No. 5 Oregon rolls over No. 16 Oregon State 48-24 in Civil War

By Matt Walks

No. 5 Oregon rolls over No. 16 Oregon State 48-24 in Civil War

What a difference a week makes.

Seven days after a season-deflating home loss to Stanford, No. 6 Oregon ran by No. 16 Oregon State 48-24 Saturday afternoon in Corvallis, showcasing a powerful running attack and converting sloppy turnovers by the Beavers in the 116th Civil War. Oregon senior running back Kenjon Barner churned out 198 yards, most of them in the first half, and sophomore De’Anthony Thomas added another 122 as Oregon gouged Oregon State for a 6.7 yards-per-carry average.

The win puts Oregon (11-1, 8-1 Pac-12) back in the hunt for a fourth-straight Pac-12 Championship, a feat not seen since USC’s five-year dominance in the mid-naughts. Head coach Chip Kelly said there was no secret to bouncing back from the team’s only regular-season loss of the year.

“We ran the same plays we run every week,” Chip Kelly said after the game. “The blocking was just better (today).”

It was all Ducks right from the start. On Oregon’s first offensive possession, redshirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota took a quarterback draw through a huge hole up the middle before outracing Oregon State’s secondary for a 42-yard touchdown.

“(The play) was a design that the coaches had,” Mariota said. “They came out in a look we had practiced against all week, and it just so happened the offensive line opened a hole, and I got to run through it.”

The quick strike set the early pace of the game and answered questions about how Mariota would perform following his first loss as a starter. The Hawaii native said he enjoyed the Civil War setting, with Reser Stadium packed to the rafters with a school-record 47,249 in attendance.

“You kind of don’t realize it until you step out onto the field,” Mariota said. “It was a fun atmosphere. The fans can be a little rough, but the guys handled it, and it is just one of those atmospheres where you want to play.”

In addition to his 85 yards rushing, Mariota was 17-for-24 through the air, with 140 yards and a touchdown. But with all the holes banged-up offensive line was opening, Mariota didn’t need to do much more than hand the ball off to Kenjon Barner or another Oregon back.

Barner, who ran for more than 100 yards in the first quarter alone, played with looked to be an abdominal injury in the second half. Team personnel, as usual, refused to comment on the injury, only saying it was “minor.”

“Kenjon’s always been a warrior,” Kelly said. “He responds when he’s called upon, and that’s what makes him a special guy.”

Oregon State (8-3, 6-3) would battle back and trail only three in the third quarter. But Beavers quarterback Sean Mannion’s four interceptions proved too costly. Add the special-teams miscues, and it was simply too much for the Beavers to handle. The win was Oregon’s fifth straight in the rivalry.

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