There was no beating around the bush late Saturday night.
The Oregon State football team needed its 62-14 blowout victory over Pac-12 rival California.
After a season of tough, close games, crushing a team felt good.
The Beavers were also thrilled to hear that Oregon lost to Stanford to set the tone for a high-stakes Civil War.
“It’s a great game anyway, and it’s great for a lot of reasons,” coach Mike Riley said. “It’s pretty rare in our history here for two teams in the state of Oregon to be both ranked this high at the end of the year.”
The Beavers (8-2, 6-2) are No. 16 in The Associated Press poll and No. 15 in the Bowl Championship Series standings, while the Ducks (10-1, 7-1) are fifth in both. OSU needs to be in the top 14 of the BCS standings to be eligible for a BCS bowl invite.
While having one of their better seasons, the Beavers put to rest the idea that they were slumping to end the season after dropping two of three heading into Saturday’s Cal game.
They also regained some confidence for Oregon, a team that had steamrolled opponents until Stanford.
“It definitely was a good win for us and gives us good momentum going into Oregon,” cornerback Jordan Poyer said. “We always look at it as one game at a time. Cal was in the way. This was their last game of the season. Early on I told the guys to take their will early. It was raining and you could tell they didn’t want to play once we stepped on their throat.”
The Beavers put together their most complete effort of the season against the Golden Bears (3-9, 2-7).
The defense allowed 322 yards, but three fumble recoveries and an interception made up for that. The special teams were all consistent.
“There was a lot of good football,” Poyer said. “There were some mistakes, but as for a complete game, that was the least mistakes we’ve made all season.”
The Beavers amassed a whopping 559 yards of total offense, including 200 on the ground.
The 62 points tied for the second-most ever against a conference opponent, four shy of the record set against Washington State in 2008.
“When you are supposed to beat a team, if you let them stick around too long it can get real tough,” receiver Markus Wheaton said. “It was good to get on them early and kill them. The most important aspect of the game was converting turnovers into points and not just getting field goals. That turned it into the ugly game it was.”
The Beavers suffered some injuries, with the biggest blow being to fullback Tyler Anderson. He injured his left knee and will need surgery, Riley said.
Clayton York, who was out last week with a concussion, returns this week in Anderson’s place.
Receiver Brandin Cooks was not seriously hurt when he took a shot to the head against Cal and will practice today, Riley said. Running back Storm Woods suffered a minor concussion and should be back to practice soon.
OSU now turns its focus to Oregon. The 116th edition of the storied rivalry is set for noon on Saturday in Reser Stadium.
The Ducks have been bumped out of the national title picture for the time being and they want to take that out on someone.
OSU can at least tie for second in the North Division with the Ducks with a win and remain eligible for a BCS at-large bid.
Oregon needs a win and a UCLA victory over Stanford on Saturday to get into the Pac-12 championship game. Winning at least keeps the Ducks in the at-large pool for the BCS.
“I haven’t thought about all that, but it’s still the Civil War,” Poyer said. “Whether they won or lost (to Stanford), it’s still going to be our biggest game of the season. We are excited about it and it’s going to be a crazy week. We are going to prepare our best.”