Beavers end 12-game Pac-12 losing streak, beat Cal in overtime thriller

Beavers end 12-game Pac-12 losing streak, beat Cal in overtime thriller

What a game. What a finish. Oregon State did what many thought they couldn’t. They played four quarters of football and then some, and walked away with an upset win over Cal.

The win marks the first Pac-12 victory for head coach Gary Andersen, and snaps a 12-game conference losing streak for the Beavers. The last time the Beavers tasted Pac-12 victory - November 15th, 2015, when they upset No.5 Arizona State, 35-27.

This win may not be on the same level on the upset meter, but it can be argued that it means more for the Oregon State program.

The biggest knock on this team all season, well, it hasn't been just one thing: They lacks push on the offensive line. Darell Garretson looks rattled. The defense can't make stops. The team can't play a full 48 minutes. The list could go on. However, on Saturday night the Beavers put it all together and perhaps gave us a glimpse at what Andersen is building inside Reser.

From the get go the game was all Oregon State thanks to an inspired, dominating performance from the defense. Oregon State’s defense set the tone right out of the gate, stopping everything Cal sent its way. In fact, after its first two drives Cal only had 25 total yards of offense, and two punts to show for it.

With the defense locking down, it came upon the offense to make a statement.  At large points this season the OSU offense has looked lost, unable to really muster anything. That was not the case in this game. The offense was just as locked in as the defense and marched right down the field on its opening drive. They settled for a short field goal, but still the statement was made.

Led by a record setting performance by Ryan Nall, the Beavers just kept eating up yards.  They should have taken a 17-3 lead into the locker room at halftime, but Darell Garretson threw a pick-six with under a minute remaining to give Cal life. Still OSU had a rare halftime lead.

The Beavers opened the second half with a bang going 80-yards on one play thanks to the legs of Ryan Nall. It looked like OSU might be ready to pull away, but thanks to some great halftime adjustments from Cal head coach Sonny Dykes, the Bears responded. All of the sudden we had two offenses trading blows, matching each other score for score, with neither team able to land the knockout blow.

Then in the final minutes of the game Cal made all the plays it needed to. They scored a touchdown with just over two minutes to play, cutting the OSU lead to just three. From there the defense made a huge stand, got the ball back, and kicked the game tying field goal with five seconds left on the clock.

As overtime approached the feeling inside Reser was palpable. You could feel that the Beavers felt they would win this game. After holding Cal to a FG, it came down to the offense to make it or break it.

First, let’s go back to the first half when Garretson threw that pick-six. Without that mistake, one of the few he made on this day, the Beavers wouldn’t be in overtime in the first place. So perhaps it was fitting that he single-handedly slammed the door. On a play that nearly fell apart, Garretson bobbled the snap, regained possession, then scampered right up the middle untouched for the win. Before the referee could even blow the final whistle Garretson had sprinted over to the still packed student section, his team close behind. With one run the Beaver snapped a losing streak, gave their coach his first conference win, and made a statement about the future in Corvallis.

FINAL SCORE: Beavers 47 – Bears 44, OT

Standout Beavers:

Ryan Nall. The “Wrecking Nall.” The “NallDozzer.” Call him what you will. On this night he was simply fantastic. As a team the Beavers ran all over Cal to the tune of 474 rushing yards, a team record vs. a conference opponent. That number was mostly thanks to the legs of Oregon’s own, Ryan Nall. The Central Catholic product ran for 221 yards on only 14 carries, good for the 10th best single-game mark in school history, and he added three touchdowns as well. He missed that last chunk of the game after hurting his foot, but he should be fine for Utah next weeked. Behind Nall, the Beavers have a true workhorse, a true star they can ride. As long as he is healthy, the Beavers need to use their stud.

NEXT UP: The Beavers stay in the friendly confinea of Reser Stadium as they take on the Utah Utes. Kickoff is set for 1:00pm on Saturday, October 15th.

