Oregon State coach Jonathan Smith issues an apology after making ‘milking’ gesture during game against Utah

Oregon State football coach Jonathan Smith has apologized after he drew attention for a gesture he made during last week’s win over Utah. 

The Utes lost 21-7 to Oregon State, and, late in the game, cameras caught Smith making a “milking” gesture. Smith appeared to be attempting to tell the team to “milk the clock” to secure the victory.

“Not just looking at just our players on tape, looking at myself on tape in regards to how we signal plays at the end,” Smith said Monday. 

“Communicate. Gotta do things better there. For those I offended with that, I apologize. I won’t be using that signal again.”

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Jonathan Smith looks on during a game

Oregon State Beavers head coach Jonathan Smith looks onto the field during the first half against the Utah Utes at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Ore., Sept. 29, 2023. (Soobum Im/USA Today Sports)

“I think he may have been saying, ‘OK milk the clock. You gotta milk it.’ Yeah, that’s what that is,” Fox Sports broadcaster Tim Brando said as Smith made the strange gesture.

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Oregon State jumped out to a 21-0 lead and maintained the shutout until the fourth quarter. Utah eventually scored on a 41-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to 14 points. 

Jonathan Smith on the field as his team warms up

Head coach Jonathan Smith of the Oregon State Beavers on the field as his team warms up before the SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl against the Florida Gators at Allegiant Stadium Dec. 17, 2022, in Las Vegas.  (David Becker/Getty Images)

Oregon State’s defense made a stop late in the game, giving the team’s offense the ball back with less than three minutes remaining. The Beavers then only needed a couple of handoffs to run the clock out and seal the win.

Smith’s name has been linked to the head coaching vacancy at Michigan State

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The win over Utah was Oregon State’s fourth of the season. The Beavers sit in fifth place in the Pac-12 Conference. Oregon State will next travel to Berkeley, California, for a matchup against the California Golden Bears.

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