As the fog settled over Autzen Stadium, No. 10 Oregon settled in for an easy season-ending win. Then the waiting began. The Ducks routed rival...
EUGENE, Ore. — As the fog settled over Autzen Stadium, No. 10 Oregon settled in for an easy season-ending win. Then the waiting began.
The Ducks routed rival Oregon State 56-14 in a fog-shrouded Civil War on Saturday night.
Oregon (10-1, 7-1 Pac-10) must now see how the rest of the season shakes out, including whether top-ranked USC earns a berth in the national championship game, before learning of its own postseason fate.
The Ducks, with 10 wins, could be considered for an at-large BCS invitation.
It is just the second time in school history that the Ducks have won 10 regular-season games. They also won 10 in 2001 when they went to the Fiesta Bowl and finished 11-1 with Joey Harrington at quarterback.
“People think we’re weak,” defensive end Devan Long said. “Everybody doubts us and doesn’t think we’re as good as we are. We went out today and proved them wrong.”
Oregon State (5-6, 3-5), which lost four of its last five, finished the regular season without the six victories required for bowl eligibility.
The 109th version of the rivalry established in 1894 was shrouded in fog so thick it was difficult at times to see the ball. The public-address announcer at Autzen Stadium opened the second half by proclaiming: “Somewhere down there the Ducks will receive.”
The Beavers were hobbled before the game began because quarterback Matt Moore injured his right knee in a 20-17 home loss to Stanford last week.
Sophomore Ryan Gunderson was called upon to make his first college start in arguably the biggest game of the season for the Beavers. He completed 22 of 43 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown. He was intercepted four times.
“I’m furious. I’m disappointed in myself,” Gunderson said. “I wish I could have put the ball in a couple of more people’s hands. It’s just a couple of mistakes that kill you.”
Oregon, which earlier this season lost starting QB Kellen Clemens for the season with a broken ankle, turned again to both Dennis Dixon and Brady Leaf for its seventh straight victory.
The dual-quarterback system has worked for Oregon, with Leaf taking over in overtime for a victory over California, and Dixon orchestrating the final drive for a last-second field goal to beat Washington State last weekend.
This time, neither needed to come through in the clutch as Oregon built a 28-7 lead by halftime.
Cornerback Aaron Gipson scored on a 60-yard interception return before Dixon hit Terrence Whitehead with a 14-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0 for Oregon.
The Beavers scored on Yvenson Bernard’s 2-yard run, but Oregon piled on with two additional scores — Whitehead’s 2-yard run and a 1-yard dash by Timberline graduate Jonathan Stewart.
Stewart opened the second half with a 97-yard kickoff return to score and make it 35-7. He is the first player in school history to have two kickoff returns for touchdowns in a single season.
Gunderson found Josh Hawkins with a 2-yard scoring pass in the third quarter for Oregon State’s only other score.