oregon state football

Beavers dominate Ducks on scoreboard

It's only 41-38, but it's a huge win for Oregon State
Staff Report

What we learned from UO vs. OSU non-Civil War Game

What a win for Oregon State, beating the Ducks 41-38 with a last-minute touchdown splurge. 

What a loss for Oregon, getting outscored 22-7 in the fourth quarter of a game Las Vegas thought it would win by two touchdowns.

It’s the Covid-19 season for everything, so many people will just think it’ll mean less. It’s 2020, blah. But, there is so much more than just a blah win/loss from the former Civil War game played in Corvallis Friday.

It really is a great win for the Beavers, as is any win over Oregon in any sport, but especially in this season where they could easily be 4-0. At 2-2, they’ve got bowl potential, and the Beavs haven’t been to a bowl since 2013. OSU just needs to beat Utah or Stanford in the next two weeks, and it’s bowl worthy. Call it the Covid Bowl, whatever, it’s still a bowl.

It’s something of a usual loss for the Ducks, who are still lined up to play in the Pac-12 Championship game with wins over Cal and Washington in the next two weeks. The Ducks lose a key game virtually every year, including to ASU two weeks before the conference title game last year, so a loss during the regular season isn’t a big surprise. Maybe it’s helpful for fans of this season to move past the College Football Playoffs.

Here’s the fallout as I see it from Friday’s game.

1. Jonathan Smith is absolutely the right coach for Oregon State

Smith signed on for five years in 2017, but then got an extension in January through 2026, so that puts him in Corvallis for a while. For a program that hadn’t done much since the Mike Riley years, he’s got the Beavers moving in the right direction, which might be the conference championship game in coming years. It’s great to see a team playing above itself, and that’s what OSU seemed to do for much of the game Friday.  Junior Tristan Gebbia guided the offense played well enough to win, and the defense kept the game in line for a win by doing just enough to contain the Ducks, especially in the fourth quarter. A key interception in the fog definitely helped that cause.

2. Jermar Jefferson is headed to the NFL

Jefferson, another junior, has three runs longer than 70 yards in the last two games, and finished with 229 Friday. The 82-yard sprint on his first carry was probably the biggest play of the game in that it matched Oregon’s long touchdown drive that opened the contest. As big a stat as the 229 yards is, though, is the number of carries he got in the game - 29. What college team gives its feature back 29 carries these days? The team had plenty of opportunities for other guys to run as it finished with 44. Six of them were by Gebbia, who got a pair of key first downs on fourth-downs. Jefferson is only 5-10, but he showed off great instincts to get through a line, and has increased his season total of yards to 675 in four games and 91 carries, which is almost the total he had last year (685) on 142 carries, a year after he ran for 1,380 yards. His running brings back the visions of another OSU great - Ken Simonton, who was just 5-7 but finished with 5,044 yards in four seasons.

3. Oregon can’t run the ball or won’t run the ball

Can anyone remember the last great Oregon running back? Someone who was a feature back game after game? Oregon has had plenty of backs get to the NFL and two who finished with more than 5,000 career yards - Royce Freeman (2014-17), and LaMichael James (09-11). But, those were bygone days. The Ducks throw too much for that to happen now, which is always going to be a problem for them handling the clock when they need. Friday’s game finished with a respectable 186 yards on 34 carries, but Oregon simply would not run the ball three successive times for a first down. In the fog that hit Friday, it was baffling to see so many long passes downfield considering the receivers often didn’t see to know where the ball was. To be a College Football Playoff team, and winner, Oregon needs to be able to run the ball better.

4. Mario Cristobal deserves an Al Pacino/Jack Nickolson/Kevin Costner/Sam Elliott-level pep talk

Oregon does not seem very inspired on the field. The Ducks are good, yes, and they can score and make a tackle or two, yes. But when the game gets serious and there’s a play that needs to be made, it’s just kinda part of the flow and if it happens, it does, and if it doesn’t, well, then it doesn’t. 

I see four movies the Ducks coaches and players should view and get some meaning out of: Scarface, A Few Good Men, Bull Durham, and the Big Lebowski. 

At some point, the defense needs to be able to stop any opponent on any play - if the team is College Football Playoff worthy. That seems to be the thing for every UO season - get to the Big 4. But, Oregon just finds a way to be just-enough better than most teams, and then, damn that one play almost-good-enough for the key loss. And, the offense is so tricky, and indecisive. When the fog hit, the plays should have been closer to the vest as in short passes and lots of runs, but there were still plenty of longer passes, including one that turned into an interception in the fourth quarter.