FINAL STATS:

Beavers:

Passing:

Darell Garretson: 13-24, 85 yards and 0 touchdowns, 2 interception

Rushing:

Ryan Nall: 14 attempts, 221 yards and 3 touchdown

Darell Garretson: 10 attempts, 105 yards and 2 touchdowns

Receiving:

Victor Bolden: 4 rec, 28 yards

Seth Collins: 3 rec, 27 yards

Golden Bears:

Passing:

Davis Webb: 23-44, 113 yards, 0 touchdown, 1 interception

Rushing:

Khalfani Muhammad: 21 attempts, 165 yards and 1 touchdowns

Receiving:

Brandon Singleton: 3 rec, 13 yards

Demetrius Robertson: 5 rec, 29 yards

Vic Wharton III: 3 rec, 37 yards

Smith was the right pick for rebuilding the Beavers football program

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© Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Smith was the right pick for rebuilding the Beavers football program

By 

If there’s one thing that the PAC-12 is known for, it’s quarterbacks. Nearly every team is manned by a quarterback with regional recognition like Jake Browning at the University of Washington, or Justin Herbert at Oregon. Other teams have quarterbacks with national recognition like Josh Rosen of UCLA or Sam Darnold at USC.

Realizing that the PAC-12 is the conference of quarterbacks, Oregon State’s new coaching hire of former UW co-offensive coordinator and QB coach, Jonathan Smith, is a grand slam. It’s understandable that fans can have reservations over hiring former players or coaches, but Smith’s resumé suggests a deep commitment to offense and the quarterback. These factors are desperate needs for rebuilding programs.

Smith played for Oregon State at the end of the nineties as a quarterback. He notched a huge win for the program against Notre Dame at the end of his career there, going 11-1 during the 2001 season. He then became a graduate assistant for the OSU football team.

Afterwards, he held stints as QB coach at the University of Idaho and the University of Montana, showcasing his understanding of the position as he contributed to nationally ranked offensive success at both schools.

Smith’s career took off when he landed at Boise State in 2012. There, he’d met with former Boise State coach Chris Petersen and subsequently coached quarterbacks for two seasons. This tandem led an extremely efficient system, as their quarterbacks averaged a 150 QB rating for two years. The Boise State team only threw 18 interceptions in two seasons.

Petersen left Boise State and brought Jonathan Smith along with him to the University of Washington. This time, Smith would also be handed responsibility of co-offensive coordinator of the Husky football team.

Besides contributing to the College Football Playoff appearance last year, Smith displayed the ability to shift the offense this year from a high-flying machine to a focus on the ground game. The Huskies were decimated by injuries on the offensive side of the football this past year, but Smith still able to put up enough points to get past Utah and Washington State to finish the season strong.

Coach Smith heads back to Oregon State, a program near rock-bottom. Smith brings a well coached offensive style befitting needs of a rebuilding program.

Plenty of questions remain. It’s important to keep an eye on the recruiting platform, and whether currently committed quarterbacks decide to stay or leave. For the most part, fans shouldn’t expect a huge shake-up in just this first year. Recruiting is difficult and the process gets a little murky when a new coach arrives.

It’ll be interesting to see how this coaching staff ties out as well. Smith is younger, so his football network is still a little thin, but there’s never a perfect time to become a new head coach, right? Fans should expect a fun football system run by coaches who’ll like to keep things open and loose.

On paper, there were definitely better coaches out there. Beau Baldwin from California was widely expected to be pursued, as well as Jim McElwain. Their records are respectable and both candidates actually notched big wins over PAC-12 opponents.

Rest assured, fans wouldn’t have been satisfied with these hires. Baldwin has only been coaching in the PAC-12 as a coordinator for about a year, while McElwain was just fired from Florida. Neither bring quite the sense of excitement that a young quarterback guru like Smith potentially brings.

Next year, Oregon State comes to Seattle on November 17th, pitting a match between student and teacher. Smith has a very long year ahead of him, but the future looks bright as the Oregon State program looks to rebound from a tough year.

