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Beavers dispatch Fresno State in thrilling fashion

What a game! What a win!

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Fresno State Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon State football picked up their first ever road win at Fresno State in thrilling fashion Saturday night. It was a back-and-forth game where the Bulldogs looked like they might pull away in the second half. With about 7 minutes remaining and Oregon State down five (21-26) Jonathan Smith decided to go for it at mid-field. The gamble did not pay off and things looked grim as Jake Haener was having no issues moving the ball against the Beavers.

While Haener passed for 360 yards and the Bulldogs had no issues moving the ball; they did have massive issues turning those drives into touchdowns. Fresno State’s kicker Abraham Montano was called on A LOT as the Beavers repeatedly employed a bend, but don’t break defensive getting stingy in the red zone. A missed Bulldog FG gave the Beavers new life and Oregon State answered with a quick 5-play drive capped off by a TreShaun Harrison spinning catch-and-run touchdown to snatch a lead with under two minutes remaining (29-26 Beavers).

Jake Haener and the Bulldogs offense needed just 45 seconds to answer with a touchdown of their own though. With less than a minute on the clock things really got crazy. Big plays from Jesiah Irish and Luke Musgrave got the Beavers comfortably in field goal range to potentially send the game into overtime. But Jonathan Smith wasn’t thinking overtime (or was he?). A pass-interference in the end zone placed the ball at the 2-yard line with just seconds remaining on the clock. Oregon State called a timeout to think it over and sent in the kicking unit. Fresno State called a timeout to ice the kicker and Jonathan Smith said ya know what let’s go win this thing and sent in the offense. There were legitimately three consecutive timeouts with just seconds left on the game clock. Jack Colletto calmly received the snap for the final play of the game and punched it in along the right side to win the game as time expired. Just beautiful chess-match football, zero notes on the final play.

The Pros:

  • Winning at Fresno State for the first time in school history is amazing. So nice to get that monkey off the Beavers back.
  • Deshaun Fenwick and the running game had a decent night. Had some much needed aggressive minded runs that helped sustain Oregon State’s offense.
  • Luke Musgrave continues to look like an NFL tight end and made some huge plays.
  • Zero turnovers and cut back on the penalties compared to week one.
  • The Beavers never would have had a chance to win if they didn’t force so many field goal attempts in the red zone
  • Kitan Oladapo was amazing for the defense (15 tackles?!)

The Cons:

  • Fresno State out-gained Oregon State 492-to-397 yards. Jake Haener was slinging it around the field all night for big gains.
  • Drops plagued the Beavers wide receivers tonight. Chance Nolan wasn’t amazing tonight, but he was better than his statline indicates.
  • Fresno State punted it just twice tonight, the Beavers defense has gotta find ways to get off the field before the opponent is in the redzone.
  • Overall it was a delightful win and the game-winning play overshadows all of the negatives. Everyone get to Providence Park next week vs Montana State!