Top 10 Oregon State football moments of the 2010s
Top 10 Oregon State football moments of the 2010s
Overall, the decade for the Oregon State Beavers was disappointing.
However, that doesn't mean that it didn't have some high points either. As the decade comes to a close, let's remember the top-ten best football moments for the Beavers.
10. Hiring Jonathan Smith
The tenth best moment of the 2010s is a move that has already paid off but may rise on the list with more time to reflect.
Jonathan Smith inherited a program that won a single game (over FCS Portland State who missed a game-winning field goal as time expired). Two seasons later he had the Beavers one yard away from their first bowl berth in seven seasons. That's miraculous and a testament to how great of a coach he is.
Just listening to how the players talk about their head coach shows how he can get his kids to buy into his message. This previous season, he fielded a team that thought they could win every game and they prepared as if that was the case. As last season came to a close, many Beavers players said they wish that Smith had come to Corvallis earlier.
If he can continue the upward trajectory of the program, his hiring could be seen as the most influential moment of the decade for the program, but with just two seasons under his belt, he'll need to settle for tenth.
9. Comeback in Colorado (2018)
The 2018 Oregon State Beavers' lone Pac-12 win was quite a memorable one.
In the third quarter on the road, the Beavers trailed 31-3 to Colorado. Then Jake Luton came off the bench and was inserted to run the offense. The result? 25 consecutive points led by the fifth-year senior, including a game-tying touchdown pass with 29 seconds remaining in regulation.
After a missed 53-yard field goal, the two teams entered overtime tied 34-34.
Then, in overtime Beavers quarterback Jake Colletto scored on a one-yard touchdown run to give the Beavers a 41-34 lead. Then, the Beavers would force an incomplete pass on fourth-and-goal to end a 22-game road losing streak.
The type of grit shown by the team this day was proof that Jonathan Smith was changing the culture in Corvallis.
8. Upsetting No. 6 Arizona State (2014)
In what was a disappointing 5-7 season, the 2014 Oregon State Beavers still got a patented Giant Killers moment when they upset No. 6 ASU 35-27.
The Beavers came into the game knowing they had nothing to lose and took it to the sixth-ranked team in the country.
The Beavers went into the game having a struggling rushing attack but didn't play like it. Storm Woods had a 78-yard touchdown run early and Terron Ward finished with 148 yards and a touchdown. Oregon State set a season-high in rushing yards in the first quarter alone: 183. The Beavers finished with 247 yards rushing.
Sean Mannion connected with Jordan Villamin for a 66-yard, go-ahead touchdown with 10:55 remaining to take a 28-27 lead.
Then, linebacker Michael Doctor returned an Arizona State interception 35 yards for a touchdown to take an eight-point lead, which would stay the final score.
Fifth-year senior quarterback Sean Mannion said after the game that this game was the highlight of his career. We disagree.
7. Three Straight Conference Road Wins (2019)
The 2019 Oregon State Beavers shocked everyone.
The Vegas over/under for their win total was 2.5. They beat that with road conference victories alone.
Somehow after winning a single Pac-12 game in two seasons, the 2019 Beavers began their season 3-0 in conference road games.
The victories included upsets at UCLA, California, and Arizona. The Beavers were underdogs in each game according to Vegas.
Against UCLA, Oregon State held a 21-0 lead after only 6:01 minutes of play. Luton had two touchdown passes, Artavis Pierce ran all over UCLA, the defense stopped the Bruins on fourth down and the Beavers even recovered a dropkick kickoff taking advantage of a UCLA penalty. Oregon State came out as the aggressor and dominated the line of scrimmage while digging a hole UCLA couldn't climb out of.
To defeat California, the Beavers fought back to take the lead with 4:41 left off a BJ Baylor run who later claimed he ran to where 'the money' was. Then, cornerback Jaydon Grant intercepted Cal quarterback Spencer Brasch to get the ball back and win the game.
Finally against Arizona, the Beavers defense slowed the Wildcats just enough to leave with a 56-38 victory.