Oregon State Beavers Hit Home Run With Jonathan Smith Hire

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Oregon State Beavers Hit Home Run With Jonathan Smith Hire

BY JARREAU BROWN

The dark cloud continued over the program in Corvallis after getting stomped by rival Oregon on Saturday. What many thought would be a year to build on after a solid close to the 2016 season, the Beavers have taken a giant step back. Opening the year with a blowout and struggle to beat FCS Portland State was the proverbial writing on the wall for what was to come. Next was the departure of head coach Gary Andersen following their 38-10 drubbing at the hands of USC. As bizarre as it may sound, at that point it was their most narrow margin of defeat at the time. However, help is on the way! (or at least we hope.)

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So, who do the Beavers go after? A hot shot OC to bring fireworks to the rainy weather? Defensive hard-nosed coached to instill physicality? My thought is they need a program leader. One that can establish a true culture and identity.

With that being said, we introduce Jonathan Smith.

Smith was previously the co-offensive coordinator and quarterback coach at the University of Washington. He checks many of the boxes alumni would want, starting with being a Beaver from 1998-2001. He was originally a walk-on, which should bring somewhat of a lunch pail mentality to a team lacking toughness. Remember the last time Oregon State finished ranked in the top 10? Me neither. However, Smith was a part of the #4 ranked Beavers team that won a Fiesta Bowl and Championed an 11-1 record as the game’s MVP. The 2006 season, which saw them go 10-4, has been the best since. He’s had stops at Idaho, Montana and Boise State prior to Washington—all as an OC and QB coach.

One of the top things you can expect from a team coached by Smith will be a solid run game. Jay Ajayi was his featured back at Boise State and his current UW offense ranks in the top 40 in the nation. Don’t smile too hard, Ryan Nall. In the three years at UW, Smith’s offenses have averaged 28, 29, 41 and 34 points per game—a slight upgrade from the 19.4 by this year’s team.

The next step is hiring a staff. It’ll be interesting to see who he hires to run his defense, but with him having such strong ties to the offense, I’d expect a complete coordinator. One who may have some previous head coaching experience.

Oregon State names Jonathan Smith head football coach

Oregon State names Jonathan Smith head football coach

CORVALLIS -- Jonathan Smith, one of the most successful student-athletes in Oregon State University history, has been named head football coach of the OSU Beavers, Vice President and Director of Athletics Scott Barnes announced Wednesday. His appointment is contingent on the completion of all university hiring processes.

“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.”

Smith is the first OSU graduate to serve as a Beaver head football coach. He returns to Corvallis after a highly successful stint at the University of Washington as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.  Smith spent the last four years with Washington, helping the Huskies to the Pac-12 Conference 2016 championship, an appearance in the College Football Playoff and ending the year with a No. 4 Associated Press Poll ranking. Washington earned a share of the Pac-12 North division title this season, and is ranked No. 13 in the nation while awaiting its selection to a bowl game.  

“I want to thank President Ray and 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.”

With Smith as offensive coordinator, the 2016 Huskies narrowly missed setting a school scoring record, averaging 41.8 points, which was tops in the Pac-12 and eighth in the nation.

The 38-year-old Smith molded junior Jake Browning, the first true freshman season-opening starting quarterback in Huskies’ history, into one of the top players at the position in the country. Browning was the 2016 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and has been among the top candidates for the Heisman Trophy over the last two seasons. 

As a student-athlete, Smith was a four-year letterman quarterback at Oregon State from 1998-2001.  He joined the program as a walk-on from Glendora, Calif. Smith earned his first start on Oct. 31, 1998 and never relinquished that role for the final 38 games of his career. The two-time team captain led the Beavers to the 1999 Oahu Bowl and the 2001 Fiesta Bowl, where OSU capped an 11-1 season with a dominating 41-9 victory over Notre Dame and a No. 4 final Associated Press ranking.

“Oregon State University is a special place and I have many memories of being a part of Beaver Nation,” Smith said. “I played for some of the best coaches I have ever been around and learned many of the qualities I have utilized in my coaching career.”

Smith left OSU as the school’s all-time leading passer with 9,680 yards -- he now ranks third among all Beaver quarterbacks in total passing yardage. At the time of his graduation his records included career touchdown passes (55); single-game passing yards (469 yards vs. the Huskies); and single-season passing yards (3,053 yards in 1999). He still holds the mark for the longest touchdown pass at 97 yards to Chad Johnson in 2000. Smith left OSU ranked No. 3 at the time in conference history for passing yards and total offense.

