oregon state football

Beavers pass on big win

Stanford upends Oregon State under the lights, 42-24
Sept. 25, 2015 / Associated Press

CORVALLIS -  Oregon State’s opportunity to pull off an impressive upset in coach Gary Andersen’s first season came and went Friday night.

Quarterback Kevin Hogan, nursing an injured leg, completed nine of 14 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns to lead No. 21 Stanford past the Beavers 42-24 at Reser Stadium in a nationally-televised game.

Hogan was a game-time decision, and had his left foot in a boot quickly following the game.

“I’m out there, the adrenaline is kicking in,” Hogan said. “I feel good. I feel no limitations.”

Christian McCaffrey ran for a career-high 206 yards and ended up with 303 all-purpose yards for Stanford (3-1, 2-0 Pac-12), which held just a 21-17 lead at the half over the Beavers (2-2, 0-1) before a pair of third-quarter touchdowns.

Oregon State true freshman Seth Collins hit Jordan Villamin with a 40-yard scoring pass to open the fourth quarter and the Beavers pulled within 35-24, but Stanford answered with Barry Sanders’ 65-yard touchdown run and Oregon State couldn’t catch up.

Collins passed for 275 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for another score. Villamin caught seven passes for 138 yards.

Sanders rushed for 97 yards and two scores for the Cardinal.

Oregon State first-year coach Gary Andersen said Stanford was the more physical team in the end.

“Not effort,” he said of his team. “But we got worn down.”

Hogan was a question mark for the game after injuring his left ankle in the second half of last week’s upset of then-No. 6 USC. He threw for 279 yards and two touchdowns in that one, gritting out a 41-31 win that put Stanford back in the rankings.

“Our training staff and doctors, they flushed it out right after the USC game. They got all the swelling down and was really able to get my rehab going,” Hogan said after the Cardinal’s Friday win.

He deftly moved the Cardinal downfield on the opening series of the game against the Beavers. Remound Wright capped the drive with a 1-yard scoring run.

“Kevin did a great job. No issues with the ankle. He wasn’t as fast and explosive as he’s used to being, but he was still mobile, able to move around the pocket, keep his eyes downfield,” Stanford coach David Shaw said.

Collins answered for the Beavers with a 1-yard touchdown run after finding Victor Bolden in traffic with a 7-yard pass to get close.

After Hogan hit Austin Hooper with a 42-yard TD pass to make it 14-7, Collins again led Oregon State on a successful drive that ended with redshirt freshman Ryan Nall’s 5-yard scoring run, the first touchdown of his career.

Stanford went up 21-14 in the second quarter on Wright’s 2-yard scoring run. But Cardinal starting defensive end Aziz Shittu was injured before the half and had to be helped from the field.

College football should realize playoff pressure

Tue, 09/22/2015 - 4:08pm
Cliff Pfenning
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Three weeks into the college football season, the race to predict the four teams headed to the national championship semifinals is in full swing.

Ohio State is No. 1, but barely beat a Northern Illinois team that's not a gimme to win its own conference, the Mid-American. Mississippi played its way up to No. with a resounding win at Alabama Saturday. TCU continues to remain the pride of the Big 12 and a prime contender for one of the four spots. And Notre Dame is No. 6 with its legitimate hope of getting in with an unbeaten record. If the Buckeyes, Rebels, Horned Frogs and Irish all win out, then there's no problem picking the playoff semifinalists.

Trouble is when those teams start to lose, even once. Then, the decision to name the four teams turns to persons who aren't involved in the action on the field, which is a problem that the game can actually resolve fairly easily. College football needs a conference ranking system, not a team ranking. The conference schedule then becomes the integral part of the playoff system, as it should be.

Michigan State and Oregon are in key positions to illustrate this argument especially if Oregon should happen to win the Pac-12, but lose another game. The Spartans have a win over then No. 7 Oregon - a thrilling game that featured playoff pressure. But, it wasn't a playoff game because the teams are in different conferences so the outcome only affected people's opinions. And opinions don't win games, teams do.

The big potential challenge could very well happen November 21 when OSU plays host to MSU. If both teams win out until then, they should be No. 1 and 2. Should OSU win, and then win the Big 10 title the following week, they're in the semifinals. Easy.

Michigan State's 31-28 win over Oregon in the second week of the season gives Spartans fans that feeling of confidence that even if they lose to OSU and Oregon wins the Pac-12, they should be one of the four semifinalists ahead of Oregon because of the head-to-head win. That conundrum gets better, though, if Oregon should lose to USC when the teams meet November 21, but then return to beat the Trojans in the Pac-12 final two weeks later ending the season at 11-2 and with its conference title. 

