Vilardo: Will Beavers End Their Bowl Drought?

Posted on November 10, 2021

  By Stephen Vilardo, SportsPac12

Colorado entered last weekend’s matchup with Oregon State scoring just 18.6 points per game in Pac-12 contests this season and proceeded to put up 37 on the Beavers in an overtime win.

It keeps the Buffs’ slim hopes of a Bowl alive, and was a major blow to the bowl hopes of Oregon State, which looked to be a foregone conclusion just a few weeks ago.

The Beavers are still in position to end their bowl-game drought (more on that in a moment), but the chances are escaping.

This week they have an up-and-down Stanford team coming to town—ironically, the only team to put a mark in the loss column of the Oregon Ducks.

If the Beavs cannot get eligible this week, the road does not get any easier. They will close with a home game against Arizona State, and then travel to Eugene for a date with the Ducks. 

Former OSU WR Brandin Cooks vs BSU in 2013 | Marco Garcia/USA TODAY Sports

The last time Oregon State played in a postseason game was at the end of the 2013 season, when the Beavers went to Honolulu and knocked off Boise State in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.

That drought for OSU stands tied for the third-longest active bowl drought in the nation. The victory over the Broncos capped off a 7-6 season, back-to-back bowl appearances, and a combined record of 16-10 since 2012.

In 2019, the Beavers had a great chance to pick up a sixth win and go bowling. The entered the final two weeks of the season with a 5-5 mark coming off a win over Arizona State and heading to Pullman with the trip to Eugene to follow.

The Beavs took a 53-42 lead with 4:17 to go in the game only to surrender 12 points in the game’s closing minutes and losing on a Max Borghi TD with two seconds remaining. 

In 2016, OSU finished the season strong with back-to-back wins over Arizona and Oregon for wins three and four. That year opened with a loss to a Big Ten, 20-23, at Minnesota (Has a bit a familiar ring to it five years later).

WSU overcomes a big halftime deficit to beat OSU in 2016. | Timothy J. Gonzalez/AP

OSU also took a 24-6 lead into halftime with Washington State and again had hopes dashed by the Cougars as WSU outscored them 29-7 over the final 30 minutes.

In 2014, it looked like Oregon State was on their way to a third-straight bowl game as they jumped out to a 4-1 start to the season with the only loss being at USC.

The Beavers promptly lost four in a row before a win over Arizona State left them looking for a win over either Washington or Oregon to end the season; neither one came through.

Included in that four-game losing stretch was an overtime loss at home to Utah in what would have pushed them out to a 5-1 start.

And then once again there was a fourth-quarter lead they held against Washington State, only to see the Cougs leave Reser with a win, what would be just three of them on that season for Washington State.

Adding to the list of “what ifs” in the minds of Beaver Believers. 

Other Teams Nationally with Long Bowl Droughts

• Kansas: The Jayhawks last went bowling in the 2008 insight bowl and will not return this year. In fact, with Arizona’s win last week, it leaves KU as one of just three Power 5 programs without a win over another Power 5 opponent this season. (The other two are Vanderbilt and Indiana-as a Hoosier aum that is difficult to write)

• Louisiana-Monroe: The Warhawks wen to the 2012 Independence Bowl, but ULM has at least been bowl eligible twice since them. Being denied a trip despite a 6-6 record in both 2013 and 2018. They sit 4-5 on the year with a trip to LSU still on the schedule. But also, a game with Arkansas State, owner of the nation’s longest losing streak thanks to wins by Arizona and UNLV last week. 

• UNLV: Last bowl game was 2013 Heart of Dallas Bowl-which snapped a 12-year drought the Rebels had prior to that one. The Rebels collected their first win in 14-games last week 

• UMass returned to FBS, and Texas State made the move to FBS in 2013. Neither have been to a bowl yet. Neither will breakthrough this season. 

If Oregon State is to get that elusive sixth win this season it will have to shore up the defense that allowed Colorado to double its season long scoring average in Boulder last week. The Beavers have made a change in that department with the dismissal of defensive coordinator Tim Tibesar whose unit had allowed 35.3 points per game in the last four games, they have played after allowing just 21.6 in their first five outings. 

And just in case you were wondering, this current four game stretch….it began with a trip to Pullman and a loss at the hands of Washington State, because of course it did! 

Some Pac-12 Performers in the National Rankings

• Devin Lloyd is second in the nation with 2.0 tackles for loss per game. 

pac-12 football oregon state

• Avery Roberts is fourth in the nation with 10.9 tackles per game

• Kyu Blu Kelly leads the Pac-12 and ranks 15th in the nation with 1.2 passes defended per game. 

• Tavion Thomas is tied for sixth in the nation with 14 rushing touchdowns this season. Rachaad White is 12th with 12. Travis Dye and BJ Baylor both have 11 for the 18th most in the country. 

• Curtis Hodges is 10th in the nation and second among TEs nationally with an average of 20.24 yards per reception.

McKinley III

• Verone McKinley is tied for third in the nation with four interceptions this season. 

• Washington leads the nation in pass defense at 141.4 allowed per game.

• Oregon State is converting a first down on 51.8% of third downs this season, the fourth best mark in the nation. Oregon has a conversion rate of 50.0, sixth in the country.

• Utah is committing just 4.22 penalties per game, the sixth fewest in America.

• California has a turnover margin of +1.0 per game, sixth in the nation.

Follow Stephen on Twitter @StephenVilardo and his organization @SERCenter.

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