Beavs vs Cougs: Winner goes bowling!

Beavs vs Cougs: Winner goes bowling!

I can't wait to get to the Palouse this upcoming weekend. Think about it, for the first time since the 2014 season the Oregon State Beavers have a chance to qualify for a bowl game.

Mike Riley's final season as Beaver coach included a big win over seventh-ranked Arizona State to improve the season record to 5-5. But Oregon State couldn't beat Washington or Oregon to qualify for a bowl. It's a similar situation in 2019 after four years and just nine wins. Jonathan Smith has transformed the Oregon State football program back into legitimacy. Now, can the 2019 team get to the next level in just year two with Smith and his talented coaching staff guiding the Beavs? The Cougs and the Ducks stand in the way of a bowl qualification.

Let's look at this matchup before Saturday's kickoff at 6 p.m. at Martin Stadium:

The obvious

The Beavers are better in 2019 and the Cougars are not the team they were last year. The Cougars won the Alamo Bowl over Iowa State last season and finished with 11 wins. This season, just like the Beavers, the Cougs are 5-5. 

The Beavers are in second place in the Pac-12 North at 4-3. The Cougars are tied for the cellar in the north at 2-5 with Cal. 

This northwest rivalry is streaky. The Cougs have beaten the Beavers five-straight times, but before that the Beavers had won six-of-seven. 

Both teams quarterbacks are going to be huge Saturday,

Cougars quarterback Anthony Gordon is a touchdown machine with 39 touchdown passes. He has thrown for 4,314 yards, but also has 11 interceptions.

Jake Luton has thrown for 2,306 yards, but he is much more consistent with the football. He has 23 touchdown passes and just two interceptions. 

The Intangibles

How will the Beavers react to the comments of Washington State running back Max Borghi?

He says the Cougs are winning Saturday and he guarantees it:

A win feels great (Stanford win) and now carry it into next week and have a great week of practice preparing for Oregon State cause we're going bowling and you can guarantee that cause we're winning next week.

He then stood up and walked out of the news conference in Pullman. Is that bulletin board material for the Beavs?

Another factor about Saturday's game is the timing. The students at Washington State have the week before Thanksgiving off. So after this Friday they have no classes until December 2. How many of them will stick around for a football game on a chilly Saturday night? The locals say most of the roads on Friday will have an exodus of students so the crowd at the game may not be anything close to what the Cougs normally draw. 

The Beavers players on this roster have never played an opponent with a bowl game in their sights. They are ready to make it happen:

Quarterback Jake Luton on the possibility of playing in a bowl game:

We've got everything we want, ya know, right in front of us. We've got the opportunity and thats all you want. As a competitor, as a football player you want an opportunity and we have a chance to do that next week.

Noah Togiai chimed in as well.

It is huge. Its something we haven't experienced since I have been here and we are going to try and treat it like any other game. We will enjoy the ASU win then get to work and treat the game like any other.

Jalen Moore added his thoughts.

Everyone is going to say what they are going to say you know that life. Its just worrying about being 1-0 on the week. Coach Tibesar says that all the time and you gotta be 1-0 on the week and thats what we are preaching all the time so we just wanna be 1-0 next week."

Hamilcar Rashed Jr. on playing for a bowl game.

It's there but you know we gotta put our best effort every week. We let Arizona State put up 34 points and 300 yards of offense and we can do better. We did better on the rush defense and we gotta be better.

One other intangible: the Beavers road record. They are currently on a three-game conference road winning streak and are 3-1 away from Corvallis.

Coaches

Jonathan Smith has been mentioned by some media types as a potential Pac-12 Coach of the Year candidate for his performance in year two in Corvallis.

Mike Leach has had a ton of success on the Palouse and has brought winning to Pullman. But this season he has criticized his players in graphic terms after losses. Following the 49-22 win at home over Stanford last week, Leach called Anthony Gordon the best quarterback in the country. 

He is also rumored to be on the list of other schools seeking a savior at the head coaching position. The Arkansas media has him in the top-three of potential coaches to turn around their football team.

What will happen Saturday?

I have no idea. But I do know that to see the Beavers playing in a game to qualify for a bowl game is a huge step for the program. Will they win?  Vegas odds have them as a 12-point underdog. The potential small crowd, the weather forecast in the low 30s or upper 20s could be a factor. This time of year snow can't be ruled out. 

Max Borghi says it's a done deal for WSU. I'm not so sure.

Battle-tested Oregon State routed on the road after slow start against UW

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USA Today Images

Battle-tested Oregon State routed on the road after slow start against UW

Something seemed off with Oregon State. 

