Ducks' Rose Bowl Hopes Dashed By Beavers
Nov. 18, 2000
CORVALLIS, Ore. - It didn't take long for Oregon State to ruin Oregon'sRose Bowl hopes. Then the Beavers had to wait around to see what would becomeof their own dreams of Pasadena.
Jonathan Smith threw two first-quarter touchdown passes to Robert Prescott,and Jake Cookus had three of his team's five interceptions as the No. 8 Beaversreached 10 victories for the first time in school history by dominating No. 5Oregon 23-13 on Saturday in the 104th Civil War.
Oregon State (10-1, 7-1) clinched a share of the conference title with theDucks (9-2, 7-1), but had to await the outcome between No. 6 Washington andWashington State to see whether to book its first trip to the Rose Bowl sincethe 1964 season.
The Huskies (9-1, 6-1) could wrap up the Rose Bowl berth with a victory,even though they lost to Oregon earlier this season. Washington holds thetiebreakers in the event of a three-way tie, by virtue of a betternon-conference record than the Ducks. Washington has the edge over Oregon Statebecause it beat the Beavers 33-30 in Seattle on Oct. 7.
Rose Bowl or not, the Beavers finished their best season ever, just one yearafter they stopped an NCAA-record streak of 28 straight losing seasons. In justhis second season, coach Dennis Erickson might have pulled off the biggestachievement of his career, taking a woebegone program to a possible berth in aBCS bowl.
Meanwhile, Oregon flopped in the most eagerly awaited Civil War in 36 years.On a chilly, cloudless day, Joey Harrington couldn't seem to find hisreceivers, falling into his habit of overthrowing them and trying to guidepasses into double-coverage.
Harrington, who had been 13-1 as the Ducks' starting quarterback, completed24 of 46 passes for 333 yards. He entered the game with just seveninterceptions.
The Ducks also committed 12 penalties for a season-high 132 yards. Twopass-interference calls against the defense - both on third and long - keptdrives 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 pergame, gained 113, and his 20-yard touchdown midway through the third quarterextended the Beavers' lead to 23-7.
Smith completed 14 of 27 passes for 246 yards. Prescott, who on Thursdaypleaded innocent to a felony assault charge stemming from a fight in July, hadsix 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 thearms of Cookus. He returned it 31 yards to the Oregon 17.
Three plays later, on third-and-8, Prescott got past free safety RasuliWebster, and Smith threw over the middle for a 31-yard touchdown.
The Beavers began their second scoring drive at their own 12, but kept theball moving because of a pass-interference penalty on the Ducks onthird-and-10.
Three plays later, Prescott got behind another Oregon defensive back, RyanMitchell, made a difficult catch over his left shoulder and ran for a 49-yardtouchdown.
Another pass-interference call against the Ducks, also on third and 13, keptan Oregon State drive early in the second quarter. The Beavers got a 32-yardfield goal by Ryan Cesca out of it and went ahead 17-0, the Ducks' largestdeficit of the season.
Oregon held the ball for more than 10 minutes in the second quarter, butmanaged just one score. Harrington directed an 81-yard drive late in theperiod, 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 Rashad Bauman intercepted a pass bySmith and returned it to the Beavers' 30. After a 29-yard pass from Harringtonto LaCorey Collins, Maurice Morris jumped across the goal line to get Oregon to23-13 with 14:24 to go. He was stopped on the 2-point conversion run.
Oregon got to the Oregon State 10 midway through the fourth, but Harringtonwas hit from behind by Sefa O'Reilly, and DeLawrence Grant recovered.
By LANDON HALL
AP Sports Writer