Corvallis, OR – Returning from a bye week Oregon State looked to slow the No. 20 Stanford Cardinal at home, the fourth top 25 ranked opponent for the Beavers this season.
The Stanford Cardinal shattered any hopes the Beavers had of an upset as quarterback Keller Chryst threw his only touchdown of the night to wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside take the lead for the Cardinal and the victory 15-14.
Oregon State was primed to secure their upset victory as they led Stanford 14-9 with 2:38 left in the fourth quarter. Similarly to the end of the first half the Beavers attempted to run the clock down when Ryan Nall fumbled and the Cardinal recovered on the Oregon State 43 yard line.
Even after the costly mistake the Oregon State defense was in a position to become the heroes of the night in front of a crowd that was ready to storm the field after they forced another Cardinal fourth down. Prior to the snap coach Hall frantically tried to call timeout to make an adjustment in his secondary however the referee did not notice and Stanford was able to convert on fourth down.
Notably absent from the Thursday night Pac-12 Conference matchup was Stanford Heisman hopeful and national rushing leader Bryce Love, who was inactive with an ankle injury.
After a scoreless and slow first quarter, Oregon State looked to get their playmaker Ryan Nall involved any way possible. Running Nall out of wildcat, designed zone reads and taking direct snaps, Nall led the Beavers to their first scoring drive of the night with 47 rushing yards that series alone. A 3-yard touchdown rush by quarterback Darell Garretson quickly capped off the drive giving the Beavers their first lead of the game at 7-3.
Following two impressive defensive stands the Beavers were 1st and 10 on their own 18-yard line with 51 seconds left in the half. Set to receive the ball at the start of the second half, Oregon State was attempting to conservatively run the clock out and maintain a lead of 4 points when Garretson lost a costly fumble on a miscommunication between himself and Ryan Nall. The fumble set up another Cardinal field goal cutting the Beaver’s lead to 1 at 7-6 to end of the first half.
On the opening drive of the second half Oregon State’s offense found the end zone again, this time with an 18-yard touchdown run by Thomas Tyner extending their lead to 8 at 14-6. The Cardinal would later counter with their third field goal of the night bringing the score to 14-9.
After the game Oregon State interim head coach Cory Hall stated, “Beaver football is changing”.
When asked where the change has come from Hall replied, “I’ve always believed a team is going to take on the identity of their head coach, and I’m no one to be pushed around”.
This newfound mentality has been obvious since Hall’s takeover on October 9th, when former head coach Gary Anderson and Oregon State mutually parted ways.
In only his second game as interim head coach Hall’s Beavers held the high-powered Stanford offence that scored 58, 34, 23 and 49 points respectively in their last four games to only 15 total points. An admirable feat regardless of Bryce Love’s absence from the team who allowed Portland State to amount 32 points earlier this season under Anderson.
Oregon State may not have won the upset they had dreamt of tonight, but in an already lost season the “change” that coach Hall has been able to instill in his short time in charge is far more important.