Beavers reclaim state of Oregon

After an eight-year civil war drought, the Oregon State Beavers (4-8, 3-6 Pac-12) turned the tide, beating the Oregon Ducks (4-8, 2-7 Pac-12), 34-24, in the 120th Civil War.

OSU was able to rush for 310 yards compared to UO’s 171. Ultimately, the Ducks were not able to contain the rushing attack from the Beavers.

Sophomore running back Ryan Nall led the way for the Beavers, carrying the ball a career-high 31 times for 155 yards and 4 TDs.

“I have been in Oregon my whole life and since I was 10 (years old) we had not gotten a win,” said Nall. “To be a part of our first win in a long time is such an amazing feeling, I can’t even describe it.”

Another area in which OSU was able to dominate UO was in the time of possession. The Beavers held the ball for 39:55 compared to the Ducks with 20:05.

With a total of 53 rushing attempts coming from five differing rushers, OSU was successful in time management, with the intention of keeping UO’s high-flying offense off the field.

“It was an absolute must for us and it was our game plan going in,” said head coach Gary Andersen. “It was a big, big stat for us and I feel these kids got to learn who they are, and how we need to play as a team in order to win.”

During the third quarter, rain began to fall for the first time in the game. The wind increased heavily, producing sideways rainfall which affected the way in which the Beavers carried out their offensive play calling.

At one point in the fourth quarter, the Beavers chose to run the ball for 11 consecutive plays, rotating rushes between Nall, freshman Artavis Pierce, and sophomore quarterback Marcus McMaryion. The 80-yard drive ended with a Nall touchdown, giving the Beavers a crucial 28-24 lead.

“We knew we had the wind to our advantage and I thought it would be difficult to throw the ball,” said Andersen. “We kept handing the ball off, wanting to be physical, and that is who we want to be as a program, tough-minded kids that find a way.”

In order to run the ball consistently time after time successfully, OSU’s offensive line needed to be physical and withstand the fatigue that begins to set in during the fourth quarter.

“(Nall) took charge of the run game, and the offensive line created holes for him,” said McMaryion. “It took a load off my shoulders with the rain coming down, knowing that I did not need to throw the ball, so give them the credit because they were amazing up front.”

The Beavers Civil War victory marks the first time since 2007 that they will finish with a better conference record than the Ducks.

OSU now holds the momentum heading into the offseason with a two-game winning streak and most importantly being able to reclaim the state of Oregon after eight losing years.

“It was a huge victory for the kids, the program, and awesome for Beaver nation,” said Andersen. “It was stressful to watch but a joy at the same time, and I am grateful to be around these kids and the opportunity to be the head coach of Oregon State University.”

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