Nov 11, 2023; Corvallis, Oregon, USA; Oregon State Beavers running back Damien Martinez (6) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first half against the Stanford Cardinal at Reser Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon State RB Damien Martinez arrested on suspicion of DUII

Oregon State running back Damien Martinez was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of driving under the influence of intoxicants, according to police in Corvallis, Ore.

The Corvallis police log notes a 19-year-old male, confirmed to be Martinez, is accused of DUII, reckless driving and reckless endangering after a traffic stop for running a red light.

Because Martinez is under 21, he was also cited for possession of marijuana as a minor.

Martinez addressed his situation in a post on social media Thursday.

“Made a mistake, I am fine, I WAS FINE, I’ll be fine…” Martinez wrote.

It was unknown what discipline Martinez would face as the No. 20 Beavers await a bowl game assignment.

The Beavers went 8-4 in the regular season, and Martinez led them in rushing, ranking second in the Pac-12 with 1,185 yards. He scored nine touchdowns.

Oregon State already was in a state of flux with coach Jonathan Smith leaving for the Michigan State job and quarterback DJ Uiagalelei reportedly preparing to enter the transfer portal.

–Field Level Media

Sep 9, 2023; Pullman, Washington, USA; Washington State Cougars quarterback Cameron Ward (1) is chased out of the pocket by Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Maema Njongmeta (55) in the first half at Gesa Field at Martin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Pac-2 party: No. 21 Washington St. hosts No. 14 Oregon St.

The championship of the Pac-2 will be on the line Saturday when No. 14 Oregon State plays No. 21 Washington State in Pullman, Wash.

Wait, what?

OK, it’s still the Pac-12 for now. And a mighty impressive one, with eight teams ranked in the top 12.

But a year from now, when Oregon, Southern California, UCLA and Washington bolt for the Big Ten; Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and Colorado join the Big 12; and Cal and Stanford set sail for the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Beavers and Cougars will be all that’s left of the so-called Conference of Champions.

“We belong in the Power 5,” Washington State coach Jake Dickert said on ESPN after his Cougars defeated then-ranked Wisconsin 31-22 on Sept. 9.

The Cougars (3-0), who have also won handily at Colorado State and against Northern Colorado, have adopted an “us-against-the-world” philosophy.

“Washington State’s gonna thrive … The Cougars are gonna make it,” Dickert said. “Cougs vs. everybody.”

WSU’s Cameron Ward has completed 77 of 107 passes (72.0 percent) while throwing for 990 yards, nine touchdowns and no interceptions as the Cougars have averaged 48.3 points per game.

Ward has found plenty of rest in the two blowouts, keeping him fresh for conference play.

“It’s helped me physically for sure, to start Pac play,” Ward said. “The past three games, they really don’t mean anything. Everything comes down to this Saturday.

“This is what we worked for this summer. It all comes down to Saturdays. We try to go 1-0. So it’s a mindset, but it for sure helps me physically.”

The Beavers (3-0) easily defeated San Jose State and UC Davis to open the season before a 26-9 victory against visiting San Diego State last weekend.

Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei, a transfer from Clemson, has completed 42 of 68 passes for 630 yards and six TDs with two interceptions. He has also rushed for four scores.

Oregon State running back Damien Martinez has 351 yards on 40 carries.

Oregon State coach Jonathan Smith has generally steered clear of discussion of the Beavers’ future past this season.

“We’re focused with the task at hand, what is right in front of us,” Smith said. “I totally agree with Coach Dickert in regard that Oregon State and Washington State belonging and competing at the highest level.

“There’s a proven product, not just in football but in all sports. Both … have had serious success and that should continue.”

Instead, Smith has kept focused on Saturday’s conference opener.

“The meaning is Game 1 of conference play, and you want to get off to a good start,” Smith said. “It’s going to be competitive over there and obviously, we’re trying to win the game. Those are the kinds of things I think about.”

Pullman has been a tough place for the Beavers to play in recent seasons.

