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Disappointed Beavers wait on final destination

EUGENE — Slumped in a chair inside the visitor's interview room, Oregon State quarterback Sean Canfield couldn't hide his disappointment.

For the second year in row, the Beavers saw their dreams of playing in the Rose Bowl dashed in the Civil War, this time in a 37-33 defeat to Oregon at Autzen Stadium Thursday night.

"It's very disappointing," Canfield said. "We came so close again and we didn't make enough plays to get it done."

The Beavers led 33-28 late in the third quarter but couldn't stop the Ducks from scoring nine straight to end the game.

"It's never easy to come, fight hard, put yourself in the position you've worked for all season and you let it slip through your fingers. It hurts," OSU linebacker Keith Pankey said.

"It's tough to swallow," Canfield added. "I said earlier it was such a great football environment, everything I thought it would be. I'm just disappointed."

Where the Beavers go from here is uncertain. Though they lost out on their first Rose Bowl since the 1964 season, they still will play in a school-record fourth straight bowl game.

Which one, however, won't be known until Saturday.

Oregon State is in a second-place tie in the conference with Stanford at 6-3, and possibly USC or Arizona — who play on Saturday — and California.

The Holiday Bowl, played in San Diego on Dec. 30, has its pick of second-place teams and it's assumed it will take the Trojans if they're eligible. Next in line is the Sun Bowl, which has a no-repeat clause and thus would pass on the Beavers, who beat Pittsburgh in El Paso last season. Then comes the Emerald Bowl (Dec. 26 in San Francisco), the Las Vegas Bowl (Dec. 22) and the Poinsettia Bowl (Dec. 23, San Diego).

Wherever they land, Pankey said the Beavers will be ready.

"The key will be to do what we always do, get back to work and get better," he said. "We fought hard but it didn't go our way. People will be mad today, sad tomorrow, but at the end of the day, we have another game coming up."


RECORD-SETTERS: It wasn't a complete loss for at least two Beavers. Brothers James and Jacquizz Rodgers each set school records on Thursday.

Quizz Rodgers, playing in his first Civil War game, set Oregon State's single-season touchdown record with a 1-yard score on the Beavers' opening drive. It was the 21st touchdown of the season for the sophomore running back, who came into the game tied with Steven Jackson for the school record.

James Rodgers set the Oregon State single-season record for all-purpose yards on his go-ahead touchdown at the end of the first half. The 28-yard catch put the Beavers up 23-21 at halftime and gave the junior receiver 2,023 yards on the season, eight more than Jackson's 2003 record of 2,015. James Rodgers finished with 303 total yards — 139 receiving, 29 rushing and 135 on returns — to increase his total to 2,213.


GOING FOR IT: Trailing 37-33 with 6:16 to play, OSU coach Mike Riley opted to go for a first down on fourth and 15 from Oregon's 27-yard line instead of bringing in kicker Justin Kahut, who was 4-for-4 already in game, for what would've been a 44-yard attempt to cut the Ducks' lead to one.

"I didn't know if we would get another opportunity and if they scored another touchdown it would be over and I thought we needed a touchdown right there," Riley explained.

But quarterback Sean Canfield was short on a throw to James Rodgers on the sideline right at the first-down marker.

"We were all confident with the call," Canfield said. "It was a great call. We have a lot of playmakers on offense and I thought it was the right decision. We just couldn't get it done."

Rodgers was the second option on the play, Canfield said. The first was to hit tight end Joe Halahuni down the seam but Halahuni was covered and Canfield came under pressure, forcing him to get rid of the ball quickly.

"I was just a few inches off," Canfield said.

The Ducks took over with 6:09 to play and ran out the clock.


LOUD CROWD: Despite practicing all week on silent counts to help combat the expected noise they'd face at Autzen, the Beavers still committed five false starts on Thursday and were flagged 10 times overall for 65 yards.

"I thought for the most part our guys were not overwhelmed by the noise but we did get some procedure penalties because of it and they put us in some bad third downs," Riley said. "I thought we could do a lot of stuff on them but we couldn't do it if we kept putting ourselves in a hole."

The announced crowd of 59,597 was a stadium record and the atmosphere inside Autzen lived up to the pregame hype.

"It was electric, a lot of energy," said Pankey. "It was an extremely loud stadium, the loudest stadium I've ever been in and I think both teams fed off of it."


OF NOTE: Oregon State starting right cornerback Tim Clark was taken off the field on a cart early in the second half after fracturing his right leg. Clark, with 16 career starts, was the veteran of the secondary for the Beavers. He appeared to get injured when a teammate rolled up on the back of his leg while Clark was tackling Oregon running back LaMichael James ... Freshman receiver Markus Wheaton caught one pass for a career-best 25 yards in the first quarter, significant only because Wheaton is the cousin of Oregon football icon Kenny Wheaton, whose 98-yard interception return for a touchdown — forever known as "The Pick" — in the final minute sealed a 31-20 against No. 9 Washington in 1994 and propelled the Ducks to the Rose Bowl.