ESPN Network: | |  ABCSports |  EXPN |  INSIDER  |  FANTASY

No. 8 Oregon State 23, No. 6 Oregon 13
Associated Press


CORVALLIS, Ore. -- With almost cruel quickness, Oregon State crushed its intrastate rival's Rose Bowl hopes. Then, the Beavers watched as their own dreams of Pasadena came to an end.

Robert Prescott
Robert Prescott's two first-quarter TDs helped Oregon State knock off Oregon last year.
Jonathan Smith threw two first-quarter touchdown passes to Robert Prescott, and Jake Cookus had three of his team's five interceptions as No. 8 Oregon State reached 10 victories for the first time in school history by dominating No. 6 Oregon 23-13 on Saturday in the 104th Civil War.

"I never would have thought that we'd be 10-1," said Oregon State receiver Chad Johnson. "But a season is like climbing a mountain, and we only stumbled once on our way up."

That one setback cost the Beavers (10-1, 7-1) their first trip to the Rose Bowl since the 1964 season. Washington (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today, No. 6 AP), which beat Oregon State 33-30 in Seattle on Oct. 7, clinched the berth by defeating Washington State 51-3 on Saturday night.

Washington (10-1, 7-1) ended up in a three-way tie with Oregon State and Oregon (9-2, 7-1), and even though the Huskies lost to Oregon, they won the tiebreaker based on non-conference records. Washington went 3-0, while the Ducks won two and lost to Wisconsin.

Rose Bowl or not, the Beavers finished their best season ever, topping their 9-1-1 mark in 1939. It was just last year that they stopped an NCAA-record streak of 28 straight losing seasons. In his second season, coach Dennis Erickson might have pulled off the biggest achievement of his career, taking a woeful program to a possible berth in a BCS bowl.

"These seniors, they've been through a lot, went through some agony," Erickson said. "When you go 10-1 at a school that has never been 10-1, and was at rock-bottom a few years ago, it doesn't get any better than that."

Meanwhile, Oregon flopped in the most eagerly awaited Civil War in 36 years.

"We're shocked right now," cornerback Rashad Bauman said. "We knew what was at stake. We knew as soon as the clock hit double-zero that the Rose Bowl hopes were gone."

On a chilly, cloudless day, Joey Harrington couldn't seem to find his receivers, falling into his habit of overthrowing them and trying to guide passes into double-coverage.

Harrington, who had been 13-1 as the Ducks' starting quarterback, completed 24 of 46 passes for 333 yards. He entered the game with just seven interceptions.

Harrington had led the Ducks back from fourth-quarter deficits the previous three games, but Oregon State's defense was too strong. Oregon got to the Beavers' 10 midway through the fourth, but Harrington was hit from behind by Sefa O'Reilly, and DeLawrence Grant recovered.

"We score, we cut it to three points," Harrington said quietly. "We've battled back all year. ... We had a chance to do what we dreamed to do. We didn't do it."

The Ducks also committed 12 penalties for a season-high 132 yards. Two pass-interference calls against the defense -- both on third and long -- kept drives going for the Beavers and led to 10 first-half points.

Oregon State's Ken Simonton, the top rusher in the Pac-10 at 136.1 yards per game, gained 113, and his 20-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter extended the Beavers' lead to 23-7.

Smith completed 14 of 27 passes for 246 yards. Prescott, who pleaded innocent Thursday to a felony assault charge stemming from a fight in July, had six receptions for 109 yards.

Cookus, starting his second straight game at free safety for Calvin Carlyle, who had a sprained left ankle, made an impact immediately.

Harrington overthrew receiver Keenan Howry, who tipped the ball into the arms of Cookus. He returned it 31 yards to the Oregon 17.

"I was getting really good reads on the quarterback, and seemed to know where he was going," Cookus said.

Three plays later, on third-and-8, Prescott got past free safety Rasuli Webster, and Smith threw over the middle for a 31-yard touchdown.

The Beavers began their second scoring drive at their own 12, but kept the ball moving because of a pass-interference penalty on the Ducks on third-and-10.

Three plays later, Prescott got behind another Oregon defensive back, Ryan Mitchell, made a difficult catch over his left shoulder and ran for a 49-yard touchdown.

"We've taken shots down the field all year," said Smith, wearing a white hat that proclaimed him Pac-10 champion. "I thought the key to the game was going up 14-0 and forcing them to play catch-up all game long."

Another pass-interference call against the Ducks, on third-and-13, kept an Oregon State drive going early in the second quarter. The Beavers got a 32-yard field goal by Ryan Cesca out of it and went ahead 17-0, the Ducks' largest deficit of the season.

Oregon held the ball for more than 10 minutes in the second quarter, but managed just one score. Harrington directed an 81-yard drive late in the period, highlighted by a 33-yard lob to Marshaun Tucker down to the Beavers' 6. On the next play, Harrington scored on a sneak with 7:38 left before halftime.

The Ducks got back into the game when Bauman intercepted a pass by Smith and returned it to the Beavers' 30. After a 29-yard pass from Harrington to LaCorey Collins, Maurice Morris jumped across the goal line to get Oregon to 23-13 with 14:24 to go.

He was stopped on the 2-point conversion run, and Oregon didn't score again.

ALSO SEE bowl projections

Conference races

 Robert Prescott catches the slant from Jonathan Smith and goes 31 yards for the score.
avi: 1298 k
RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN | T1

 Oregon State's Jonathan Smith finds favorite target Robert Prescott for a 49-yard touchdown strike.
avi: 1584 k
RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN | T1

 Ken Simonton turns the corner and goes 20 yards for the touchdown.
avi: 1497 k
RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN | T1

 Jake Cookus intercepts Oregon's Joey Harrington for the 3rd time in the game.
avi: 1532 k
RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN | T1

 Maurice Morris goes over the top of the pile for an Oregon TD.
avi: 985 k
RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN | T1

 Oregon QB Joey Harrington tucks the ball and dives for the end zone.
avi: 1407 k
RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN | T1

 Coach Dennis Erickson feels his players deserve all the credit.
wav: 291 k
RealAudio: 14.4 | 28.8 | 56.6