6. Cooks and Wheaton dominate in the Rose Bowl (2012)
The unranked Beavers stepped into the Rose Bowl and defeated No. 19 UCLA, 27-20.
Brandin Cooks dominated the Bruins secondary with six receptions for 175 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown. Markus Wheaton also pitched in with nine receptions for 150 yards, including a 42-yard touchdown which took a 17-3 lead.
Storm Woods would later score a final touchdown as the Beavers defeated UCLA and showed they were a force to be reckoned with.
5. Upsetting No. 13 Wisconsin (2012)
It wasn't pretty, but considering the expectations going into the contest everyone in Corvallis was overjoyed.
The Beavers who traveled to Madison, WI the previous year and got killed en route to a 3-9 season, shocked the No. 13 Wisconsin Badgers, 10-7 at Reser Stadium to open the 2012 season.
The defending Big Ten champions couldn't get their offense going against a Beavers team that played their hearts out. The Badgers were shut out until a touchdown pass with 1:31 remaining. Heisman candidate Montee Ball was held to 15 carries and 61 yards rushing.
On the opening possession of the second half, Sean Mannion connected with Brandin Cooks for a 20-yard touchdown to gain a 10-0 lead, which proved to be enough points.
4. Defeating No. 9 Arizona in Tucson (2010)
Arizona was coming off a bye and had their first top-ten ranking since 1999. Then they lost to Oregon State at home in a game they never led.
Beavers quarterback Ryan Katz passed for 393 yards and two touchdowns against an Arizona defense that ranked second nationally in yards allowed per game heading into the contest.
However, this game is remembered as Markus Wheaton's coming out party. He even described it as so earlier this year.
After a 33-yard touchdown reception by James Rodgers, an Arizona defender cheap shotted him from behind causing a season-ending knee injury. That's when Wheaton stepped up.
The Beavers responded by hitting Wheaton on a 48-yard touchdown to take a 17-7 lead. Running back Jacquizz Rodgers also ran the ball 25 times for 83 yards and a touchdown.
3. 2016 Civil War
The Beavers may have only won a single Civil War game this decade, but it sure was a sweet one.
Everyone remembers this game for Ryan Nall's legendary 155-yard, four touchdown performance to grant the Beavers their first victory over Oregon since 2007.
When the rain started pouring in the second half, the Ducks infamously put on rain jackets while the Beavers ran the ball 21 straight plays. The Ducks could not contain Ryan Nall at all that day.
After the game, the Beavers had finished their 4-8 season with two victories in a row and looked to be making significant progress as a program. Looking back it may have been fool's gold, but no one can take away the joy this victory brought.
2. Brandin Cooks wins the Biletnikoff Award (2013)
It's not every season your favorite team has the best player in the country at their position.
However, in 2013 Beavers wide receiver Brandin Cooks won the Biletnikoff Award, a trophy given to the most outstanding receiver in the nation. Cooks joined Mike Haas (2005) as the only Beavers to ever win the award.
Cooks finished the season with a nation-leading 1,670 yards receiving and 15 touchdowns. He also added two touchdowns on the ground from the Beavers jet sweep plays.
1. Being Ranked No. 7 in the AP Poll (2012)
Once again the 2012 team shows up on the list and this time at No. 1: the program's highest ranking of the decade by far.
Heading into a road game against Washington, the Oregon State Beavers found themselves ranked seventh nationally by the Associated Press.
The Beavers coming off a 3-9 season, won their first games against No. 13 Wisconsin and No. 19 UCLA. They would go on to win their first six games. By Week Eight, the Beavers were one of eleven undefeated teams in the country and had already doubled their win total from the previous season.
They even survived a knee injury to starting quarterback Sean Mannion when Cody Vaz stepped into the starting role defeating BYU and Utah.
Mannion would go onto return against Washington where their perfect season would end, but seeing the Beavers ranked so high will be remembered forever. Especially given the expectations going into the season.