Unbeaten Mississippi beats unbeaten Florida for the SEC title and earns its spot.

Notre Dame loses twice: to USC and Stanford, and is out.

TCU has a loss to Baylor, which also has a loss - to eventual 7-5 Nebraska, and those two schools finish as the only two ranked teams from the Big 12 (which actually only has 10 schools). Baylor is ranked as the conference champion.

Clemson goes unbeaten through the season, but loses in the ACC title game to 10-2 Duke, which has losses to Northwestern and Georgia Tech. Duke is 11-2, while Clemson is 12-1.

How does a two-loss Oregon team get into the semifinals over teams that have one loss? Same for Duke, which also has a conference title.

Easy, the Ducks and Blue Devils would be two of four conference champions, having won the games that mattered most - those that got them to their conference title games, and then that game, too.

With five Power Conferences, the only rankings the playoff committee would need to make is the one that ranks the five conferences - with No. 5 getting left out of the playoff. That was TCU and the Big 12 last year.

MSU has only one loss and a win over Oregon. But, that was a non-conference win. The Spartans' key game is Ohio State, assuming they beat their other four division rivals. That takes on the pressure of a playoff game, with the game's loser being dropped from the playoffs.

The five conference champions might very well be ranked this way: Ohio State, Mississippi, Baylor, Oregon and Duke.

Duke gets left out. Florida, Clemson, Michigan State, TCU - all one-loss teams, scream to be ahead of Oregon, but none have a conference title.

That Michigan State loss is out there for the college football world to salivate over at the right time because of insider opinions, but it shouldn't be, even if the Ducks lose another game. Oregon has five division games, which lead to a conference title game, and that's the playoff system that every other team has, too - the Big 12 has more conference games, so that's its argument to overcome the lack of a conference title game.

The Power 5 conferences will each have a champion, and those are the only five teams that should be considered for the four semifinal spots, regardless of their records. That's how a playoff system works - the better team doesn't always win because which team is better is from an opinion based on stats and records. The actual better team wins on the field, and every team in the Power 5 (plus Notre Dame) has its shot at winning the games that matter.

 

 

Beavers play their role for Harbaugh

OSU leads early but eventually falls 35-7 at Michigan
Sept. 12, 2015 / Oregonsports.com

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The football gods opened the heavens for Oregon State Saturday, but the Beavers were unable to move in during a nationally-televised game at Michigan Stadium.

After scoring on their first drive, and forcing a turnover just seconds later, the Beavers played into the traditional outcome expected when the two programs meet, losing 35-7 in the opening home game of the Jim Harbaugh-era at Michigan.

Michigan tailback De'Veon Smith ran for 126 yards and three touchdowns to lead Michigan.

OSU finished the game with just 138 total yards, 79 of which came on its opening drive.

The outcome left both teams at 1-1, with Oregon State returning to Corvallis next week for a home game against San Jose State.

"We needed to capitalize on mistakes," OSU quarterback Seth Collins said. "We didn't lose heart."

Collins capped the opening drive with a 21-yard pass to Hunter Jarmon, but finished the game with just six more completions.

The Beavers led for much of the first half, but special teams played a huge role in the final score. The Beavers had a 50-yard punt return wiped out by a penalty, then, trailing just 10-7, had a snap sail over punter Nick Porebski's head and wind up at the OSU 3. Michigan scored on three plays for a 17-7 halftime lead. The errant snap came after the team had a punt downed at the Michigan 2 - wiped out by a penalty.

 

Hoke gets OSU rumor mill started

Online report has OSU contacting former Michigan coach
Dec. 8, 2014 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

The rumor mill regarding the open position of head football coach at Oregon State has started with former Michigan coach Brady Hoke as the first target.

Josh Newberg of 247Sports.com wrote on Twitter: "Source tells me Oregon State has made contact with Brady Hoke about their head coaching job."

The report was promoted from there by The Detroit News.

Michigan fired Hoke after four years at the university on Dec. 2. Prior to joining the Wolverines, Hoke was the head coach at Ball State and San Diego State, and he has a career head coaching record of 78-70. He was 31-20 in four seasons at Michigan, but just 3-5 in Big 10 play the past two years. The Wolverines were just 5-7 this year. During the season, athletic direcor David Brandon resigned.

