A Four-Touchdown Performance Results in Player of the Week Nod for Martinez
After falling 18 yards shy of the 1000-yard mark as a freshman, Oregon State running back Damien Martinez hit that mark thanks to a big game against Stanford with the Damien Martinez player stats putting him at 1024 yards in 10 games.
Led by Martinez, the Beavers are third in the Pac-12 with an average of 196.9 rushing yards per game.
Oregon State came into the season priced at +1000 of winning the Pac-12 title and is currently third behind Oregon and Washington at +1600 in the Pac-12 odds.
Oregon State moved up two spots to No. 10 in the latest Associated Press poll and went from 13th to 10th in the American Football Coaches Association poll. Oregon State went from 12th to 11th in the College Football Playoff rankings.
Hitting the Ground Running
Oregon State has finished in the top four in the Pac-12 in rushing yards in each of the last four seasons and is currently third behind only UCLA and Oregon.
A quick peek at the Damien Martinez player stats shows that Martinez is eight yards ahead of California’s Jayden Ott for the Pac-12 rushing lead after Martinez was fourth and Ott fifth in the conference in rushing yards as freshmen.
Martinez is also fifth on the Beavers with nine receptions after catching just four passes a season ago.
Oregon State’s B.J. Baylor led the conference with 1336 yards during the 2021 season. Before that, the last Oregon State player to lead the Pac-12 in rushing was Steven Jackson as he topped the conference with 1690 yards in 2002 and with 1545 in 2003.
A Nose For the End Zone
Martinez had gone three straight games without a rushing touchdown and hadn’t scored more than one touchdown since a 2022 matchup with Arizona State.
It didn’t take long for that to change as he had scoring runs of 7 and 59 yards in the first quarter and added two more touchdown runs in the second quarter as the Beavers led 34-10 at halftime.
When Oregon State scored on the opening possession of the third quarter to push the lead to 41-10, there was little need to keep Martinez in the game.
He figures to be a popular choice in the college football picks and parlays heading into this weekend’s games.
Martinez A Big-Play Threat
When looking at the Damien Martinez player stats, Martinez leads the Pac-12 with 34 running plays at 10 yards or more and that is five more than he had all of last season.
His 38 plays from scrimmage of at least 10 yards trail only Washington receiver Rome Odunze and Oregon receiver Troy Franklin among Pac-12 players.
There are 16 players at the Football Bowl Subdivision with at least 1000 yards so far this season and only Oklahoma State‘s Ollie Gordon averages more yards per carry than Martinez.
How He Got Here
Martinez was rated as the No. 35 running back in the country coming out of Lewisville (Texas) High School in the recruiting class of 2022 according to the 247sports.com database.
The Beavers offered him a scholarship on Mar. 17, 2021, and he committed to play at Oregon State less than a month later.
Martinez ran for 48 touchdowns in 20 games as a junior and senior at Lewisville and that included an 84-yard run as a junior.
When looking at the other college football players in his recruiting class, Penn State star Nicholas Singleton was the top-rated running back with Colorado’s two-way star Travis Hunter the No. 1 player in the class.
Plenty to Play For
Oregon State is tied with Arizona for third place in the Pac-12 standings with both teams a game in back of Oregon and two games behind undefeated Washington with only two games remaining in the regular season. The NCAA football scores and odds have host Oregon State as a 2.5-point favorite against Washington in Saturday’s game.
If Oregon State wins out, the Beavers will play in the Pac-12 championship game for the first time since Oregon State faces both Washington and Oregon to wrap up the regular season.
One thing that could work against the Beavers is a 27-24 loss to Arizona if they finish tied with the Wildcats.
Oregon State had 26 straight losing seasons in the Pac-8 or Pac-10 as it was called back then before going 4-4 in 1999 and then 7-1 in 2000. The Beavers are on the verge of posting a winning conference record in three seasons in a row for the first time since the 2007, 2008, and 2009 campaigns.