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Oregon State knocks Oregon out of CFP race with win

Larry Brown Sports logo Larry Brown Sports 11/28/2020 Larry Brown Sports
a group of people in uniform: Jonathan Smith and his Oregon State Beavers celebrate their victory over Oregon Friday night. © Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports Jonathan Smith and his Oregon State Beavers celebrate their victory over Oregon Friday night.

Oregon State pulled off a big upset win on Friday night in its annual rivalry game against Oregon to spoil any hopes the Ducks had of reaching the College Football Playoff.

Oregon led 31-19 in the third quarter and seemed to be in control. But then the Beavers scored a touchdown and made it 31-26. An interception gave the ball back to Oregon State on a short field, and the Beavers scored again to take their first lead of the game. Oregon retook the lead at 38-34 in the fourth quarter, but the Beavers scored with 33 seconds left to win the game 41-38.

After dropping games against Washington State and Washington to begin their season, Oregon State has now won two in a row. Meanwhile, the Ducks were 3-0 and had the Pac-12’s best hopes of reaching the College Football Playoff, along with USC. But the loss -- coupled with USC having to cancel its game against Colorado -- likely takes the Pac-12 out of the running for the CFP.

Oregon faces Cal and Washington in its remaining two games. The Beavers visit Utah and Stanford to close out the six-game regular season.

The win is a credit to Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith. The Beavers barely belonged on the same field as Oregon when he took over from the depths Gary Andersen to which let the program slip. The Beavers went 5-7 last season, and Williams has them 2-2 and competitive in the Pac-12. That’s a huge turnaround.

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