Markus Wheaton and Jordan Poyer were emotionally drained Saturday night.
Oregon State’s two senior standouts felt the anguish of another loss to Oregon.
Their class will never know what it’s like to win a Civil War. The last time the Beavers won was in 2007 when they were in high school.
“I’ve been here four years and I knew some guys on that (Oregon) team,” Poyer said. “I wanted it for our seniors and I wanted to build this program. All I can do now is be a man and learn from it. We have two games left, and we will learn from it.”
Both players gave their best effort, but it was still a forgettable night. There was so much at stake with a four-game losing streak to the Ducks going into the game and a potential high-end bowl game with a win.
“Just winning the game, senior night, was more important than ever beating the Ducks,” Wheaton said. “Where our team could have went if we won this game is in the back of my mind. That’s what hurts.”
Poyer banged his knee that took him out of the game briefly. He even got into a minor scuffle with Oregon’s De’Anthony Thomas.
Wheaton dropped some passes and he fumbled on a punt return when he had to sub for Poyer when he was hurt.
“I don’t know how to explain it. It wasn’t my day,” Wheaton said. “There were bad plays that shouldn’t have been there.”
Quarterback Sean Mannion had another rough game, throwing four interceptions, including three in the second half. He now has 13 this season to tie his touchdown passing total.
“A lot of it is not forcing it,” Mannion said. “I have to know when to check it down and throw it away. While we might be down a score or two, there’s no need for me to force it. There’s no 17-point touchdown.”
Wheaton, who caught seven passes for 98 yards, surpassed 1,000 for the season in the first quarter and has 1,084, the seventh-best total in OSU single-season history.
Brandin Cooks had already passed 1,000 and has 1,113 now, sixth in OSU single-season history. He and Wheaton are the first OSU receiving duo with 1,000 yards each since Mike Hass and James Newson in 2003.
The Beavers couldn’t get their deep passing game going because the Ducks covered Wheaton and Cooks well. Coach Mike Riley, however, had a different take.
“They were disruptive early,” Riley said. “We tried to get that going. I thought we needed a couple pass interference calls. They hit Markus at least twice when the ball was in the air. They grabbed Brandin once.”
Fake punt call
The Beavers used a fake punt for their initial first down of the game in the first quarter. They were on their own 29-yard line and Terron Ward took the snap for a yard.
The play was set up from a new formation that didn’t put punter Keith Kostol back for the snap, but closer to the line like a running back. He then shifted back into his regular spot.
On the first play, Kostol got off a 56-yard rugby punt. On the second, Kostol didn’t move and the snap went to Ward.
Mannion threw his 29th career passing TD to tie Matt Moore (2005-06) for fifth in school history. ... Defensive end Scott Crichton has 16 tackles for loss to tie for ninth in OSU single-season history.