“I’m in the process of putting together a coaching staff that will share the same vision and goals that I have for this program,” Smith added. “I’m looking forward to working with the young men we currently have in the program and solidifying a recruiting class.”

His honors as a player were numerous while wearing the Orange and Black. He was the Fiesta Bowl Offensive Most Valuable Player, earned Pac-10 Conference Offensive Player of the Week multiple times and was a two-time member of the Pac-12 Honorable Mention team.

Smith succeeded as a graduate assistant coach in 2002 and 2003 under both Dennis Erickson and Mike Riley, respectively. He helped the Beavers to the 2002 Insight Bowl and 2003 Vegas Bowls, and in the process assisted in the grooming of longtime NFL quarterback Derek Anderson.

Smith’s first full-time coaching position came at the University of Idaho in 2004, where he served as the quarterbacks coach through 2009. In his final season with the Vandals, the team ranked ninth in the NCAA for total offense (451.4 yards per game); 12th in the nation for passing offense (286.7 yards per game); and 20th in scoring (32.7 points per game). Under Smith, Vandals quarterback Nathan Enderle finished the year ranked No. 5 in the NCAA in passing efficiency.

From 2010-11, he was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) powerhouse University of Montana, leading the Grizzlies to the NCAA Division I semifinals in 2011. While Smith was at Montana, the Grizzlies’ offense ranked in the top 20 nationally in multiple categories.

Smith joined Boise State University for the 2012 and 2013 seasons as the Broncos’ quarterbacks coach and helped guide the team to the 2012 Mountain West Conference co-championship and to a victory over the Washington Huskies in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Following the 2013 regular season at Boise State, Smith followed head coach Chris Petersen to the University of Washington to serve as the Huskies’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

A three-year starting quarterback at Glendora (Calif.) High, Smith graduated from high school in 1997 and earned his bachelor's degree in liberal studies from Oregon State in December, 2001.

He and his wife, Candice, have three children, Robert (9 years old), Bella (7) and Charles (3).

COACHING HISTORY

2014-2017 – Washington – Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2012-2013 – Boise State – Quarterbacks
2010-2011 – Montana – Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2004-2009 – Idaho – Quarterbacks
2002-2003 – Oregon State – Graduate Assistant

WELCOME RALLY: Oregon State will host a “Welcome Rally” that is open to the public Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the Club Level of Reser Stadium.

What They Are Saying

“The one thing that gives me the most confidence is that since the first time I met Jonathan, that’s all he’s ever wanted to do; coach the game. Obviously, he’s an intelligent man; he could have done anything with his life. He didn’t even pursue his own athletic career because that’s what he knew from the start he wanted to do. I’m very excited to have a man with that kind of focus coming back to lead your program. This is something he has been preparing for, for a very long time. I’m excited to see him move up the ranks and get this opportunity.”  OSU record-setting running back Ken Simonton

“This is a tremendous move by Oregon State, not only for the players who are going to play for him, but also for the community. He’s a true Beaver. He has moved up the coaching ranks and really deserves this opportunity. You know it’s a win-win and I’m so excited for Jonathan.”  Former Oregon State and NCAA champion head football coach Dennis Erickson.

“I’m very excited what he can bring to the program. He’s a young guy who has been there and knows how to get it done, and has been successful at other schools. He’s become a great coach and I think he’ll be a great leader for our school.” NFL veteran and OSU record-setting quarterback Derek Anderson

“What makes me happy about this hire are two things. Number one, he’s a player who competed at Oregon State and who cares about the university. But on the flip side, he was a player at Oregon State when we were at an all-time high. He knows what it takes to get there because he was there, he did it, and he was a part of it.” NFL Veteran wide receiver and Fiesta Bowl champion T.J. Houshmandzadeh

“What has always stood out to me about Jonathan is his competitiveness and his love of football. He was a great player for Oregon State and obviously what he has done as a coach speaks for itself. He loves Oregon State and I think he’s a great fit for the Beavers.” Former OSU Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach and current Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst

