OSU football

Ducks hit Tier 2 in '21 ESPN rankings

Oregon is a Playoff potential; OSU has plenty of room to grow
Staff Report

The University of Oregon football team didn't finish the 2020 season well with a blowout loss in the Fiesta Bowl, but that hasn't stopped the media world from thinking the Ducks pose a significant threat to the established College Football Playoff contenders.

Oregon is part of a seven-team group of Tier 2 teams that a preseason ranking system put together by ESPN writers, who saw that group as having the best chance to get one of the four CFP berths, along with the Tier 1 of Alabama, Clemson or Ohio State - who are regularly in the playoffs. Tier 1 also included Georgia and Oklahoma.

The rest of Tier 2 included Florida, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Penn State, Texas and Texas A&M.

Oregon State got a Tier 7 spot in the 10-tier rankings, along with fellow Pac-12 teams California, Colorado and Stanford.

USC and Washington were both Tier 3.

The Ducks won the Pac-12 Conference title game for the second-straight year, beating out USC in championship game 31-24. But, they lost their bowl game to Iowa State, 34-17 to finish 4-3 overall. The team finishced sixth in high school signings, though.

Oregon will get a chance to move up Sept. 11 when it plays at Ohio State.

Oregon State, which beat Oregon 41-38 during the season, plays at Tier 8 Purdue, Sept. 4. The Beavers finished 2-5 last season, but three of their losses were by six points or less.



1 none

2 Oregon

3 USC, Washington

4 Arizona State, UCLA

5 Utah

6 none

7 California, Colorado, Oregon State, Stanford

8 Washington State

9 Arizona

10 none


Beavers end up on right side

Late score leads OSU past Cal 31-27
Staff Report

CORVALLIS - Oregon State will take a little momentum into the annual Civil War game with Oregon after getting its first win of the season Saturday.

Tristan Gebbia ran one yard for a touchdown with 4:30 left in the game, and the Beavers produced an interception inside the 10-yard-line with 1:05 left to preserve the win.

Jemar Jefferson ran for 196 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries for the Beavers. His total included runs of 67 and 75 yards.

Gebbia threw for 155 yards and a touchdown, but also had two interceptions.

Cal, which dropped to 0-2, finished with a 439-360 edge in total yards, and 38:06-21:54 edge in time of possession. The Bears ran 30 more plays that the Beavers.

Oregon State's win will help to return the focus on the season to Oregon after its 27-24 loss at Washington last week, which was marred by a pair of late officiating decisions that both went against the Beavers.



Beavers have surprising season on tap

Unheralded Oregon State can only impress with what it does
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

CORVALLIS - It's easy to forget the Oregon State football team almost qualified for a bowl game last year.

Were it not for a game-ending touchdow at Washington State in the season finale, the Beavers would have had six wins and been bowl eligible. And, how long has that been?

It was 2013 with coach Mike Riley, who left for Nebraska after the following season.

In actuality, that's only five seasons, which isn't that long in the big stadium of college football suffering.

Smith has high hopes for this season built around quarterback xxx Gebbia, as he preps the team for its season-opener against Washington State Saturday at Reser Stadium.

Oregon State has been set as a 2-point favorite over the Cougars, primarily because its playing at home. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.




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.

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.


OSU's big game opportunity

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 7:30am
Cliff Pfenning
Cliff Pfenning's picture
Last seen: 8 hours 40 min ago
Joined: 2010-07-01

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.






OSU drops key game in Seattle

After 37-13 loss, the Beavers need a Civil War win for postseason action
Nov. 22, 2014 / OSU Sports Information

SEATTLE - Jordan Villamin and Victor Bolden combined for 15 catches and 206 yards with two touchdowns, but Oregon State couldn't keep up with Washington and lost 37-13 in a Pac-12 football game Saturday night at Husky Stadium.

Washington jumped to an early 17-0 lead and easily rebounded from last week’s late clock-management collapse at Arizona. Because Washington plays 13 games, it needed seven wins for bowl eligibility and the Huskies (7-5, 3-5 Pac-12) got it in the first season under coach Chris Petersen. The win also removes the stress about the postseason out of next week’s Apple Cup in Pullman against rival Washington State.

Oregon State, meanwhile, fell to 5-6 overall, and now needs a victory over Oregon in the Civil War Saturday at Reser Stadium to become bowl eligible. The game is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. and will be televised by ABC.

Villamin scored two touchdowns – a 9-yarder in the first half and a 11-yarder in the third quarter – to give him three scores in his last two games, and six on the season.

