CORVALLIS, Ore. – After Oregon’s loss to Stanford last weekend, running back Kenjon Barner figured there were three ways for the Ducks to respond in the Civil War against Oregon State.
“You can let it define you, destroy you or strengthen you,” Barner said. “With this team, every loss we’ve taken in the past, it’s strengthened us, made us stronger. Looking back on Stanford, it was a loss. We knew what we had to do to get back on the winning track, and we did it.”
Barner ran for 198 yards and two touchdowns – despite leaving the game for a time with what he called a minor injury – and No. 5 Oregon defeated No. 16 Oregon State 48-24 in the Civil War.
The victory kept the Ducks (11-1, 8-1) alive for a spot in the Pac-12 title game until Stanford defeated UCLA.
It was Oregon’s fifth straight victory in the 116-game rivalry series with the Beavers.
While the Civil War is normally the season finale for both teams, Oregon State (8-3, 6-3) will host Nicholls State next Saturday in a matchup that was supposed to open the season but was put off when Hurricane Isaac bore down on the Colonels’ Thibodaux, La., campus.
The Beavers will have to wait to find out where they’re headed for a bowl game, but already their season can be counted a success after they went just 3-9 last year.
Barner appeared to hurt either his abdomen or ribs late in the first half and headed to the locker room. He returned after the break, but much of the work went to De’Anthony Thomas until he returned on a scoring drive that made it 41-17 early in the fourth quarter.
Barner would only describe the injury as minor.
Thomas finished with 122 yards rushing and three scores. Oregon redshirt freshman Marcus Mariota threw for 140 yards and a score, and also ran for 85 yards and a touchdown.
Sean Mannion threw for 311 yards and a late touchdown for the Beavers but was intercepted four times. Storm Woods rushed for 70 yards and two scores.
Attendance was 47,249 fans, a Reser Stadium record.
The Beavers took a 7-6 lead on Woods’ 7-yard touchdown run, but the Ducks answered on the next series with Thomas’ 2-yard TD dash. Barner added a 1-yard scoring run before he was hurt.
The Ducks hold a 60-46-10 advantage in the Civil War which began in 1894 and is the seventh-most contested rivalry in the nation.
It was the fourth time that both teams were ranked for the Civil War. The last was in 2009, when Oregon was No. 7 and Oregon State was No. 13. That game was dubbed the “War of the Roses” because the winner was guaranteed a Rose Bowl berth. Oregon won 37-33.