Oregon State Wins The Emerald Bowl

Dec. 28, 2007

AP Action Photos

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Yvenson Bernard couldn't be stopped, and Oregon State's defense never let Maryland get started.

Bernard rushed for 177 yards and a touchdown in his final college game, and Oregon State grinded out a 21-14 victory over Maryland on Friday night in a rain-soaked Emerald Bowl.

James Rodgers rushed for 115 yards, caught an early TD pass and recovered Bernard's fumble for the second half's only score as the Beavers (9-4) won their fourth consecutive bowl game under coach Mike Riley and snapped Ralph Friedgen's three-game postseason winning streak at Maryland.

Sean Canfield returned from a three-game absence to pass for 68 yards in relief of injured Lyle Moevao. But Canfield mostly did what Oregon State does best: Hand off to Bernard, who had 38 carries to finish as the second-leading rusher in school history, and Rodgers, the Beavers' multitalented freshman.

Chris Turner passed for 205 yards and hit Isaiah Williams and Darrius Heyward-Bey with first-quarter TD passes, but the Terrapins (6-7) stalled in the second half of their fifth loss in seven games.

The Beavers' vaunted rushing defense -- ranked second in the nation -- was just as good as Maryland feared, holding the Terrapins to 2 yards on the ground in the first three quarters. Maryland ended up with 19 yards on the ground.

Oregon State finished with seven victories in its last eight games by surviving the unique challenges of the Emerald Bowl, where both teams stand on the same sideline at the San Francisco Giants' waterfront ballpark.

The unorthodox setup got even tougher when officials turned off the malfunctioning play clock in the third quarter. A light rain pelted the largely orange-clad crowd of 32,517 in the second half, with even Terrapins mascot Testudo donning a rain poncho over his shell.

Both teams mostly floundered offensively in the rain, but Oregon State went ahead when Bernard's fumble at the goal line was recovered by Rodgers, who stretched out for a TD with 10 seconds left in the third quarter.

With three final quarters of dismal offensive play, Maryland finished with a losing record for the third time in the last four seasons under Friedgen, who hadn't lost a bowl game since the Orange Bowl defeat six years ago after winning the Terps' last ACC title.

Bernard moved up four spots on the Pac-10's career rushing yardage list with his workhorse performance, leapfrogging Arizona's Trung Canidate, UCLA's Gaston Green and USC stars Anthony Davis and Ricky Bell.

Canfield, who started nine games but missed the last three after injuring his shoulder against USC, took over for Moevao, who left the game twice in the first half with injuries, including a left ankle problem in the opening moments of the second quarter.

The game was just Maryland's second in California in the program's 115-year history, and the Terps' first meeting with a Pac-10 team since the 1982 Aloha Bowl. They didn't seem bothered by the cross country trip, and Oregon State's defense deserved the credit for Maryland's struggles in the Beavers' first game against the ACC since 1942.

Maryland opened the game with an impressive 11-play, 80-yard scoring drive capped by Williams' 9-yard TD catch. Turner went 6-of-7 on the drive, with Williams dropping his only incompletion.

Moevao was hurt on the Beavers' third play by blitzing linebacker Moises Fokou. Canfield took over and finished a TD drive, hitting Rodgers with a scoring pass before Moevao returned for the rest of the quarter.

But Turner hit Heyward-Bey in stride for a 63-yard TD pass down the sideline later in the first quarter, the second-longest scoring play in Maryland bowl history. Turner also threw two interceptions in the second quarter, and Bernard tied it at 14 with a 2-yard TD run 16 seconds before halftime.

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