The Oregon State Beavers lost to the Washington Huskies 19-7 on Friday, Nov. 9, snapping their winning streak and keeping this year’s team from their first conference home win with only one more game at Reser remaining.
Before the Beavers’ Friday loss to the Huskies, the team had won back to back games for the first time since the 2016 season.
Oregon State’s two-game road trip to take on the California Golden Bears and the Arizona Wildcats ended in wins at both stops, putting the team at 3-0 in their last three road games after a 48-31 win against the UCLA Bruins on Oct. 5. The road win streak had put the Beavers at .500 in November for the first time since the 2014 season.
In Oregon State’s win on Nov. 2 against the Wildcats, the Beavers’ offense put up 56 points to go along with 572 yards of total offense. Against the Huskies, however, Oregon State struggled to find much production at all.
The team’s only points of the night came from a third quarter interception returned for a touchdown by sophomore cornerback Jaydon Grant. The Beavers only managed 119 yards on offense, including eight yards total through all of the second half.
Senior quarterback Jake Luton talked after the game about the team’s offensive struggles, giving credit to the Washington defense for forcing the Beavers’ offense into bad situations.
“They had a good plan, and I think that they beat us in all phases,” Luton said. “I don’t think it was not having enough time, I don’t think it was guys not getting open, I just think it was a collection of the whole deal.”
While the offense struggled, the Oregon State defense played one of their better games of the year against Washington. The unit was able to force the Huskies to five third down conversions on 17 attempts, which marked the team’s strongest third down performance since the Beavers played Hawai’i on Sept. 7.
The Beavers’ specialized in creating turnovers despite their struggling offense. The Oregon State defense was able to force two turnovers from Huskies junior quarterback Jacob Eason on the game. The second one being the pick-six from Grant that gave the Beavers their first defensive touchdown on the season, and their first pick-six since Sept. 2, 2017.
Despite the strong performance, Grant talked about areas the defense could improve after the game and stressed the importance of not placing blame on the Beavers’ offense after the loss.
“We played well, but we could have played better,” Grant said. “[People can] talk about the defense played well, the offense didn’t play well, but I don’t really think about it like that. We only focus on our side of the ball.”
The defensive effort for Oregon State showed growth compared to their previous game. On Nov.2 against Arizona, the Beavers gave up 38 points and failed to force a turnover in a game where Oregon State relied on the offense’s highest scoring performance of the season in their win against the Wildcats. Against Washington, with the roles reversed with the defense playing a strong game and the offense struggling to capitalize.
Beavers coach Jonathan Smith commented on the team’s struggle on offense after the game. Smith gave credit to the Huskies defense, but also voiced frustrations with the offense’s performance.
“Offensively, just dominated. I don’t know how else you say it. Nothing going there,” Smith said. “I know that group’s been working, playing at a high level. They ran into a defense that really shut us down, and give credit to UW.”
For the Beavers, the loss to Washington dropped their overall record to 4-5, their conference record to 3-3, and their home record to 1-4. Oregon State will have one last shot at earning their first home win since Sept. 14 next week against the Arizona State Sun Devils, as well as their only home win against an FBS opponent.
Oregon State’s lone home win of the season came against the Cal Poly Mustangs, an FCS school. The Beavers haven’t beaten an FBS opponent at home since their win against the Oregon Ducks in the final week of the 2016 season and will have one last chance this year against Arizona State to snap their losing streak.
The Sun Devils will come into their game against Oregon State having won their previous two against the Beavers in 2017 and 2018. The most recent win for Arizona State coming on their home field in Tempe, Ariz. by a final score of 52-24.
Despite the previous season’s losses to the Sun Devils and the tough loss to Washington, Oregon State’s Jonathan Smith talked about how the team can build confidence going into the rest of the season while discussing his defenses strong performance.
“I think we’ll gain some confidence from it,” Smith said. “Win, lose, there are some things to look at to gain confidence from. But obviously, there’s a ton to clean up.”
Oregon State’s game against the Sun Devils will be held at Reser Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 16. The game will be the Beavers’ last at Reser for the season, as well as their last chance to earn a conference win at home.