In 2019, Max Borghi scored a touchdown with two seconds left to lift Washington State to a 54-53 victory. Two years ago, WSU prevailed 31-24 after the Beavers’ potential tying drive stalled inside the Cougars’ 10-yard line with 33 seconds left.

Smith said those losses should serve as motivation for the Beavers this week.

“I think it helps. They do carry it, and they recognize how tough it is to win up there,” Smith said.

–Field Level Media

Sep 9, 2023; Corvallis, Oregon, USA; Oregon State Beavers quarterback DJ Uiagalelei (5) looks to throw during the first half against the UC Davis Aggies at Reser Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

No. 16 Oregon St. hopes to stay turnover-free, faces San Diego St.

Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith looked for some wood to knock on when a reporter told him that his team had yet to commit a turnover this season.

Fortunately, a lectern was right in front of him.

“It’s a good thing, obviously, not turning the ball over, especially early in the season,” Smith said. “We don’t do a ton of live reps — ball carrying, tackling — in August, so the first couple games you’re still feeling that out. So far, so good.

“We’re not going into games where the ultimate goal is, ‘Don’t turn it over.’ We’ve got a mindset where we want to be aggressive. But after two, we’ll take it.”

No. 16 Oregon State (2-0) will try to maintain its early-season success when it hosts San Diego State (2-1) on Saturday afternoon in a nonconference matchup in Corvallis, Ore.

The Beavers are coming off back-to-back wins against San Jose State and UC Davis, and neither outcome was close. They rolled to a 42-17 win in their opener and followed that with a 55-7 result in their encore performance.

Now comes another test from the Aztecs, who won their first two games over Ohio and Idaho State before losing 35-10 against UCLA last week.

San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke said his team would take lessons from the loss to UCLA as it prepared for a second straight game against a Pac-12 opponent.

“We’ve got to learn from this one because next week is just as difficult,” Hoke said. “When I say that, I’m talking about (Oregon State) as a good team. They’re a (heck) of a football team. We’ve got to get better this week. We’ve got to make sure that we’re all on the same page.”

Oregon State is led by quarterback DJ Uiagalelei, a Clemson transfer who has completed 73.7 percent of his passes this season for 346 yards and five touchdowns. He also has scored three touchdowns on the ground.

Six Beavers players have caught a touchdown pass.

“You want to have some depth,” Smith said. “I think DJ as quarterback has some confidence in multiple guys out there, so that’s a good thing. Moving forward, as the season goes, you’re going to need more than one or two guys at a position.”

As Oregon State has piled up impressive statistics on offense, perhaps more impressive has been their defensive play thus far. The Beavers have allowed only 24 points, and defensive back Jaden Robinson has made life difficult for opposing quarterbacks by making seven tackles and breaking up three passes in two games.

San Diego State quarterback Jalen Mayden will try to be the first signal-caller this season to outwit the Beavers’ secondary. Mayden has completed 59.5 percent of his passes for 445 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions, and he has rushed for a team-high 184 yards with two touchdowns.

Wideout Mekhi Shaw leads Aztec receivers with 104 receiving yards to go along with a touchdown. Tight end Mark Redman has two touchdowns among his team-high 12 receptions for 102 yards.

This will be the programs’ first meeting since 2014, when Oregon State won 28-14 at home. The Beavers lead the all-time series 3-2.

–Field Level Media

Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith walks the field before the spring showcase at Reser Stadium, Saturday, April 22, 2023, in Corvallis, Ore.

Oregon State Spring Game597

DJ Uiagalelei has strong debut, No. 18 Oregon St. tops San Jose St.

DJ Uiagalelei completed 20 of 25 passes for 239 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for two more touchdowns, and No. 18 Oregon State cruised to a 42-17 win over San Jose State on Sunday afternoon in San Jose, Calif.

