The Beavers never really had a chance, but after holding Stanford’s seventh-ranked offense off scoreless for the first time this season through the first quarter on Saturday, it briefly appeared they may make it at least interesting.
But like all good things, it came to an end as the Cardinal found their offensive mojo, rolling up 507 yards on their way to a 38-18 win in Corvallis.
Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck shredded the Beavers secondary, completing 20 of 30 passing attempts for 206 yards and three touchdowns. The Beavers did pick him off once though, but it wasn’t enough to make a difference.
After giving up 225 yards rushing last week to Utah, the Beavers were outgained 300-33 on the ground against Stanford. Oregon State was eliminated from postseason consideration with the loss. That hasn’t happened with games left on the schedule since 1998.
Freshman quarterback Sean Mannion turned in another valiant effort, tossing for 252 yards including a 15-yard touchdown pass to WR James Rodgers to cut Stanford’s lead 14-7 in the second quarter.
Mannion is on track to finish the season with 3,367 yards passing, which would be the third-highest total for a single season in school history behind Derek Anderson, who had 4,058 in 2003 and 3,615 in 2004.
With just three games remaining on their schedule, the Beavers will try to finish the season with a little dignity, starting with a win at Cal this weekend.
Oregon State pounded the Golden Bears last season on a four touchdown performance from now departed running back Jacquizz Rodgers, who helped the Beavers to 199 rushing yards for the game.
However, it’s likely the Beavs could increase those kind of rushing numbers this season, against a G-Bears defense that is ranked 42nd in the nation against the run on 130.44 yards average per game.
They will need to freshman RB Malcolm Agnew, whose 2-yard TD run last week against Standard made it a four-point deficit, to step it up if they want a shot at crushing Cal bowl dreams.
The Beavers are 1-3 on the road with their only win coming at 3-6, 1-5 Washington State, so perhaps a 2-7, 2-4 Oregon State can muster up their second away win playing at San Francisco against the Golden Bears.
Wide receiver James Rodgers caught six passes, including his 18th career for touchdown, in Oregon State’s 38-13 loss to third-ranked Stanford Saturday. That gave him 212 for his career, one shy of tying James Newson for second-most at Oregon State and eight behind record-holder Mike Hass.
Punter Johnny Hekker, who broke the OSU single-game average with a 52.5 yard per punt mark against Utah last week, had another big special teams game for the Beavers. He punted a total of five times, finishing with 220 yards, an average of 44 yards. He trapped Stanford inside the 20 three times, giving him 14 punts inside
the 20 this season.
Players injured from the Stanford game should return to practice this week, Riley said. They are receiver Markus Wheaton (ankle), cornerback Jordan Poyer (ribs), fullback Clayton York (thigh contusion), safety Lance Mitchell (shoulder) and cornerback Rashaad Reynolds (hip contusion).
Middle linebacker Tony Wilson (concussion) and running back Jovan Stevenson (knee) are expected back this week after missing the game.
The status of middle linebacker Kevin Unga (calf), receiver Jordan Bishop (ankle) and center Grant Johnson (ankle) should be determined later in the week. They’ve been hurt multiple weeks.
The Civil War football game on Nov. 26 in Autzen Stadium will begin at 12:30 p.m. The game will be televised regionally by ABC.