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Fired by Nebraska, Mike Riley quickly returns to coaching… as assistant at Oregon State

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Not long after Mike Riley was fired as Nebraska’s head coach shortly after the end of the regular season, it was thought that, in some capacity, he could return from whence he came.  Today, that officially came to fruition.

In announcing members of his first coaching staff at Oregon State, Jonathan Smith revealed that Riley will join him as an assistant head coach with the Beavers.  Appropriately enough, Smith made the announcement via Twitter — with Riley’s reveal being the final slide in the presentation.

This will mark Riley’s third stint in Corvallis.  The first two, for a total of 14 seasons, were spent as OSU’s head coach, with Riley abruptly departing the Beavers and his 93-80 record to take over the Cornhuskers in December of 2014.  He was fired after going 19-19 in Lincoln.

The move is a brilliant masterstroke for Smith, who is embarking on his first head-coaching job at the FBS level — unless, of course, the Beavers struggle and the restless natives start calling for a third Riley run as OSU’s sideline boss.

Purdue adds Oregon State home-and-home, one-off with Air Force

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With their coaching situation settled, Purdue has gotten down to some scheduling business.

The football program announced Tuesday that it has reached an agreement on a future home-and-home series with Oregon State. The Beavers will visit West Lafayette in 2021, with the Boilermakers heading to Corvallis in 2024.

The only previous meeting between the two football programs came in 1967.

Additionally, Purdue confirmed a one-off game with Air Force in 2022. That game will be played at Ross-Ade Stadium.

This will also mark the first-ever meeting between the teams. Purdue has not played a service academy in football since 1944, and have only played two games against them ever. Both of those came against Navy, and both were losses.

Oregon State reportedly settles on Washington’s Jonathan Smith as head coach

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This is a bit of a twist.

Late last week, it was reported that Cal offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin was expected to be named as the permanent head football coach at Oregon State.  While it looks as if OSU will indeed hire a Pac-12 coordinator, it won’t be the one from Cal.

Jonathan Smith has spent the past four seasons on Chris Petersen’s Washington staff as co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.  This would be the 38-year-old’s first head-coaching job.

This will also serve as a homecoming as Smith played his college football for the Beavers.  Smith was a quarterback at OSU from 1998-2001.

There was speculation earlier in the week that 70-year-old Dennis Erickson, Smith’s college coach, would be brought in, with Smith coming along as a coach-in-waiting and coordinator.  Instead, Erickson’s former player will be flying solo.

Oregon hands Oregon State its worst Civil War beating ever

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In a lost season, it’s appropriate Oregon State’s year ends this way.

Oregon jumped out to a 52-7 halftime (!) lead and never looked back, cruising to a 69-10 win over OSU in Eugene in the 121st playing of the Civil War rivalry Saturday night.  And that 121st edition was historic, ignominious even for the Beavers.

The 59-point margin of victory is the largest for either team since the series was first played in 1894.  The previous high?  A pair of 44-0 Ducks wins, the first back in 1895, the second year of the rivalry, and the second coming in 1987.

The Ducks (7-5) more than doubled up the Beavers on offense, holding a 577-211 advantage in yards that are more reminiscent of a matchup with an FCS opponent.  UO ran for 311 yards as part of that, averaging 6.3 yards on its 49 carries.

Individually, UO running back Royce Freeman set the Pac-12 record for career rushing touchdowns (60) and, with 122 yards on the ground, moved into sixth place in NCAA history for 100-yard rushing games with 31.

Percentage-wise, OSU’s 1-11 record is the worst year in the football program’s history, trumping the 1-10 1975/1979/1981/1990/1992/1995 campaigns.

Oregon State reportedly finds new head coach in Beau Baldwin

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As coaching vacancies are opening up, one report Friday night says Oregon State has filled their vacancy in the football program. Cal offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin is reported to be slated as the next head coach of the Beavers, according to Football Scoop.

The hire is expected to happen quickly at the conclusion of this weekend’s Pac-12 action. Cal is playing UCLA Friday night in the season finale for the Bears, and Oregon State plays Oregon on Saturday.

Baldwin joined the Cal staff under new head coach Justin Wilcox after eight seasons as the head coach at Eastern Washington, one of the top FCS programs over that span. Baldwin will be no stranger to the Pac-12 North, having competed against a handful of Pac-12 opponents over the years and even winning. As a head coach at Eastern Washington, and before that at Division 2 Central Washington, Baldwin has a record of 95-35 with a national championship at Eastern Washington in 2010.

Oregon State’s head coaching position opened up on October 9 when Gary Andersen mutually agreed with the university to part ways, leaving behind a buyout as part of the agreement.