It was a tough game (specifically second half) in Salt Lake City on Saturday afternoon. Four interceptions thrown and five trips to the red zone without a touchdown doomed the Beavs chances of making this game competitive into the 4th quarter. Oregon State will need to win out and hope USC, Utah, Oregon & UCLA all lose a couple games in order to compete for the Pac-12 championship.
Here’s how it all went down:
The game started off ominously as Clark Phillips came up with an interception on the 2nd play of the game. That lead to a quick 7-0 lead for Utah. But the Beavers put together a nice run-orientated 79-yard touchdown drive to tie the game up.
The Beavers forced a Utah 3-and-out, but then Chance Nolan made a poor throw leading to Clark Phillips 2nd interception of the day (this one was a pick-six). A little bit later the Beavs went for it on 4th-and-4 at the Utah 40 and Jesiah Irish was wide open for a touchdown, but was overthrown. That would be the last series for Nolan as he was tackled in the 2nd quarter and his neck rolled in a way it probably wasn’t designed for. Utah drove for a touchdown and unlike last week they were efficient every time they made it to the red zone. The Beavers fought back with Ben Gulbranson leading some drives and adding a pair of short field goals before the half. All things considered Oregon State was feeling pretty good to keep it a one-score game at the break (21-13 Utah).
The best chance for Oregon State to put pressure on the Utes came early in the third quarter. Another Utah 3-and-out followed by a nice Beaver drive meant Oregon State could potentially tie it up. Instead the drive stalled in the red zone for the third consecutive time and the Beavers had to settle for a FG, 21-16 Utah. From that point forward the wheels really fell off. Oregon State’s defense started to look gassed and while Ben Gulbranson showed off his potential and excellent arm strength; he also showed his inexperience twice throwing interceptions in the red zone. The Beavers got it close to the end zone on 5 different occasions and came away with just 9 points (3 FGs, 2 INTs). No doubt that the score was not indicative of how competitive this game was. The Beavers will regroup and get ready for an ESPN matchup against Stanford.
- Even with their backup QB, the Beavs were moving the ball against a good Utah defense.
- Oregon State had more yards (both passing & rushing), first downs, time of possession and less penalties than Utah.
- The Beavs punted just once all game. And Atticus Sappington was perfect filling in for an injured Everett Hayes.
- The defense continues to perform well. They struggled late in the game, but the offense did them no favors in the field position battle.
- Health is a concern. Chance Nolan, Deshaun Fenwick etc etc.
- 8 interceptions in two games makes it tough to beat any football team. Especially the top two ranked teams in the Pac-12.
- Clark Phillips’ three interceptions were absolutely brutal.
- Oregon State really misses Luke Musgrave in the passing the attack.
- This game hurts and people will dismiss the Beavs because of the final score, but the next three games are very winnable. Time to shake it off and string some wins together. Oregon State can be bowl eligible before November even rolls around.