Cristobal is in his third years as Oregon coach and has turned the program into one of the prime destinations for recruits in the nation. So why isn’t Oregon as good as Clemson? There’s something missing and Cristobal is the guy to overcome what that is. Or, he isn’t.

5. The Pac-12 just isn’t that good, so stop whining

When the CFP rankings came out and the Ducks were at 15, it seemed like a bit of a snub from the folks putting them together. But, it seems pretty much spot on, so fans should just refocus on the conference title. Oregon is still lined up for that. The bigger issue is next season and getting all the younger players that seasoning they need for a run at something really big, which includes a game at Ohio State. The 2021 season also includes a game against the FCS Stony Brook Seawolves which is on par with Clemson in that the Tigers always play a FCS team, too. 

 

 

OSU deserves a lot of applause

Sat, 11/28/2020 - 12:41pm
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What we learned from UO vs. OSU non-Civil War Game

What a win for Oregon State, beating the Ducks 41-38 with a last-minute touchdown splurge. 

What a loss for Oregon, getting outscored 22-7 in the fourth quarter of a game Las Vegas thought it would win by two touchdowns.

It’s the Covid-19 season for everything, so many people will just think it’ll mean less. It’s 2020, blah. But, there is so much more than just a blah win/loss from the former Civil War game played in Corvallis Friday.

It really is a great win for the Beavers, as is any win over Oregon in any sport, but especially in this season where they could easily be 4-0. At 2-2, they’ve got bowl potential, and the Beavs haven’t been to a bowl since 2013. OSU just needs to beat Utah or Stanford in the next two weeks, and it’s bowl worthy. Call it the Covid Bowl, whatever, it’s still a bowl.

It’s something of a usual loss for the Ducks, who are still lined up to play in the Pac-12 Championship game with wins over Cal and Washington in the next two weeks. The Ducks lose a key game virtually every year, including to ASU two weeks before the conference title game last year, so a loss during the regular season isn’t a big surprise. Maybe it’s helpful for fans of this season to move past the College Football Playoffs.

Here’s the fallout as I see it from Friday’s game.

1. Jonathan Smith is absolutely the right coach for Oregon State

Smith signed on for five years in 2017, but then got an extension in January through 2026, so that puts him in Corvallis for a while. For a program that hadn’t done much since the Mike Riley years, he’s got the Beavers moving in the right direction, which might be the conference championship game in coming years. It’s great to see a team playing above itself, and that’s what OSU seemed to do for much of the game Friday.  Junior Tristan Gebbia guided the offense played well enough to win, and the defense kept the game in line for a win by doing just enough to contain the Ducks, especially in the fourth quarter. A key interception in the fog definitely helped that cause.

2. Jermar Jefferson is headed to the NFL

Jefferson, another junior, has three runs longer than 70 yards in the last two games, and finished with 229 Friday. The 82-yard sprint on his first carry was probably the biggest play of the game in that it matched Oregon’s long touchdown drive that opened the contest. As big a stat as the 229 yards is, though, is the number of carries he got in the game - 29. What college team gives its feature back 29 carries these days? The team had plenty of opportunities for other guys to run as it finished with 44. Six of them were by Gebbia, who got a pair of key first downs on fourth-downs. Jefferson is only 5-10, but he showed off great instincts to get through a line, and has increased his season total of yards to 675 in four games and 91 carries, which is almost the total he had last year (685) on 142 carries, a year after he ran for 1,380 yards. His running brings back the visions of another OSU great - Ken Simonton, who was just 5-7 but finished with 5,044 yards in four seasons.

3. Oregon can’t run the ball or won’t run the ball

Can anyone remember the last great Oregon running back? Someone who was a feature back game after game? Oregon has had plenty of backs get to the NFL and two who finished with more than 5,000 career yards - Royce Freeman (2014-17), and LaMichael James (09-11). But, those were bygone days. The Ducks throw too much for that to happen now, which is always going to be a problem for them handling the clock when they need. Friday’s game finished with a respectable 186 yards on 34 carries, but Oregon simply would not run the ball three successive times for a first down. In the fog that hit Friday, it was baffling to see so many long passes downfield considering the receivers often didn’t see to know where the ball was. To be a College Football Playoff team, and winner, Oregon needs to be able to run the ball better.