Mike Riley left Oregon State last week after 14 years to become head coach at Nebraska. Riley had a 93-80 record at Oregon State; the Beavers won 10 games once (10-4, 2006) and nine games three times (2007, 2008, 2012).

Portland State is also looking for a head coach after Nigel Burton's contract was terminated following a 3-9 campaign. In five seasons, the Vikings were 21-36 under Burton. PSU named Offensive Coordinator Bryce Barnum as interim head coach through the 2015 season. The school is currently looking to hire an athletic director prior to a long-term football coach.

Hoke was a defensive line at Oregon State from 1989-94. Oregon State plays at Michigan, Sept. 12.

Michigan is also looking for a new head coach as the bowl season nears. Florida was also in the market, but hired Jim McElwain from Colorado State last week. Kansas hired Texas A&M receivers coach David Beaty last week as well.

Scott Frost, University of Oregon Offensive Coordinator, has been mentioned numerous times as a candidate at a number of schools. One online report had a Las Vegas betting line with him as a 5/2 favorite to be named coach at Nebraska.

Ohio State Offensive Coordinator Tom Herman was also on the list.

 

 

 

 

Riley heads for Nebraska

The OSU coach takes over the Cornhuskers job after 14 seasons in Corvallis
Dec. 4, 2014

Nebraska has hired Mike Riley as its football coach, the school announced on Thursday.

Riley previously served as the head coach at Oregon State, where he led the Beavers to a 93-80 record and eight bowl appearances over 14 seasons. In 2014, Oregon State went 5-7 with a 2-7 mark in the Pac-12 conference.

The 61-year-old was named the Pac-10 coach of the year in 2008 after leading Oregon State to a 9-4 record. The Beavers’ win total has declined over the past three seasons -- from nine in 2012, to seven in 2013 to five this season.

“It is truly an honor to join the University of Nebraska family,” Riley said in a statement. “Though we love Corvallis and Oregon State, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to coach at one of the nation’s most storied football programs and I can’t wait to get started. My sincere thanks to Chancellor Perlman and Shawn Eichorst for their confidence in me and I look forward to becoming a part of the Nebraska family and building upon the great history and tradition.”

News of Riley leaving OSU hadn’t been updated to the school’s website Thursday.

Other names floated as potential candidates for the Nebraska job included Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost, Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman and Minnesota coach Jerry Kill.

Notice of Riley’s hire comes less than a week after Nebraska announced it had dismissed Bo Pelini following seven seasons. Nebraska, which joined the Big Ten from the Big 12 in 2011, has gone 9-3 this season.

OSU's million-to-one shot

The Beavers get a rare chance for historic glory Saturday against Oregon
Nov. 26, 2014 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

Corvallis is plenty off the beaten path in the college football world, so it's hard for the Oregon State football team to get a lot of publicity. But, that won't be true Saturday, so it's as big an opportunity to make an impact in front of the nation's fans and incoming recruits as the program is going to get.

The Beavers get to play in-state rival Oregon at home and on national television with the Ducks needing only win by any margin to continue their path toward the College Football Playoffs.

Oregon State, meanwhile, is playing for its football life - especially its seniors. The Beavers have five wins and need a sixth to become bowl. So a win Saturday extends the season by a month. And, a sixth win qualifies coach Mike Riley for a bonus of more than $1.5 million as it would add another year onto his contract for winning six games.

Riley has never seemed like someone motivated by money (and his contract already runs through 2021), but the game is being played at Reser Stadium, and being on national TV with the win moving his team to a bowl game, it might just be what his staff needs to produce what would be one of its biggest upsets.

There's plenty of elements in place for Saturday, too.

First, it's at home. The Beavers just seem to be a different animal at home. Almost all of their big wins are at Reser these days, starting with USC. OSU hasn't beaten USC in Los Angeles since 1964, but it's owned the team in the past decade at Reser, regardless of the Trojans' rankings.

Two weeks ago, the Beavers beat No. 7 Arizona State at Reser, 35-27.

Saturday is the final home game for seniors, led by quarterback Sean Mannion.

Second, the Ducks are ranked No. 2, and have beaten the Beavers six straight times - so they should win. The betting line is by nearly three touchdowns, too. This is one of the best elements an underdog has available - surprise, even if the Ducks publicly say they're fully ready. In Oregon's lone loss - to Arizona on its home field, it was rated a 23-point favorite.

