Beavers squander 21-point first half lead, falls to Washington State 35-31

Cassidy Wood, Multimedia Contributor

Beaver fall in homecoming showdown 

The Oregon State football team  lost to Washington State Saturday evening 35-31 at Reser Stadium.  The Beavers started out strong, going into the half leading 24-6, but then fell fast – allowing a total of 29 points from the Cougar offense in the second half.

Sophomore running back, Ryan Nall, started for the first time since getting injured in the game against Utah.  Having Nall back proved to be a very positive thing for the Beavers (2-6, 1-4 Pac-12) as he had 202 out of the 498 total yards for the offense.

“I knew from the beginning of the week I was going to go,” said Nall.  “We took the precautionary steps necessary in order for me to come back 100%, and I feel good. I’m just ready to keep playing.”

Nall had a total of three touchdowns; two rushing and one receiving.  However, it wasn’t enough to match the Cougars (6-2, 5-0) strong attack in the second half. 

“The biggest thing that put us behind was our lack of execution,” said Nall.  “We didn’t execute on our part, and that cost us a lot. There’s nothing special that they did.  We knew they were going to try to stop the run, that they were going to stack the box. We knew that they were going to have a twist game, and we were ready for that, we just didn’t execute.”

In the second half, that’s when the Cougars made their move. The Beavers secondary struggled to slow down Luke Falk and the Cougar receivers, allowing for a total of 415 yards in the air—289 of which came in the second half.

Marks finished with eight catches, 110 yards and two touchdown catches. Including catching a Hail Mary in the third quarter. 

“They made plays,” said head coach Gary Andersen.  “Defensively, there was the big throw in the end zone for a touchdown. Then their guy went up and caught a ball that was a contested ball.  Those are two huge plays – that’s 14 points right there – that you can look at.”

The Beavers defense allowed 22 unanswered points in the third quarter.  Each team scored 7 in the fourth.

“From my perspective, we just didn’t execute,” said senior cornerback Treston Decoud.  “They made plays, and we didn’t.  Bottom line.”

Marcus McMaryion started at the quarterback position for the second time this season.  He threw for a total of 327 yards, and two touchdowns.

After gaining 394 yards in the first half, the Oregon State offense struggled to get in a groove the second half, only gaining 104 total yards in the second half. 

“I think we just weren’t executing like we were in the first half,” said the sophomore quarterback.  “They’re a great defense.  They made changes at halftime, and we should’ve adjusted to that.”

The Beavers struggled in the second half; and a lot of that had to do with penalties. OSU committed 13 penalties for 110 yards.

“There’s those situations where we were jumping off sides,” said Andersen.  “There were times where we needed to be clearer and more precise with what we were trying to get done within the structure of our offense and our defense.”

This is the fourth game that the Beavers have played in that has been decided by seven points or fewer. As OSU moves into the final four games of their schedule, there isn’t a worry in the head coaches mind that this team will give up.

“These kids will fight, and they will keep on battling until the last snap of the season–I promise you that,” Andersen said.  “There is no quit in them. These games can hurt, but they know they are getting better.  They’ll come back on Monday and learn from the tape and this one stings just like they all sting.  We’ll move on, we’ll never forget it though.”

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