The Beavers (12-4) should have taken control in Thursday’s battle with the slumping Huskies (11-6), who have lost four of their last five games, but instead Oregon State looked absent. Dismal shooting, turnovers and inability to defend the three-point line were all factors that played a part in the Beavs 64-56 loss to the Huskies in Seattle. 

Here’s a few reasons why things went south for Oregon State on Thursday:

The Beavers shot a miserable 26.9 percent from the floor and 0-for-6 from three-point range in the first half and trailed by 10 at halftime. While Oregon State did improve its shooting to 39.2 percent for the game, they were still quite a bit short of their field goal average of 48.4 percent.

The Beavers Big 3 falls short

Unless the Huskies and Beavers meet in the Pac-12 tournament, this was senior forward Tres Tinkle’s final career game against UW. In the last five meetings between the two teams, Tinkle has averaged 22.4 points, 9.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists. He fell shy of that average with 15 points on 2-of-12 shooting. 

Kylor Kelley leads the nation in blocked shots with 4.13 per game. He had just 2 on Thursday and they were the only blocks of the night for Oregon State. 

Junior guard Ethan Thompson has been averaging a team-best 20.8 points through the past five games while shooting 63.5 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from three. He finished with six points on 3-of-7 shooting in the loss and was 0-for-2 from behind the arc. 

RaeQuan Battle showed up

Huskies’ forward RaeQuan Battle had 11 points in his first-career start, after scoring just eight points total in six games this season. Battle was injured on one of the opening plays in the second half, but later returned to the bench.

“We had one thing under (Battle's) name and it was ‘shooter.’ Don't let him shoot 3s,” Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said. “One of our veterans on the very first play lost him...and he drilled a 3 from the corner.”

Next up

Oregon State (12-5) will take on Washington State (11-7), who is coming off a 72-61 victory over Oregon.

Tinkle and his team will study the film and look for a bounce-back win in Pullman. 

"It's only Week 3, but we got to figure it out."

Oregon State Beavers 2020 football schedule and dates revealed

Oregon State Beavers 2020 football schedule and dates revealed

The Oregon State Beavers will look to improve on their 2019 season, one that ended with a 5-7 record, which was their best campaign since 2014.

Oregon State took a large leap forward in head coach Jonathan Smith's sophomore season, going from one conference win to four and coming a yard short of a bowl game. 

Going into 2020, the Beavers expect to make a bowl game for the first time since 2013 so let's preview their schedule.

NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

at Oklahoma State (Thursday, September 3rd, 2020)

The Beavers open their season on national television Thursday night in Stillwater, Oklahoma against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Cowboys traveled to Corvallis to begin last season and left victorious 52-36 in Reser Stadium. This time it'll be Oregon State starting a new quarterback whether it be Nebraska transfer Tristan Gebbia who started the Civil War, or JUCO transfer Chance Nolan making his Beavers debut. Regardless of who it is, they'll face a tough road challenge in a hostile environment. 

The Cowboys will also return running back Chuba Hubbard, the nation's leading rusher who ran for 2,094 yards and 21 touchdowns this past season. Against Oregon State alone, he had 221 yards and three touchdowns. The Beavers will need to contain him if they have any hopes of starting 1-0.

vs Colorado State (September 12th, 2020) 

After opening the season in Stillwater, the Beavers return to Corvallis for their home opener against Colorado State. This is the second game of a home-and-home series announced in 2016 of which the first game occurred in Fort Collins in 2017: a 58-27 Rams victory. This will be the first road game for new Rams Coach Steve Addazio who got hired this past offseason to replace Mike Bobo after being fired at Boston College.

vs Portland State (September 19th, 2020)

The Beavers close out their non-conference slate against the Portland State Vikings. This is a paid win and if this game is close at all it does not bode well for conference play. Beaver fans probably remember Oregon State's 2016 match up with the Vikings where PSU missed a game-winning field goal as time expired in what was Oregon State's only win of the season. This game should be a tad different than that.

CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

vs Washington State (September 26, 2020)

The Beavers will look to avenge their 54-53 loss that left them a yard away from their first bowl game since 2013. Additionally, Oregon State is on a six-game losing streak to the Cougars. However, following Mike Leach's departure to Mississippi State the Cougars will be transitioning to the run-and-shoot offense ran by new head coach Nick Rolovich. His last stop, Hawai'i, defeated the Beavers last season. 

at Arizona State (October 3rd, 2020)

Sun Devils head coach Herm Edwards has his team trending in the right direction. Arizona State just signed seven of the top thirty recruits in California, more than the entire Pac-12 South combined. Given that three top-rated California recruits last season started for the Sun Devils, expect some of this newly ingested talent to make an impact immediately. Among the returning starters is sophomore quarterback Jayden Daniels who impressed as a freshman, especially in their upset win over Oregon. Daniels finished his freshman season with 2,943 yards and 17 touchdowns with just two interceptions.

at Washington (October 10th, 2020)

Oregon State will get their first look at head coach Jimmy Lake and the new-look Washington Huskies up in Seattle. The Huskies will replace their starting quarterback, running back, three offensive linemen and offensive coordinator. If the Beavers win, they'll end an eight-game losing streak to Washington and win in Seattle for the first time since 2008. Last season, the Beavers' offense got shut-out and they'll need a better performance to leave Husky Stadium victorious.

BYE

vs California (October 24, 2020)

The Beavers defeated Cal 21-17 last season in Berkeley but the Golden Bears were without starting quarterback Chase Garbers who went undefeated in seven games that he started and finished. Head coach Justin Wilcox always has defensively sound units that will test Jonathan Smith's offense. 

at Stanford (Friday, October 30th, 2020)

Expect the Cardinal to look different than last season as 14 players have entered the transfer portal, including starting quarterback KJ Costello. David Shaw always had Stanford as a threat to win the conference but last season was a rare misstep finishing 4-8. If the Beavers can win this game, they'll snap a ten-game losing streak to the Cardinal and win for the first time at The Farm since 2006. Also, the last time the schools played on a day other than Saturday the 2017 Cardinal escaped Reser Stadium with a 15-14 victory. 

vs UCLA (November 7th, 2020)

Chip Kelly returns to Corvallis for the first time since 2012 as the Bruins' head coach. Despite getting the victory over UCLA last season in Los Angeles, Beaver fans are anxious to get a victory over Chip Kelly in Reser Stadium. Kelly's sophomore season at UCLA was an up-and-down 4-8 season, and he needs to turn it around to stay off the hot seat in Los Angeles. The Bruins have also had seven players enter the transfer portal. 

at Utah (November 14th, 2020)

The Beavers will get to truly test their progress when they travel to play Utah: a team that destroyed them 52-7 last season in Corvallis. The Pac-12 South champion Utes physically dominated the Beavers in all facets of the game, and this game will test if Oregon State's strength and conditioning program is paying off. The Beavers have not defeated the Utes since 2013.  

vs Arizona (November 21st, 2020)

Head Coach Kevin Sumlin and the Wildcats will travel to Corvallis looking for revenge from a 56-38 defeat in Tucson last season. This could be a make-it-or-break-it season for Sumlin who has underperformed as Wildcats head coach despite inheriting Khalil Tate. 

vs Oregon (November 28th, 2020)

The Beavers will end their season against heated rival Oregon in the Civil War. The Beavers defeated the Ducks in 2016 in what would be Mark Helfrich's last game as Ducks head coach, but since then Oregon has won each matchup. However, last season the Beavers had the ball with two minutes remaining down just seven points despite starting a backup quarterback. 

Beavers look to bounce back from loss that cost them #1 overall ranking

Beavers look to bounce back from loss that cost them #1 overall ranking

So close. The Oregon State Women's basketball team had the nation's #1 ranking in their sights. They played a tremendous game last Friday in Tucson fending off the upstart Arizona Wildcats 63-61 improving their record to 15-0. The two teams above them, Connecticut and Oregon had both suffered losses. Now all they needed was a win Sunday at Arizona State and a number one ranking was a definite possibility.

However, Arizona State, the team that had knocked off the Ducks were ready.

Tremendous defense and a physicality that the Beavers hadn't seen this season paid off. Oregon State tied the game at 45-45 with 2:30 to go but then the Sun Devils score ten of the game's last twelve points and hand the Beavers a 55-47 loss. The perfect season is no more. But not making the nation's top spot and having a conference loss isn't the end of the world. Sometimes a loss can make you better, especially in the Pac-12, a conference that has so many talented teams.

The Beavers took a tumble in the rankings and in Bracketology. From #3 to #8 in the AP Poll and dropping to a #2 seed in the college basketball post-season projections. 

I spent some time in Corvallis and talked junior Guard Aleah Goodman  who is proud of her teammates and is positive despite the loss at ASU:

Goodman and her teammates like Destiny Slocum. Kat Tudor, Mikayla Pivec, and Kennedy Brown want to improve from one of the toughest games ever from 3-point range in Tempe shooting just 2 for 20 from behind the line.