Deshaun Fenwick added a rushing touchdown for the Beavers (1-0), who picked up where they left off after winning seven of their last eight games to end the 2022 season. Jack Velling, Jeremiah Noga and Anthony Gould had one touchdown reception apiece.

Chevan Cordeiro completed 18 of 32 passes for 143 yards for San Jose State (0-2).

Oregon State opened the scoring with 5:51 to go in the first quarter. Uiagalelei, in his team debut after transferring from Clemson, kept the ball and scored on a 1-yard run to finish off an 11-play, 82-yard drive.

San Jose State pulled within 7-3 with 9:24 left in the second quarter when Kyler Halvorsen made a 41-yard field goal.

The Beavers responded with two touchdowns in the final five minutes of the first half to grab a 21-3 lead heading into the break.

First, Uiagalelei connected with Velling for a 14-yard touchdown with 4:21 to play. Uiagalelei added his second rushing touchdown with 14 seconds to go in the half.

Oregon State maintained its dominance in the third quarter, as Uiagalelei found Noga for a 31-yard touchdown with 6:02 left in the frame. That increased the Beavers’ lead to 28-3.

San Jose State notched its first touchdown of the game with 14:52 left in the fourth quarter. Cordeiro fumbled near the goal line, and tight end Sam Olson pounced on the ball in the end zone for a score.

The Beavers made it 35-10 on Uiagalelei’s 28-yard touchdown pass to Gould with 10:13 to go.

Fenwick added a 3-yard rushing touchdown for Oregon State with 3:13 remaining.

San Jose State capped the scoring on a 19-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Jay Butterfield to Branden Alvarez with four seconds left.

–Field Level Media

Oregon State quarterback DJ Uiagalelei (5) passes the ball during the spring showcase at Reser Stadium, Saturday, April 22, 2023, in Corvallis, Ore.

Oregon State Spring Game679

Reports: DJ Uiagalelei wins Oregon State’s starting QB job

DJ Uiagalelei will be Oregon State’s starting quarterback to open the 2023 season, the Oregonian, ESPN and The Athletic reported Tuesday.

He beat out returning redshirt sophomore Ben Gulbranson and true freshman Aidan Chiles for the role.

Uiagalelei, who succeeded Trevor Lawrence as Clemson’s starting quarterback, transferred to Oregon State after three seasons with the Tigers. The former five-star recruit threw for 2,521 yards, 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2022 and was benched in favor of true freshman Cade Klubnik in last year’s Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.

In 36 career games at Clemson, Uiagalelei completed 59.8 percent of his passes for 5,681 yards with 36 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.

The Beavers are ranked No. 18 in the Associated Press preseason Top 25 poll. They went 10-3 in 2022 — their first 10-win season since 2006. The season was capped by a 30-3 blowout of Florida in the Las Vegas Bowl.

–Field Level Media

Nov 19, 2022; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Oregon State Beavers linebacker Omar Speights (1) against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Oregon State All-Pac-12 LB Omar Speights to transfer

Oregon State linebacker Omar Speights entered the transfer portal on Thursday, multiple reports said.

Speights, a team captain, led the Beavers last season with 83 tackles, including eight tackles for loss. He earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors.

In four seasons at Oregon State, Speights played in 45 games and amassed 308 tackles (25 for loss), five sacks, three interceptions and three fumble recoveries.

The Beavers went 10-3 in 2022 and finished the season ranked No. 17 in the AP Top 25 poll.

–Field Level Media

Dec 3, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback DJ Uiagalelei (5)throws during the first quarter of the ACC Championship game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Clemson QB D.J. Uiagalelei transfers to Oregon State

D.J. Uiagalelei, a former five-star prospect once considered to be Trevor Lawrence’s heir apparent at Clemson, plans to transfer to Oregon State, ESPN reported Friday.

Uiagalelei threw for 2,521 yards, 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2022 but was benched on multiple occasions. He spent most of his final game with the program on the sideline as freshman Cade Klubnik guided Clemson to a win over North Carolina in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.

