Oregon looked as though it would rollover the hapless Oregon State team easily going into halftime leading 31-7. Further the Ducks only allowed the Beavers 96 yards of total offense, most of which (77 yards) was gained on the opening drive that resulted in OS’s only score in the first half.
However in the third quarter the Ducks gave up 189 yards of total offense and 14 points to cut the lead to 31-21. Even more astonishing was how Don Pellum’s bend-don’t-break defensive philosophy was more horrendous in the fourth quarter. Oregon State put up another 140 yards and 21 more points.
The Beavers had 38 points and 329 yards. The Ducks let the Beavers off the hook and it nearly cost them the game.
“At halftime we relaxed,” was the only explanation Head Coach Mark Helfrich could come up with for the dismal defensive performance.
Fortunately the Ducks offense kept working. Adams continually found receivers, spreading the ball around to nine different receivers with eight of those pass catchers ending up in at least double-figure yardage. Addison was the leading receiver with 106 yards on eight catches and three touchdowns. Dwayne Stanford finished with five grabs for 77 yards while Darren Carrington also had five receptions for 38 yards.
Royce Freeman did his job again, breaking the 100-yard mark for the ninth straight game and ended the day with 167 yards and two TDs on 27 carries. Taj Griffin added 70 yards on nine carries and had a TD. Addison got in the rushing statistical category with two carries for 24 yards and a touchdown.
Aidan Schneider was good on one-of-two field goals 25 yards out.
Oregon State used two quarterbacks in the game. Marcus MCmaryion was 154 yards on 11-of-21 passing with one interception (in the first half). Seth Collins didn’t actually take snaps and threw passes on as a receiver and was 2-for-4 and 45 yards.
The big story of the Beaver offense was Ryan Nall with 174 yards on 19 carries with one touchdown on a 66 yard run in the fourth quarter. Nall also caught four passes for 54 yards. Collins also ran in three TDs in his 39-yards of rushing.
Jordan Villamin pulled in four passes for 72 yards.
Oregon also gave up a special teams touchdown when Victor Bolden returned a punt 78 yards for a score.
Defensively, DeForest Buckner was the leading tackler with seven tackles (five solos) including one sack on his one and half tackles for loss. Rodney Hardrick also had a sack while Danny Mattingly recorded a TFL; Tyson Coleman received credit for the other half of Buckner’s TFL.
Charles Nelson recorded Oregon’s solo interception.
It’s hard to be critical of the defensive effort of a team when they win by 10 points, but the second half breakdown nearly cost the Ducks the game.
This defense has not been very good all year long and when it appeared that there seemed be some headway being made, the defensive calls reverted back to a passive effort where players seemed to be watching the action rather than being part of it.
Oregon now awaits its fate as to which bowl it might go to.
Most likely the Alamo and Holiday Bowls may be a possibility with the Holiday Bowl being the more likely. Perhaps better defensive would have made a difference where Oregon ends up, but thinking back over the season, perhaps just going to a bowl is accomplishment enough.