Oregon State’s defense had been holding Washington’s offense in check for nearly the entire game.
That is until Ahmed Salvon broke free late in the third quarter and went 60 yards for a touchdown.
The run gave the Huskies a 19-7 lead and all but sealed the Beavers’ doom as the offense had shown no signs of life to that point.
Washington’s defense continued to stifle the Beavers and went on to the 19-7 Pac-12 victory before a Reser Stadium crowd of 34,244.
The loss means the Beavers (4-5, 3-3) must win two of their final three games to become bowl eligible for the first time since the 2013 season. Oregon State faces Arizona State next Saturday at home.
Washington (6-4, 3-4) ended a two-game losing streak and became bowl eligible.
The Beavers finished with just 119 yards of total offense and did not pick up a first down in the second half.
“Offensively just dominated,” Smith said. “Nothing going there. The physicality at the line of scrimmage. We just got nothing going which was difficult swallow because I know that group had been working and playing at a high level and ran into a defense that really shut us down. Give credit to UW.”
Jake Luton was just 19-for-28 passing for 88 yards and one interception. Jermar Jefferson had 29 yards on nine carries and Artavis Pierce 31 on eight rushes. Pierce also had five receptions for eight yards while Isaiah Hodgins was held to four catches for 33 yards.
Two series before the Salvon run, Jaydon Grant gave the Beavers a spark they desperately needed.
Oregon State’s redshirt sophomore defensive back picked off Washington quarterback Jacob Eason and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown that gave the Beavers some life.
The touchdown cut the Huskies' lead to 13-7 with 7:01 left in the third.
“We ran that same play in practice a few times this week, it was the same defensive call,” Grant said. “When they lined up in that formation and motioned I just made a check we were coached to do. As soon as the ball was snapped I just sprinted out to the flat and he happened to throw it to me.”
Washington allowed the Beavers to stay in the game with another missed field goal with 7:38 to play.
But Oregon State could never take advantage.
The Huskies finished with 420 yards but were just 5 for 17 on third down. Still, Grant said there is plenty of work to be done by the defense.
“I feel like we left some plays out there and allowed them to have some big gains and kind of gave them some stuff,” he said. “We will go back and watch the film critique ourselves and try to play better next game.”
Luton praised the defense.
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“They had a phenomenal performance,” he said. “I think they played outstanding. They gave us every opportunity to win the game and we didn’t do it. They did a great job and we didn’t hold up our end.”
Down 10-0 at the half, the Beavers attempted a short kickoff that went 20 yards and was fair caught by the Huskies at their 45 to open the third quarter. After Washington moved the ball to the 21, the Beavers defense stiffened, thanks to a couple penalties, and forced a fourth down.
Peyton Henry missed a 43-yard field goal attempt but the Beavers were called for holding. His second attempt, this time from 33 yards, was good for a 13-0 lead with 9:18 left in the third.
Both teams picked up a first down but had to punt on their opening drives of the game.
A holding penalty helped to derail the Huskies' second drive but they did manage a 47-yard field goal by Henry to cap a 13-play, 34-yard drive that put UW up 3-0 with 1:54 to play in the opening quarter.
The Beavers’ defense held Washington, which had scored 104 first-quarter points, to just the field goal and limited the offense to 64 total yards. Offensively, the Beavers managed just 39 total yards with 21 coming on a pass to Hodgins.
The Beavers had a promising drive in second but a chop block and late hit forced a punt on fourth-and-36.
Nahshon Wright came up with an interception on the first play of the next drive to give the Beavers the ball back.
The teams continued to trade punts until the Huskies opted to go on fourth-and-1 from their own 39. Jacob Eason converted on the QB sneak, then hit Hunter Bryant for a touchdown that was called back to the 20 on a holding call at the 10.
Ahmed went six yards for the first touchdown of the game as the Huskies took a 10-0 lead with 1:48 left in the half. Washington went 70 yards in nine plays and used 3:48 off the clock.
The Beavers looked to answer but Luton’s fourth-down pass was intercepted by Elijah Molden and UW took over at the OSU 41 with 41 seconds left.
But the Huskies couldn’t take advantage as Henry missed his first field goal of the season — he had been 16 for 16 — a 28-yarder as the half expired to keep it a 10-0 UW lead.
The Beavers managed just 111 total yards of offense in the first half while Washington had 188.
Oregon State had five punts, turned the ball over on downs and had an interception on its seven first-half drives. It had just six first downs.
Luton was 12 for 20 for just 70 yards in the first half and was sacked three times for a loss of 26 yards.
Eason wasn’t much better as he was 11 for 21 for 125 yards and one interception.
“We will watch the tape and take a deep dive and (see) where we got exposed in different areas,” Smith said. “I think it’s our same process weekly, we go back and watch the tape and try to learn from it and move forward. We have three great opportunities headed for us and we’ve got to keep moving forward.”