Head Coach Scott Rueck isn't used to watching his team struggle like they did in Tempe:

But even though the Beavers struggled, Rueck's team showed him something in that second half against ASU even though they came up short:

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Now it will be fascinating to see how they respond Friday night at Gill when the Cal Bears come to Corvallis. Cal is 0-4 in conference play.and will be hungry to end that streak. After Cal the Beavers may be facing their toughest stretch of the season. #3 Stanford is Sunday and then next weekend the two epic Civil War games will be a huge Women's basketball story nationally. Goodman and the Beavers know every game in the Pac-12 is tough no matter if its Oregon for Friday's opponent Cal:

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That is the nature of the Pac-12 with four teams in the Top Ten in the polls right now and six Pac-12 teams in the Top 25.

The Beavers had a setback Sunday in Tempe and now we get to see how they react to the adversity of their first loss of the season.

No doubt, Gill will be rocking this Friday and Sunday. The game against #3 Stanford Noon on Sunday will be close to a sellout.

In final season, Tres Tinkle motivated by Tournament berth

In final season, Tres Tinkle motivated by Tournament berth

This week on the Talkin' Beavers podcast, Oregon State Beavers forward Tres Tinkle joined host Nigel Burton to discuss the current season, his recruitment, his relationship with his father and head coach Wayne Tinkle, and the decision to go to the NBA or return to school this past offseason.

He also talked about his goals for the current season:

Every young hooper wants to make it to the tournament. We made it my freshman year but I was hurt so we want to get back there, and with everyone we have I think it's a possibility.

The Beavers are coming off of their first ranked victory since 2016 after blowing out No. 24 Arizona. The win even gave Oregon State a handful of votes in this week's AP poll.

In his redshirt senior season, Tinkle has averaged 19.9 points-per-game on 50.9 percent from the field and 6.8 rebounds-per-game. 

Listen to the full podcast here.

Oregon State WBB falls in the AP Poll rankings

Oregon State WBB falls in the AP Poll rankings

If the Oregon State Beavers (15-1, 3-1 Pac-12) had beaten Arizona State on Sunday, they would have been ranked first overall for the first time in program history. Instead, they lost for the first time all season, 55-47 in Tempe, Arizona.

The loss dropped Oregon State five spots to No. 8 in the AP Top 25 poll.

The Beavers edged Arizona on Friday evening 63-61 on a late bucket from Mikayla Pivec. Had they defeated the Sun Devils, the Beavers likely would have been first overall this week due to No. 1 Connecticut and No. 2 Oregon both falling this past weekend. 

Other ranked Pac-12 teams include No. 3 Stanford, No. 6 Oregon, No. 7 UCLA, No. 18 Arizona State and No. 21 Arizona.

Oregon State will have a chance to move back up the rankings with three games against top-10 teams coming up: No. 3 Stanford (one first-place vote) and a home-and-home series with No. 6 Oregon in the Civil War at the end of the month. 

But first, the Beavers will host California on Friday night at 7 p.m. (PT) at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Oregon.

Oregon State blows out No. 24 Arizona

Oregon State blows out No. 24 Arizona

The Oregon State Beavers (12-4, 2-2 Pac-12) shocked the No. 24 Arizona Wildcats (11-5, 1-2 Pac-12) by blitzing them in the second half to win 82-65 at Gill Coliseum. 

It's the Beavers' first win over a ranked opponent since 2016 when they defeated No. 21 USC, also in Corvallis. 2016 is also the last time they made the NCAA Tournament.

Here's how it happened.

Tight first half

The Beavers and Wildcats exchanged blows in the first half. Oregon State took an early 15-7 lead off a Sean Miller-Moore dunk, but Arizona came back to lead 28-26. Both teams exchanged buckets until heading into the locker room tied at 31. 

Beavers dominate in the second half

Early in the second half, the Wildcats held a 41-37 lead before Arizona coach Sean Miller argued a foul call resulting in technical free throws for the Beavers. Arizona would never lead by that much again the rest of the night and instead got ran out of the gym. Oregon State shot 65.4 percent from the field in the second half while the Wildcats missed 8-of-9 three-pointers. After being tied at 49, the Beavers scored seven straight points and never looked back, ultimately outscoring the Wildcats 33-16 the rest of the way.

