Oregon State football beats Arizona State to stay perfect at home
CORVALLIS — Oregon State football finished off a perfect home record this season, beating Arizona State 24-10 at Reser Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 20. The Beavers also moved one step closer to playing in the program's first bowl game since 2013.
Big picture: Oregon State landed some early haymakers on Arizona State, and the defense held firm to keep the Sun Devils from mounting a late comeback. With the victory, Oregon State (7-4, 5-3) finds itself back in the hunt for the Pac-12 North division title.
Storyline: On a night in which Oregon State wore throwback jerseys to honor the 2001 Beavers that won the Fiesta Bowl, the orange and black channeled that strong energy and blasted Arizona State (7-4, 5-3). The win solidifies a perfect home record for OSU this season, something the team has not done since 2000.
Oregon State jumped out to a 17-0 halftime lead on Saturday night in Corvallis. OSU quarterback Chance Nolan accounted for both first-half touchdowns, connecting with Tre'Shaun Harrison on a 10-yard passing touchdown before running one in himself near the end of the half. Prior to those scores, Beaver kicked Everett Hayes blasted a 52-yard field goal through the uprights.
The pregame atmosphere for the game was notably enthusiastic, in part because the Beavers are playing meaningful football later into the season than they have in nearly a decade. On the coldest gameday of the season so far for Oregon State, the student section was roaring and singing along with the music pumping through the public address system.
Once the game started, the aura only grew stronger. The team's vaunted 'Turnover Chainsaw' made an appearance just three plays into the game, after Alex Austin picked off ASU quarterback Jayden Daniels. Oregon State running BJ Baylor helped keep the fans in a fervor, running for 84 first-half yards to help set up all the scoring. Everything seemingly went Oregon State's way early — including a potential lost fumble by OSU back Deshaun Fenwick, which was ultimately overturned by replay review.
On the Sun Devils' first drive of the second half, they finally found some success and drove all the way down inside the OSU 10-yard line. The Beaver defense kept Arizona State out of the end zone, but a 26-yard field goal finally put ASU on the board.
After a mostly uneventful third quarter, the fourth started off with some fireworks when Arizona State blocked an Oregon State punt inside the Beaver five-yard line. Moments later, the Sun Devils were celebrating a DeaMonte Trayanum rushing TD that brought the Devils within seven at 17-10.
Unwilling to let the air go out of Reser Stadium, Oregon State immediately responded with a scoring drive of their own just two minutes later. The Beavers went up 24-10 after Jack Colletto took a direct-snap run 47 yards virtually untouched into the end zone.
Notable numbers: Oregon State notched its seventh win of the season, matching the win total from the Beavers' last bowl-eligible season in 2013. … BJ Baylor rushed for 152 yards, his sixth 100-yard game of the season. … All three of Luke Loecher's punts were down inside the ASU 20-yard line, including a 59-yard bomb in the first quarter that was corralled inside the one-yard line. … The Beavers allowed 32 points per game in Pac-12 play under former defensive coordinator Tim Tibesar, but that number has dropped to just 10 per game in two outings under interim DC Trent Bray.
Reaction: The Beavers are no longer just a novelty act, no longer just happy to be here. Over the past two weeks, Oregon State outscored Stanford and Arizona State by a combined score of 59-20. This is a team with an offense that is clicking and a defense that looks completely reenergized under Trent Bray. With only Oregon left on the Pac-12 schedule — and with the Ducks potentially reeling from their loss to Utah — expect the Beavers to come into Autzen Stadium next week fired up and ready to make one last statement before bowl season begins. As if Oregon State needed any extra motivation against the Ducks, a Beaver win coupled with a Washington victory over Washington State would give OSU the Pac-12 North division.
Quotes: "Well obviously, proud of the guys. Special night. I can't say enough about our defensive effort and performance. Those guys came to play and create some havoc. Shoot, the only touchdown they scored is one we basically gave them on the punt. Can't give those guys enough props defensively." — Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith on his suddenly stalwart defense
"The adrenaline kicked in on that one." — senior Jack Colletto on his 47-yard touchdown run
"From day one, the mantra was: 'Do anything to defend home turf.' That was the message from the first home game that we had. I'm just so proud of my team. We made it really tough for teams to come in here and try to get a win. To go 6-0 at home, that's huge. Obviously, we couldn't have done it without the support of Beaver Nation." — senior cornerback Jaydon Grant on going undefeated at Reser Stadium
Up next: Oregon State at Oregon, Saturday, Nov. 27, 12:30 p.m. PT.
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