OSU Beavers

Beavers pull off the upset with victory over rival Ducks

OSU Beavers
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What a win for Oregon State. 

The Beavers came into the annual rivalry game against the Ducks as the heavy underdog but pulled off the improbable upset, 41-38. 

Led by star running back Jermar Jefferson, the Beavers had the Ducks defense looking lost and looking for answers. 

The Beavers defense came up clutch in the final minutes to get the ball back, and with time ticking away the offense marched right down the field. 

With 33 seconds left in the game, the Beavers ran a quarterback sneak and crossed the goal-line for the go-ahead score. 

It may be just a single victory in the win-loss column, but it was the biggest victory of head coach Jonathan Smith's career.

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Déjà vu for JJ. 

Jermar Jefferson opened up last week's game against Cal with a 75-yard touchdown run. Against the rival Ducks, it was like Déjà vu for the Beavers star. On just the second offensive play for OSU, Jefferson bounced outside and scored an 82-yarder on a nearly identical play. 

When OSU was going to Jefferson, their offense was humming. He ended the night with 226 yards rushing and two touchdowns. He is the best player on the Beavers roster and he showed every one of his tools against the Ducks. 

The defense stepped up big.

Oregon scored 14 points in the first quarter alone, and 24 by the end of the half. It looked like they would continue that all game and have a big game on the scoreboard. 

 

The Beavers defense had other plans. They really buttoned up in the second half. 

Of the Ducks' final four possession they scored on just one. The other three resulted in a punt, an interception, and the fumble to end the game.

It wasn't a perfect performance but it was a great building block for the defense to build on. 

Fans have to love what they saw by the game's end, especially with how the team adjusted on the fly and in the moment.

Gebbia is still rough around the edges.

Tristan Gebbia has the tools to be the next great Oregon State quarterback, it's just a matter of getting those tools to work. On Friday, they were hit and miss. 

Gebbie ended the night 23-37 for 263 yards, though much of that came in the final few drives. Throughout the game the Beavers really tried to force the pass a few times, resulting in some poor choices from Gebbia and little success. Until he figures out how to best use his tools, the Oregon State passing game will be a work in progress.  

However, when it mattered in crunch time he seemed to really find his grove, showing a glimpse of how good he could be for this offense. The unfortunate part of the game is that Gebbia suffered an unknown leg injury on a quarterback sneak in the final seconds. 

Hopefully, for the sake of the Beavers' offense, Gebbia doesn't have to miss an extended period of time. 

We can't ignore the play calling.

Ah, play calling. We all know better than the guy who gets paid millions to coach, right? Wrong. But that doesn't mean we don't question his decision making.

Coach Smith had a few head-scratchers in this one. First, he went for it on fourth down in his own territory. The Beavers failed to convert, giving the Ducks a prime starting spot in the final minutes of the first half. 

Then, to start the third quarter the Beavers went run-run to set up third and short. Instead of going back to the run, which was grabbing easy yards, Smith outthought the room and went with a wildcat formation pass that failed to pick up the first. 

Then he went for a two-point conversion early in the third quarter when the timing just didn't make sense. It could do more harm than good, and it hurt when his team failed to convert. 

They would have all been smart decisions had he converted, but he didn't, so here we are questioning why the decisions were made in the first place. 

But the Beavers were able to win the game despite the questionable calls leading it all to be water under the bridge. 

 

Next up: The Beavers head to Utah for a matchup with the Utah Utes on Saturday, December 5th. Kickoff time is TBD.