Out of the Box: Oregon State overwhelms Arizona

Josh Worden, Senior Beat Reporter

The Oregon State football team (3-8, 2-6 Pac-12) claimed a 42-17 victory over Arizona on Saturday night in the 300th game in Reser Stadium. The Beavers face Oregon this Saturday in the Civil War, which OSU hasn’t won since 2007. With Oregon’s victory over No. 12 Utah on Saturday, the 2016 Civil War will be the first in seven years in which both OSU and Oregon enter with wins the previous game. The Beavers and Ducks, however, are a combined 4-12 in Pac-12 games this year.

Freshman cornerback Xavier Crawford’s third-quarter interception ended OSU’s streak of 25 straight Pac-12 games without a cornerback recording an interception.

The Beavers have six interceptions in their three wins this season and just one interception between their eight losses. 

Three different Beaver wide receivers recorded their first touchdown of the season on Saturday, OSU’s 11th game of the year: junior Jordan Villamin with a 53-yard score in the first quarter, sophomore Timmy Hernandez on a 27-yard catch in the second quarter and freshman Trevon Bradford with a 35-yard strike in the third period. Freshman running back Artavis Pierce had his first career receiving touchdown as well, a 10-yarder in the fourth quarter.

All five of OSU’s receiving touchdowns were made by different players.

Villamin posted season highs of six catches, 124 yards and his first touchdown of the season on Saturday. Coming into the game, Villamin had 125 yards and nearly doubled it versus the Wildcats. He had been targeted by OSU quarterbacks 32 times but caught just 14 of those passes; on Saturday he hauled in all six targets.

Coming into Saturday’s game, OSU had been outscored by double digits in six of its last 16 quarters. OSU returned the favor against Arizona, taking 14-0 advantages in the first and third quarters. Arizona won the second quarter, 10-7, and both teams had seven points in the fourth period.

Sophomore running back Ryan Nall’s 23 rushing attempts on Saturday was a career high. He totaled 124 yards on the ground with one score, adding a receiving touchdown as well. 

Of Ryan Nall’s last 67 rushing attempts, 13 have gone for double digits, five for more than 30 yards and two for 80 yards or more.

OSU is now 22-for-22 in stopping opponents on third down with more than 10 yards to go this season. Arizona failed on both of its opportunities on such plays against the Beavers.

OSU’s two Pac-12 wins were split by a five-game losing streak; in those five losses, OSU went 12-for-55 on third downs. In the two wins, OSU went 17-for-24.

OSU and Arizona entered Saturday’s game as the two worst teams in the Pac-12 in third down conversion rate (32.4 and 33.6 percent, respectively) but Arizona went 10-for-15 (66.7 percent) and OSU converted on 9-of-12 third downs (75.0 percent) on Saturday.

For the first time this season, OSU didn’t average poorer field position than its Pac-12 opponent. Both Arizona and OSU started drives on average at their own 28 yard line.

The Beavers won by 25 points on Saturday; they haven’t won a game by more than 30 points in the last 41 contests, dating back to a 49-17 win versus California in 2013.

The Beavers had just 49 penalty yards on Saturday, the first time in four games they haven’t been hit with more than 100 penalty yards.

Of OSU’s eight drives, seven went for at least 45 yards and five covered at least 63 yards. The Beavers also had four drives taking more than five minutes apiece, while Arizona never took more than4:25 on a drive. OSU had the ball for 35:36, Arizona for just 24:24.

OSU has allowed just five sacks in the last five games, one of them coming on Saturday.

OSU junior linebacker Manase Hungalu has 15 tackles in the last two games, 13 of them unassisted. 

Coming into Saturday’s game, OSU hadn’t earned more than two first downs on passing plays in any of the last three games. OSU had 11 passing first downs on Saturday.

OSU has gone seven games this season without a passing touchdown from its starting quarterback. Marcus McMaryion had five touchdowns on Saturday along with 265 yards and no interceptions. 

On first down plays, OSU out-gained Arizona 8.4 yards per play to 3.8.

Of its 28 first down plays, OSU ran the ball on 24 and passed on four. Still, the Beavers had more passing yards (125) than rushing yards (120) on first downs, helped by the 53-yard touchdown to Villamin on a first-and-25.

Senior wide receiver Victor Bolden did not have a catch on Saturday, ending his streak of 34 straight games with at least one reception. The Pac-12 leader is Arizona’s Nate Phillips, who extended his streak to 44 games on Saturday.

Of the 10 games that freshman running back Artavis Pierce has played in, he’s totaled 30 or more rushing yards in eight of them. He had 71 rushing yards against Arizona.

OSU has 18 passing plays of 15 or more yards in the last four games. The Beavers had none in the previous two contests.

OSU hasn’t allowed any opposing quarterback to record a completion percentage above 60 percent in the last six games, including Brandon Dawkins (58.8 percent) and Anu Solomon (54.5 percent)on Saturday.

OSU had four three-and-outs in each of the last three games but had just one on Saturday. 

OSU has attempted 40 field goals in Reser Stadium since 2014 and only 15 field goals away from Corvallis in that same span. OSU did not attempt a field goal on Saturday, however, which is the the first time in seven home games dating back to last year. 

Arizona senior running back Samajie Grant was averaging 5.9 yards per carry before Saturday’s game and had a carry of at least 45-yards in each of the last two contests. Against the Beavers he averaged 2.6 yards per attempt with a long of 16; without that 16-yard carry, he had just 11 attempts for 15 yards.