It wasn’t the senior day sendoff the Oregon State football team was looking for on Saturday.
The game against Arizona State was the final appearance in Reser Stadium for 16 OSU seniors.
There was no celebration after the game. The Beavers were dominated early and a second-half charge fell short in a 40-24 Pac-12 loss.
“Two different halves,” interim coach Cory Hall said. “The second half, 10 defensive points. Shut down the run. Had some plays get away from us on third down but battle back nonetheless.
“First half, again, issues stopping the run. Adjustments need to be made on the fly and weren’t.”
Many of the fans who braved the cold, foggy weather had left before the second-half kickoff.
The Sun Devils struck quickly early in the game and then settled into a more methodical approach.
The Beavers did not show much improvement on defense, giving ground easily to the Sun Devils in the run game. ASU finished with 286 yards rushing and 453 total yards.
OSU started clicking on offense in the second half, but faced a 30-7 halftime deficit.
“We weren’t playing as a whole the entire first half,” running back Ryan Nall said. “Guys weren’t doing their jobs, weren’t executing the basics. It comes down to that on both sides of the ball. And when it gets like that, it’s tough to come back, but we rallied back and we were on a pretty good run, but when it comes down to execution, we didn’t execute.
“It’s tough and it’s been the story all year, but as soon as we can execute and get guys in the right spots we’ll be pretty tough to beat.”
The Beavers were able to do damage with the pass in the second half. Darell Garretson had 38 yards passing in the first half but finished with 269 yards, completing 26 of 32 attempts.
Timmy Hernandez had seven catches for 42 yards and tight end Noah Togiai had five for 88. Jordan Villamin also had five receptions for 60 yards.
“Obviously, they were stopping the run in the first half and we figured we’d try to throw the ball and the coverages that they were in allowed us to be open,” Togiai said. “They like to stack the box, which most teams against us stack the box. We saw that we could successfully throw the ball and hopefully we can continue that next game.”
A field goal by the Sun Devils made it 33-7, but the Beavers came up with a field goal of their own after a 66-yard drive sputtered to a stop deep in the red zone.
Togiai caught a 37-yard pass from Garretson to kick-start the drive.
A response came quickly from ASU. A 42-yard pass play helped the Sun Devils to another touchdown drive and a 40-10 lead.
The Beavers put together a nice drive to make it 40-17 with 8 minutes, 58 seconds to go in the fourth.
Trevorris Johnson rushed for 11 yards, Garretson hit Togiai for 18 and 17 yards and Johnson eventually punched it in from the 1.
The Beavers went with an onside kick and got the recovery.
A 36-yard pass to Villamin moved the ball to the ASU 25 and OSU eventually got into the end zone on a 4-yard run by Garretson.
Looking to cut the deficit to nine, the Beavers came up with a stop and then drove to the ASU 10 before losing a fumble.
For all practical purposes, the game was decided long before halftime.
“It’s tough when things aren’t going our way, guys on the sideline are going to be down, but that’s when we’ve got to be sure we’re staying up,” Nall said. “We’ve got to have the leaders of the team and position groups make sure guys are staying up and making sure they do things the right way, whether it’s standing up and cheering for somebody on third down, things like that. And if we do that, that’s where you see the change and that momentum flip.”
The Beavers did not seem to play with much energy or excitement, and nothing much went their way until the final moments of the second quarter.
That’s when they finally showed some spark on offense and drove 79 yards in eight plays to cut the ASU lead to 30-7 with 59 seconds left in the half.
Trevon Bradford weaved through ASU defenders for a 36-yard gain on a reverse to set up the Beavers at the ASU 7. Two carries by Nall got the Beavers in the end zone.
That was pretty much it for the OSU offense in the first half. The Beavers went into the locker room with 105 total yards.
Meanwhile, the Sun Devils had 318 total yards, 219 on the ground.
The Sun Devils carved through the Beavers on the first drive of the game, going 69 yards in four plays with Manny Wilkins hitting Kyle Williams for a 23-yard touchdown pass after getting plenty of time in the pocket.
The Beavers quickly went three-and-out and ASU made them pay with a 71-yard touchdown drive for a 14-0 lead.
OSU drove to the Sun Devils’ 33 but a false start on fourth-and-5 forced a punt. ASU also was hit with a false start on a fourth-down play and quick-kicked to the OSU 4. Two plays later the Beavers gave up a safety when Garretson was called for intentional grounding while throwing from the end zone.
The first quarter ended with OSU in a 16-0 hole. The second quarter was still very young when that hole grew to 23-0 on a 17-yard run by Demario Richard.
The Sun Devils went to the ground game and still marched through the Beavers. ASU took 11 plays, mostly runs, to roll in for a 30-0 lead.