The Oregon State Beavers defeated the Arizona Wildcats in Tucson, Ariz. on Saturday, Nov. 2 with a score of 56-38. The win continues a string of three consecutive PAC-12 road wins for the Beavers.
The Beavers offense continued their balanced attack this season in the first quarter with a touchdown pass from redshirt senior quarter Jake Luton to junior wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins for a quick 7-0 lead. The chemistry between the two continues to improve and helped them put up a season-high 56 points versus the Wildcats.
Luton threw for 328 yards and three touchdowns, which opened holes for the run game to perform an aspect of heavy lifting on the offense.
Senior running back Artavis Pierce and sophomore running back Jermar Jefferson both tallied over 100 yards on the ground a piece. Jefferson returned for the first time in several weeks due to a hamstring injury that left him with limited playing time, but started right where he left off last season by scoring 3 touchdowns.
The offensive line was critical in their dissection of the Arizona defense. Arizona fired their defensive coordinator on Oct. 27 following a total of 133 points put up against their defense in the span of three games. Senior offensive lineman Gus Lavaka and redshirt senior offensive lineman Blake Brandel who controlled the left side of the line for the Beavers, opening holes for the backfield and allowing for a total 244 rushing yards for Oregon State.
The Beaver offense put up 35 points in the first half compared to the Wildcats 19, allowing them to be at an advantage heading into the second half.
In the first half, the Beaver defense held the Wildcats at 20 points, an elusive offense that switched quarterbacks on several drives. Senior dual threat quarterback Khalil Tate split time under center with freshman quarterback Garret Gunnel who threw for 2 touchdowns for 269 yards.
The Arizona offense slowly crept back into the game in the third quarter, showing holes in the Beavers defense. The struggles provided the coaching staff opportunities to analyze weaknesses in the team, including a need to cut down on penalties as they committed 12 for 120 yards.
OSU redshirt junior outside linebacker Hamilcar Rashed Jr. continued to progress in his role as one of the best in the conference. Rashed Jr. finished the game 4 tackles and 3 sacks, as he leads the conference in both sacks and tackles for loss.
Improvements, including limiting points scored against them, will be critical for the Beavers in their short week of preparation for a Friday night home matchup against the 5-4 Washington Huskies.
The Oregon State offense has had success moving its balanced attack. However, their next matchup against the Huskies will be a test which they have not seen since their match against a strong defense in Utah where they fell 52-7 in their worst offensive performance of the year.
Oregon State will face Washington this upcoming Friday, Nov. 8 at 7:30. In Reser Stadium. Washington is coming off back-to-back close losses to Oregon and Utah who each lead the PAC-12 North and South divisions, respectively.
Reser Stadium is notorious for hosting surprising conclusions to games on Thursday and Friday fall evenings. The Beavers will need their best against this Huskies’ squad. With their 3-0 PAC-12 road warrior mentality, OSU”s face off against Washington is with a .500 and 4-4 record for the season, meaning bowl aspirations hang in the balance.
The game will be available on Fox Sports 1 and with live broadcasting on KBVR FM 88.7.