Oregon’s hopes for a Pac-12 championship — let alone a BCS championship — partially hinged on a victory over rival Oregon State this afternoon. Following an upset loss to Stanford at home last weekend, the Ducks could not afford to lose another game.
Turns out, that wasn’t an issue. Even with a banged up Kenjon Barner, No. 5 Oregon was able to pull away from No. 16 Oregon State in the second half thanks to a plethora of turnovers and win 48-24. It was Oregon’s fifth straight Civil War victory over its in-state rival.
Barner sustained what appeared to be rib/midsection injury after rushing for 141 yards on 19 carries in the first half. He would return in the second half and ended the game with 28 carries for 198 yards and a pair of touchdowns. De’Anthony Thomas also added three rushing touchdowns. But it was the turnovers, all six of ’em, that helped Oregon come away with the win.
Now, Oregon waits. The Ducks need UCLA to beat Stanford in Los Angeles later this evening in order to return to the Pac-12 championship game — a rematch from the ’11 game against the Bruins. But even if Oregon doesn’t make it to the Pac-12 championship game, there is a possibility, albeit however slight, that the Ducks can still make it to the BCS championship. That will require Notre Dame and Florida to lose to USC and Florida State, respectively. In fact, the Irish might need to get their clocks cleaned by the Trojans for the Ducks to have a more realistic chance of leapfrogging the Irish.
And that’s not even considering the chance that Stanford, currently No. 8 in the BCS rankings, jumps Oregon over the next couple of weeks. A lot of possibilities left. Few that favor Oregon.