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Beavers comeback attempt falls short

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Washington State tops Oregon State 38-28

NCAA Football: Washington State at Oregon State Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Beavers looked disjointed and rusty Saturday night against Washington State falling behind 28-7 midway through the third quarter. WSU with a new coach and true freshman quarterback looked more prepared than an Oregon State team with much more continuity. The Beavers tried to make it interesting late pulling within three (31-28); but a failed onside kick and another long WSU touchdown shut the door on Oregon State’s comeback attempt. Here’s how the disappointing season-opener played out in Reser Stadium:

FIRST HALF

Washington State won the toss and somewhat surprisingly elected to receive. The Beavers revamped defense was up for the challenge early though forcing a three-and-out. The Oregon State offense was not up for the challenge on the other end. They were forced to punt on four straight possessions to start the game. Tristian Gebbia looked shaky and the offensive line was not helping him get comfortable. Finally a 15-play, 93-yard drive capped off with a touchdown pass to Trevon Bradford gave Beaver fans some hope offensively. Washington State took a 14-7 lead into the break.

SECOND HALF

The Beavers did not pick up where they left off, immediately punting the ball back to WSU after three quick plays. Washington State found their rhythm offensively midway through this game, at one point scoring on 5 of 6 possessions (4 touchdowns). When the Cougars took a 28-7 lead things looked especially bleak.

Credit to Oregon State for continuing to fight though. After a terrible start Gebbia played much better in the 2nd half (10 completions for 90 yards vs. 24 completions for 241 yards). Jermar Jefferson had a big game 120 yard/3 TDs. He loves the end zone against the Cougs (11 touchdowns vs WSU). There were some odd coaching decisions while for the Beavers in this one like: going for two when down 11 or kicking a 47-yard field goal on 2nd down. But I’m not sure those coaching decision had any impact on the outcome.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

  • Jayden de Laura is really good and reminds me of Kyler Murray. That kid did not play like a true freshman, big kudos to him for making Oregon State defenders look silly and controlling this football game.
  • Let’s talk about the defense... It was bad, tackling was an issue, getting pressure on de Laura was an issue and most worrisome was the gaping running lanes WSU had in the 2nd half. The Beavers made backup running back Deon McIntosh look like a superstar.
  • HOWEVER! The offense was much more troublesome in my opinion. In 2019, the Beavers put up 53 points against WSU and punted just three times. Oregon State punted six times tonight and really struggled to stay on the field and give the defense a breather.
  • It’s definitely a disappointing outcome, but I think there’s a few things to build off. I don’t think Oregon State will face another QB who can so easily evade pressure like de Laura. If the Beavers can get Hamilcar Rashed Jr. and company going again they’ll show why they were worthy of the offseason praise. On offense, Tristian Gebbia doesn’t have the big arm or go to receiver that Jake Luton had; but he’s a good quarterback. The offense needs to have positive plays on first and second down and avoid penalties to stay on the field, but I think they have a lot more in the tank than they showed tonight.