4. Mario Cristobal deserves an Al Pacino/Jack Nickolson/Kevin Costner/Sam Elliott-level pep talk

Oregon does not seem very inspired on the field. The Ducks are good, yes, and they can score and make a tackle or two, yes. But when the game gets serious and there’s a play that needs to be made, it’s just kinda part of the flow and if it happens, it does, and if it doesn’t, well, then it doesn’t. 

I see four movies the Ducks coaches and players should view and get some meaning out of: Scarface, A Few Good Men, Bull Durham, and the Big Lebowski. 

At some point, the defense needs to be able to stop any opponent on any play - if the team is College Football Playoff worthy. That seems to be the thing for every UO season - get to the Big 4. But, Oregon just finds a way to be just-enough better than most teams, and then, damn that one play almost-good-enough for the key loss. And, the offense is so tricky, and indecisive. When the fog hit, the plays should have been closer to the vest as in short passes and lots of runs, but there were still plenty of longer passes, including one that turned into an interception in the fourth quarter.

Cristobal is in his third years as Oregon coach and has turned the program into one of the prime destinations for recruits in the nation. So why isn’t Oregon as good as Clemson? There’s something missing and Cristobal is the guy to overcome what that is. Or, he isn’t.

5. The Pac-12 just isn’t that good, so stop whining

When the CFP rankings came out and the Ducks were at 15, it seemed like a bit of a snub from the folks putting them together. But, it seems pretty much spot on, so fans should just refocus on the conference title. Oregon is still lined up for that. The bigger issue is next season and getting all the younger players that seasoning they need for a run at something really big, which includes a game at Ohio State. The 2021 season also includes a game against the FCS Stony Brook Seawolves which is on par with Clemson in that the Tigers always play a FCS team, too. 

Beavers get offense rolling ... eventually

OSU rallies late, but falls to Washington State, 38-28
Staff Report

The third year under Jonathan Smith began at Oregon State Saturday and nearly turned out a dramatic rally for a win. But, it didn't.

Washington State rolled to a 28-7 lead midway through the third quarter, then fended off a late surge by the Beavers and pulled off a 38-28 on the opening day of PAc-12 Conference football play.

OSU pulled to within 31-28 with 2:39 left in the game, capping off a 15-play, 90-yard drive with a 15-yard run by Jemar Jefferson. But, the ensuing onside kick was recovered by the Cougars, and they bolted for a 44-yard score on their first play for the eventual final score.

Oregon State missed a field goal in with 21 seconds left for its final scoring attempt.

OSU plays at Washington Saturday. The Huskies had their game with Cal cancelled due to COVID-19 issues.

Tristan Gebbia finished with 329 yards and one touchdown pass for the Beavers, but struggled to move the offense into the third quarter. OSU's opening three possessions lasted three plays before a punt, and the team had five such possessions during the game.

Jemar Jefferson ran for 120 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries to power OSU's ground game. The Beavers finished with 451 total yards of offense.

WSU finished with 456 total yards, including 229 yards on the ground.

 

Beavers get coaches excited

OSU holds its second scrimmage, two weeks before opener
Staff Report

Oregon State's football team kept its preparations for its season-opener on track Saturday with two hours of scrimmage work at Reser Stadium.

The Beavers, who open at home against Washington State Nov. 7, worked their No. 1 offense against their No. 1 defense for three drives, and the offense scored on all three with junior quarterback Tristan Gebbia at the helm. Gebbia tossed two touchdown passes to freshman Zeriah Beason.

“He didn’t miss much out there,” head coach Jonathan Smith said to media afterward. “I think he played as well as he has all camp.”

The scrimmage was the final one before the opener.

Gebbia's play helped turn the tables on the defense from its first scrimmage. A week earlier, the defense shredded through the offense to establish itself as the dominant part of the team. Not so Saturday.

Running backs Jermar Jefferson, B.J. Baylor and Connor Morton performed well behind an inspired offensive line that caught Smith's attention.

"I was pleased with that group today," he said. "We're making real progress there."

Sophomore Everett Hayes went 3-of-5 on his attempts, hitting from 38, 44 and 52 yards, while missing from 37 and 50.

The Beavers are aiming to move forward from last year's campaign, which had them basically one play away from a bowl game before finishing at 5-6.


Oregon, Oregon State open at home

The seven-game schedule begins Nov. 7, ends with Dec. 18 championship game
Staff Report

Oregon's two members of the Pac-12 will begin their football seasons at home, the conference announced Saturday.

