For those wondering if Oregon would respond after last weeks disappointing loss to Stanford, that question was answered Saturday in the 116th playing of the Civil War as the Ducks ( 11-1 / 8-1 ) dominated the No. 16Beavers ( 8-3 / 6-3 ) on the road at Reser Stadium by a score of 48-24.
From the very beginning, Oregon looked to re-establish their offensive swagger after a lackluster performance a week earlier to Stanford.
After Oregon State won the coin toss and deferred to the second half, Oregon took the opening kickoff and marched demonstrably down the field and scored on a 41 yard touchdown run by redshirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota to take an early 6-0 lead after the two-point conversion failed.
Oregon would go on to score two additional touchdowns – a De’Anthony Thomas 2 yard run and a Kenjon Barner 1 yard score.
The Beavers found the end zone one time in opening half – a 7 yard touchdown run by running back Storm Woods with 1:28 to play in the first quarter. OSU would also tack on a 36 yard field goal by Trevor Romaine.
In the opening half alone, the Ducks rushed for 250 yards and passed for 62 to take a 20-10 lead into the break.
In the second half, the Beavers offense seemed refocused and took the kickoff on a sustained 9 play – 77 yard drive that ended with a 2 yard touchdown run by OSU running back Storm Woods. It was Woods’ second score of the game and pulled Oregon State within 3 ( 20-17 ) of the Ducks.
Oregon would go on to score four additional times in the second half – two touchdown runs by De’Anthony Thomas ( 5 yards & 29 yards ) as well as a 2 yard run by Kenjon Barner and a 2 yard touchdown strike by Mariota to B.J. Kelly.
After a dismal rushing game against Stanford, Oregon came into Reser Stadium looking to dominate up front. Led by Kenjon Barner’s 198 yards, the Ducks outrushed the Beavers 430 to 82. While through the air, Oregon threw for 140 yards to OSU’s 311.
“The offensive line is the deepest it’s ever been since I’ve been here,” said Oregon senior guard Nick Cody. “ “It felt really good — 422 rushing yard or whatever, you always love that because it sets up everything in the offense. If they can’t stop the run, it sets up … everything for our offense.”
“That was a good defense we were able to run the football on,” said Oregon coach Chip Kelly after the game. “And we were able to keep Cooks and Wheaton at bay a little bit.”
It wasn’t just the Duck offense that came in re-focused, it was also Nick Aliotti’s defense. The Ducks forced OSU into six turnovers – four interceptions and 2 fumbles.
On the season, the Ducks now have 24 picks led by Kiko Alonso and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu with four each. Both Alonso and Ekpre-Olumu grabbed one each against OSU’s quarterback Sean Mannion who threw four on the day.
For defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti, the recipe for success on defense is simple. “turnovers, non-esplosion plays and stop the run” he said after the game. “We kept the run game down to a minimum. All in all it was pretty good.”
Oregon has now won 5 consecutive over the Beavers and 15 straight road games which is the longest streak in the country.
WHEN THE GAME CHANGED
After taking a slim 20-17 lead into the half, Oregon stole the momentum early in the 3rd quarter when the Ducks converted on a long 3rd and 19. Mariota found Josh Huff on a deep out for 28 yards to keep Oregon’s first possession of the second half alive.
Oregon would go on to score on the drive to push the score to 27-17.
On the ensuing kickoff, Oregon State’s Devon Kell fumbled on the OSU 34 yard line giving the ball right back to the Ducks. Kick team specialist Keanon Lowe recovered the botched return.
From there, the Ducks would take just 4 plays and 1:44 to find the end zone – a 29 yard touchdown run by De’Anthony Thomas to increase Oregon’s lead to 34-17.
Although Duck running back Kenjon Barner rushed for 198 yards and tied LaMichael James’ single season ( 2010 ) rushing touchdown total of 21, the star performance goes to the Oregon defense.
Oregon held the Beaver rushing attack to just 82 yards and forced six turnovers.
Up until 3:24 to go in the game, the Beavers were held to just 16 yards on the ground.
With their four interceptions against Mannion and the Beavers, the Ducks run their total picks to 24 which leads the country.
BY THE NUMBERS
Oregon Rushing - 430 yards / Oregon St. Rushing – 82 yards
Oregon Passing - 140 yards
Oregon St. Passing - 311 yards
Turnovers - Oregon ( 0 ) / Oregon St. ( 6 )
Marcus Mariota - 17 of 24 for 140 yards – 1 TD
Kenjon Barner - 28 carries for 198 yards – 2 TD’s
De’Anthony Thomas – 17 carries for 122 yards – 3 TD’s
Josh Huff – 5 receptions for 62 yards
Sean Mannion - 31 of 49 for 311 yards – 1 TD ( 4 Int’s )
Storm Woods - 16 carries for 70 yards – 2 TD’s