The atmosphere inside a reduced-capacity Reser Stadium last Saturday was electric when the Oregon Ducks came to town. Oregon State fans knew what was on the line. The Beavers knew they were playing for respect in a series that has felt very one-sided of late. The Beavers have made tremendous progress under Jonathan Smith, but Oregon is always a benchmark game.

And the Beavers passed that test this season, erasing a 21-point second-half deficit on their terms, running the ball and controlling the line of scrimmage. A 38-34 Oregon State win gave the program its first nine-win season since 2012 and just the third win over the Ducks since 2007.

A key figure in that win was defensive back Jaydon Grant, who finished with eight tackles and a tackle for loss.

Grant revealed to longtime Oregon columnist John Canzano this week that he had two procedures within weeks of the game after a kidney issue arose following the Beavers’ win over Cal on Nov. 12.

“I wasn’t going to miss that game if I was cleared and safe to play,” he told Canzano.

Grant saw just 36 snaps in the 38-10 win over Cal. The Beavers didn’t need him to go the full 60 minutes. He missed the next week against Arizona State, a 31-7 Beaver win.

He returned to the field against the Ducks and played 73 snaps. Oregon was held to just three points over the final 19 minutes of the game as the Beavers mounted their comeback.

Smith has built a program on toughness, and Grant certainly feels like a shining example of that. He’s in his seventh and final year with the program, leaving it all on the field.

Oregon State is awaiting its bowl fate, where it’ll seek a 10th win for just the third time in program history.