Oregon knew what was coming and couldn’t find any way to stop Oregon State’s running game.
The No. 21 Beavers ran for 268 yards and five touchdowns on 43 carries, the most allowed by the Ducks this season, with 149 rushing yards in the second half fueling a 38-34 OSU comeback over UO Saturday afternoon at Reser Stadium
“They were more physical than us up front,” Oregon coach Dan Lanning said. “They took advantage of that. Trying to get extra hats down there in the run, weren’t able to be successful there. … We had poor gap control at times. Tried movement, tried a couple of different things as far as getting hats in the box. I think if you go back and look at it you’re going to see a team that was more physical at the point of attack today than we were. They were getting movement up front. We weren’t owning our gap; they were. Did a good job and the runners did a good job of running forward, falling forward.”
OSU’s Damien Martinez had 15 carries for 103 yards. Jam griffin had 75 yards, Deshaun Fenwick contributed 53 yards with a touchdown and Isaiah Newell had two touchdown runs totaling 21 yards. Not to forget Oregon State quarterback Ben Gulbranson, who ran for two one-yard scores and only needed to attempt 13 passes for 60 yards with two interceptions. Gulbranson didn’t attempt a pass during the final 23:00 of the game as OSU ran on its final 16 plays before kneeling out the clock.
“We knew they weren’t passing the ball,” safety Bennett Williams said. “At some point they gave that up. We knew they were running the ball and we couldn’t stop it.”
Oregon State (9-3, 6-3 Pac-12) had a season-high 6.23 yards per carry to go with its most rushing touchdowns in Pac-12 play since 2019. It ran for 149 yards on 21 carries in the second half, 7.1 yards per carry.
It was the most rushing touchdowns allowed by Oregon since the Oct. 1, 2016 against Washington State.
“It really came down to physicality,” linebacker Jeff Bassa said, “and they out-physicaled us in the second half.”