CJ Verdell ran for 187 yards and four touchdowns, and also caught a scoring pass as Oregon defeated Oregon State 55-15 Friday in a Civil War victory that was marred by quarterback Justin Herbert’s first-half injury.
Herbert threw for 102 yards and a touchdown before he appeared to injure his shoulder or upper arm on a sack and left the field on a cart. The Ducks (8-4, 5-4 Pac-12) now await bowl selection having already been eliminated from contention for a berth in the conference championship game.
Verdell’s five touchdowns were the most for a Duck since 2012. Travis Dye ran for 199 yards and two additional touchdowns for Oregon.
The loss ended the season for the Beavers (2-10, 1-8) in coach Jonathan Smith’s first year as coach.
It may have been the final Civil War for Herbert, who could forgo his senior year to declare for the NFL draft. He is widely considered one of the top prospects at the position, but could opt to stay at Oregon for the chance to play with his younger brother Patrick, a four-star tight end who has committed to the Ducks.
Herbert was replaced by backup Braxton Burmeister for the second half.
Ducks running back Tony Brooks-James was also injured on the opening kickoff of the second half and returned to the sidelines on crutches with what looked to be a left knee injury.
It also might have been the final game for Beavers quarterback Jake Luton, who threw for 282 yards and two scores. Luton has been beset by injuries during his Oregon State career including a thoracic spine fracture last season and a high ankle sprain this season. There’s a possibility that Oregon State could petition for a sixth year of eligibility for Luton because of medical hardship.
Oregon State true freshman running back Jermar Jefferson ran for 64 yards in the loss. Jefferson ranked seventh nationally with 119.6 yards rushing per game going into the Civil War. Isaiah Hodgins had eight catches for 133 yards for the Beavers.
The Ducks went up 21-0 in the first quarter on a trio of touchdowns from Verdell, the first on a 21-yard pass from Herbert and then two 1-yard runs.
The Beavers got as close as the Oregon 3 but Jack Colletto’s jump pass was intercepted by Oregon’s Nick Pickett in the endzone. Jordan Choukair’s 45-yard field goal with 33 seconds left narrowed it to 21-3 for Oregon State at halftime.
After Dye’s 15-yard scoring run for Oregon, the Beavers closed the gap with Luton’s 22-yard scoring pass in the midst of a downpour to Timmy Hernandez. Hernandez was initially ruled out of bounds on the pass, but video review overturned the call. Choukair missed the extra point to make it 28-9.
Verdell added a 14-yard scoring run in the third quarter. Thomas Graham had a 36-yard interception return for a touchdown to give the Ducks a 41-9 lead in the fourth before Dye’s 39-yard scoring run and Verdell’s last 1-yard TD.
Luton found Hernandez with a 31-yard touchdown pass with 16 seconds left for the final margin.
Oregon: Oregon won last season’s Civil War 69-10. Herbert passed for 251 yards and three scores in the final game of a one-year stint as head coach for Willie Taggart, who left for Florida State in early December.
Oregon State: Choukair also missed a 40-yard field goal at the start of the second quarter.
Oregon will await bowl selection.
Oregon State’s season is over.
Source: The Associated Press