Season of The Giant Killers - Game 5
October 14, 1967
The fifth game of the 1967 Oregon State football season saw the Beavers hosting the Cougars of Brigham Young at
Parker Stadium in Corvallis. The mood on the team had sobered somewhat following the previous week's loss at Washington,
but the Beavers were still feeling relatively good about their chances for the remainder of the season. BYU appeared
to be the perfect salve to ease the pain from that loss, as well as a springboard to another long Beaver winning
The Beavers do not appear to enjoy their view from the sideline.
The game was also the Beavers' home opener, and it marked the debut of a newly remodeled Parker Stadium. The renovation
had cost $600,000, and it added 9,000 seats and a top of the line press box to the west grandstand. Even with
the increased seating capacity and a 3-1 record, a disappointing 22,232 fans turned out to cheer for their favorite
The Cougars, WAC runner-ups the previous season, were certainly no slouches. They were entering the game with a
2-1 record, and teams from the WAC had already knocked off Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Oregon on the year. BYU's
strength was their passing attack, and they used the unusual tactic of quarterback by committee - rotating in three
different players to run the offense. All of these passers had the luxury of throwing to one of the most dangerous
receiving tandems in the country - Phil Odle and
Casey Boyette. Odle, a former Marine, held numerous BYU records, including the single game mark of 14 passes for
242 yards. Also a threat was an underrated running attack. As with the quarterback position, the Cougars utilized
a small squadron of ball-carriers to keep opposing defenses on their toes.
Despite cooperative weather, the day began ominously for the Beavers. On only the second play, an off-target pass
from quarterback Steve Preece to wingback to Jerry Belcher was intercepted and returned to the Beaver 32-yard line.
Eight plays and only 3:27 into the game, the Cougars had a 7-0 lead.
After returning the kickoff to their own 38-yard line, the Beavers gave the Cougars a taste of their famous ground attack, featuring runs of 17 and 11 yards by Preece. Unfortunately, the drive faded on the Cougar eight-yard line, and on fourth
and one, kicker Mike Haggard came on for a 25-yard field goal attempt. The kick fell short, and with it, the Beavers'
hopes to get on the scoreboard.
Turnabout is fair play, and less than five minutes later, left corner Don Whitney intercepted a Cougar pass and
deftly returned it 17 yards to the BYU two-yard line. The Beavers wasted no time in taking advantage, immediately
handing off to fullback Bill Enyart who blasted through for the score. Mike Haggard's kick was good, and the Beavers
had tied the game 7-7.
The Beavers had several chances to break the tie in the second. Preece led the offense on a 63-yard drive to the
BYU 17-yard line, only to be pushed back to the 32 on a penalty. The Beavers were forced to settle for a 50-yard
field goal attempt by Haggard, but the kick came up short. Later, the Beavers were again deep in Cougar territory,
but another mistake, this time in the form of a fumble, ended any hopes for another score.
The Beaver defense remained strong for most of the half, but the Cougars managed to get on the board again with
a 40-yard field goal with less than three minutes until intermission. It looked as though the half would end with
the score 10-7, but BYU had other ideas.
The Cougars' passing game, which had been kept relatively quiet so far, awoke with avengeance. In only three plays,
the aerial attack managed to cover 89 yards for a touchdown score. The scoring strike was a mortar-shot to Boyette
that carried nearly 50 yards through the air, with the receiver tacking on an additional 18 yards after the catch.
The PAT was good, and the teams headed to the locker rooms with the Beavers down 17-7.
Both teams' defenses, refreshed following the halftime break, clamped down in the third quarter and didn't allow any scoring.
The Beavers only opportunity of the period came when a long and steady scoring drive delivered the ball to the
Cougar 33. Mistakes once again proved too costly, and Preece was slammed for six and 21-yard losses, taking the
offense out of field goal range.
BYU gave the Beavers a painful beating. More than just their bodies would require care and attention in order to recover - so would their psyches after the humiliating loss.
Early in the fourth, the BYU passing game again came alive and led to a seven play, 75-yard touchdown drive. Down
24-7 and with only 14 minutes left to play, the Beavers pulled out all the stops, virtually abandoning it's customary
ground attack for an aerial barrage that included 16 pass attempts. It was the first real test of Preece's arm,
but the one-time BYU recruiting target responded like a veteran. Preece was on fire, completing five
of six passes on the drive, the last being a 31-yard strike to halfback Bill Main. The Beavers went for two, but
the pass was knocked down.
With the score 24-13 and plenty of time left on the clock, it looked as though the Beavers still had a chance, but mistakes once again proved to be
their undoing. One drive to the Cougar 44 was halted on an interception. Despite the tough field position, the
Beaver defense held their ground and forced the Cougars to punt. With only three minutes left in the game, the
Beavers again looked to the passing game, but the Football Gods were not smiling on Parker Stadium that day. A
pass from Preece bounced off a Beaver receiver's helmet, only to be intercepted by a Cougar defender who promptly returned
it 27-yards for a game-ending touchdown.
Reminiscing with the coaches, 2002:
"They had a good passing team. I know that we didn't go in there not knowing what they did well."… "We were
pretty down after losing at Washington, but losing to BYU was even more of a disappointment. For one reason, they
weren't a PAC team."… "BYU had recruited Steve (Preece) tough. He wanted that game pretty bad."
- Coach Dee Andros
"It was an unbelievable loss. We went into that game fat, dumb, and happy."… "By the time we got
our feet on the ground, we'd got our brains kicked out. We got a thorough and absolute thumping, and deservedly
so. We played horribly." - Defensive Ends and Linebackers Coach Ed Knecht
Next up: Week 6 - The Purdue Boilermakers