Ducks take it with the run.
CORVALLIS - Oregon reverted to form in the ground game Saturday, against an OSU defense that knows all too well the feeling of being run over by the Ducks.
After consecutive games with fewer than 200 rushing yards, the Ducks exploded for 430 in their Civil War victory over Oregon State in Reser Stadium. Senior Kenjon Barner overcame a midgame abdominal injury to finish with 198 rushing yards, after running for 65 and 66 in the preceding two weeks.
Sophomore De'Anthony Thomas ran for a season-high 122 yards, briefly taking over as the primary back with Barner sidelined. And quarterback Marcus Mariota added 85 rushing yards, the Ducks threatening to have three players rush for at least 100 in the same game, which has never happened at Oregon.
"Marcus made some plays, De'Anthony made some plays, Kenjon made some plays," UO offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich said. "Just guys playing a little bit harder, finishing a little bit better and making some plays."
Barner carried 28 times for his 198 yards, his third-highest total of the season, and scored twice. Already playing through a right thumb injury, Barner suffered an apparent abdominal injury in the second quarter and went into the locker room before halftime.
The nation's sixth-leading rusher entering the week, Barner didn't take the field for Oregon's two possessions early in the third quarter. But he eventually did return, running for 57 yards after halftime.
That from a player about whom there were durability questions entering this season, his first as the Ducks' primary workhorse.
"I haven't missed many games, so people saying that, I wasn't really worried about it," Barner said. "I know how durable I am, and the coaching staff and everybody else knows.
"I feel good right now, honestly. I feel fresh."
Oregon's prolific rushing effort came despite the loss of yet another starting offensive lineman to a serious injury. Left tackle Tyler Johnstone left the game for good midway through the first half, with a right lower leg injury.
Redshirt freshman James Euscher replaced Johnstone for most of the game, backed up by Everett Benyard.
"We ran the same plays we run every week," UO coach Chip Kelly said. "We blocked them better."
Referees pan Thomas's rendition of stomp
Thomas' performance was marred by a personal foul penalty after an ugly sequence involving OSU cornerback Jordan Poyer.
Early in the second half, with Thomas in as the primary running back while Barner sat out, he was tackled violently by Poyer, slammed to the turf while his face mask was being twisted. With Poyer still lying on the turf, Thomas appeared to stomp the OSU defender in the chest, earning a personal foul penalty.
"There were just a lot of cheap shots out there," Thomas said. "I gave a little shot."
Kelly did not comment on the play after the game and said he hadn't seen it happen. Helfrich said the play had been addressed with Thomas, though not by Helfrich personally.
"It was just finishing the play," Poyer said. "I think he felt I shoved his face a little bit and I felt somebody step on me, but I didn't know who it was. It is part of football, I wasn't mad at him."
Beavers reset attendance mark
Saturday's attendance of 47,249 was an OSU record. ... Along with moving up Oregon's season and career rushing lists, Barner scored his 21st rushing touchdown Saturday, tying LaMichael James' UO record from 2010. Barner's 1,856 all-purpose yards are seventh in school history. ... Thomas' three touchdowns gave him 206 career points, sixth in UO history.
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|Title Annotation:||Oregon Football; Barner and Thomas both go over 100 yards, and the Ducks rush for 430 yards in 48-24 victory|
|Publication:||The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)|
|Date:||Nov 25, 2012|
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