FCS teams, normally scheduled for their pastry-like tastiness, have pulled off a handful of upsets already this year. There’s none more stunning, however, than what Eastern Washington — they of the blood-red playing field — did to Oregon State Saturday evening.
Ranked 25th in the preseason Associated Press poll, OSU had high hopes for its best season in recent years under Mike Riley. Instead, the Beavers were stunned by the Eagles 49-46 in Corvallis in what’s one of the rarest of rarities.
After OSU had fallen behind by 12 points at the half, the Beavers came back twice to take three-point fourth-quarter leads. With a mere 18 ticks left on the clock, however, Vernon Wells scored on a two-yard touchdown run that gave Eastern Washington a 49-46 win.
As Bryan Fischer of the Pac-12 Network pointed out, it was EWU’s first-win ever over a Pac-12 school. As Fischer also deftly noted on Twitter, it was a “[c]rushing loss for OSU in the opener and a hit to the #pac12fb reputation.”
The EWU win was the first by an FCS team over a ranked FBS team since No. 13 Virginia Tech lost to James Madison in 2010. In fact, according to FootballGeography.com, OSU’s loss would be just the fourth time ever that a ranked FBSteam has lost to a squad the lower level, with No. 5 Michigan in 2007 (Appalachian State) and No. 20 Penn State Penn State (then-Div. 1-AA member Cincinnati) belonging to that ignominious club as well.