No. 16 Oregon 12, Oregon St. 10
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) _ Freshman Joshua Smith kicked four field goals as 16th-ranked Oregon came from behind to beat Oregon State 12-10 Saturday and clinch a berth in the Cotton Bowl.
The Ducks (9-2 overall, 6-2 Pac-10) were 17-point favorites in the annual ``Civil War″ battle with the Beavers, who lost their 10th in a row.
But Oregon State (1-10, 0-8) shut down Oregon’s high-powered offense, especially when the Ducks drove deep into Beavers’ territory.
Oregon quarterback Tony Graziani had an off day passing but he rushed for 108 yards in 15 carries, several times on scrambles when the passing plays broke down.
Alex Molden’s interception and 17-yard return to the Oregon State 36 set up Smith’s 35-yard field goal that put Oregon ahead for the only time all evening, 12-10 with 9:21 to play.
Smith, a walk-on, intended to join the Ducks when classes began this fall. But he was called in early from his hometown of Colorado Springs, Colo., when regular kicker Matt Belden was injured in the season opener.
His other field goals Saturday were for 20, 22 and 29 yards. He missed a 33-yarder with three seconds to go in the first half.
Cotton Bowl officials had announced Friday that Oregon would be invited to the Jan. 1 game in Dallas if it beat the Beavers. The Ducks’ likely Cotton Bowl opponent will be ninth-ranked Colorado, which beat No. 7 Kansas State 27-17 Saturday.
Oregon, last year’s Pac-10 Rose Bowl representative, will be in New Year’s bowl games in consecutive years for the first time.
But the Cotton Bowl clincher wasn’t nearly as easy as the oddsmakers thought.
The Ducks had a 250-99 advantage in total yards at the half but trailed 7-6.
The only touchdown came in the first quarter after Oregon’s Cristin McLemore fumbled when he was hit hard by Marc Williams and the Beavers’ Brian Rogers recovered at the Oregon State 46.
Oregon State went 54 yards in five plays. Mark Olford had runs of 17 and 12 yards on the drive before Cameron Reynolds scored on a 7-yard run to make it 7-0 with 6:51 left in the first quarter.
The Ducks drove inside the Oregon State 20 six times but had just 12 points to show for it.
After Oregon finally took the lead, the Beavers’ Reggie Tongue fumbled a punt and the Ducks’ Lamont Woods recovered at the Oregon State 15. But on fourth down and less than a yard to go at the 6, the Ducks called a pass play and it was incomplete.
Graziani completed 22-of-48 passes for 186 yards but was just 6-for-19 for 43 yards in the second half.
Oregon State took a 10-6 lead after Oregon’s Ricky Whittle fumbled at midfield and the Beavers’ Ahmani Johnson recovered at the Ducks 48. Olford’s 18-yard run on an option play set up Randy Lund’s 43-yard field goal, his longest of the season, with 8:48 left in the third period.
The Beavers drove to the Oregon 21 on their next possession but Lund’s 38-yard field goal was blocked.
A defensive holding penalty helped Oregon move to the Oregon State 12 early in the fourth quarter, where Smith’s 29-yard field goal cut the lead to 10-9.
The crowd of 46,114 was the second-largest ever at Oregon.