Bolden, meanwhile, finished with 10 catches for a career-best 145 yards. His tally was buoyed by a 72-yard reception in the second quarter that was a career-long. It helped set up Villamin’s first score that cut the Huskies’ lead to 10 points at the time.

Sean Mannion, the first Pac-12 Conference with quarterback with more than 13,000 passing yards, threw for 314 yards on 30-for-46 passing. His two touchdown strikes to Villamin gave him 82 for his career, tying former Stanford signal caller Andrew Luck for seventh-most in conference history.

Villamin pulled the Beavers to within 10 points in the third quarter when he caught an 11-yard pass by Mannion near the back of the right side of the end zone. He was initially ruled out of the bounds on the fade but after review, it was determined that he managed to get his left foot in bounds.

Villamin finished the night with five receptions for 61 yards.

Ryan Murphy led the Beavers defensively with a career-best 12 tackles. OSU, overall, was credited with six tackles for loss, including two by Dylan Wynn.

Oregon State forced four fumbles on the night, equaling a season-high set against Portland State and Stanford.

Washington jumped out to a 17-0 lead thanks to two first-quarter touchdowns. The first, a 54-yard pass to Jayden Mickens, came four minutes into the game. UW pushed ahead seven minutes later when Dwayne Washington carried the ball for 68 yards.

Cameron Van Winkle hit a field goal from 34 yards out at 10:41 of the second half but OSU answered eight minutes later on a drive that didn’t begin with much promise.

Facing 1st and 25 from their own 5, the Beavers threatened when Mannion found Bolden on a 72-yard pass that put OSU deep in the Huskies’ territory. A few plays later, he found a streaking Jordan Villamin over the middle in the back of the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown strike. It was Villamin’s first catch of the night and the last score of the first half.

Bolden caught five passes for 113 yards to lead OSU offensively in the first half, while Storm Woods was a threat on the ground and out of the backfield. He carried the ball nine times for 40 yards and caught five passes for 24 yards.

Mannion, meanwhile, was 13-of-21 for 159 yards passing.

Defensively, Murphy led OSU with seven tackles as the Beavers were credited with one sack and four tackles for loss.


Beavers drop a heartbreaker

Utah runs through OSU at finish for 2OT victory
Oct. 16, 2014 / Associated Press

CORVALLIS -  Utah running back Devontae Booker said he hadn’t had “video-game stats” like this since high school.

Booker ran for 229 yards and three touchdowns, including a 19-yard dash in the second overtime that gave No. 20 Utah a 29-23 victory over Oregon State on Thursday night.

“It was pretty much myself just running hard,” Booker said after compiling the fifth-best rushing total in Utes history. “They gave me the ball, I just took it and ran with it. Got in the end zone, scored, end of game.”

Booker also ran for a 15-yard score in the first overtime to put Utah (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12) in front 23-16. The Beavers (4-2, 1-2) answered with Sean Mannion’s 2-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Villamin on fourth down to force another period.

Trevor Romaine, whose 49-yard field goal as time expired in regulation tied the game at 16, attempted a 37-yard field goal that went wide right, giving the ball back to Utah for the game-winning drive.

It was Booker’s third straight game with more than 150 yards rushing for the Utes, off to their best start since winning their first eight games in 2010. Utah has won all four of its road games this season.

Mannion threw a 72-yard touchdown pass to Villamin early in the fourth quarter to put Oregon State in front 13-9.

But the Utes mounted a comeback and Booker ran 53 yards to the Oregon State 6. On fourth down, he plunged into the end zone with 4:20 left for a 16-13 lead.

Romaine’s 49-yard kick sent the game to overtime.

Mannion threw for 272 yards and two touchdowns. He surpassed former USC quarterback Carson Palmer (11,818 yards) for second on the Pac-12’s career list for yards passing with 12,014. He trails only former Trojan Matt Barkley, who had 12,327

“Just disappointment, really,” Mannion said. “I think it’s going to hurt now, but when we go home or when we’re all sitting around tomorrow, we’re going to feel pretty proud of the way we fought.”

Kendal Thompson started at quarterback for Utah, ending more than a week of speculation about who coach Kyle Whittingham would go with in Corvallis. The depth chart going into the game listed Travis Wilson “or” Thompson, a transfer from Oklahoma.

Wilson started the second half.

The 6-foot-7 Wilson had started all five previous games for Utah, throwing for 788 yards and seven touchdowns. But he lasted just three series in Utah’s last game, a 30-28 victory over UCLA, before he was replaced by Thompson.

