Moments after Saturday’s 49-21 blowout loss to Oregon in the Civil War, Oregon State football coach Mike Riley vowed change would happen to alter the current downward spiral of the program.
It was the Beavers’ fourth straight loss in the series and capped their second consecutive losing season.
After a solid defensive start, the game unraveled the way it did all season. And the offense was anemic again.
Riley plans to review the entire program and make the necessary changes. However, one change critics hope for won’t happen.
There will be no changes to his coaching staff.
“I’m not considering any,” Riley said Sunday night. “We have good coaches with a good solid background. They were consistent throughout the year with the adversity we faced. I have good people.”
Offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf and defensive coordinator Mark Banker were unsuccessful preparing their squads, and it showed against Oregon.
The 16 yards rushing Saturday reinforced the season’s poor rushing offense (86.9 ypg) that ranks last in the Pac-12 Conference and 118th of 120 teams in the country.
The 299 passing yards bumped up the season’s pass offense (286.6 ypg) to 19th in the nation and fifth in the Pac-12.
The turnover margin (minus-0.7) ended up the worst in the Pac-12 and 102nd in the country. The Beavers lost 12 fumbles and threw 19 interceptions while only recovering 12 fumbles and intercepting 11 passes.
“It feel horrible and it’s unacceptable,” Riley said. “I’m very disappointed in the year. I have to look at myself first. And we’ll go through a total evaluation to change this around. We are not in a good place today. We are going to work our tails off. We just can’t be back here.”
The defense started strong by stopping the Ducks on four fourth-downs in the first half, but couldn’t stop them afterward.
Oregon gained 365 rushing yards to drop OSU’s run defense (196.8 ypg) to last in the Pac-12 and 101st in the nation. The total defense (411.3 ypg) ended up 10th in the conference after allowing 670 yards.
“It’s a long game,” safety Lance Mitchell said. “We didn’t do enough as a defense. We have can’t give up that many points That’s unacceptable.”
Redshirt freshman quarterback Sean Mannion threw for 299 yards against Oregon to give him 11 consecutive games of 200 passing yards or more. That’s two games shy of the school record by Derek Anderson, who had 13 straight in 2003.
Mannion finished the season with 3,328 passing yards, the third-most in a single season for OSU behind Anderson in 2003 (4,058 yards) and 2004 (3,615). Mannion is also ninth in school history in career passing.
“He did a great job playing here,” senior tight end Joe Halahuni said after the game. “It’s a loud stadium and a great environment. It’s tough to play here, definitely. He’s going to be a great quarterback.”
Mannion ended up with a rating of 127.1, which ranks him 67th in the nation and 10th in the Pac-12. He did throw 18 interceptions, one less than East Carolina’s Dominique Davis, who leads the country.
Redshirt freshman defensive end Scott Crichton finished his first season with a big game. He had a career-high 12 tackles and extended his single-season school record of forced fumbles to six.
One player the Beavers will be without they hoped would be back is cornerback Brandon Hardin. He was denied a sixth year by the NCAA, OSU announced. Hardin missed his senior season due shoulder injury he suffered in training camp.
A sixth year is allowed if a player loses two full seasons to injury in the span of five years. He played three seasons after voluntarily redshirting his first.