Tinkle and Thompson showed why they're among the Pac-12's best

Tres Tinkle scored 20 points and Ethan Thompson added 18. The two led the Beavers in scoring and shot a collective 11-of-21 from the floor. For the Beavers to compete with the best of the conference, they need their two best players to play up to their talent level, which they did tonight.

Thompson in particular only miss three shots and crossed 1,000 points scored in his college career. 

Next up, the Beavers will travel to Seattle on Thursday to take on the Washington Huskies. 

Beavers suffer their first loss of season at the hands of ASU

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OSU Athletics

Beavers suffer their first loss of season at the hands of ASU

The Oregon State Beavers experienced something they’ve yet to so far this season: Defeat.

Arizona State claimed victory over the No. 3 team in the nation 55-47 Sunday, spoiling the Beavers, now 15-1, perfect season. Arizona State goes to 13-4 on the year after completing a sweep of the Oregon schools.

"Arizona State never quits, and we knew this was going to be a battle," said Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck via a team release. "I was proud of the way we fought back to give ourselves a chance. We have two freshman starting for us, and they are only going to continue growing over the next two months of Pac-12 play. You could see it today – they got better as the game went on. We're going to get better and better as we go. There's nothing but growth ahead for this team, and we usually take adversity and handle it pretty well."

For the Beavers, Mikayla Pivec led the way with 13 points and 10 rebounds. During the game, Pivec passed Deven Hunter to move into fourth on Oregon State's career rebounds list. 

Freshman Taylor Jones tallied a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds. 

The Beavers will return home next week for a pair of Pac-12 home games, as the Cal Golden Bears and the Stanford Cardinal visit Gill Coliseum this weekend.

No. 3 Beavers get a scare, but survive in the desert vs. Arizona to remain undefeated

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IMAGN

No. 3 Beavers get a scare, but survive in the desert vs. Arizona to remain undefeated

The Oregon State Beavers went down to the wire with the Wildcats, but ultimately came out on top against No. 18 Arizona 63-61. 

With 11 seconds left and the game tied, Mikayla Pivec  drove into the paint and finished through contact with under two seconds left, scoring what was the game-winning basket with 1.4 seconds on the clock to lift No. 3 Oregon State in Tucson, Arizona Friday night. 

"We knew Arizona was going to come out with a great fight," said Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck via a team release. "That's why they have been able to do everything they have done this year. I thought we executed well, but they did a good job of making things tough for us. Mikayla has a knack for making big plays in big moments, and that's what she did today. She made a big time shot for us in a big moment. This was a great team win for us."

Oregon State’s 15-straight victories is the longest winning streak in program history. They join UCLA as the only remaining undefeated teams in the nation. Heading into Friday’s contest, Arizona had 13-straight wins on their home court.

The Wildcats' last two home losses have come to Oregon State.

Pivec finished with a double-double 17 points, 10 rebounds for the Beavs. Freshman Taylor Jones tallied one, too, scoring 12 points and adding 11 rebounds, while Destiny Slocum tallied 13 points and six assists. Kat Tudor  was one of four Beavers in double-figures with 10 points.

OSU dominated the boards, holding a 38-27 advantage over Arizona.

The Beavers will finish out their trip in Arizona in Tempe vs. Arizona State, who defeated the No. 2 Oregon Ducks earlier Friday evening. 

Report: Former Washington WR Trey Lowe to join OSU as a preferred walk-on

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M. Samek / 247 Sports

Report: Former Washington WR Trey Lowe to join OSU as a preferred walk-on

Former Jesuit standout Trey Lowe appears to have a new home and it has a Corvallis zip code. 

The running back who elected to transfer from the University of Washington back in October, was added to the Oregon State student directory Thursday, according to The Oregonian's Andrew Nemec, indicating he has been admitted to the university:

As Nemec indicates, this step is non-binding; however, "a source close to Lowe’s recruitment confirms he intends to enroll and join the football program as a preferred walk on."

Lowe was the nation’s No. 5 all-purpose back in the class of 2018 by 247Sports and was named the Oregon Gatorade Player of the Year in high school where he amassed 2,316 all-purpose yards and 35 touchdowns. 

The Jesuit stand-out chose Washington over Boise State, Eastern Washington, Oregon and Oregon State. 

Lowe played in two games as a true freshman, thus preserving a redshirt season under the new NCAA rules. He made his 2018 debut in the Pac-12 Championship game vs. Utah and also played in the Rose Bowl vs. Ohio State.

He is the younger brother of former Oregon Ducks receiver and current Parkrose High School head football coach Keanon Lowe.