Game 6: Stanford

Following the Beavers first road victory in four years, OSU traveled to Palo Alto to try and even their road trip record to 2-2 and win their final game of their month long road trip.  Oregon State had not won a Pac-10 game in 14 tries and had lost 12 straight to the Trees, dating back to 1968.

The game was neck to neck late in the second quarter before Oregon State exploded for 17 points in the final three minutes before halftime devastating the Cardinal and their 34,000 plus fans.

Stanford led 10-6 after kicker Jose Cortez hit a 22-yard field goal late in the first quarter to bring the Beavers within four. Cortez hit 3 of 4 field goals including two fifty yarders.

For majority of the second quarter the team's defenses battled until the 12:00 minute mark before the Beaver offensive line started to establish themselves. Running back Ken Simonton was a orange and black flash as he darted in and out and jumped over cardinal and white sprawled on the green field.

Ken Simonton had his third 100 plus yard rushing game of the season.

"Besides the special teams play the biggest factor in the game for us is that we ran for twice as many yards as Stanford did in the game," Riley said. "I think that was the biggest difference in the game."

Simonton finished the day with 207 yards on 35 carries. He also started the 17 point second quarter outburst on a 17-yard touchdown run with 2:57 left in the first half.

"Ken was our runner and he got some good blocking, but he also made a lot of yards on his own by making people miss," Riley said. "It was real exciting to have that kind of production on the ground."

Just 10 seconds after Simonton's touchdown, linebacker Brandon Boice recovered a loose ball in the end zone to give the Beavers a 10-point advantage. The fumble recovery by the special teams was just one of the many tasks that they accomplished to put the Beavers in a position to win. In addition to the fumble recovery, the special teams blocked a field goal, blocked a PAT, and recovered another fumble.

"I think overall this is the best performance of the season by our special teams," Riley said. "We basically did not make any mistakes ourselves and we were very opportunistic and we really played fast and got ourselves into position to make some plays when Stanford mishandled the ball. Those plays turned out to be the turning point of the game."

With a sudden 10-point deficit the Cardinal responded with a 75-yard, five play drive that cumulated in a one-yard run by Maxwell Stevenson with 42 seconds in the half.  But OSU was able to move close enough for Cortez to hit a booming 52-yard field goal for a 23-17 lead at halftime.

Despite throwing two picks, Stanford quarterback Todd Husak torched the Beaver secondary for 450 yards, an accomplishment that quarterback predecessors John Elway and Jim Plunkett never accomplished. The Cardinal offense actually out gained the Beaver offense 537-469.

Terrance Bryant threw for 276 yards.

Terrance Bryant countered with a solid game himself completing 21 of 41 for 276 yards. But Bryant's streak of consecutive passes thrown without an interception was snapped in the third quarter by Tim Smith ending his streak at 170 passes without an interception.

Husak's record breaking performance was largely due to Stanford's offensive line containing the speedy Beaver defensive linemen, especially Inoke Breckterfield.

"Stanford spent a great deal of time making sure they double teamed Inoke Breckterfield. They had a back and a tackle both responsible for him," Riley said. "They also threw a number of very quick timed routes and the other thing Stanford did a good job of was moving the quarterback around where we just couldn't pin our ears back and go after the quarterback. I thought Stanford did an excellent job in their passing game, in both protection and variety."

The second half picked up where the first half left off as Stanford scored on their first possession of the second half. Husak threw his second touchdown of the day by hooking up with wide receiver Dave Davis for a 30-yard strike.  Davis grabbed nine passes for 151 yards.  But, the extra point was blocked leaving the score knotted at 23 a piece.

Tied at 23 for the majority of the fourth quarter the Beavers faced a tight situation. With around six minutes left punter Mike Fessler was forced to kick out his own end zone. Fessler boomed a 60 plus yard kick that was fumbled by Stanford's Troy Walters on his own 30.

Four plays later Simonton scored on a sweep from four yards out to give the Beavers the lead with 5:42 left.

Andre Hatcher picked off one pass giving him 10 for his career.

Stanford threatened late in the fourth before Husak was picked off in the end zone where the Beavers ran out the clock. The second pick gave the Beavers 11 for the season, good for second in the nation.

The Beavers won for the second time on the road giving them confidence as the headed back home to face Arizona. "For this team to win on the road, and to win at this stage of the season, makes it hard to describe how much that means," Riley said. "Those last two wins have been major wins for us and gives us a lot to build on for the remainder of our schedule."

Riley was pleased with the Beavers performance on the road, although the USC game was still on his mind.

"It will almost seem strange not be heading on a plane somewhere because it has been over a month since we have played at home," Riley said. "We weathered that storm pretty well as we were 2-2 on our four game road trip. Even though we would like it to be better it was good to get a couple of wins and it is good to be coming back home."


  • The biggest news from the Stanford victory is that it stopped a 14-game Oregon State losing streak in Pac-10 games and a 12-game streak of not winning at Stanford, dating back to 1968.

