Oregon State picked up a huge win Friday night over the 10th-ranked Utah Utes. Silas Bolden was the star offensively with 153 yards and 2 touchdowns, but the Beaver defense stole the show. Frustrating both of Utah’s quarterbacks while also shutting down Utah’s rushing attack. Utah has a great defense and fought hard, but they clearly miss regular starter Cam Rising who is still recovering from an ACL injury suffered a year ago. The Beavers improve to 4-1 and will head to Berkeley next week to face Cal.
Here’s how it all went down in Reser:
Oregon State won the toss and deferred to the 2nd half. Utah’s best drive of the first half was their opening drive. Nate Johnson got the start for Utah and connected on a couple of passes early and he also looked threatening with his legs. Utah got to the 35-yard line and decided to go for it on 4th-and-6 instead of attempting the long field goal. The Beavs forced an incompletion and took over. Oregon State came out with an empty backfield and spread-out formation but it was a designed DJ Uiagalelei run up the middle for 17 yards that Utah was clearly not ready for. After that Damien Martinez got a steady diet of carries and he ended up punching it in for the first score of the night. 7-0 Oregon State. After each teams opening drives the game turned into a defensive slugfest. The teams traded punts (8 combined) until halftime. In a bizarre move the coaching staff brought in Aidan Chiles for the third series of the game despite Oregon State seemingly having all the momentum. Apparently it was the plan all along, but it seemed like odd timing. Chiles completed a nice pass, but procedural issues killed the drive and lead to a punt. The Beavers went back to DJ Uiagalelei for the rest of the game after that. The team had a decent drive near the end of the half, but three straight DJ incompletions at the Utah 35 stopped the momentum. Jonathan Smith elected to play conservatively and have DJ fake a play and then back up and punt it himself.
Both teams traded punts to start the 2nd half, but then DJ Uiagalelei hit Jesiah Irish on a fantastic 25-yard pass. Then quickly hit Silas Bolden who scampered into the endzone for a 27-yard touchdown. Just like that the Beavers took a 14-0 lead. Utah decided to make a quarterback change and brought in Bryson Barnes who has seen action in the past with Cam Rising out. Barnes lead a 13-play, 54-yard making it all the way to the Beaver 5-yard line. Oregon State’s defense came up with a couple of huge sacks and then Easton Mascarenas picked off Bryson Barnes to keep Utah off the scoreboard. The Beavers took over and quickly drove to midfield. With a 4th-and-1 they lined up for an obvious QB sneak, but instead of running up the middle DJ pitched it to Silas Bolden who sprinted to the edge for a 45-yard touchdown. 21-0 Beavers! Oregon State continued to lockdown the Utes in the 2nd half. Bryson Barnes took a hard hit and got knocked out of the game, forcing Utah to rely on Nate Johnson who completed just 8 of his 23 pass attempts. DJ Uiagalelei had a bad interception in the 4th quarter. Utah also took advantage of a missed tackle leading to their lone touchdown of the game (a 41-yard Thomas Yassmin catch and run). Another fourth down stop gave the Beavers the ball in the redzone, but they were content to run the clock out and secure the two score victory.
- After a rough game against Washington State the Beaver defense was electric against Utah. Holding the Utes to just 198 yards of offense and completely shutting down their run game forcing them to rely on a passing attack that didn’t have Cam Rising.
- Silas Bolden take a bow. He looked like the fastest man on the field and it wasn’t just speed; his jitterbug like agility made Utah’s defense look silly on a few plays.
- Huge win against a highly ranked Utah squad. Oregon State’s offense wasn’t perfect and their run game was mostly bottled up in the 2nd half, but that’s probably best defense they will see all season.
- The Beavers had 3 sacks, but they were absolutely living in Utah’s backfield. Nate Johnson and Bryson Barnes both looked very uncomfortable.
- 3.6 yards per carry is not good. Damien Martinez was limited to 65 yards (most of those early). Utah has a great defensive line, but Oregon State should be able to run against anyone.
- Penalties (11-for-100 yards). It didn’t matter tonight because Oregon State was dominating, but they had a couple dumb penalties especially on 3rd downs that kept Utah’s offense on the field.
- James Rawls was shaken up. Hopefully he is okay. Overall Oregon State came out of this game relatively healthy despite it obviously being a very physical game. The Beavers get an extra day of rest this week before hitting the road to take on Cal next Saturday. Go Beavs!