Oregon State’s season ends in 49-21 loss to Oregon

After standing on the sidelines for his last college game,

Oregon State senior flanker James Rodgers greeted fans waiting

outside Autzen Stadium and signed autographs.

”You’ve been a joy to watch,” said one fan who shook Rodgers’

hand.

The Beavers’ disappointing season ended on Saturday after a

49-21 loss to No. 9 Oregon in the 115th Civil War. Rodgers was on

the field for pregame warm-ups, but clearly wasn’t in shape to play

because of a left ankle injury. Coach Mike Riley made the call.

”(It was) obviously tough for James, with today being his last

college game. However, we weren’t about to put him at risk today

and I didn’t think twice about that decision,” Riley said.

The Beavers’ season has been a series of disappointments,

starting with a slew of injuries in fall camp and concluding with

the loss to the Ducks, who clinched the Pac-12 North and earned the

right to host the first Pac-12 championship with the win.

Oregon (10-2, 8-1) will play UCLA next Friday night with a Rose

Bowl berth on the line.

The Beavers (3-9, 3-6) won’t play in a bowl game for the second

straight season.

LaMichael James paced Oregon early, running for 142 yards and

the opening touchdown, but left the game in the third quarter after

falling on his left elbow as he was knocked to the turf by Beavers

linebacker Tony Wilson.

The Ducks’ junior running back was already wearing a brace on

his right elbow, which he dislocated on Oct. 6 against California.

He missed two games because of that injury.

Not long after he left the field on Saturday, James’ elbow was

wrapped in ice by a trainer. The injury did not appear to be

serious because he danced a bit on the sideline with teammate

Kenjon Barner during the timeout before the fourth quarter. Later

he said he’d be fine for the title game.

Darron Thomas threw for 305 yards and four touchdowns. Versatile

freshman De’Anthony Thomas has 197 all-purpose yards, including an

8-yard TD reception.

Redshirt freshman Sean Mannion threw for 299 yards and three

touchdowns for the Beavers. But Oregon State struggled on the

ground with just 16 yards rushing, compared to Oregon’s 366.

”Oregon is really, really a good football team. They’re very

resilient. Like we said, early they didn’t convert some stuff, but

nothing seems to faze them,” Riley said. ”As we all talked about

before, their ability to stretch you with their speed is very, very

evident. (DeAnthony) Thomas was really a major, major factor in

this game.”

James scored early on a 1-yard run, becoming Oregon’s all-time

leading scorer with 324 points.

The Beavers tied it at 7 when Jovan Stevenson grabbed a swing

pass from Mannion and weaved his way downfield for a touchdown

early in the second quarter.

Before the half, though, Oregon scored on Darron Thomas’ 16-yard

pass to David Paulson and his 8-yard pass to De’Anthony Thomas.

Darron Thomas hit Kenjon Barner with another 16-yard TD just

before halftime to make it 28-7. Barner ran a yard for another

score in the third quarter, and Thomas connected with freshman Colt

Lyerla for a 39-yard touchdown early in the fourth.

Mannion threw two TDs in the fourth quarter to Kevin Cummings

(19 yards) and Brandin Cooks (23 yards).

”I’m really proud of all our guys. I think we fought hard the

whole game,” Mannion said. ”We’ve got a lot of days until next

year, and we’re going to work hard every day. We’re just going to

keep working hard to get better.”

Rodgers hurt his ankle last week in Oregon’s State’s 38-21

victory over Washington.

In 2007, Rodgers scored on a fly sweep in overtime to give the

Beavers a 38-31 victory in the Civil War. Oregon State has not

defeated their in-state rival since then.

After hurting his left knee last season, Rodgers had two

surgeries. Oregon State had appealed to the NCAA to allow him

return this season. He finishes his career at Oregon State with

school records in career receptions (222) and all-purpose yards

(6,377).

”I felt bad that this was James’ last game of his collegiate

career and he didn’t get an opportunity to get out there and

play,” Oregon coach Chip Kelly said. ”The way he came back from

that injury he suffered last year is incredible, I have so much

respect for him as a player. He is one of the greatest all-time at

Oregon State and he will always be remembered.”

The Ducks have won four straight Civil Wars. Oregon’s winning

streak in the series is its longest since 1994-97.