Washington State came into their game with Oregon State trying to avoid momentum gained from beating Utah the previous week. The Cougars accomplished their goal by beating the Beavers 56-37 on Saturday night.
It wasn’t exactly pretty at times for Washington State. The Cougars had to fend off the upset minded Beavers for a good portion of the game.
With a barely any time gone in the first quarter, the Cougars found themselves up 14-0. It appeared that Washington State was going to run away and hide. For many Beaver fans it looked like the Cougars were going to try and put 70 points on the board.
Oregon State is going through a massive rebuild of their football program. First-year head coach Jonathan Smith decided to throw caution to the wind and take chances that many coaches wouldn’t.
The Beavers were 5-5 on fourth down conversions. Some of those fourth-down conversions were rather long fourth down attempts. Two of the fourth-down attempts were on the same drive.
Oregon State also put a double-reverse-toss back which almost cost the Beavers a
Oregon State also tried some trickery on their kickoff return by putting two players back in the end zone. One player was standing up and the other laying down on the other side of the end zone. Once the ball was kicked the standing up player takes it and then proceeds to throw across the field to the other player. That player takes the ball about 50 yards down the field to set up the Beavers on their drive.
Jonathan Smith was a river boat gambler and it was paying dividends for his young Beavers.
Oregon State took the lead twice in this game. The Beavers had the lead at 24-21 and 30-28.
“We gave it our all out there, but its just not enough. The fourth downs. We scored some points against a good defense. There’s some things we can build off. But the focus has to be on things we can clean up.” Jonathan Smith said.
However, the confidence the Beavers were gaining off their trickery on the field was dashed by the Cougars.
Washington State then put down the Beavers by scoring 28 straight points down the stretch.
Washington State quarterback, Gardner Minshew, threw for 430 yards and 5 touchdowns. He had all the time in the world to throw on Saturday night in Corvallis. The Beaver defensive line could not put any pressure on Minshew, so Minshew shredded the Beaver secondary all night.
The Beavers battled and tried to make the Cougars sweat it, but when Washington State needed to make a third down conversion they usually did. The Cougars converted 7 of 11 third down plays in the game.
Washington State is a Pac-12 North contender and did what it needed to do with a team like Oregon State.
Now comes the fun part for the Cougars. The Cougars have a bye this week and then the Cougars play Oregon, Stanford, California, Colorado, Arizona and Washington to end the year. Tough games remain for Washington State. No easy weekends remain and to stay in contention the Cougars have to play their best football.
The Cougars need to keep the Palouse buzzing with anticipation.