Oregon will play host to Stanford, while Oregon State plays host to Washington State.

Whether fans will be allowed in their respective stadiums has not been revealed.

After cancelling the season in August, the conference voted last week to play a seven-game season and took a week to create a schedule. The annual Civil War is set for Nov. 27, midway through the schedule. Both schools are scheduled for just three home games.

The seventh game of the conference schedule includes the championship game, set for Dec. 18 - a Saturday. Teams that do not qualify for the title game will play their seventh game the preceeding Friday.

Oregon is the defending champion and lone team from the conference ranked in the Top 25 - at 14.

2020 SCHEDULE

NOV. 7

Stanford at Oregon

Washington State at Oregon State

NOV. 14

Oregon at Washington State

Oregon State at Washington

NOV. 20.

UCLA at Oregon

NOV. 21

Cal at Oregon State

NOV. 27

Oregon at Oregon State

DEC. 5

Oregon at Cal

Oregon State at Utah

DEC. 12

Oregon State at Stanford

Washington at Oregon

DEC. 18

Conference championship

The Pac-12 should hold off and own spring football

Sat, 09/19/2020 - 7:35am
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In the coming week, the presidents of the 12 colleges that make up the Pac-12 conference (they're now often being referred to as CEOs), will meet to discuss restarting the football season before October ends, like the CEOs of the Pac-12s brother/sister the Big-10 have done.

When they meet, hopefully they'll move off that topic and to a better one - owning spring football.

The Pac-12 should skip fall football and own spring football as it would be the lone major conference playing at that time.

Who really cares about the national championship anyway? It's the confernence title that matters most.

The Pac-12 should skip fall football for 2020, and own spring football, getting back to the 2021 season in fall.

 

Beavers get no respect in Ohio - from ABC

The network barely notices Oregon State in season opener
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

The college football seasons opened up for teams across Oregon Saturday and the results were basically as they were predicted ... by Las Vegas ... with No. 24 Oregon scoring a blowout at home against Bowling Green and Oregon State getting mauled at No. 5 Ohio State on national television.

Portland State lost at Nevada .. and Div. II and NAIA teams also kicked off to spirited fanfare - George Fox opened with 122 players on its roster.

The thing that caught my attention most, at least in the morning hours, was ABC’s coverage of the OSU at OSU game, and it owes an apology to Oregon State and Beaver Nation for how it turned the game into a local broadcast of the Buckeyes.

Oregon State traveled halfway across the country to face a very difficult game - underdogs by 39 points and with a new head coach (the program’s fourth in five years), but it pretty much wasn’t even involved in the game, other than as the program getting fed to the host school.

Jonathan Smith, a former Beavers standout at quarterback, was coaching his first game as a head coach, but ABC didn’t even acknowledge him until more than 12 minutes had gone by. The Beavers had the ball for the fourth time, had already scored a touchdown and been in OSU territory three times before they put the camera on him and let the nation know he was one of the brightest offensive minds in the game. The Beavers even lost their starting quarterback after just one possession to make the game that much harder, yet back-up Conor Blount was performing admirably against one of the premier defensive lines in the game.

The network, and rightly so, opened the broadcast with an update of the drama surrounding Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer’s three-game suspension that led to assistant Ryan Day taking over as interim head coach. ABC’s broadcast team of Dave Pasch and Greg McElroy covered Day extensively, as it should have.

But, Oregon State actually played in the game, too, and they pretty much forgot to include that element as part of the broadcast for most of the first quarter. They eventually got around to Smith and former coach Mike Riley returning to become an assistant on the team’s fourth possession.

The score by the team’s fourth possession was getting out of hand, and it was a disaster of a game on defense along the way to giving up 77 points. But, the offense played heroically behind Blount, receiver Trevon Bradford and running back Artavis Pierce, and eventually scored 31 points.

ABC just covered Ohio State for almost the entire first quarter, something that shows no respect for a major college program, which might be in a rocky spot in football - almost half of the team had never played in a Div. I game before, but is still celebrating a national title in baseball so there’s plenty to talk about regarding the teams from Corvallis. None of that drama or excitement got anywhere near the broadcast until a half-hour had passed.

The game wasn’t much in doubt pretty quickly, but Oregon State deserved a lot more respect that it got shown by ABC Saturday morning. And, it’s apology worthy - to coach Smith and Beaver Nation, regardless of the eventual score.

