On a chilly but sunny afternoon in Eugene, the Oregon State Beavers came calling and gave the Oregon Ducks a game like no one was expecting.
The Beavers, who went into Autzen Stadium 34 point underdogs while looking for their first conference win in their last game of the season, fought the Ducks for every point the teams scored and whittled the lead down to three points in the last quarter before losing, 52-42.
Victor Bolden (WR) said that being 34-point underdogs wasn’t extra motivation because “just playing Oregon is extra motivation” before continuing on to say that he felt like Oregon took them just as seriously “because we are a impeccable team.”
The Civil War game is beloved by both teams and fan bases and has plenty of bragging rights attached to it for the winner. In his first Civil War game since taking over the head coaching job at Oregon State, coach Gary Andersen said he understood the importance of this rivalry game saying that “we have people come out and talk all year long about it. They talk about this game and their memories of this game.”
Talking about how the Beavers prepared for this game, running back Ryan Nall said that they came to play their best because “we figured we had nothing to lose … we wanted to lay it all for our seniors continuing to say that they had “nothing to lose and might as well destroy someone else’s season.”
The Beavers started the game off with a touchdown on their first drive before letting the Ducks score 31 unanswered points before halftime.
Just as it was starting to look like the game was going to be an easy Oregon win, OSU QB Seth Collins scored a one-yard rushing touchdown to give the Beavers their first points since the first few minutes of the game.
After an unsuccessful Oregon drive, Collins ran in another Beaver touchdown bringing the Beavers within 10 points, 31-21. Levonte Barnett said that having Collins back “gave us a spark and put the (Oregon defense) on it’s toes.” In the last few seconds of the third quarter, Oregon RB Royce Freeman ran in a touchdown bringing the score to 38-21.
Coach Anderson said that they had such a dynamic second because “when you get playmakers, football becomes a whole lot easier. We got that done in the second half … it was a good offensive output.”
The Beavers cut the lead down to three points quickly as QB Marcus McMaryion scrambled for a six-yard touchdown followed quickly by a 78 yard punt return to make it, 38-35. Talking about the belief the team had in it self all through the game, Nall said “There was never a doubt in my mind that we wouldn’t be able to come back and potentially win it. It was a momentum thing … it kept going for us and going for us.”
The Ducks didn’t let the three point differential stand for long as Vernon Adams Jr. connected with Bralon Addison for a four-yard touchdown pass bringing the score to 45-35.
On the second play of the next Beaver drive, Nall saw a hole and took off for a 68-yard touchdown run, turning it once again into a three point game. Oregon responded with another Adams-to-Addison 24-yard touchdown pass before the Oregon defense helped end the game with the final 52-42 score.
“Two good teams battled out. It was a offensive shootout,” said coach Andersen in a summation of the game.
Top photo by Craig Strobeck