In 35 career games with the Tigers, Uiagalelei completed 59.8 percent of his passes for 5,681 yards with 36 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.

Coming out of St. John Bosco High School in California, Uiagalelei was a five-star prospect and ranked No. 2 among quarterbacks in the 247Sports composite.

Now he’ll join an ascending Oregon State program that finished the season ranked No. 14 with a 10-3 record after defeating Florida 30-3 in the Las Vegas Bowl.

As an added wrinkle, Uiagalelei will play a Pac-12 Conference game against his brother, Matayo Uiagalelei, a five-star edge rusher prospect who committed to Oregon this week.

–Field Level Media

Florida Gators quarterback Jack Miller III (10) hands off to Florida Gators running back Montrell Johnson (2) in the first quarter. The Florida Gators scrimmaged in the first quarter during the annual Orange and Blue spring game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL, Thursday afternoon, April 14, 2022. [Doug Engle/Ocala Star Banner]2022

Oca Orangeandbluegame

Behind first-time starter at QB, Florida tackles No. 14 Oregon State

Florida coach Billy Napier was playing quarterback roulette even before his team arrived in Nevada for the Las Vegas Bowl.

The Gators (6-6 overall) opted to give third-year sophomore Jack Miller III his first collegiate start when they face No. 14 Oregon State (9-3) on Saturday.

Miller will get the nod after starter Anthony Richardson, who threw for 2,549 yards and 17 touchdowns this season, left school last week to begin preparing for the NFL draft. Backup Jalen Kitna was kicked off the team in connection with his arrest on child pornography charges.

Miller, who transferred from Ohio State, played sparingly behind Heisman Trophy finalist C.J. Stroud for the Buckeyes, completing 7 of 14 passes for 101 yards.

He was going to be Richardson’s backup until suffering a right thumb injury in August that required surgery.

“He has been participating in practice for a number of weeks,” Napier said. “He’s perfectly healthy. … While he was rehabbing, we were very intentional about keeping those guys engaged. He’s traveled with us. He’s went through the process of prepping each week, watching the cut-ups, all those things at the end of the week from a test and tips standpoint.

“So he’s been through the prep for a game. Obviously, the volume of work will be a little bit different for him. That’ll be the biggest challenge.”

A strong performance in the Las Vegas Bowl could make Miller the favorite for the starting job next fall, though Napier said the Gators will keep an eye on the transfer portal.

“I think we all would agree that this game, the quarterback position’s effect on your team with not only the production part but the leadership part, it’s critical,” Napier said. “We’ll be working hard to address some of the issues at that position.”

In addition to Richardson, the Gators had three other players opt out of the bowl: All-Southeastern Conference guard O’Cyrus Torrence, linebacker Ventrell Miller and receiver Justin Shorter.

The Beavers, meanwhile, seek only their third 10-win season.

“Our players are excited about the opponent,” said Oregon State’s Jonathan Smith, the Pacific-12 Conference’s co-coach of the year. “Our players are excited to go to Las Vegas. A big-time stadium on the West Coast. I couldn’t be looking forward to it more.”

The Beavers also will start a backup quarterback, but for different reasons. Ben Gulbranson took over after Chance Nolan suffered a season-ending neck injury Oct. 1 against Utah and has won six of seven starts.

Oregon State is led by running back Damien Martinez, the Pac-12’s co-freshman of the year, who has six consecutive 100-yard rushing games, including 103 in a come-from-behind, 38-34 victory against rival Oregon on Nov. 26.

Smith, who quarterbacked the Beavers to their first 10-win season in 2001, was rewarded for the program’s first back-to-back winning seasons since 2012-13 with a six-year, $30.6 million contract extension.

“Coach Smith has taken the Oregon State football program to new heights, and we knew it was important to reward him and his staff to keep the momentum moving forward,” athletic director Scott Barnes said in a news release this week.

