No bones about it now: This is the worst Oregon State football team in 20 years, and coming off an almost-decent 5-7 season in 2014, this was not what the Beavers expected when the school hired Gary Andersen away from the University of Wisconsin. What the heck has happened in Corvallis this year?
The Beavers dropped their final home game of the 2015 season to the Washington Huskies by a score of 52-7 on Saturday. That is not a misprint. A four-win UW team came into to Reser Stadium and laid a beating on the two-win OSU squad, “ruining” the moment for the few seniors on the Beavers roster.
We knew this was a young team this year in Corvallis, but this has just been an ugly season. The Beavers are 0-8 now in Pac-12 play, losing by an average margin of 26 points per league contest. Five times in conference play, OSU hasn’t been able to score 14 points, and six times in the Pac-12 games the Beavers defense has given up more 41 points or more.
The team just stinks. Almost every game it seems, the Beavers come out flat and get buried by halftime. This time, it was 45-0 at the intermission, and it was 52-0 before Oregon State even scored. Quarterback Nick Mitchell—who insisted after a loss at Utah earlier this season that the Beavers were close to turning the corner—started the game 0-for-7 and was yanked.
Andersen didn’t have much to offer with his postgame comments, either.
“They were physical, their inside run game got to the edges, and they were able to throw the ball,” he said. “We were unable to stop them in any of those three phases.”
That’s putting it mildly. There is so much to critique with this Beavers team, and we have so little space here to do it. Suffice it say, the Oregon State offense committed the only two turnovers of the game, and Washington notched 31 first downs to the Beavers’ eight.
With the Civil War up next on Friday, this short week will be the last chance the team has to do anything positive in building toward 2016. For now, though, with the Oregon Ducks rolling again after back-to-back wins over Stanford and USC, it looks as though this was a lost season for Oregon State—and the team will have to start all over again next year.
It’s been a Golden Age for the Beavers football program since Mike Riley took over the team in 1997. After that, from 1999 to 2013, Oregon State played in 11 bowl games over a 15-year span after having played in just four bowl games over the previous 73 seasons.
Let’s hope a return to that level of play isn’t on the horizon for the Beavers again.