Stanford pounds Beavers, 48-17, on senior night

November 13, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
Nov. 13, 2018

Granted, Stanford’s opponent on Saturday night was just Oregon State. The Beavers have the worst conference record in the Pac-12 at 1-6, and are tied with UCLA for the worst overall record in the league at 2-8. (The Bruins are 2-5 in league.)

On the other hand, a win’s a win, especially in a Power Five conference. Stanford’s 48-17 victory over the orange and white did more than lift the Cardinal to 6-4 on the year (4-3 in league); it also broke a two-game losing streak, the sixth in Shaw’s eight seasons as head coach, and gave the senior class a win in their final game at Stanford Stadium.

The Cardinal scored on its opening drive for just the third time in 2018. Following a short Bryce Love run on the first play from scrimmage, junior quarterback K.J. Costello completed passes of 26 and 18 yards to sophomore tight end Colby Parkinson and senior wideout Trenton Irwin, respectively. Two snaps later, Love took the ball in from the 28-yard line with one of his best runs of the year; the touchdown was just his fifth of the year.

A 15-yard Jermar Jefferson run and a 13-yard Kolby Taylor reception helped the Beavers advance from their own 25 to the Cardinal 37-yard line. But senior quarterback Jake Luton then tossed a ball that redshirt senior inside linebacker Bobby Okereke initially appeared to intercept. The play was ruled an incompletion after video review, but on the next snap, Luton lofted a much worse pass that senior free safety Frank Buncom picked for his fifth career interception, and his first of the season.

Unfortunately, Stanford’s offense punted after three snaps. ‪OSU‬ then needed just one play to score. Junior wideout Trevon Bradford was able to take a Luton pass 63 yards thanks to badly blown coverage by the Cardinal secondary, tying the game at 7-7.

The hosts answered with an eight-play, 75-yard touchdown march that flowed almost entirely through Costello, who completed four of six passes for 64 yards on the drive. (Love had an 11-yard run and a seven-yard reception and was targeted on one of Costello’s incompletions.) The longest play of the series was the final one, on which the six-foot-seven Parkinson caught a throw over five-foot-nine senior cornerback Dwayne Williams around the 3-yard line and then bulled his way into the end zone for a 28-yard touchdown. The score stood at 13-7 after junior place-kicker Collin Riccitelli missed the point-after kick.

The Beavers were forced to return the ball when freshman defensive end Thomas Booker sacked Luton for a five-yard loss on third down. This time, the Cardinal embarked upon a nine-play, 65-yard scoring drive that saw freshman wideout Michael Wilson corral a pair of 13-yard receptions. Costello threw to Parkinson for a nine-yard touchdown to cap the series and put the Cardinal ahead, 20-7, early in the second quarter.

After ‪‪‪OSU‬‬‬’s offense turned in the second of a trio of consecutive three-and-outs, the Cardinal needed one play to score its fourth touchdown. This time Costello backed up from his 25 and threw to Parkinson on the left sideline. As the tight end reeled in the ball around the 45, his defender stumbled and fell, enabling Stanford’s No. 84 to score one of the easiest 75-yard touchdowns ever.

The Cardinal’s fifth possession began at their own 49 thanks to a 23-yard punt return by Irwin, who had extended his streak of games with at least one reception to 38 earlier in the contest. The first play saw Costello fake a handoff to Love convincingly enough to fool the camera operator as well as a number of white-shirted defenders; consequently, the junior signal-caller was free to scamper along the left sideline for 45 yards.

Costello was picked in the end zone, but the turnover was negated by a holding penalty on the Beavers. A few plays later, the Coto de Caza, Calif., native connected with Parkinson in the end zone. Their fourth touchdown of the night put the hosts ahead, 34-7, with nearly eight minutes remaining in the half.

Luton and friends mustered a 13-play, 75-yard drive that consumed more than five minutes. The series ended in a seven-yard touchdown reception by redshirt junior tight end Noah Togiai.

