parkinson touchdown. This time the kick was good.
Oregon State’s offense once again couldn’t get anything started, with another three and out, and if you are sick of hearing about K.J. Costello and Colby Parkinson, skip the rest of this sentence, because on the first play of Stanford’s next drive they connected for a 75 yard touchdown.
After starting well, it felt like the Beavers had completely melted down. Neither side of the ball could get anything done, Meanwhile, Costello and Parkinson connected for their fourth touchdown of the half, and Stanford had a nice comfy 34-7 lead.
Things turned around a bit after that. Oregon State put together a gritty, 13 play drive that featured some amazing catches by Trevon Bradford and some nice Jermar Jefferson carries, and ended in a Luton TD pass to Noah Togiai, his second of the season.
Stanford then took the ball back into Oregon State territory, but with 30 seconds to go in the half, Shemar Smith picked off Costello to give the Beavers one last chance to score. The Beavers managed to get just into Field Goal ranged, and Jordan Choukair booted a 40 yard field goal to make the score 34-17 at halftime.
It seemed like momentum was now on Oregon State’s side, but after the flurry of action in the first half, the second half was sadly uneventful. The Beavers did not score, with Choukair missing a 28 yard field goal on perhaps their best shot. They went three and out twice, and on two other tries turned the ball over on downs, not wanting to risk another Choukair miss.
Stanford played much as they had in the first half, capitalizing on both big plays (a 41 yard Cameron Scarlett TD run) and long drives (a 15 play drive ended in a touchdown and ate up almost 9 minutes off the clock.) Those two TDs were the only scoring in the second half, and Stanfford took the 48-17 win.
Luton looks firmly established as the starter at this point. His ability to hook up with Trevon Bradford for big plays adds a huge dimension to the offense, even when they’re not scoring. Coach Smith sent Connor Blount out for the last drive, but it’s hard to believe he’ll get the starting job back barring a Luton injury. Luton finished the night with 205 yards, 2 touchdowns and one interception.
Jermar Jefferson broke the 100 yard barrier tonight, with 109 total yards. The Beavers brought out Artavis Pierce for some snaps and he rewarded them with a big 48 yard run, so the running game still looks pretty potent.
Bradford was the star of the receiving corps tonight, with 120 yards and a touchdown. Other than that, the receivers were pretty split, with Isaiah Hodgins notching 31 yards, Jesiah Irish 23, and Timmy Hernandez 21.
Jordan Choukair missed another field goal. I’m not going to comment much more on this, because while I’m frustrated, it’s gotta be tough to be Choukair right now.
The defense was regularly getting scorched for big plays, both on the ground an in the air. I still don’t know what you build around for the future of this unit.
Things won’t get any easier for the Beavers. Next weekend they head up to Seattle to take on Washington.