FQ’s Team of the Week: Week 13, 2020 — Oregon State

by Mike Ferguson

Photo courtesy of Oregon State athletics

For the first time in a long time, bragging rights in the Beaver State belong to the university that has that nickname.

Oregon State claimed the victory over in-state rival Oregon on Friday night and in dramatic fashion. The Beavers overcame a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit in Corvallis to top the No. 15 Ducks, 41-38.

With the thrilling win, Oregon State becomes the first Pac-12 team to earn Fifth Quarter’s distinction of Team of the Week. The Beavers take the honor for Week 13.

The Unlikeliest of Heroes

It wasn’t util its final offensive snap of the night that Oregon State went ahead for good. The Beavers had just been stuffed on 3rd-and-goal from the Oregon 1-yard-line when quarterback Tristan Gebbia went down with an injury.

With the ball just inches from the goal line, Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith not only inserted Chance Nolan into the lineup, but he put the ball in his hands. A sophomore, Nolan had never attempted a pass or a rush in his career.

He ran the quarterback sneak to perfection.

Nolan was able to barrel his way into the end zone with 33 seconds left to give Oregon State the lead and eventual victory. It was the fourth rushing touchdown of the night for the Beavers. Jermar Jefferson led the way for Oregon State with 226 yards rushing and two scores on the ground.

The Comeback

Oregon State trailed by double digits on three separate occasions on Friday night. Down 31-19 after three quarters, Gebbia capped a 92-yard drive that took more than eight minutes off the clock with a short touchdown run.

After a Nahshon Wright intercepted Oregon quarterback Tyler Shough two plays later, it took the Beavers just a pair of plays to go ahead for the first time. Jefferson scored from two yards out. Gebbia converted the 2-point conversion to push the lead to 34-31.

Oregon would regain the lead on Cyrus Habibi-Likio’s touchdown run with 8:27 to play, but a late stop and favorable field position allowed Oregon State to drive 53 yards in 10 plays for the winning touchdown. Gebbia passed for 263 yards in the win while Kolby Taylor led all receivers with seven catches for 114 yards.

Oregon State finished with 532 yards of offense. For the Beavers’ defense, Jaydon Grant recorded an interception. Andrzej Hughes-Murray tallied a sack and 3.5 tackles for loss in the win.

A Long Time Coming

Entering Friday’s contest, Oregon State had lost three straight to the Ducks and 11 of 12. The 41 points for the Beavers was the most in a win over the Ducks since 2004.

The win was also Oregon State’s first over a ranked team since upsetting No. 7 Arizona State in 2014. Oregon State had lost 14 straight games to ranked opponents.

Up Next

With the win, Oregon State improved to 2-2 on the season. The upset victory leaves just three remaining undefeated teams in the Pac-12.

The Beavers will look for their best 5-game start since 2014 this coming Saturday as they travel to face Utah. Utah is 0-2 and just let a 17-point lead slip away in a loss to Washington.

The Utes beat Oregon State 52-7 last season in Corvallis and have won four straight in the series dating back to 2014. Saturday’s contest begins at 10:30 p.m. ET and airs on ESPN.

Mike Ferguson is the managing editor for Fifth Quarter. Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. Follow all of Mike’s work by liking his Facebook page.

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