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Beavers await word on bowl berth


OSU's competitive performance at Civil War buoys fans

by: COURTESY OF JOHN LARIVIERE - Oregon State receiver Victor Bolden turns the corner to score from 25 yards on a fly sweep, giving the Beavers a late lead in last weeks Civil War at Autzen Stadium.Oregon State is relatively sure it will play in a bowl game for the 11th time in 15 years.

Which bowl remains very much up in the air.

“It’s a fluid situation,” OSU athletic director Bob De Carolis says. “My impression is a lot of bowls will wait for the fallout from (which teams) get released by the BCS. We’ll probably have to wait until the weekend to know what the heck is going on.”

There are nine Pac-12 teams bowl-eligible and seven slotted bowls — the Rose, Alamo, Holiday, Sun, Las Vegas, Fight Hunger and New Mexico.

The winner of Saturday’s Pac-12 championship game between Stanford and Arizona State will play in the Rose Bowl.

There is a slim possibility the conference will get a second team in a BCS bowl, depending on the outcome of several games yet to be played this weekend throughout the country.

De Carolis is guessing the Beavers — 6-6 and on a five-game losing streak — won’t be one of the teams picked to fill the Pac-12 slots. Arizona, OSU and Washington State would seem to be the final three conference bowl-eligible teams, and word is New Mexico Bowl executives are leaning toward WSU, which hasn’t been to a bowl game since 2003, especially since Arizona played in the Albuquerque game a year ago.

De Carolis understands Oregon State’s regular-season finish will affect Beaver Nation’s interest in attending a bowl.

“When you lose five games in a row, that impacts the psyche of your fan base,” he says. “A bowl CEO/executive director wants to sell as many tickets as possible.”

Oregon State’s performance in its 36-35 Civil War loss might encourage fans on the fence to spend the time and money to watch the Beavers go for a winning season.

“People feel better about the way we played (against Oregon), so that will help,” De Carolis says. “But it depends on location, how hard it is to get there, the cost and the date. The games go from Dec. 23 to Jan. 4. That makes it tougher.”

Among the bowl games with slots available that might look toward Oregon State are the Beef O’Brady, Dec. 23 at St. Petersburg, Fla.; the Poinsettia, Dec. 26 at San Diego; the Little Caesars, Dec. 26 at Detroit; the Texas, Dec. 27 at Houston; the Pinstripe, Dec. 28 at New York; the AdvoCare V100 (formerly Independence), Dec. 31 at Shreveport, La.; the Heart of Dallas, Jan. 1, and perhaps

the BBVA Compass, Jan. 4 at Birmingham, Ala.

The closer the proximity to Oregon the better the chance, De Carolis thinks.

• Fresno State’s Derek Carr has taken over the national passing yardage lead from Oregon State’s Sean Mannion.

Mannion had led throughout the season until last weekend, when Carr threw for 519 yards in a 62-52 loss to San Jose State to increase his season total to 4,462. The Bulldogs still have the Mountain West championship game (against Utah State) and a bowl game to play.

Mannion is second at 4,403 yards, needing 56 to break the Pac-12 single-season record held by Washington’s Cody Pickett (4,458, 2002).

Mannion has 10,177 career passing yards, ranking second on the OSU list behind Derek Anderson (11,249). Mannion also trails Anderson in career TD passes (79-67).

Carr is the national leader in touchdown passes with 45, followed by Mannion with 36.

With four in a bowl game, Mannion could break the Pac-12 single-season record of 39 set by Southern Cal’s Matt Barkley in 2011.

• Brandin Cooks, a Biletnikoff Trophy finalist and Oregon State’s only all-Pac-12 selection this season, is battling Fresno State’s Davante Adams for the national lead in receptions and receiving yardage. Cooks, with an expected bowl game yet to play, has 120 receptions for 1,670 yards. Adams, with the MWC title game and a bowl to play, has 113 catches for 1,477 yards.

Cooks, who set the Pac-12 single-season receptions record this season, needs 52 yards to break the conference receiving yardage mark of 1,721 set by USC’s Marqise Lee last season. Cooks (208) needs 10 catches to pass Markus Wheaton for the career receptions mark.

• Oregon State ranks third nationally in pass offense (382.1) behind Fresno State (410.3) and Texas Tech (392.0). Even after rushing for 231 yards against Oregon — its best total since the 2011 season opener against Sacramento State — OSU climbed only to 118th of 123 FBS teams in rush offense at 86.0 per game. The Beavers are 25th in total offense at 468.1 per contest.

• In the Civil War, Oregon State advanced into Oregon territory on 11 of 14 possessions — and one of the three times it didn’t cross midfield was the final series, when the Beavers took over with 23 seconds left. Of the 11 possessions, OSU got two touchdowns and three field goals, failing to score on the other six. Oregon had 15 possessions, crossing midfield eight times. The Ducks had five TDs and a field goal, failing to score twice.

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