Although first-year Oregon State coach Jonathan Smith knew the plays the Huskies were running after the ball snapped, the Beavers were no match for the No. 17 UW offense in Smith's return to Seattle.
It wasn’t the return to Husky Stadium that Oregon State coach Jonathan Smith was hoping for.
As has been the case for much of the season in Smith’s first year at Oregon State, the Beavers showed some offensive firepower, particularly in the first half, but not nearly enough to overcome a leaky defense in a 42-23 loss Saturday afternoon.
Smith’s Beavers fell to 2-9. Not that anyone expected it to be easy after he left Washington for his alma mater after serving four years as UW’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
“It was a similar theme,” Smith said. “I thought the effort continued throughout the game but our execution wasn’t good enough to play against a really good football team. … They were well prepared. I think they benefited from a week off. That’s a pretty good team, and they are giving it to a pretty good back (Myles Gaskin).”
It was also a homecoming for OSU senior quarterback Jake Luton from Marysville-Pilchuck High School. Playing for the first time at Husky Stadium, he completed 18 of 32 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown.
Oregon State linebacker Kee Whetzel said it was just a normal week of preparation for the Beavers despite the connections to Seattle.
“To be honest, (Smith) didn’t put a lot of pressure on us throughout the week just because he was from here,” Whetzel said.
Smith said the game didn’t have any added importance for him.
“Every game is important,” he said. “But being here, shaking some hands, seeing some kids face to face and the coaches, that was nice for me because I have some long relationships with those kids. Outside of that, it wasn’t much bigger for me.”
Smith talked with UW senior quarterback Jake Browning briefly before and after the game.
“He was sharp today,” Smith said of Browning. “I knew the plays they were running after they snapped the ball.”
For the first time in five years, Smith will not be preparing for the Apple Cup this week. His Beavers have played against both teams. The Cougars rallied from an early second-half deficit for a 56-37 win at Corvallis, gained 530 yards while allowing OSU 497.
UW outgained Oregon State 503-363.
“They are two good teams, and I’ve been a part of that game for a few years,” Smith said. “I do think that quarterback at Washington State (Gardner Minshew) is a very good player. Outside of that, I think it will be a really good game.”
Whetzel believes it will be a high-scoring Apple Cup.
“I think both offenses are really good,” Whetzel said. “Washington does a lot more shifts and motions to get your eyes in the wrong place. They were successful with that against us in the first quarter. They both throw the ball real well and they run the ball well too. I think it will be a good offensive battle when they play each other.”