Oregon’s Jeff Maehl hauls in a 35-yard pass against the defense of OSU’s Keenan Lewis during the second quarter of Saturday’s Civil War game in Corvallis.

Oregon was ready for aggressive OSU defense

CORVALLIS — With every sensational run by Jeremiah Johnson and big plays from the rest of Oregon's playmakers, the 19th-ranked Ducks plucked the petals of Oregon State's Rose Bowl hopes during Saturday's Civil War.

Johnson carved his way through and around the Beaver defense for 203 first-half yards as the Ducks built a big advantage by intermission on their way to 694 total yards of offense and a 65-38 upset win.

"Coming into the game we could see that they were very aggressive, especially the safeties," said quarterback Jeremiah Masoli. "So we established our running game and opened up with the play action. That got the safeties moving up and we threw it over the top."

The Ducks looked to be in total control with Masoli stabilizing drives with precise throws on third downs to complement the run game. And after Walter Thurmond III's 40-yard interception return for a touchdown with 43 seconds remaining in the second quarter highlighted the Ducks' near-perfect first half on defense, Oregon suffered its first mental lapse.

The Beavers were finally able to crack the Ducks' secondary with a three-play drive, capped by an 11-yard touchdown pass to Shane Morales, who was standing all alone in the end zone with nine seconds left until intermission.

The Beavers continued their success through the air and got back within as many as 13 twice in the second half until Masoli caught fire with two touchdown passes and another score on the ground.

"We can play better defense," Ducks' coach Mike Bellotti. "We actually played pretty well against the run tonight, but we just didn't play very well against the pass and obviously they exploited that. We've got to be better there."

In all, Masoli was 11-for-17 for 277 yards and four touchdowns. He also added 48 yards on the ground on 14 carries.

"Jeremiah is a great quarterback," said Bellotti. "He led his team last year to a national championship (in high school). The reality is he's a true freshman in this system. He has a natural understanding of the game. He has great ability to handle the football and run. What he's done this year with this football team, with this system, it's a perfect match."


RECORDS APLENTY: Johnson rolled up 219 yards, the most ever in Civil War history, and moved up to eighth on the Ducks' all-time rushing list. Johnson also hit the Beavers for two big runs. The first was a 79-yarder, which was a career long for him until it was eclipsed by his 83-yard burst for a touchdown in the second quarter.

Known for his punishing running style, LeGarrette Blount, who rushed or 111 yards on 17 attempts, has been a consistent answer for the Ducks at the goal line throughout the season. And with his first-quarter 8-yard TD trot, Blount scored his 16th rushing TD of the season, breaking Saladin McCullough's team mark of 15 in 1996. The junior running back also climbed to fifth on the Ducks' all-time scoring list for nonkickers with 98 points.

As a team the Ducks set a new rushing standard with 3,334 yards in 13 games, eclipsing the 3,272 yards they ran for last season.

Defensive end Nick Reed notched three sacks to move his career total to 29.5 to become Oregon's all-time sacks leader.

Terrance Scott's 76-yard touchdown reception was the longest of the season for the Ducks.

The Ducks, who have not won in Corvallis since 1996, hold a 56-46-10 series edge.

Bellotti improved to 15-2 following bye weeks with the victory.

Totaling 103 points, it marked the highest-scoring game in Civil War history.


DUCKS STOUT AGAINST RUN: The Beavers were without freshman star running back Jacquizz Rodgers, and the Ducks' run defense made Oregon State one-dimensional, limiting Rodgers' older brother James to 56 yards on seven carries — his long was 27 yards. Overall, the Beavers were limited to 89 rushing yards.


AIR MAEHL: Wide receiver Jeff Maehl played one of his best games of the season. He hauled in the first touchdown of the game, which was his first outside of Autzen Stadium. His big gain came on a 35-yard strike from back-up quarterback Darrin Thomas on a double-reverse pass, which set up a Morgan Flint field goal.

Maehl's day would have been bigger if not for a big gain erased on a Duck penalty.

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