Long, slow, painful road to nowhere for OSU

CORVALLIS -- The Ducks made stops early, the Beavers didn’t. The Ducks hit on long plays early, the Beavers couldn’t. The Ducks had the run game going, the Beavers couldn’t run when they needed to. The Ducks have at least two more games to look forward to, and the Beavers’ season is over.

How fitting for a season as frustrating as it was for Oregon State, that it comes to an end via the Ducks… on senior day… at Reser Stadium. Oregon put on a performance that erased all doubt as to the gap between the programs, if there was any any doubt coming in.

The No. 3 Ducks won 47-19, and it wasn’t that close.

The Ducks won the initial coin toss and chose to receive. Nine plays and 71 yards later, Marcus Mariota had his first touchdown pass, a 29-yard completion to Charles Rodgers. When they had the ball a second time, the Ducks went 56 yards in seven plays and put a field goal on the board.

Possessions three through five for Oregon all went for touchdowns, and it wasn’t until there were less than five minutes remaining in the first half that the Ducks had to punt for the first time. By then they had already scored 30 points.

The story was pretty much the exact opposite for Oregon State.

On the Beavers’ first possession, they failed to convert their only third down play of the drive – a third-and-1 on the Oregon 30-yardline. Trailing by six, the Beavers decided to go for it, but redshirt freshman running back Damien Haskins was dropped for a loss and the Beavers turned it over on downs.

On the Beavers’ second possession, they gained two first downs before ever facing a third down, and again they failed to convert. Needing eight yards, the Beavers gained seven and were forced to punt on fourth-and-1 from their own 46.

On their third and fourth drives, the Beavers went three-and-out. They were 0-for-4 on third downs after their first four possessions and had no points either. It wasn’t until their fifth drive, with around 8:45 remaining in the second quarter that the Beavers successfully converted on a third down, even though that drive also went nowhere.

Meanwhile, the Ducks converted on four of their first five third downs, and the one time they were stalled it still resulted in points.

The Beavers put their first points on the board as the first half expired. A Garrett Owens 39-yard field goal cut the deficit to 27 points, as the Ducks led 30-3 at halftime.

The bleeding stopped for a brief moment in the third quarter. Trailing 33-3, Sean Mannion and Storm Woods led an 11-play, 65 yard touchdown drive that ended with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Mannion to Hunter Jarmon. The score put the Beavers behind 33-10, but they never cut the deficit to any less than that.

The Ducks came back and scored a touchdown on fourth-and-goal when Mariota ran a yard for his fifth of six total touchdowns. In other words, Mariota looked like Mariota, and every bit the Heisman Trophy frontrunner. He completed 19-of-25 passes for 367 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. He added 39 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. Mariota now has 48 touchdowns on the year, which is a Pac-12 record by seven over the previous mark of 41.

Defensively, the Beavers lost several players due to injury. The first to go was junior defensive end Jashwa James, who suffered an injury to his right ankle and did not return. The next was defensive tackle Jalen Grimble, who had missed most of the year. A back injury slowed him during fall camp, then he suffered a knee injury against USC. Against Oregon, it looked like he hurt his left knee again. Linebacker D.J. Alexander was also shaken up during the game.

For the Beavers, the lone bright spot on offense was Storm Woods, who was the team’s leading rusher and receiver. He finished with 22 carries for 128 yards and one touchdown. He also added six receptions for 58 yards.

This makes it seven Civil Wars in a row for the Ducks. No Beaver player has beaten the Ducks in their time playing for Oregon State. And without a bowl game to play in, the 5-7 Beavers and all those seniors end their season on a low note.

Regardless, from this chair, congratulations are in order for the Ducks, who still have everything to play for. They have a chance to do something incredibly special this year, while the Beavers get to watch from home.

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