End of an era: 127th Rivalry Game transcends mere Beaver defeat

Jermod McCoy (#23) wraps up University of Oregon tight end Terrance Ferguson (#3) in the 127th Rivalry Game. The game concluded with a Beaver defeat, 7-31.
Jermod McCoy (#23) wraps up University of Oregon tight end Terrance Ferguson (#3) in the 127th Rivalry Game. The game concluded with a Beaver defeat, 7-31.
Jason May

In a season full of suspenseful storylines with uncertainty creeping closer every minute, the Oregon State Beavers were unable to find a footing in the final Rivalry Game against the University of Oregon Ducks, losing 7-31.

Anticipation for “Orange Day in Eugene,” as a Beaver fan outside of Autzen Stadium Friday called the 127th rivalry game, was building all season long.

When fans were asked about the significance of this game, there was a resounding answer.


At the beginning of the game, the Beavers had everything.

A conference in which to play, a time-honored rivalry, and a head coach to lead the team into battle.

“We’ve been through a lot this year, our future was never for certain and that is something we battled through these past couple of months,” said Beaver wide receiver Anthony Gould.

Gould’s 85 yards receiving led the team, as OSU quarterback DJ Uiagalelei connected on 19 passes on 35 total attempts. 

The Beavers found their lone touchdown on the day when Uiagalelei threw a short pass to wide receiver Silas Bolden out of a play-action fake. Bolden was free in the flat 9-yards out from the endzone as he caught the ball and dove over the left goal line pylon,  putting the Beavers on the board. 

Bolden’s score halved the duck lead 14-7, with a little less than one minute left in the second quarter.

The Beavers, who were set to receive the kickoff after halftime sat in in prime position to bring the game even closer.

First, the Beavers needed to prevent Duck quarterback and Heisman hopeful Bo Nix from leading his team down the field.

With 20 seconds on the clock, Nix escaped from Beaver edge pressure moving Nix out of the pocket to the right. Throwing a long pass across his body and half the field, Nix found wide receiver Troy Franklin open one-on-one and walked into the endzone for 6 points. 

Going into the half the Beavers were down 21-7 

The second half was more of the same, as a stagnant offense defined the Beaver’s struggles.

“You play (Oregon State University), you are going to try to stop the run…We could not (get the running game) going, got one-dimensional, and couldn’t score enough,” said head coach Jonathan Smith.

Running back Damien Martinez was held to 38 yards on 13 carries on the night.

The Ducks added 10 more points throughout the second half, as the Beaver defense tried to keep the game competitive.

“Later in the game, as the game went on, the (offensive line) protection did not hold up,” said Smith.

With the final whistle, the 127th rivalry game ended 31-7 in favor of the University of Oregon.

 The Beaver’s 2023 PAC-12 season comes to a close, the PAC-12 is dissolved and the rivalry game severed by conference realignment.

The Beavers, now without a head coach, look forward to bowl selection season.

The College Football Playoff selection committee rankings of the 2023 season will be released on selection day, Dec. 3. 

As a Beaver fan outside Autzen Stadium Friday said, “Ultimately we are here with friends, and there is a lot of family tradition.”

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