There was no bulletin board material from the Oregon State football team Tuesday when players were questioned about Oregon's Cliff Harris.

Harris publically called Saturday's Civil War game a backyard brawl between a big brother and little brother.

The Ducks are the bully big brothers and Beavers the pesky little brothers who are the constant nuisances.

"If that's what he thinks, that's what he thinks," cornerback Jordan Poyer said. "I have no problem him coming out and saying that, but the little brother can still come out and fight."

Safety Lance Mitchell and cornerback James Dockery said the Ducks deserve to talk all they want since they are ranked No. 1 in the country.

"Whatever Cliff has to say, he can say it when they are the No. 1 team in the country," Dockery said. "We don't do that (kind of talking) at Oregon State. Until someone beats them to stop them talking, they can do what they want to."

The Beavers wouldn't even bite into queries about the revenge factor in the rivalry. The Ducks have won the last two games, both times knocking the Beavers out of the Rose Bowl.

OSU fell into the Sun Bowl in 2008 and the Las Vegas Bowl in 2009. Oregon has a shot at the national title game with a win.

Even if they want to ruin the Ducks' dream season, the Beavers won't say so.

"It's not to knock them out," running back Jacquizz Rodgers said. "We need to win to make a bowl game. That's our motivation, not stop them getting to the national championship game."

The Beavers can qualify for the Holiday or Sun bowls if they get their sixth win of the season, but the overall concern is just playing a solid game from start to finish.

"The motivation is to win the game, first and foremost," coach Mike Riley said. "We shouldn't be concerned about knocking them out of anything. We need another win. Then the residual would be we are bowl eligible, which would be a good thing."

Injury update

Results of an MRI came back for fullback Will Darkins; he will not have knee surgery, but will miss this game due to an MCL sprain.

"That's good that he won't need surgery, and he'll be ready for spring practice," Riley said.

Darkins is the latest of a string of injuries that depleted depth and forced lineup changes with the loss of key players such as receiver James Rodgers, defensive tackle Brennan Olander and others.

However, Riley won't use injuries as an excuse for the mediocre season.

"It's nothing we can dwell on, and it was a bad loss," Riley said of Rodgers. "We focus on the guys playing in the game, and we rehab the guys who are injured. It's a vague thing (the impact of injuries), and it's not important at this moment."

Special uniforms

The Beavers are wearing the one-time-only throwback jerseys Saturday of the 1967 Giant Killers team that toppled No. 1 Southern California. The irony hasn't been lost on this group, or the pressure.

"It's a great opportunity for us to be able to put on the jerseys," Dockery said. "It's not about the jerseys. It's about the players in the past who were able to let us have this opportunity. It would be a disservice if we put those jerseys on and we came out flat."

Potential pro

Senior receiver Aaron Nichols worked out for the New York Jets on Tuesday. He's a former walk-on who started for the first time this season. The 6-foot, 185-pounder has 29 catches for 330 yards and a touchdown.

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