‘I’m very happy for Coach Smith and his family.  Jonathan is an excellent football coach and an outstanding person, and I’m confident he will have a lot of success at Oregon State,” Washington head coach Chris Petersen

“An incredible hire for Oregon State and I’m very happy for Jonathan. When I joined the Oregon State staff I could tell right away that Jonathan Smith was going to be a head coach. A great leader; someone who thrives under pressure; an overall terrific field general.  He’s going to be a great head coach, it’s something he has always wanted to do, and Oregon State made a terrific choice.”  Former Oregon State assistant coach and current Los Angeles Rams’ receivers coach Eric Yarber

“First of all, I was one of the fortunate ones to see him play here, going from a walk-on to a superstar, leading our football program to one of the greatest years in the history of our team. Jonathan will be an absolute rock star as a head football coach. He will give us the energy, the excitement, the competitiveness, all those things. If I had to say one thing about him, is that he is  a competitor. Everything I’ve witnessed him do, first as a student-athlete here, and then during his coaching career, is not surprising because I know what kind of competitor he is. Not to mention the fact he is a first-class human being, and a quality family man. When I talked to him, one thing he said to me is how important the community would be to him and his family.” Oregon State baseball head coach Pat Casey

“This is an exciting time for Beaver Nation having one of its own come back to lead our football program moving forward. I spent a couple of years with Jonathan at the University of Montana and found him to be a class act, a hard worker and a sharp football mind.” Oregon State basketball head coach Wayne Tinkle

Jonathan Smith has the qualities needed at Oregon State

Jonathan Smith has the qualities needed at Oregon State

Somebody asked me the other day what qualities I thought the new Oregon State football coach needed to be successful.

After thinking a few seconds, a few traits came to mind: toughness, intelligence and personality.

You have to be tough to coach there, because so many things are working against you. There is that unfinished stadium, a low budget, low attendance, poor recent record and inconsistent recruiting that has led to a severe talent shortage, to name just a few of the road blocks. This is college football's version of "Mission Impossible."

It's a position where you are going to have to fight your way through troublesome situations. You better be smart, too. You're going to have to beat people with better talent than you have -- trick them, if you can -- and figure out a way to improve your talent on that low budget. And you better have some personality and be able to schmooze the people with money. You're going to need them to write some big checks.

Johnathan Smith, come on down!

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I remember covering some of Smith's games as a walk-on quarterback of the Beavers from 1998-2001. Undersized, he took a terrible beating on a lot of days. But he got up every time and just kept at it. In 2000 he was at the controls of the juggernaut that clobbered Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl and finished the season 11-1. And I remember talking to him after some of the beatings he took during his career and he was always cool, calm and in control. He never flinched.

On the football field, this was one tough customer.

Can Smith return the Beaver program to what it was in 2000? I have no idea. When you give an assistant coach his first head coaching job, you're always taking a chance. But in this case, I love the hire. Smith knows Corvallis and the northwest. He knows what he's up against and I'm sure is well aware of how difficult it's going to be to get that program cranked up again.

He's going to need a great coaching staff and I hope his university supplies him with the money to go get it. And he's going to need time and patience. The Beavers won one game last season, a narrow win over Portland State, which went winless in the Big Sky Conference. If you're going to expect a miracle turnaround, you're not realistic.

But over the long haul, I'm partial to the tough guys. I'd bet on Johnathan Smith.

Sources indicate Oregon State will hire Jonathan Smith as head coach

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Sources indicate Oregon State will hire Jonathan Smith as head coach

Oregon State has found it's new head football coach. 

Sources confirm OSU will hire Jonathan Smith as head coach, as first reported by the Oregonian. 

Smith is Washington's co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Some background on Smith; He played quarterback at OSU from 1998-2001, was an OSU graduate assistant from 2002-03, coached the quarterback position at Idaho, Montana and Boise State. 

Beavers fans will remember Smith leading OSU during the 2000 season culminating with a Fiesta Bowl victory over Notre Dame and an 11-1 record. 

More to come as the story develops. 

