Beavers To Give A Reser Stadium Encore In Home Opener vs UC Davis

By T.J. Mathewson

Contributor, 750 The Game

Saturday will be a day many in Beaver Nation have been looking forward to for a long time, some since the old side of Reser Stadium was imploded on Jan. 7, 2022, others a whole lot longer knowing the west side of Reser Stadium was in dire need of a facelift. Well, that day has finally arrived, as Oregon State will unveil its shiny new west side in full operation to the public for the first time. A brand new press box (my personal favorite, although a bit biased), Beaver Street, a new spacious upper deck with fantastic views westward, and the new-look Coastal, Cascade, And Founders Clubs are just a handful of things people are excited to see on Saturday.

Oh, and there’s a football game too.

Oregon State hosts the UC Davis Aggies for the first time since the Beavers beat them 20-0 back in 1930 and leads the all-time series 4-0. UCD is no slouch, coming in as the No. 14 team in the FCS coaches poll, and features the 2022 First-Team All-Big Sky QB Miles Hastings. That said, Oregon State should win, and win by a lot. The Beavers scored 68 on FCS No. 4 Montana State a year ago and should expect similar numbers here. There are a few things I’m looking for besides an Oregon State win:

1. How many quarterbacks play?

I would be a little surprised if we don’t see all three quarterbacks get some reps in this one, especially in the second half. Both Jonathan Smith and offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren said this week they have full confidence in redshirt sophomore Ben Gulbranson to run what they want on offense. Freshman Aidan Chiles was the first off the bench against SJSU on Sunday and subsequently led a touchdown drive. Doesn’t make much sense to leave in DJ Uiagalelei longer than necessary while having the option to give the other two quarterbacks some much-desired game reps. Bonus points if all three of them find the end zone.


 2. Dig into the bag of pass-rush tricks

We didn’t get to see too much of the Beavers’ pass-rush potential on Sunday with the evasive Chevan Cordeiro lined up on the other side, sans the three 4th quarter sacks when the game was out of hand. Jonathan Smith said Monday that the plan was to keep Cordeiro contained rather than all-out pressured, limiting what we could evaluate from a defensive line group that was the star of fall camp. Now that group will not only get to go up against a lower-division offensive line, but QB Miles Hastings isn’t exactly a runner (just 42 rushing attempts in three seasons). This won’t just be an opportunity for the starters up front, but also for youngsters like Takari Hickle (13 snaps on Sunday), Thomas Collins (five snaps), and Quincy Wright (five snaps). Perhaps they go even deeper into the depth chart than that, getting guys like redshirt freshman Mathias Malachi-Donaldson or Wyoming redshirt sophomore transfer Oluwaseyi Omotosho on the field for their first action of the season.

 3. A clean day of special teams

The only real blemish from Sunday came from a blocked punt at the end of the third quarter which allowed SJSU to score their first touchdown of the game. Jonathan Smith noted they have some things to clean up in their punt protections, but I don’t imagine the Beavers will have too many chances to work on that in-game on Sunday. I’ll be interested to see how Oregon State will balance personnel on kickoffs, seeing a variety of squib kicks as SJSU refused to kick it deep to Silas Bolden. Atticus Sappington was perfect on extra points (6/6), but we’ll probably have to wait another week to see him get a chance at some field goals. Senior kicker Everett Hayes remains behind the redshirt sophomore on the depth chart. Smith did not give an update on the three-year starter’s return to the lineup.


Oregon State will cruise to 2-0 behind the energy of a sold-out Reser Stadium, with one more week remaining before Pac-12 play starts.

Oregon State 48, UC Davis 10

T.J. Mathewson is an Oregon State Beavers football contributor for 750 The Game. He also covers the Beavers for KEJO 1240 in Corvallis and has work featured throughout the season here.