–Field Level Media

Oct 1, 2022; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Oregon State Beavers quarterback Chance Nolan (10) drops back to throw the ball in the first quarter against the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Oregon State QB Chance Nolan entering transfer portal

Oregon State quarterback Chance Nolan is entering the transfer portal, according to multiple reports on Thursday.

Nolan started 17 straight games for the Beavers until injuring his neck in a game against Utah on Oct. 1. He didn’t play again this season.

In Nolan’s absence, Ben Gulbranson guided Oregon State (9-3) to six victories in seven games as starter.

Nolan passed for 939 yards, seven touchdowns and eight interceptions this season.

Last season, Nolan passed for 2,677 yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while leading Oregon State to its first bowl appearance since 2013.

In three seasons with the Beavers, Nolan threw for 4,153 yards, 32 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in 22 games (20 starts).

–Field Level Media

Oct 22, 2022; Berkeley, California, USA; Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) stands on the field before the game against the California Golden Bears at FTX Field at California Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

No. 23 Oregon State still underdogs in Friday matchup with Washington

Oregon State was ranked in The Associated Press’ Top 25 this week for the first time since the end of the 2013 season.

In addition to their No. 24 spot in the AP poll, the Beavers landed No. 23 in the first College Football Playoff rankings of the season.

Still, when Oregon State next lines up to play – Friday night in Seattle – the Beavers (6-2, 3-2 Pac-12) will be underdogs to unranked Washington (6-2, 3-2) in a Pacific-12 Conference contest.

Beavers coach Jonathan Smith downplayed his team’s midseason move into the Top 25.

“It’s a little bit like preseason rankings — midseason rankings we’re not into and paying a bunch of attention to,” Smith said. “I will say, though, I think it’s a recognition of the work these guys put in and progress we’re making. But we’re definitely into postseason rankings.”

The Beavers had not been ranked in the regular season since 2012 when they finished 20th.

Oregon State has won three consecutive games behind backup quarterback Ben Gulbranson, who has replaced the injured Chance Nolan (concussion). Smith said Nolan took part in practices this week but is unlikely to be ready for Friday’s game.

“Still limited, didn’t do the whole thing, so we’ll see how he kind of responds and works through the week,” Smith said.

The Beavers will be without starting left guard Marco Brewer, who suffered a season-ending injury in their last game, a 42-9 victory against visiting Colorado on Oct. 22.

Gulbranson completed 14 of 22 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns in that game and freshman Damien Martinez carried 22 times for 178 yards and three TDs.

The Beavers spent part of their bye week preparing for Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who is completing 68% of his passes with 22 touchdowns and four interceptions. Penix leads the nation in passing yards per game with 366.8.

“This guy can change his arm angle, he’s just accurate. Tight windows. He likes to throw it and he wants to throw it first,” said Smith, who was the Huskies’ quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator in 2014-17 before returning to his alma mater. “Plenty of ability to extend (the play). A lot of quarterbacks have that, but this guy’s a great thrower of the football.”

The Huskies also had a bye last week after a 28-21 victory at California, their second in a row. Penix was 36-of-51 passing for 374 yards and two TDs in that game.

UW coach Kalen DeBoer, who was Penix’s offensive coordinator at Indiana before the two reunited this season when DeBoer was hired and Penis transferred in, said his quarterback’s importance goes beyond the statistics.

“We’re asking him to do a lot, and he’s lived up to that. He’s calm, cool and collected — I’ve said that all along. But he’s certainly leading the team in a big way, and not just the offense,” DeBoer said. “I think the whole offensive and defensive sides of the ball are certainly responding to him and what he brings.

“When he walks out of the tunnel each and every day onto the field, I think that there’s a lot of confidence in whatever he says. I think the whole team believes him.”

The Huskies have been hampered by injuries, especially in the secondary, but the bye week might have helped.

DeBoer said the projected starting cornerbacks and safeties coming into the season will all be healthy for the first time since the season opener.

“That gives you a lot of stability,” DeBoer said.

–Field Level Media