Thompson, more of a dual threat than Wilson, completed four of eight passes for 17 yards in the first half. He also ran for 20 yards.

Wilson finished 5-of-10 for 45 yards as the Utes turned to Booker.

“The fight in me kept making me run harder,” Booker said. “I knew the (Oregon State) defense was getting worn down throughout the game. The harder I ran, the more softened up they were getting.”

Andy Phillips hit field goals from 38 and 43 yards to give Utah a 6-0 lead in the first quarter.

The Beavers narrowed it with Romaine’s 37-yard field goal early in the second quarter. Oregon State tied it as time ran out in the half with Romaine’s 45-yarder. Romaine missed his first attempt, but Utah had called a timeout, and he made the second.

Oregon State was hurt late in the first half when running back Storm Woods injured his right knee following a 13-yard run. He did not return.

Woods, who went into the game as the team’s second-leading rusher, just a yard behind Terron Ward, ran for 46 yards on 13 carries before he got hurt.

The Beavers sustained another blow in the second half when they lost receiver Richard Mullaney to a left elbow injury. After the game, coach Mike Riley hinted that Mullaney’s injury might keep him out the rest of the season.

The Utes pulled back into the lead on Phillips’ 46-yard field goal in the third quarter. Phillips hit the go-ahead field goal with 34 seconds remaining in Utah’s win over then-No. 8 UCLA at the Rose Bowl on Oct. 4, the Utes’ last outing.

Oregon State was also coming off a bye following a 36-31 victory at Colorado.

Late in the third quarter, Mannion hit Victor Bolden with a 52-yard pass, but Oregon State’s drive stalled on the 34-yard line when the Beavers tried to go for it on fourth-and-4.

On the Beavers’ next series, Mannion found Villamin in the end zone.

“Crazy, hard-fought game,” Riley said.

Beavers miss big win

OSU's offense struggles at home in 20-12 loss to Stanford
Oct. 26, 2013

CORVALLIS - The big win the Oregon State football team needed to give it big-time bowl credentials slipped away Saturday with a 20-12 loss to No. 5 Stanford at Reser Stadium.

The Beavers owned the first half, but trailed 7-3 when the Cardinal drove from its 32 for a touchdown in the final 34 seconds of the half, then opened the second half with a touchdown after the Beavers fumbled the initial kickoff of the half.

OSU got within 13-9, but Stanford scored again and, after a late-game field goal cut the lead to 20-12, the Beavers were stumped on four straight pass-attempts from the Cardinal 7 in the final 20 second before 44,519 fans.

Oregon State had its six-game win streak snapped and fell to 6-2, while Stanford improved to 7-1.

The Beavers play host to USC on Friday.

Stanford plays host to No. 2 Oregon, 8-0, Nov. 7.

OSU quarterback Sean Mannion completed 41 of 57 passes in the game for 270 yards and a touchdown, but lost 60 yards on nine carries to the aggressive Stanford defense. The Beavers finished with just 18 yards of total yards on the ground.

Brandin Cooks caught nine passes for 80 yards and a touchdown to lead the OSU receiving corps.


Oregon State readies for Wisconsin visit

The Big 10 champion rolls into Corvallis for Saturday game, OSU's 2012 opener
Sept. 4, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

Corvallis finally gets on the college football map on Saturday when the University of Wisconsin rolls into town for a non-conference FBS game at Reser Stadium.

Oregon State has made itself plenty-well known in the past with huge upsets and bowl runs from its home in the Willamette Valley, but not against an opponent with a following as large as the Badgers.

Wisconsin won the Big 10 title last fall and played Oregon in the Rose Bowl. The Badgers are likely the largest non-conference program to ever play in Corvallis.

The Beavers and Badgers meet at 1 p.m. Saturday in a game that will be televised by FX.

OSU's recent non-conference home games have been against teams such as Louisville, Brigham Young and Boise State. Oregon State has not played host to a school from the Big 10 since 1971, when Iowa played before a crowd of 24,092 and lost to the Beavers 33-19. OSU, under coach Dee Andros, finished 5-6 that season.

Wisconsin opened with a 26-21 victory over Northern Illinois Saturday at home in front of a crowd of 79,568.

The Badgers are among the top programs in the Big 10, having won 10 or more games the past three seasons. Wisconsin played in the Rose Bowl at the conclusion of the 2010 season as well.

Oregon State lost 35-0 at Camp Randall Stadium last year.



RSS feed