CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — The hits in the wrong direction keep on coming for Oregon State, which dropped its eighth consecutive game in a 52-7 loss to Washington on Saturday afternoon.
Washington scored the game’s first 52 points as freshman quarterback Jake Browning threw four touchdown passes and the Huskies scored on their first six possessions.
With only a game left against rival Oregon remaining, Oregon State (2-9, 0-8 Pac-12) is looking at its worst season since the Beavers went 1-10 in 1995.
Saturday might have been the low point. Oregon State has had a few one-sided losses this season, but they took a while to develop. Against Washington, the Beavers were out of it almost from the outset.
“It’s difficult to be in those situations. I’ve been in this spot before. It wasn’t easy in the past when I was in this spot, and it’s not easy now. But we’ll battle ourselves right back and continue to work and get this program where it needs to be,” first-year OSU coach Gary Andersen said.
“These are difficult days right now. Difficult days for the kids, fans, all of us. It’s going to take all of us to flip it.”
Washington’s defense held Oregon State to 257 yards. Starting quarterback Nick Mitchell missed his first seven passes before he was replaced in the second quarter by Marcus McMaryion. He fared a little better, completing 8 of 16 passes for 109 yards and a touchdown.
Outside of a 74-yard run by Paul Lucas, Oregon State’s offense had little to show.
Andersen said he would evaluate the quarterback position this week before determining a starter against Oregon, adding it’s possible Mitchell and McMaryion may both play.
The Huskies (5-6, 3-5 Pac-12) kept their bowl hopes faintly alive. Washington can become bowl eligible with a win next Friday against Washington State. At 6-6, UW probably is searching for an at-large bowl berth, as the Pac-12 already has nine bowl-eligible teams with seven contracted bowl berths.
Washington coach Chris Petersen never doubted his team’s resolve after a week ago, when the Huskies blew a 17-point lead and lost to Arizona State 27-17.
“We’ve had some tough Sundays coming in some hard fought games. And they’ve never backed down and they’ve never flinched. They just keep working and getting better. I think we saw a little bit of that tonight,” Petersen said.
That may be understating it a little. Washington rolled to a 45-0 halftime lead, and threw only two passes in the second half — both early in the third quarter — to keep the score from getting completely out of hand.
Washington tied a school record with a 28-point first quarter. The Huskies outgained Oregon State 482-257 in yardage. Browning completed 18 of 20 passes for 211 yards. Brayden Lenius caught two touchdown passes, while running back Myles Gaskins had 23 carries for 127 yards. The Husky defense had two takeaways.
“They were physical, their inside run game got to the edges and they were able to throw the ball. We were unable to stop them in any of those three phases,” Andersen said.
The onslaught took little time to commence. Washington’s Chico McClatcher returned the opening kickoff 56 yards to the OSU 43. Three plays later, the Huskies were in the end zone, a 14-yard pass from Browning to Lenius.
Washington scored two touchdowns during a two-minute span midway through the first quarter. McClatcher ran 2 yards for a score to make it 14-0. Following a three-and-out by Oregon State, Dante Pettis returned a punt 89 yards for a touchdown, the fourth longest punt return in Husky history.
Browning finished the next two drives with touchdown passes, an 18-yarder to Joshua Perkins and a 19-yarder to Jaydon Mickens to make it 35-0 early in the second quarter.
It was 38-0 when Washington attempted its first punt, with 3:47 left in the second quarter. But the Huskies weren’t finished scoring in the first half. Browning increased the lead to 45-0 with eight seconds left before halftime on a 10-yard touchdown pass to Lenius.
In the first half, Washington outgained Oregon State 329-111, and had 18 first downs to the Beavers’ one, that coming on a 74-yard first-quarter run by Paul Lucas.
After halftime, all that was left to determine was whether Washington could top its performance of 2013 against the Beavers, when the Huskies scored 69 points, a school record by an OSU opponent. Most of the announced crowd of 34,390 left after halftime, as less than 5,000 spectators watched the second half.
Trailing 52-0, Oregon State finally got on the board late in the third quarter when McMaryion threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Bolden.
Oregon State finishes its 2015 season with the annual Civil War game Friday at Oregon.