By STEVEN VAUGHAN, 750 THE GAME
It was a call that made you scratch your head. A fake field goal to end the half that got stopped at the 5 yard line. Oregon State goes into halftime losing the momentum and eventually lose the game, by a field goal, to Arizona 27-24.
The decision was more head scratching because Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith has pushed all the right buttons with the Beavers in his tenure as OSU head coach. But this was his worst game as a head coach and it couldn’t have come at a worse time.
Smith joined the Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano and talked about the moment — he knew he had made the wrong call on Saturday.
“When the guy gets tackled at the 5 yard line, I knew at that moment,” Smith said of his decision. “There’s always a risk. There’s a good chance he’s not going to score and you’re going to have to deal with that.
“This is the truth, too. Pregame, you’re sitting there in the locker room waiting to take the field. I’m sitting there watching UCLA vs Colorado on my phone. UCLA ended the half and settles for a chip shot field goal at the end of the half that goes off the upright and they got nothing. So some of that was in my head. I was chomping at the bit to call that (fake field goal). You got to be able to pump the brakes when you’re asking the kicker to really run from the 20 yard line. Just a bad, bad call.”
It was nice to hear Smith own the mistake. But now they move on. The Beavers came in at No. 16 in the inaugural CFP rankings on Tuesday. That is the third highest ranked team with two losses in the nation, a very respectable spot for Oregon State. Jonathan Smith knows that even with the two conference losses the Beavers have a chance to play for the Pac-12 championship in Las Vegas.
“There’s still opportunity,” Smith said. “Obviously the setback last week hinders that but we want to set the stage and play bigger games we got to take care of business and do it on the road. Which both of our losses have been on the road. We got to find a way to do that. You never know how this league is going to turn out. These teams have this many amount of losses type thing. Week in and week out you never know and that’s why you got to play the game.”
Next up on the Beavers path is a game in Boulder against Colorado. Colorado was the talk of college football to start the season but has struggled lately. The Buffaloes have a 4-4 record and have a long road ahead to get to a bowl game. But Smith knows that this Colorado team is dangerous.
“They (Colorado) got some athleticism now. It starts with that quarterback. He’s good. Competitive. Accurate. He’s smart with the ball. Decision making. Can create, but he’s looking to throw it and they got some big time athletes he’s throwing it to. They put you out in space offensively. They go fast. So you got to be able to get a call and line up.”
Oregon State travels to Boulder to take on the Colorado Buffaloes. It will be a 7 p.m. kickoff on ESPN. According to Betonline.ag the Beavers are -13.5.
Listen to the full interview with Jonathan Smith by clicking the podcast below. Catch the Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano weekdays 3-6 p.m. in Portland exclusively on 750 The Game.