  • Ken Simonton rushed for a career-high 207 yards, the fifth best single-game effort in OSU history. Simonton becomes the sixth Beaver back to rush for over 200 yards in a game. Simonton is only the third OSU back to rush for over 200 yards against a Pac-10 opponent. Pete Pifer gained 228 vs. Arizona (1966) and Robert Smith rushed for 218 against WSU in 1971.
  • Ken Simonton had his third 100-yard plus rushing game of the season.
  • Simonton's 207 all-purpose yards vs. Stanford is the 13th best single-game mark at OSU.
  • Terrance Bryant had a career best 276 yards passing, the 22nd best single-game mark in Beaver history.
  • Bryant broke an OSU record by throwing 170 passes without an interception before Stanford's Tim Smith picked off his 171st throw. The old Beaver record was 126 by Erik Whilhelm in 1986.
  • Bryant broke a Pac-10 record by throwing 170 passes without an interception, breaking the record of 150 by California's Pat Barnes in 1996.
  • Jose Cortez booted a career best 52-yard field goal, his third 50-yarder of the season. The 52-yarder equals the sixth longest in OSU history.
  • Cortez matched a career best by kicking three field goals against Stanford with kicks of 42, 22 and 52. He also kicked three field goals against Stanford at Corvallis last year with kicks of 33, 45 and 34 yards.
  • With seven receptions against Stanford, Greg Ainsworth moved into 10th place on OSU's career reception list with 85.
  • With two receptions against Stanford, Roddy Tompkins moved into 12th place on OSU's career reception list with 79.
  • With four victories so far in 1998, Mike Riley has won seven games so far as the Beavers' head coach, making him the first OSU head coach to have seven victories in his first two seasons at the helm since Dee Andros in 1965 and 1966.
  • OSU had a season high 469 yards in total offense.
  • OSU allowed an opponent to register more than 400 yards in total offense for the first time this season as Stanford had 537.
  • Oregon State picked off two pass interceptions against Stanford and now is tied for second in the nation with 11.
  • Oregon State registered a season-low one quarterback sack against Stanford to hike its season total to 22, which is second in the Pac-10 Conference.
  • Oregon State blocked three kicks against Stanford, giving the Beavers seven for the season. OSU blocked two vs. USC and two vs. Nevada. The Beavers have now blocked a total of 12 kicks in 17 games that Bruce Read has been OSU's special teams coach.
  • Armon Hatcher added one interception against Stanford to give him 10 career interceptions and a tie for eighth on OSU's career list.


Riley Recaps the Victory

"We are obviously excited about winning. I thought our team, even though we had a far from perfect game, stayed in the game and when something bad happen we didn't panic. I thought we competed very hard and made plays down the stretch to win the game."


Big Daddy Orange's Commentary

Could this be the year that things turn out differently? I have had Big Momma Orange pinch me so I could be sure I wasn’t dreaming. She also poured ice water on me to dampen my enthusiasm and slapped the back of my head repeatedly to bring me down to earth but the facts are:

  • The Beavs are 4-2 for the first time since 1968.
  • The Beavs have won two road games in a row including a PAC-10 road game. This breaks a 14 game conference losing streak and a 12 game losing streak at Stanford Stadium.
  • The Beavs have won two close games in a row and have made crucial third down conversions at the end of both games.
  • The defense allowed a lot of yardage but only one touchdown in the second half.
  • The defense came up with THE big turnover when it was needed the most!
  • Mike (quit calling me Uncle) Fessler boomed a punt from deep in his own territory that ended up being fumbled that ended up setting up the winning touchdown.
  • The special teams played HUGE!!! They blocked a field goal, blocked an extra point, recovered a fumbled punt and recovered a muffed kickoff return for a touchdown!
  • These are the kinds of things that happen to good teams i.e. good teams find a way to win.

Could this be a team of destiny? Could this be the year WE TAKE THE CIVIL WAR? COULD THIS BE THE YEAR WE GO TO A BOWL GAME!? COULD THIS BE THE YEAPHTLKLPT (Big Momma Orange just slapped the back of my head again and reminded me that we have three top 25 teams left; Washington and a suddenly tough California team left on our schedule.) Oh well, it doesn’t hurt to dream. Join my family and I at Parker Saturday the 17th as we cheer on the Beavs and continue to dream the improbable dream.

P.S. I was watching the news last night and was it my imagination or was there a Stanford defensive back’s jock lying on the turf as Ken Simonton went by him for his first touchdown?


Box Score

FINAL               1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH     TOTAL
                    ---  ---  ---  ---     -----
OREGON ST             6   17    0    7      30
STANFORD             10    7    6    0      23   FINAL


        1ST QTR: ORST - FG, JOSE CORTEZ 42 YD, 4:00
                            (KEVIN MILLER KICK), 6:10
                 STFD - FG, KEVIN MILLER 20 YD, 11:17
                 ORST - FG, JOSE CORTEZ 22 YD, 14:16

                            (JARED CORNELL KICK), 12:13
                            KICK), 14:18
                 ORST - FG, JOSE CORTEZ 52 YD, 14:53

                            FAILED), 3:12

                      Oregon St    Stanford 
First downs                  23          28 
Rushed-yards             44-193       27-87 
Passing yards               276         450 
Sacked-yards lost          4-16         1-1 
Return yards                 21          27 
Passes                  21-41-1     26-49-2 
Punts                    7-38.3      6-35.8 
Fumbles-lost                1-0         3-2 
Penalties-yards          11-103        5-49 
Time of possession        32:42       27:18 

Individual Statistics 
RUSHING: Oregon St-Simonton 35-207, Bryant 9-minus 14.
Stanford-Wire 13-60, Lacey 6-23, J Allen 3-5, Brock 1-2,
Stevenson 1-1, Fasani 1-minus 1, Husak 2-minus 3.

PASSING: Oregon St-Bryant 21-41-1-276. Stanford-Husak
26-48-2-450, Fasani 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING: Oregon St-Ainsworth 7-60, Alexander 5-60, Battle
3-49, Tompkins 2-46, Prescott 2-32, I White 1-22, Maurer 1-7.
Stanford-Davis 9-151, Pitts 9-124, Walters 6-159, J Allen 1-14,
Wire 1-2.

Att: 34,298


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