And, Oregon has shown it's available for a big loss, too. At Utah, the Ducks were on their way to being down 14-0 when fate intervened in the form of a historic "Not Top 10" play. Even then, the game was 30-27 in the second half.

Third, it's on ABC. If there's a way to pump up a group of seemingly overmatched football players, just put some cameras in their faces and tell them every play they make has the potential to be a national headline.

Oregon is already in the Pac-12 Conference Championship Game, so it realistically only needs to win by one point, which it did last year, 36-35 at Autzen Stadium. That's going to be in player's heads throughout the game.

Oregon Stat's best chance is a dominating start, especially on defense. And, it's performed well on defense. Against ASU, the defense gave up only 20 points as one of the Sun Devils' scores was on a fumble return.

Saturday's game looks like a blowout on paper - for Oregon fans, and maybe the world. But, it's one of the biggest wins the Beavers can ever have, one the program will celebrate for decades, and that opportunity doesn't come along very often.

OSU's big game opportunity

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 7:30am
Cliff Pfenning
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Corvallis is plenty off the beaten path in the college football world, so it's hard for the Oregon State football team to get a lot of publicity. But, that won't be true Saturday, so it's as big an opportunity to make an impact in front of the nation's fans and incoming recruits as the program is going to get.

The Beavers get to play in-state rival Oregon at home and on national television with the Ducks needing only win by any margin to continue their path toward the College Football Playoffs.

Oregon State, meanwhile, is playing for its football life - especially its seniors. The Beavers have five wins and need a sixth to become bowl. So a win Saturday extends the season by a month. And, a sixth win qualifies coach Mike Riley for a $1 million bonus.

Riley has never seemed like someone motivated by money, but the game is being played at Reser Stadium, and being on national TV with the win moving his team to a bowl game, it might just be what the program needs to score what would be one of its biggest upsets.

There's plenty of elements to a big win in place for Saturday.

First, it's at home. The Beavers just seem to be a different animal at home. Almost all of their big wins are at Reser these days, starting with USC. OSU hasn't beaten USC in Los Angeles since 1964, but it's owned the team in the past decade at Reser, regardless of the Trojans' rankings.

Two weeks ago, the Beavers beat No. 7 Arizona State at Reser, 35-27.

Saturday is the final home game for seniors, led by quarterback Sean Mannion.

Second, the Ducks are ranked No. 2, and have beaten the Beavers six straight times - so they should win. The betting line is by nearly three touchdowns, too. This is one of the best elements an underdog has available - surprise, even if the Ducks publicly say they're fully ready. In Oregon's lone loss - to Arizona on its home field, it was rated a 23-point favorite.

And, Oregon has shown it's available for a big loss, too. At Utah, the Ducks were on their way to being down 14-0 when fate intervened in the form of a historic "Not Top 10" play. Even then, the game was 30-27 in the second half.

Third, it's on ABC. If there's a way to pump up a group of seemingly overmatched football players, just put some cameras in their faces and tell them every play they make has the potential to be a national headline.

Oregon is already in the Pac-12 Conference Championship Game, so it realistically only needs to win by one point, which it did last year, 36-35 at Autzen Stadium. That's going to be in player's heads throughout the game.

Oregon Stat's best chance is a dominating start, especially on defense. And, it's performed well on defense. Against ASU, the defense gave up only 20 points as one of the Sun Devils' scores was on a fumble return.

Saturday's game looks like a blowout on paper - for Oregon fans, and maybe the world. But, it's one of the biggest wins the Beavers can ever have, one the program will celebrate for decades, and that opportunity doesn't come along very often.

 

 

 

 

 

Beavers Believe

Mon, 11/17/2014 - 8:23pm
Wanna Be Like Mike

Who would have thought that the Oregon State Beavers would take down one of the giants in the Pac-12 Conference?

Well, if you ask Mike Riley and the “Beaver Believers” in Corvallis, they would’ve said, “We did!”

I've given Mike Riley a hard time this year, whether it was his play calling or not lighting a fire under his players. This time, I must take my hat off to him and congratulate his team on a statement victory right before the Civil War. I’m not saying that they are going to beat the Ducks, but this win sure does give this team some much needed confidence.

Once again, Riley gets a signature win against a ranked opponent. Whether it be USC, Stanford or UCLA, Riley always seems to find a way to get a victory even when is team is only playing for pride.

The Pac-12 is loaded this year, and for the first time in a while, it seems that they can match up with any conference in the country. There’s still a lot of football to be played, but with the new playoff format and less time to prepare for your opponent, the highly touted SEC may have their work cut out for them.

