Beaver Football defeats Utah Utes, gets fifth win on the season

Oregon State able to bounce back after loss

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Jakob Jones, OMN Photographer

The Oregon State football team celebrating sophomore tight end Luke Musgrave blocking a punt returned for a touchdown against the University of Utah Utes on October 24 at Reser Stadium. The Beavers would go on to defeat the Utes by a score of 42-34, getting their fifth win of the season.

Georgina Paez , Sports Contributor

After coming off a bye week, 30,203 fans packed Reser Stadium as the Oregon State Beavers took on the University of Utah on Saturday night.

OSU entered the game with their offense ranked second in the Pac-12, averaging 44.17 yards per game. The Beavers’ scoring offense also leads the PAC-12 at 34 points per game.

Despite four quarters of big plays and chaos, the Beavers managed to defeat Utah with a score of 42-34, giving the Beavers a great welcome back after a week of rest.

The first quarter brought trouble for OSU right off the bat as Utah’s quarterback, Cameron Rising, delivered two touchdown passes: a fourteen yard pass to running back Micah Bernard and an eleven yard pass to tight end Brent Kuithe. Once the Beavers took the ball back, Oregon state redshirt-sophomore quarterback Chance Nolan made some key passes that allowed the Beavers to advance down the field.

Nolan was able to complete a 14 yard pass to redshirt-senior wide receiver Trevon Bradford, and while redshirt-sophomore running back Trey Lowe and redshirt-junior running back B.J. Baylor were able to get 2 first-downs each for the Beavers. Through these advances, it was set up for redshirt-freshman wide receiver Anthony Gould to rush for 14 yards in the endzone, marking the first touchdown for OSU and the end of the first quarter at 14-7.

In the beginning of the second quarter, The strong Utah offense managed to move the ball 57 yards, putting it in the perfect place for Utah’s kicker, Jordan Noyes, to complete a 29 yard field goal. In answer to this field goal, Baylor rushed up the middle for a 68 yard gain. Nolan then completed a 1 yard pass to redshirt-junior inside linebacker Jack Colletto for an Oregon State touchdown. And while Utah did turnover the ball on downs, the ball was quickly taken back as Nolan was sacked for a loss of six yards and the fumble was recovered by Utah. Utah officially closed the first half of the game with Rising throwing a 3 yard touchdown pass to running back Tavion Thomas.

Beginning the second half with a score of 24-14, it seemed the Beavers regrouped during halftime as they immediately advanced the ball down the field.

After an 11 yard pass from Nolan to Bradford, the Beavers found themselves in a close score. With Utah in possession and a punt in place by Cameron Peasley, sophomore tight end Luke Musgrave blocked the punt and recovered the ball and ran it twenty-seven yards into the endzone, giving the Beavers the lead for the first time in the entire game. Musgrave said that the blocked punt was practiced yet still felt surreal.

“We’ve been practicing that and we knew it had potential to work and it ended up working and we got a touchdown out of it, which was great,” said Musgrave. “I knew my hand touched the ball, but I didn’t know what order it happened, but either or, we ended up locking the score down.”

Immediately following, the Beavers suffered a loss of redshirt-junior defensive back Jaydon Grant who was ejected from the game due to a targeting penalty, resulting in the loss of not only the player, but fifteen yards. Rising then threw a 29 yard pass to wide receiver Jaylen Dixon, putting them in a great position to score with a rushing touchdown by Thomas.

The Beaver offense responds to this by rushing 38 yards, courtesy of Lowe. And after a 15 yard penalty by Utah, Baylor rushed up the middle for a six yard gain and Bradford finished off the drive with a rush of 10 yards for a touchdown, giving the Beavers a 35-31 lead.

In the fourth quarter, another punt by Peasley was blocked by OSU linebacker Omar Speights and was returned 48 yards. Unfortunately, the Beavers suffered another loss as a 5 yard penalty was called on OSU for illegal equipment, as there were two Oregon State football with the same number on the field at the same time, and a personal foul on Kitan Oladapo enforced a fifteen yard penalty.

The Utah offense then advanced the ball thirteen yards and attempted a field goal from fifty-two yards by Noyes, but the goal attempt was no good. The OSU offense took the opportunity to advance with key runs by Gould and Baylor, as well as a 8 yard reception by freshman wide receiver Zeriah Beason. Baylor ultimately rushed up the middle for a gain of eight yards for a touchdown, bringing the Beavers up 42-31.

The OSU defense tried to maintain this lead, with key break-ups by cornerbacks senior defensive back Elijah Jones and redshirt-freshman defensive back Alex Austin, stopping Utah a total of two times during the game on fourth and goal opportunities.

While it was acknowledged that OSU could have performed better, it was agreed that this win was nothing short of earned by both the players and coaches.

“The ability to win ugly games, where you didn’t play your best game but you find a way to come out on top, that’s big,” says Avery Roberts. “Especially against a really good team like Utah. It’s a really good game for us to have.”

“These guys will play for four quarters,” says Coach Smith on the determination of his players. “It’s not always easy, and it was not a game of perfect football out there, especially that first half. But we regrouped at halftime and got the crowd back into it which we always appreciate and there’s a bunch of guys contributing in a bunch of different ways.”

Next up, the Beavers take on the University of California Golden Bears on Saturday, October 30. If Oregon State does win this game, they will become bowl eligible for the first time since 2013.