ABC gets an F for its football coverage

Sat, 09/01/2018 - 7:38pm
Cliff Pfenning
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The college football seasons opened up for teams across Oregon Saturday and the results were basically as they were predicted ... by Las Vegas ... with No. 24 Oregon scoring a blowout at home against Bowling Green and Oregon State getting mauled at No. 5 Ohio State on national television.

Portland State lost at Nevada .. and Div. II and NAIA teams also kicked off to spirited fanfare - George Fox opened with 122 players on its roster.

The thing that caught my attention most, at least in the morning hours, was ABC’s coverage of the OSU at OSU game, and it owes an apology to Oregon State and Beaver Nation for how it turned the game into a local broadcast of the Buckeyes.

Oregon State traveled halfway across the country to face a very difficult game - underdogs by 39 points and with a new head coach (the program’s fourth in five years), but it pretty much wasn’t even involved in the game, other than as the program getting fed to the host school.

Jonathan Smith, a former Beavers standout at quarterback, was coaching his first game as a head coach, but ABC didn’t even acknowledge him until more than 12 minutes had gone by. The Beavers had the ball for the fourth time, had already scored a touchdown and been in OSU territory three times before they put the camera on him and let the nation know he was one of the brightest offensive minds in the game. The Beavers even lost their starting quarterback after just one possession to make the game that much harder, yet back-up Conor Blount was performing admirably against one of the premier defensive lines in the game.

The network, and rightly so, opened the broadcast with an update of the drama surrounding Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer’s three-game suspension that led to assistant Ryan Day taking over as interim head coach. ABC’s broadcast team of Dave Pasch and Greg McElroy covered Day extensively, as it should have.

But, Oregon State actually played in the game, too, and they pretty much forgot to include that element as part of the broadcast for most of the first quarter. They eventually got around to Smith and former coach Mike Riley returning to become an assistant on the team’s fourth possession.

The score by the team’s fourth possession was getting out of hand, and it was a disaster of a game on defense along the way to giving up 77 points. But, the offense played heroically behind Blount, receiver Trevon Bradford and running back Artavis Pierce, and eventually scored 31 points.

ABC just covered Ohio State for almost the entire first quarter, something that shows no respect for a major college program, which might be in a rocky spot in football - almost half of the team had never played in a Div. I game before, but is still celebrating a national title in baseball so there’s plenty to talk about regarding the teams from Corvallis. None of that drama or excitement got anywhere near the broadcast until a half-hour had passed.

The game wasn’t much in doubt pretty quickly, but Oregon State deserved a lot more respect that it got shown by ABC Saturday morning. And, it’s apology worthy - to coach Smith and Beaver Nation, regardless of the eventual score.

OSU snares its top prospect

Jonathan Smith returns to Corvallis as head coach
Staff report

Oregon State has finalized a deal to bring Jonathan Smith back to Corvallis as its next head football coach.

Sports Illustrated and The Associated Press reported earlier Wednesday that Oregon State chose to hire Smith, a former Beavers quarterback who has been part of a Washington staff that has led the Huskies to consecutive double-digit-win seasons.

"I want to thank President Ray and [athletic director] Scott Barnes for their confidence in presenting me this opportunity to return to Oregon State University to be the head coach," Smith said. "I also want to express my gratitude to Coach (Chris) Petersen for providing me a path to realize my dream as a head coach."

Smith has been working as quarterbacks coach for Petersen since 2012, starting at Boise State, and then at Washington, starting in 2014.

He also had stops as an assistant at Montana and Idaho. He was a graduate assistant at Oregon State from 2002-03.

Smith was a walk-on in Corvallis, playing for the Beavers from 1998-2001. He started a quarterback on Oregon State's 2000 team that went 11-1 and defeated Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl under coach Dennis Erickson.

"We are very excited about having Coach Smith lead our program," Barnes said. "We interviewed several qualified candidates and Coach Smith emerged as our top choice. He brings to Oregon State football an impressive plan to build our program. He has a unique perspective on what it means to be a part of Beaver Nation and to be successful for our student-athletes on and off the field."

A fan favorite during his playing days, Smith ranks third on Oregon State's career list with 55 touchdown passes and 9,680 passing yards.

Oregon State has been in the market for a new coach since Gary Andersen surprisingly stepped down in early October after a 1-5 start, with the victory coming over Portland State.

 

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.

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