Oregon State football: Martinez runs wild in win at Arizona State
Oregon State football ran all over Arizona State on Saturday, Nov. 19, on the way to a 31-7 win in Tempe.
The No. 23-ranked Beavers (8-3, 5-3 Pac-12) outgained the Sun Devils (3-8, 2-6 Pac-12) by nearly 200 yards as they cruised to the 24-point victory on the road. Oregon State's offensive outburst was led by Damien Martinez's big day on the ground, while the defense had another strong showing.
Here's a deeper look at the Beavers' latest win.
Trib's take: Martinez is stepping into a truly major role in the Oregon State offense. He carried the ball 22 times for 138 yards, an average of 6.3 yards per carry on a day where he did not have a run longer than 15 yards.
It was the true freshman's fifth-consecutive 100-yard rushing performance, and in a year when the running back room has doubled as an infirmary, his consistency has been key.
Without Deshaun Fenwick, Jam Griffin and Jack Colletto for all or part of Saturday's win over Arizona State, Martinez showed once again that he is capable of handling the load — and that he has all the makings of Corvallis' latest star running back.
Big picture: The Beavers improved to 8-3 on the year, a mark they have not reached since 2012. The losses to No. 7 USC, No. 10 Utah and No. 15 Washington all hurt in their own ways, but make no mistake: This season has been an unmitigated success.
Yes, OSU could be even higher in the Top 25 poll with wins in any one of those games, but don't let that obscure the fact that the Beavers have avoided all the pitfall games on the schedule.
For the first time since 2013, Oregon State will finish the regular season without a loss to a team with a losing record. There is still a ways to go before the Beavers are truly contenders in the league, but winning the easy ones is a huge step on the path back to Pac-12 prominence.
Oh, yes!: Sophomore defensive back Skyler Thomas had his best game in the orange and black, registering a career-high eight tackles to lead the Beaver defense in that category. He also recovered a muffed punt in the fourth quarter to set up the final field goal.
This standout performance comes on the heels of last week's six-tackle outing against Cal, which was his previous career best. Thomas has seen an uptick in playing time in the wake of injuries in the OSU secondary, and he is making the most of his opportunity.
Oh, no!: The kicking woes for Everett Hayes continued Saturday, as the Beavers' junior kicker went 1-for-3 on field goals during the win. While he knocked down a 26-yard gimme after Thomas' fumble recovery on the 12-yard line, Hayes also missed a 23-yard attempt off the upright near the end of the game.
In the first half, he had a 44-yard attempt sail wide. On the season, the junior is just 4-for-10 as he has battled an injury that kept him out for a few games. In his stead, redshirt freshman Atticus Sappington went 5-for-7 on field goals.
Next game: Oregon at Oregon State, time TBD. Saturday, Nov. 26 (TV TBD).
For more: Read our weekly On College Football column at pamplinmedia.com most Mondays, in print each Wednesday.
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