Oregon State dropped the first game on the season 30-21. Jack Plummer threw for 313 yards and 2 touchdowns, while his favorite target David Bell racked up 134 yards on 8 receptions. Despite allowing 30 points the Beavers defense showed great improvement. On three separate occasions the Beavers gave up possession in their own territory (1 interception, 2 turnover on downs). The biggest disappointment was Sam Noyer and the Beavers inability to establish the run or keep George Karlaftis out of their backfield. Here’s how it all went down:
The Beavers showed off their new and improved defense early and on Oregon State’s 2nd possession they pulled off a nice trick play (Tyjon Lindsey pass to Teagan Quitoriano for 34 yards). That ultimately lead to a B.J. Baylor 9-yard touchdown run to give the beavers the lead 7-0. Unfortunately, the offense struggled badly for the rest of the half. George Karlaftis was living in Oregon State’s backfield and Sam Noyer did not look comfortable amongst the constant pressure. A bad Noyer passed was intercepted before the half that lead to another Purdue Field Goal. The 13-7 halftime deficit was favorable for Oregon State considering a lucky pass interference no-call that went their way and Purdue’s general first game mistakes.
The third quarter went a lot like the second, which is to say not great for the Beavs. Purdue hit another Field Goal to extend their lead, but it felt like the Boilermakers should be up three touchdowns, not nine points. The tide took a dramatic turn when Jonathan Smith decided to replace Sam Noyer with Chance Nolan. Nolan immediately lead a 7-play, 75-yard drive highlighted by a 41-yard pass to Zeriah Beason. Later in the 4th quarter Nolan lead another 75-yard drive and the Beavers had new life down just two points (21-23). The play of the game came when the Beavers were in a 4th-and-2 situation and Chance Nolan threw it deep to Tyjon Lindsey, but the defensive back made a great play to knock it away. Finally with three minutes remaining Purdue knew they needed a first down to put the game away but instead of leaning on the run, Jack Plummer hit Payne Durham for a 50-yard touchdown to put Oregon State away for good. As a Beaver fan you have to be excited by Chance Nolan’s performance, but disappointed he didn’t have more time to engineer the comeback.
Stay tuned to Building the Dam for more game one analysis later. It sure was fun to watch college football again, despite the result. The defensive improvements look real and Chance Nolan gave the offense a much needed spark in the 4th quarter. Oregon State will look to re-group next week against Hawaii and get in the win column.