CORVALLIS — This time when it rained, the Ducks poured it on.
Two years after the infamous raincoat incident, Oregon continued its recent Civil War dominance with a 55-15 razing of Oregon State in front of a soggy crowd of 39,776 on Friday at Reser Stadium.
Instead of shivering in their fancy Nike gear, which the visitors were accused of doing during the 34-24 loss here in 2016, the Ducks pushed the Beavers around as the cold drizzle began to fall out of the charcoal sky.
The players on the visiting sideline, despite losing starting quarterback Justin Herbert to injury late in the second quarter, were jumping with energy as the weather worsened.
"I was looking over at the Oregon State sideline and I didn’t see the same energy," left guard Shane Lemieux said after the offensive line opened holes for 392 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns. "That’s a really big growing up period for our team and our culture."
CJ Verdell rushed for 187 yards and scored five touchdowns (four rushing, one receiving), and Travis Dye added 199 yards rushing and two touchdowns on the ground.
Since coughing up a 10-point lead while letting Ryan Nall break their will, the Ducks have outscored Oregon State 124-25 in back-to-back Civil War wins.
"It’s always a good feeling when they know what you’re doing and they can’t stop it," said Verdell, who averaged 8.1 yards per carry. "That just means that’s pure dominance up front. That’s what it was."
The Ducks (8-4, 5-4) gave first-year coach Mario Cristobal one more win than they had during a 7-5 finish under Willie Taggart, who left for Florida State after the 69-10 victory over the Beavers in 2017.
With Herbert watching the second half in a hoodie and sweatpants, Braxton Burmeister only attempted three passes — an incompletion to Johnny Johnson on a third down, a failed 2-point conversion and a 16-yard completion to tight end Ryan Bay in garbage time.
It was still sweet redemption for the sophomore signal-caller who struggled during a 1-4 stretch as Oregon's starter last year when Herbert was out with a fractured collarbone.
"We were just running the ball all over," Burmeister said of the smash-mouth game plan, "and that really makes it easy on the quarterback."
After Herbert left the game, the Ducks ran the ball on their next 16 plays, including all 11 snaps of the opening drive of the third quarter, which was capped with a 15-yard touchdown scamper by Dye to give Oregon a 28-3 lead.
"We knew that it was all going to be on our shoulders," Dye said. "We had to pound the rock."
First-year coach Jonathan Smith went into his bag of tricks, but a double-reverse pass was broken up in the Beavers' backfield. Champ Flemmings was hit for a loss of 18 yards and fumbled, which defensive end Gus Cumberlander recovered at the Oregon State 23-yard line.
The turnover set up Verdell’s 14-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-1 to give Oregon a 34-9 lead with 3:29 remaining in the third quarter.
Thomas Graham returned an interception for a 38-yard touchdown, Dye broke loose for a 39-yard touchdown run and Verdell tacked on a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
The Beavers (2-10, 1-8) scored two touchdowns on passes from Jake Luton to Timmy Hernandez, but both extra points were botched.
"People are going to say that Oregon State is not that good obviously," Lemieux said. "They play us hard every single year. They came out and played really hard because it’s against us. I’m really proud of our guys and really proud of our unit."
Not even the lingering tryptophan from the Thanksgiving turkey could keep the Ducks from sleepwalking through the start of the game. Oregon, which had been outscored a combined 69-15 during the first halves of its three-game road losing skid, scored the first 21 points.
Herbert extended his streak of games with at least one touchdown pass to 27, the longest active streak in the FBS, with a 21-yard completion to Verdell. Then the redshirt freshman bulled his way in for a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs.
"We had made that a huge point of emphasis and from the get-go wanted to start fast," Cristobal said. "And we started fast. The momentum kept building and we ended up playing more of a complete game, more of our style of football."
Cristobal did not have an update on Herbert's status after the game and said the junior with a bright NFL draft future would have medical tests done back in Eugene.
The players seemed confident that Herbert, who was in concussion protocol after the Arizona game, would be able to return for the bowl game.
The 6-foot-6, 237-pound Herbert was 9-for-12 passing for 102 yards and a touchdown under the Friday night lights at Reser Stadium before his early exit.
"He’s good, man," Lemieux said. "Obviously he’s really happy for us and he did good in the first half. He’s an Oregon guy and this is a big game for him. So getting a win is all I think he really cares about."