About two minutes later, junior linebacker Shemar Smith intercepted Costello at the ‪‪OSU‬ 35 and returned the ball 17 yards. Despite starting the possession with only 20 seconds left before halftime, Luton was able to complete a 27-yarder to Bradford, and junior place-kicker Jordan Choukair was able to hit a 40-yard field-goal try as time expired. That gave the visitors a tiny bit of momentum going into the locker rooms.

OSU received the ball to start the third quarter and quickly moved into Cardinal territory. But Luton throws fell incomplete on third and fourth downs from the Cardinal 28-yard line. The slinger was hurried by sophomore outside linebacker Gabe Reid on third and eight; his subsequent throw was ably defended by freshman cornerback Kendall Williamson.

The Cardinal’s next drive went entirely on the ground. After seven- and 16-yard rushes by Love, senior running back Cameron Scarlett got the call. Following an eight-yard run, Scarlett rushed for a 41-yard touchdown, his fifth of the year and the 14th in his career.

Shortly afterward, ‪OSU‬ junior running back Artavis Pierce rushed for 49 yards. Cardinal fans were able to relax, however, when Choukair sent the ball wide left on a 28-yard field-goal attempt.

The Cardinal offense, which regained possession shortly after the halfway mark of the third quarter, then did something that it hadn’t really done to that point in the season: Mounted a long, clock-eating scoring drive. After Costello threw to Irwin for 20 yards and Parkinson for 23, Shaw and offensive coordinator Tavita Pritchard started feeding running back Dorian Maddox.

The junior, who thus far in 2018 had carried nine times for 34 yards, caught a 12-yard pass and then recorded a 16-yard run. Maddox got the rock on five of the next seven snaps and capped the series with a one-yard run for his first collegiate touchdown. Stanford’s seventh touchdown, which gave the hosts a 48-17 lead, came on a 15-play, 80-yard possession that consumed eight minutes and 44 seconds.

Although that completed the game’s scoring, there were still nearly 14 minutes to play. Much of that time was given to backups. Freshman Justus Wood, whose only previous action had been a three-yard carry against Davis, ran three times for 12 yards. Junior quarterback Jack Richardson completed his first collegiate pass, which went for six yards; it was freshman wideout Simi Fehoko’s first collegiate reception.

After a pair of punts, Shaw and Pritchard sent in freshman quarterback Jack West, whose only previous throw also came against Davis. He threw a five-yard pass to seldom-used junior tight end Scooter Harrington and converted fourth and one at the Cardinal 44 on a keeper.

The Beavers got the ball one last time. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Conor Blount came in and moved his troops to the Cardinal 25, but ‪OSU‬ surrendered the pigskins on downs after a pair of incomplete passes. The Cardinal ran one more play from scrimmage, a 11-yard gain by freshman running back Cameron McFarlane in his first collegiate action, before time expired.

When the evening was done, Costello had his third straight 300-yard game, and his sixth of the year; his four touchdown throws equaled the number he had last year against Notre Dame and this year against San Diego State and Washington State. The recipient of all those scoring passes, Parkinson, tied a school record initially set by Ken Margerum in 1980 against Oregon State and equaled by Ty Montgomery in the 2013 Big Game. The sophomore’s 166 receiving yards on six catches was the second-most this season, trailing only J.J. Arcega-Whiteside’s 226 yards against the Aztecs.

Love’s 90 rushing yards marked his second-best game of the season, after his effort against USC. Stanford’s 244 rushing yards and 596 overall yards were their most since a 2017 clash with Oregon; their 48 points, the most since the 2017 season opener against Rice. It was a fitting sendoff for the Cardinal’s seniors, but it might feel a little hollow unless Stanford can secure wins in their final two regular-season games.


Helpful links

Oregon State-Stanford team statistics — ESPN
OSU-Stanford box score
OSU-Stanford play-by-play
OSU-Stanford interactive box score —
OSU-Stanford static box score —
Stanford 2018–19 football roster
Oregon State 2018–19 football roster
Game (and some other) tweets — @memomoment

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