• Beavers show spark after devastating loss to Huskies

  • EUGENE — In the week leading up to the 117th Civil War, there was an unusual lack of excitement surrounding the game.
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  • "EUGENE — In the week leading up to the 117th Civil War, there was an unusual lack of excitement surrounding the game.
    Oregon had dropped out of the national and Pacific-12 championship pictures with two losses in its last three games and Oregon State had lost four straight. To top it off, the Ducks and Beavers both looked as though their minds were elsewhere in one-sided losses last week.
    So of course they got together in Autzen Stadium Saturday and played one of the great games in a rivalry dating back to 1894, with four lead changes in the final quarter before Oregon pulled out a 36-35 win. Giving up the winning touchdown with less than a minute to play — after taking the lead with less than two minutes remaining — was a gut punch for the Beavers, many of whom dropped to their knees on the turf before finding their way off the field.
    "It hurts," OSU senior cornerback Rashaad Reynolds said. "It hurts a lot. I can't even describe how much it hurts."
    What lessened the sting at least a bit was the way the Beavers had bounced back from a loss to Washington six days earlier. That 69-27 embarrassment at Reser Stadium saw OSU give up school records for points and rushing yards allowed.
    There was such a lack of emotion and execution that night that Oregon State head coach Mike Riley told his team during the week he didn't even want them thinking about the score during the Civil War.
    "I want to see us play football" was Riley's message to the Beavers.
    "I was totally devastated by that," Riley said of the loss to the Huskies. "I was disappointed in myself, our staff, the team. I thought it was essential (against Oregon) that we come out and play good football, play hard. I told them don't even look at the scoreboard because we've got to play better, and play with enthusiasm and passion.
    "I told them (after the Civil War), 'Now at least you can all look in the mirror, and you can look at each other and be proud of your team.'"
    That, Reynolds and junior quarterback Sean Mannion said, was at least minor consolation.
    "Five straight (losses) still sucks," Reynolds said. "But the way the guys came and fought, especially after last week, we came in and a game like this, the world didn't give us a shot. But the way the guys came in and didn't give up is definitely a plus."
    Added Mannion: "Every loss sucks, there's really nothing else to it. But I think there's a lot to feel good about; like I said at the start, I couldn't be prouder to be a member of this team. The way our whole team fought from start to finish, there's no quit in us."
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