Three years in, Jonathan Smith has his signature win as head coach of Oregon State.
Smith and the Beavers (2-2) upset the No. 15 Oregon Ducks (3-1) at Reser Stadium Friday evening 41-38, after riding Jermar Jefferson up and down the field to 226 yards rushing. It was the first Beavers win over a team ranked in the AP Top-25 since 2014.
Entering the fourth quarter trailing 12 points, the Beavers outscored the Ducks by 15 points in the fourth quarter. Chance Nolan had the game-winning Qb sneak with 33 seconds left.
While both teams had to overcome one another, both teams were united in trying to best the weather which created the foggiest game for either team in recent memory.
The weather was so poor, the officials barely saw Beavers cornerback Jaydon Grant intercept a Tyler Shough slant pass in the second quarter. Meanwhile, the ESPN broadcast booth called it as a pass defended until seeing the replay.
But the weather affected both teams equally and Oregon State walked out of Reser Stadium having defeated the Ducks for the first time since 2016.
Here are the key takeaways.
Jermar Jefferson is the Best Running Back in the Pac-12
Heading into Friday, Beavers running back Jermar Jefferson had run for back-to-back-to-back 120+ yards rushing games. Friday? He set the Oregon State program record for rushing yards in a single game against Oregon with 226 yards on 29 carries and two touchdowns.
He was the best player on the field and it wasn't close. It's bizarre he barely got the ball down the stretch, however.
Devon Williams is For Real
After a breakout six-catch, 123-yard and one-touchdown performance against UCLA, sophomore wide receiver Devon Williams showed why he may be the Ducks most dynamic threat in all facets of the passing game. Williams showed off his big-play ability with a 60-yard touchdown to take a two-possession lead in the second quarter, but he also showed off how he can run routes to move the chains and make defenders miss in open space.
He ended the contest with 4 receptions for 101 yards and one touchdown.
Oregon has a New and Reliable Kicker
After Camden Lewis only made 1-of-4 field goals after three games, head coach Mario Cristobal made a position change naming sophomore kicker Henry Katleman as the starting placekicker.
Katleman made both extra-point attempts in the first half, but in his largest test yet, nailed a 33-yard field goal right down the middle from the left hashmark. Lewis had missed all three attempts this season past 30 yards heading into Friday.
Oregon's Defense Bent and Broke
It appears the Ducks defense has taken a step back from the 2019 season where it led the Pac-12 in turnovers forced, and that's okay. If this year's unit needs to just contain the opponent and force field goal attempts in the red zone rather than allow touchdowns, that's a winning formula given how lethal Oregon's offense is under Joe Moorhead.
After allowing an 82-yard touchdown on the Beavs' second play from scrimmage, Oregon only allowed six points the rest of the half including a key fourth-down stop following a Jaydon Grant pick. The turnover on downs led to an Oregon field goal to enter halftime with an 11-point lead.
However, the Ducks defense played quite poorly in the second half allowing multiple touchdown drives, including one of 92 yards (a season-high).
Then in the fourth quarter, the defense allowed a game-winning touchdown with 33 seconds remaining.
This game is on the Ducks' defense and no one else.
Next, Oregon will travel south to play the California Golden Bears (0-3) on Saturday, December 5th.
Meanwhile, Oregon State will travel west to play Utah (0-1) on Saturday, December 5th.