Utah Utes (15) vs. Oregon State Beavers, 10/12/2019, 5:00pm
Utes 52 – Beavers 7, Attendance: 31,730
Weather: Cloudy, 59; Ticket: $40 Stub Hub, Face: $80? Parking: $15
Well, the scenery is spectacular. by Tree
Oregon State University play at Reser Stadium, named after alums Pat and Al Reser. They are the owners of a Pacific Northwest Food manufacturer magnet, known for their famous potato salad. I only bring it up because it is an interesting contrast to their rival down the road in Eugene, Oregon and their big donor, Nike co-founder, Phil Knight. Potato Salad versus Running Shoes, which is probably all you need to know about this rivalry.
That being said, there is an awful lot to like about going to game at Reser Stadium. I tailgated at one of the many lots on campus which are first come first served. With a 5pm kickoff, I had plenty of time and arrived there around noon. The Lot A campus parking lot was surrounded by lots of greenery and was discounted from $20 to $15. There were about five cars there when I arrived, most with decent tailgating setups – cornhole, tents, grills, etc. Since I traveled, I had a light tailgate set up, some beers, sub, chips, etc. I did have my flag and sign up and had a decent number of folks come by and talk to me. There were also plenty of offers of free food, drink and tickets. It would not be the first time I would be offered a free ticket at Oregon State. For a visiting fan, this set up is great. It wasn’t super intense but there were enough people to give it a good atmosphere (and take note UAB, the porta-potties were unlocked).
I was meeting a group at the stadium so I left my spot at about 3pm. It was an easy twenty minute walk through campus to Reser stadium where I met the crew that had come down via a school bus. They had a full tailgate right in front of the stadium. Just like the Ducks, there was a strong aroma of marijuana throughout the parking lot. I had a couple more beers and got the full lowdown on the Beaver experience from an alum. The guy certainly had a great deal of passion for Oregon State, and was quite disappointed with the current state of Beaver football. Of course, he was there in the Aughts when the stadium was full; there were SI covers and New Year’s Day bowl games. Alas, that is not what Oregon State looked like when I visited them.
However, it was not all bad. The stadium is medium sized and all the seats provide a good view. There is only one video scoreboard so sitting in the large end zone section can be a drag. I purposely upgraded my ticket to the fifteen yard line down low so I could see the scoreboard. My ticket was, all in, $40. I think the face value of the single day tickets was $50 or $60 and there were plenty of them available. And, of course, I was offered free tickets three times on my way to the game. Most of the stadium seating was bench style except for the home side which had seatbacks. Both middle sections had some roof top coverage as well. Honestly, the stadium is more than adequate and there’s a very good video ribbon with updated stats. I don’t recall anything noteworthy about the concessions. There was probably potato salad. They did sell beer and a fairly weak souvenir cup. The same thing goes for other traditions. They do a very similar chant to the Seminoles tomahawk chop and there is a Beaver mascot running around. To be fair, they were out of this game very early so there wasn’t much to cheer about.
Oregon State is located in Corvallis, about an hour and a half drive south from Portland. As noted in the Oregon review, the rainy season starts in November, prior to that, the weather and environment is spectacular. It was nothing but positives in this regard.
I am not sure I can even call this event a game. Utah ran over, through and around the Beavers all night. This is how the game started. Beavers got the ball and have runs of one yard, minus one yard, and then a four yard sack. They punt to Oregon who rips off plays of +9, +11, +16, +15, +5, and then +21 for a touchdown. The most positive play for the Beavers in that stretch was a targeting penalty on the Utes for -15. It would only get worse from there. The next series the Oregon State got only one first down but did manage to pin the Utes down at their own ten yard line. The next play was a run that was stuffed for a one yard loss. Things were looking up for the Beavers or at least they were until the Utes ripped off a 91 yard touchdown run to go up 14 – 0. Such big plays were common for Utah the rest of the game. They racked up 503 yards of total offense to Oregon States 217 yards. It was 35-0 at the half and it was 52-0 before the Beavers managed a touchdown with 56 seconds left in the game. The comeback was just a little bit late.
According to my memory, this was certainly one of the worst games I have seen. Only the total 51- 14 meltdown of #3 Clemson to #5 FSU in 2013 strikes me as a more awful game. Had I known the Kubb game in front of my tailgate was going to be the more exciting, I may have never ventured in Reser Stadium. I did have a good times tailgating at lots both on and off campus. The only drag was the very large Utah fan who managed to fart the entire time I talked to him. His flatulence was silent but deadly and I was grateful when he finally left us. With his beer drinking and pungent aroma, he was not what one thinks of as a Utah native. The male Utah cheerleader with receding hairline however was. It is a nice advantage for the Utah schools to pick up all the Mormon men returning from their missions having gone from teenagers to men. I will save that rant for another review.
In the end, visiting Reser Stadium to see the Beavers play is not a must see. However, it is a worthy addition to a fall weekend trip to the great Northwest. Everything about the visit is easy and who knows, maybe the Beavers will someday turn that program around.