No. 20 Stanford rebuffs Oregon State upset bid
CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Life without the nation’s leading rusher proved to be tougher than Stanford coach David Shaw expected.
It took until the Cardinal’s final possession for them to find the end zone and escape against what’s no longer anybody’s Pac-12 pushover.
Keller Chryst’s 3-yard scoring pass to JJ Arcega-Whiteside with 20 seconds remaining lifted No. 20 Stanford to a 15-14 victory over Oregon State at Reser Stadium on Thursday night.
”Most of the night things didn’t quite bounce our way until the end of the game, but when you’re on the road in a conference game in any conference late in the season, you’ve got to play well,“ Shaw said. ”And if you can’t play well, keep it close and have a chance to win, and that’s what we did.
”As up and down as our play was offensively over the course of the game, you can’t not give credit to Oregon State. Some of their guys physically beat our guys.
“I give a lot of credit to coach Hall and his staff for getting those guys ready to play.”
Playing without injured Heisman candidate Bryce Love, the Cardinal scored their only touchdown after defensive tackle Justin Phillips forced and recovered a fumble by Beavers running back Ryan Nall at the Oregon State 40-yard line with 2:30 left.
“There was a bunch of hands on the ball and I muscled it,” Phillips said. “When it was on the ground, there were four or five sets of hands in there, and I just yanked as hard as I could.”
Chryst then kept the drive alive with a 25-yard slant pass to Kaden Smith on fourth down to the Oregon State 15-yard line.
“To be blunt, it’s a look we had multiple times tonight,” Shaw said, “and we hit the right one.”
Chryst found Arcega-Whiteside with a fade pass in the right corner of the end zone for the winning play. A third try at two-point conversion pass failed after two interference penalties.
Chryst was 16-of-33 passing for 141 yards with an interception. He also was sacked in the fourth quarter for the first time in five games.
Stanford (6-2, 5-1) won its fifth straight game and took over first place in the Pac-12 North. The Beavers (1-7, 0-5) lost their sixth game in a row and are last in the South Division.
Oregon State took a 14-6 lead on its first possession of the third quarter on Thomas Tyner’s 18-yard touchdown run. The Beavers finished with 264 yards to Stanford’s 222.
”Not the outcome that none of us wanted,“ Oregon State interim coach Cory Hall said. ”The expectation has changed. Bryce Love wasn’t there, but one player doesn’t make a team.
“Beaver football is changing, and this is evidence of it. Disappointed, yes, but still encouraged and still encouraging our players.”
Without Love, the Cardinal rushed for only 81 yards on 27 carries, with Cameron Scarlett accounting for 72. Stanford came into the game averaging 258.7 rushing yards.
Nall was Oregon State’s leading rusher with 84 yards on 19 carries.
Stanford was hampered by eight penalties for 81 yards, including a targeting penalty and roughing call on a punt that helped to keep two Oregon State possessions alive.
A third personal foul came when a Cardinal player pulled a Beaver’s helmet off during a sideline scuffle.
“I thought twice we lost our composure, and we don’t play that way,” Shaw said. “We’re going to play our way, and when we step on the field, we’d better understand that. Far too many penalties.”
Quarterback Darell Garretson’s 3-yard run capped a 75-yard scoring drive that helped Oregon State take a 7-6 halftime lead.
The Cardinal squandered a scoring opportunity in each of the first two quarters.
First, a shanked punt gave Stanford the ball at the Oregon State 28-yard line. It resulted in a 34-yard field goal try that Jet Toner missed wide left.
Then late in the half, Stanford turned Garretson’s lost fumble at the Oregon State 18 into a 33-yard field goal by Toner, who earlier connected from 40 yards.
With Love a pregame scratch, Stanford’s ground game, averaging 7.7 yards per carry, was held to 39 yards in the first half. Scarlett had only 24 yards on eight carries.
Oregon State, meanwhile, had the Stanford defense on its heels during its 12-play drive with a variety of running plays, including two wildcat carries by Nall and a backward pass to right tackle Fred Lauina for an 8-yard run.
Garettson carried for Oregon State’s fifth first down of the drive before scoring on the next play for a 7-3 lead.
NOTES: Stanford came into the game as the only FBS team not to have allowed a sack in its last four games, spanning 100 passes. The Cardinal allowed two sacks Thursday. ... Oregon State QB Darell Garretson made his fourth start in place of injured starter Jake Luton, who has yet to practice since injuring his back against Washington State. Luton still leads the Beavers with 853 passing yards and four touchdowns in four games. ... It was the second game for Oregon State interim coach Cory Hall. He replaced Gary Andersen, who resigned midway through his third season after a 38-10 loss at USC.