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Bernard finishes career in style

SAN FRANCISCO — With his 177 yards on 38 carries, Yvenson Bernard set an Emerald Bowl record for most rushing yards and attempts, en route to being named offensive MVP for the contest. The Beavers' senior from Boca Raton, Fla., vaulted from 10th place on the all-time Pac-10 rushing list into sixth place, passing Ricky Bell, Anthony Davis, Gaston Green, and Trung Candidate in the process. Bernard, who finished his career with 3,862 rushing yards, trails only Ken Simonton (5,044 yards) on the all-time Oregon State list.

"I wasn't even thinking about records or any of that," said Bernard. "It was all about going out on top, winning my last game as a senior. I can't think of a better way to leave the program."


WITH THE WIN, Mike Riley improved to 4-0 all-time as a head coach in bowl games. Before the Beavers' 21-14 win in the Emerald Bowl, Riley coached Oregon State to wins in the 2006 Sun Bowl, the 2004 Insight Bowl, and the 2003 Las Vegas Bowl.

"I don't really think there is anything special I do," Riley said. "It seems like it has to do mostly with the momentum of the teams heading into the bowl game. We had won six of our last seven games coming into this bowl, so we were clearly on a roll."


AFTER A WELL-PLAYED first quarter in which the two teams combined for 21 points and 258 yards of total offense, the second quarter offered a sharp contrast in style. Over a seven-possession span in the second quarter the two teams turned the ball over five times, including two interceptions thrown by Maryland's Chris Turner. Beavers' quarterback Sean Canfield, forced into action by an injury to starter Lyle Moevao, didn't fare any better, fumbling once and throwing an interception in the Terrapins' end zone. Despite starting three drives in Maryland territory and one at midfield, the Beavers managed just seven points in the sloppy second quarter.

"It was kind of a strange game," Riley said.


OREGON STATE ENJOYED an overwhelming crowd advantage, with an estimated 80 percent of the 32,517 sporting the Beavers' orange and black covers. The game's West Coast location had a clear impact, as only a small contingent of Terrapin fans made the 2,800-mile, cross country trip to San Francisco. The crowd turnout, buoyed in large part by the impassioned Beaver contingency that stayed for the game's entirety, despite a steady drizzle, was the second largest in the Emerald Bowl's six-year history.

"The fans were great, they definitely impacted the game," Riley said. "It felt like a home game out there for us, and I think our fans helped force a couple of Maryland penalties."


OREGON STATE DOMINATED the trenches in the contest, as the offense piled up 275 yards rushing, while the Beavers' defense, which entered the contest second in the nation against the rush at 75 yards per game, held the Terrapins to just 19 yards on 25 carries. Along with Bernard's dominance, Beavers' freshman wide receiver James Rodgers ran for a career-high 115 yards on 10 carries, including four carries for 65 yards in Oregon State's game clinching 96-yard drive in the fourth quarter that ran out the clock.

"James does it all for us," Bernard said. "I'm looking forward to watching him play next year for Oregon State."

It was the first time since 2000 that the Beavers had two players go over 100 yards in the same game.


AFTER GETTING BURNED in the first quarter for 164 yards, Oregon State's defense rebounded to resemble the unit that entered the contest ranked 12th overall in the nation. The Beavers' secondary was torched in the early going, allowing the Terrapins' Chris Turner to complete nine of his first 12 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns. The unit tightened up over the game's final three quarters, harassing Maryland's quarterback into misfiring on nine of his final 17 pass attempts while corralling two interceptions. Overall, the Beavers' defense allowed just 60 yards over the final three quarters, forcing the Terrapins to punt seven times.

"I think they came out with a couple of things we hadn't seen before," said Oregon State's defensive lineman, Jeff Van Orsow. "But we got some momentum with our touchdown right before the half, and I think our defense fed off that."

Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen said that the Beavers' defense was "probably the best we've seen all year. We obviously couldn't do much against them."

Oregon State quarterback Sean Canfield, left, celebrates with teammate Yvenson Bernard after beating Maryland in the Emerald Bowl. - AP