CORVALLIS, OR– In their 124th meeting, the Oregon State Beavers narrowly defeated the 15th ranked Oregon Ducks 41-38, earning Jonathan Smith what is arguably his biggest win to date as head coach. Smith, who led the Beavers to a Fiesta Bowl victory as their starting quarterback in 2001, now brings them to 2-2 in his third season as head coach and increases his record to 9-19.
The Ducks started quickly after they easily moved the ball on the game’s opening possession, which was capped by a 37-yard touchdown run from Jaylon Redd. Oregon State answered immediately, however, as star running back Jermar Jefferson took his first carry 82-yards for the tying score. Jefferson finished the night with 226 yards on 29 attempts and 2 touchdowns.
Despite a poor performance from Oregon quarterback Tyler Shough, the Ducks led the majority of the game and were up 31-19 heading into the 4th quarter. The turning point for the Beavers came after they capitalized on Shough’s third turnover, where Nashon Wright intercepted Shough’s pass inside Oregon’s territory. The Beavers scored in two plays to take their first lead of the game at 34-31 after a 2-yard Jefferson touchdown run and a two-point conversion by quarterback Tristan Gebbia.
Trying to make a game winning stand while the Ducks led 38-34 with only 40 seconds left on the clock, Oregon stopped Gebbia on an attempted 3rd and goal quarterback sneak from inches out. Gebbia suffered an injury on the play, forcing the junior college transfer from Saddleback College, Chance Nolan, to enter the game. On his first Division I snap, Nolan stepped up and scored the game winning touchdown on another quarterback sneak.
At 2-2, Oregon State looks to record their first winning season under Jonathan Smith next week as they travel to face the University of Utah. Oregon will try to bounce back on the road against Cal after losing their fist game of the season, and possibly falling out of the College Football Playoff rankings.