Beavers defense comes up big to secure first win of the season

Chris Burkhardt
·3 min read

Beavers defense comes up big to secure first win of the season originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

What a wild game that was. Oregon State took the early lead, then Cal took it back. Then Cal did their best to give the game to Oregon State, then the Beavers tried their best to give it back. It was a crazy, mistake-riddled seesaw battle. 

Late in the game, Oregon State made the biggest mistake it could. Cal went for it on fourth down late in the game, failed to convert, but was bailed out by a defensive holding call.

It should have been OSU ball with just a few plays keeping them from victory. Instead, it was Cal ball and the Golden Bears looked to win the game late. 

 Download and subscribe to the Talkin' Beavers Podcast

But on the very next play, after making one of the worst plays of the game, Oregon State had its best. The defense deflected Chase Garbers' pass and as the ball bounced high up into the air they were able to come down with the interception. 

It happened a play later than it should have, but Cal turned the ball over and Oregon State sealed the game.

Those back-to-back plays were a microcosm of just how crazy this game was.

It wasn't without its bumps, but it was the first victory of the season for Oregon State. 

Here are a few key takeaways from the game.

Gebbia joins a rare group: 

Quarterback Tristan Gebbie didn't have a great game throwing ball. He ended the game with just 147 yards and a touchdown, as well as two picks. However, that one passing touchdown helped him join some rare company. 

Gebbie had that passing score but also found the endzone on the ground and hauled in a reception for a touchdown, too.

He became just the 11th Pac-12 player since 1996 to have a passing, rushing, and receiving touchdown in the same game. 

He may not have had a great game passing, but that doesn't mean he didn't have a great game.

Game bookended by Jermar Jefferson:

This game started with a big Jefferson run and it ended with a big Jefferson run. On the very first play from scrimmage, Jefferson busted up the gut and rumbled 75 yards for the score. 

Then, in the final minutes of the game, he rattled off another 65-yard run. The first run gave the Beavers the lead, the last one allowed them to head into the victory formation. 

Jefferson ended the night with 18 rush attempts for 196 yards on the ground, 140 coming from those two big runs. That is the good part.

The bad part is that between those two runs Jefferson rushed 16 times for just 56 yards. That is still a 3.5-yard average, but you would like to see the running game be a little more consistent moving forward.

Another game, another big blocked punt:

For the second week in a row, a blocked punt changed the game. 

Last week at Washington it was a botched snap and a blocked punt combo that allowed the Beavers to scoop up the loose ball and get the special teams touchdown against the Huskies.

This time around it was a perfectly timed block by Jesiah Irish that changed the game. With the Beavers down three, Irish blocked the Cal punt and the Beavers took over on the Golden Bears' 14-yard line. A few plays later the Beavers found the endzone for what would end up being the game-winning touchdown. 

The Beavers have a great returner in Champ Flemings and have shown they can get pressure on the opposing kickers. Oregon State may just have one of the best special teams units in the conference. On Saturday they proved their worth.