What's a Beaver to do?

OSU's football future is a key topic for Sportsland, Oregon No. 23
Nov. 10, 2014

With another upset dodged by the Oregon football program in Utah, the Ducks are assured of a spot in the Pac-12 Conference title game.

Again - finally.

Oregon won the inaugural title game, and played for the national championship in 2011, but got sideswiped the past two seasons by Stanford. No such problems this season. So, coach Mark Helfrich has guided the team back to where the program's supporters expect it to be.

And, Oregon State? The Beavers lost their fourth-straight game Saturday to Washington State, which started a freshman quarterback. With the loss, the Beavers are in need of two wins in their last three games - starting with No. 7 Arizona State on Saturday - to reach a bowl game. With the program stuck on six wins being a prosperous season, the future of the OSU program is a key topic for Sportsland, Oregon host Cliff Pfenning, and guest commentator Earl Frederick.

Does OSU need to look in another direction for its head coaching position? Or can coach Mike Riley raise the program from mediocrity as he did in the late 90s?

It's all recorded at Blitz Pearl in Northwest Portland.

 

Beavers drop another conference game

Washington State rolls in and out of Corvallis with a 39-32 win
Nov. 8, 2014

CORVALLIS - Redshirt freshman Luke Falk made his first start and threw for 471 yards and five touchdowns and Washington State snapped a four-game losing streak with a 39-32 victory over Oregon State on Saturday.

Tyler Baker caught nine passes for 113 yards and a touchdown for the Cougars (3-7, 2-5 Pac-12) who also snapped a three-game losing streak to the Beavers (4-5, 1-5).

Sean Mannion, who set the Pac-12 all-time record for passing yards last weekend in a loss to California, threw for 419 yards and a touchdown. Garrett Owens added four field goals for the Beavers, who have lost four straight.

Falk was making his first start for the Cougars in place of senior Connor Halliday, who broke his ankle last weekend in the first quarter of the Cougars’ 44-17 loss to USC. The injury ended the prolific senior passer’s college career.

Falk was poised and confident from the start against the Beavers, throwing for 251 yards and three touchdowns in the first half alone in coach Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense.

Going into the game the Beavers had allowed just seven touchdown receptions over the season, and their pass defense ranked second in the conference behind Stanford.

Oregon State was coming off a 45-31 loss at home to California. With three games left following the game against the Cougars, Oregon State’s chances for bowl eligibility are narrowing.

The Beavers scored on their first series, a 75-yard, four-play drive capped by Mannion’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Connor Hamlett.

The Cougars had a chance to close the gap but Quentin Breshears’ 31-yard field goal attempt went wide left. Oregon State’s Garrett Owens made a 24-yard field goal on the other end to make it 10-0.

Falk found Isiah Myers in the end zone with 5-yard scoring pass before end of the first quarter. He put the Cougars in front early in the second with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Baker.

Owens made a 37-yard field goal for the Beavers to cut Washington State’s lead to 14-13 but Falk threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to Vince Mayle to extend the Cougars’ lead. It was Mayle’s 83rd reception of the season, a school record.

Owens hit again on a 44-yard field goal, narrowing Washington State’s lead to 21-16 at halftime.

Breshears opened the second half with a 32-yard field goal to extend the lead but the Beavers’ running game finally awoke after gaining just 11 yards in the first half and scored on Terron Ward’s 1-yard touchdown run. The pass failed on the conversion but Oregon State still narrowed it to 24-22.

It appeared that the Beavers had taken over the lead on Mannion’s 38-yard pass play to Victor Bolden, but it was called back by offensive holding on Hunter Jarmon. Oregon State settled for Owens’ 46-yard field goal for a 25-24 lead.

Falk answered by efficiently marching the Cougars downfield, capping the drive with an 18-yard touchdown scoring pass on the run to Dom Williams. After the conversion, Washington State led 32-25 with 11:01 left.

Falk hit Robert Lewis with a 9-yard touchdown pass with 5:57 left before the Beavers answered with another 1-yard scoring run for Ward for the final margin.

Last year the Beavers scored five unanswered touchdowns, including four in the fourth quarter, and beat the Cougars 52-24 in Pullman. Mannion threw for a school-record 493 yards and four scores, while Brandin Cooks -- now with the New Orleans Saints -- had 171 yards in total offense and three touchdowns, two via pass and one via rush.

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