Report: Cal Offensive Coordinator Beau Baldwin to be Oregon State head coach

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Report: Cal Offensive Coordinator Beau Baldwin to be Oregon State head coach

FootballScoop.com's Zach Barnett is reporting that Oregon State will hire current Cal offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin as their next head coach.

According to the report, no announcement is expected until OSU's season has concluded. 

Prior to Cal, Baldwin spent eight years as the head coach at Eastern Washington. 

Update: Kerry Eggers chimed in late Friday night with the following

Beavers learn firsthand just how good Khalil Tate is

Beavers learn firsthand just how good Khalil Tate is

Khalil Tate is good. The whole country knows it. On Saturday the Beavers learned the lesson firsthand. Tate ran all the Beavers to the tune of 206 -yards and two scores. But it wasn’t just Tate that had his way. The entire Arizona run game was in attack mode. The Wildcats ran for 534-yards and seven touchdowns. Seven! In short, Oregon State just couldn’t stop the ground attack.

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FINAL SCORE: Arizona 49 – Oregon State 28.

Now the Beavers turn their attention to Arizona State. With two games left on the schedule (the Sun Devils and the Ducks) can Oregon State get its first conference victory?

Beavers lose to Cal, remain winless in Pac-12 play

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© Neville E. Guard-USA Today Sports

Beavers lose to Cal, remain winless in Pac-12 play

Once again the Beavers fall short of a Pac-12 victory, losing to Cal 37-23 on Saturday afternoon. California’s Patrick Laird put on a show on the ground with 214 yards rushing, compared to Oregon State’s Thomas Tyner and Ryan Nall who ran for 41 and 35 yards, respectively.  Beavers QB Darell Garretson was 13/25, with 169 yards passing.

What began with a successful opening scoring drive for the Beavers quickly turned into showcasing the struggling defense.

The Beavers did make a notable stop on 4th down towards the end of the 2nd quarter which lead them to a field goal, as well as forcing a Cal fumble in the 3rd.

However, back-to-back scoring by the Bears gave Cal an early lead that they were able to hold onto for the reminder of the game. But despite the loss, the Beavers looked pretty darn good in their uniforms. 

The Beavers are on the road again next week, facing Khalil Tate and the rest of the Arizona Wildcats on Saturday, Nov. 11. 

Beavers could taste victory, but come up short. OSU loses to No. 20 Stanford 15-14.

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Beavers could taste victory, but come up short. OSU loses to No. 20 Stanford 15-14.

CORVALLIS, OR- Give credit where credit is due, and tonight that belongs to the Oregon State Beavers defense. Before kickoff, it was announced that Stanford running back, the nation's leading rusher, and Heisman contender Bryce Love would be ruled out due to an ankle injury. Regardless of who was in Stanford's backfield, the Cardinal historically have been a power-run game beginning up front with a strong offensive line. But the Oregon State defense rose to the challenge and held Stanford's run-game to just 82 yards, 15 points (12 of which from field goals). However, it wasn't enough as Oregon State (1-7) loses a nail-biter to No. 20 Stanford (6-2) 15-14.

The defense started off strong from kickoff limiting explosive plays and making it difficult for Cardinal quarterback Keller Chryst to find open receivers. Oregon State struggled at first to get off the field on third down, but compensated by giving up only field goals and not touchdowns. That is until the very last Cardinal drive, started from an OSU fumble to give Stanford good field position with just under 3 minutes to go, leading to a Stanford touchdown to lead the Beavers 15-14.

Now for the offensive side of the ball. The backfield duo of sophomore Ryan Nall and senior Thomas Tyner established the run-game early finding success through the middle and then bouncing to the outside which helped open up downfield for senior quarterback Darell Garretson. The two combined for 138 rushing yards and one 18-yard touchdown run from Tyner. Following the game, interim head coach Cory Hall said, "Beaver football has changed". There is something different about this Beavers squad in the last two weeks alone.

Up next: Oregon State (1-7, 1-5 PAC-12) travel south to face the California Golden Bears (4-4, 1-4 PAC-12) at 2 p.m. next Saturday, November 4th.