Motivated UO defense dominates
On Oregon State’s first offensive play of Saturday’s Civil War, running back Ryan Nall caught a screen pass and was dropped for a seven-yard loss by Oregon linebacker La’Mar Winston, his former teammate from Portland’s Central Catholic High.
The afternoon wouldn’t get much better for Nall, and it certainly didn’t improve for the Beavers, who were blown out 69-10 on a cold evening inside Autzen Stadium.
One year after Nall led Oregon State’s second-half Civil War comeback from 10 points down to win 34-24 in Corvallis, adding the final humiliating nail in a 4-8 season for Oregon, the favor was returned and then some.
The Ducks’ defense held the Beavers to 211 yards of offense, and recorded three turnovers — including an interception returned for a touchdown by linebacker Justin Hollins — in the most lopsided victory in Civil War history.
Nall, who rushed for 155 yards and four touchdowns in the Oregon State victory last season, and 177 yards and one touchdown as a freshman in Oregon’s 52-42 victory in 2015, was limited to 41 yards on 14 carries.
Overall, Oregon held seven Oregon State rushers to a total of 98 yards on 36 attempts.
“Hit him as hard as you can and hit him often,” said linebacker Troy Dye when asked the strategy for stopping Nall, a 6-foot-2, 237-pound junior. “He’s gonna break down, he’s gonna go down. You saw how much he came out of the game. They were rotating four or five backs. This is the first time all season we’ve seen backs not on the scouting report.”
One running back who needed no introduction was Thomas Tyner, the former Duck who retired two years ago because of injuries, then returned this fall to Oregon State.
In his first Civil War since joining the Beavers, the senior had 23 yards on eight carries.
“I’m happy for him and am glad he’s back out and playing and doing what he likes to do,” Oregon defensive lineman Henry Mondeaux said. “It was nice to see him out there.”
The only play of significance Oregon allowed in the first half was a 43-yard touchdown pass from Darell Garretson to Timmy Hernandez to make it 17-7 in the first quarter, though the Ducks followed with the final 35 points of the half to lead 52-7 at halftime.
“Guys were happy, excited,” Dye said. “You go in up 52-7, especially against your rival, no better feeling.”
The Beavers had 121 yards at halftime and were averaging 3.6 yards per play.
“All week we emphasized how tough they would try and play us,” Hollins said. “We came out and played how we were are capable of playing. We played hard, played fast and came out with a ‘W.’”
Hollins ran Oregon’s scoring streak to 45-0 when he picked off a deflected pass with his back to the end zone. He turned and scored untouched on the 11-yard return to put the Ducks up 62-7 at the 6:22 mark of the third quarter.
“That felt amazing right there,” Hollins said.
So was the overall performance, sparked in no small part by the memories of last season’s loss and the fact that Oregon State seemed to rub it in with some smack talk this week.
“We did what we expected to do, go out there and shut them down,” Dye said. “They were running their mouth all week. So, you talk about us and we’re going to come out and show you what we’re really about.”
Follow Chris Hansen on Twitter @chansen_RG . Email email@example.com .