EUGENE, Ore. — It became clear that LaMichael James wasn't too badly hurt when he and Oregon teammate Kenjon Barner danced on the sidelines before the start of the fourth quarter.
The junior duo bopped to "Shout!" with the rest of the crowd at Autzen Stadium as the No. 9 Ducks cruised to a 49-21 victory over Oregon State in the Civil War rivalry game to clinch the Pac-12 North and a spot in the league's first championship game.
Earlier in the quarter, James — who ran for 142 yards and the game's first touchdown — left with an injured left elbow.
"It's good," he said, vigorously flexing his elbow after the game. "I could've played."
The demonstration was assurance that he'd be ready next Friday night when Oregon (10-2, 8-1 Pac-12) host UCLA with a chance to win a third straight conference title and a spot in the Rose Bowl.
Quarterback Darron Thomas, who threw for 305 yards and four touchdowns, said a victory in the Civil War was one of the goals Oregon set at the start of the season. The Ducks have won the last four in the 115-game history of the rivalry.
"This was a big game for the team and we wanted to win it for Eugene," Thomas said. "The win wasn't just for us, it was for the fans."
The Beavers (3-9, 3-6) aren't going to a bowl game for the second straight season.
"I like this team for the fact that they kept working. It didn't amount to much today considering the result of the game, but I think the fact that they certainly have improved, they kept a good attitude," Oregon State coach Mike Riley said. "I think it's a tribute to the group of seniors that we have and I think it bodes well for the guys that are all coming back to this team when we get started in January. That's what we have to look forward to."
James, a Heisman finalist last season, entered the game as the nation's top rusher with an average of 142.78 yards per game. He was hurt midway through the third when he was hit by Oregon State linebacker Tony Wilson.
The junior running back was already wearing a brace on his right elbow, which he dislocated on Oct. 6 against California. He missed two games because of that injury.
Oregon looked as if it was making a strong bid for a spot in the BCS championship game until last weekend, when the Ducks fell to Southern California 38-35. But they bounced back easily against Oregon State.
Versatile freshman De'Anthony Thomas rushed for 71 yards and had 10 catches for 86 yards and a score. Barner ran for 64 yards and a touchdown, and also caught a scoring pass.
"I feel like we played real well," said De'Anthony Thomas, who finished with 197 all-purpose yards. "I can't wait to play next week. We're gonna play even better."
Redshirt freshman Sean Mannion threw for 299 yards and three touchdowns for the Beavers. But Oregon State struggled on the ground with just 16 yards rushing, compared to Oregon's 365.
James scored early on a 1-yard run, becoming Oregon's all-time leading scorer with 324 points.
The Beavers tied it at 7 when Jovan Stevenson grabbed a swing pass from Mannion and weaved his way downfield for a touchdown early in the second quarter.
"I don't know if I was nervous, more like excited," Mannion said. "You get to play in a rivalry and after the first play, it's just playing football. That's all there is to it."
Before the half Oregon scored on Darron Thomas' 16-yard pass to David Paulson and his 8-yard pass to De'Anthony Thomas.
Darron Thomas hit Barner with another 16-yard TD just before halftime to make it 28-7. Barner ran a yard for another score in the third quarter, and Thomas connected with freshman Colt Lyerla for a 39-yard touchdown early in the fourth.
Mannion threw two TDs in the fourth quarter to Kevin Cummings (19 yards) and Brandin Cooks (23 yards).
Oregon State flanker James Rodgers did not suit up because of a left ankle injury. It was to be the final game of a college career with some great moments and a severe injury.
In the 2007 Civil War, Rodgers scored on a fly sweep in overtime to give the Beavers a 38-31 victory at Autzen Stadium. Oregon State has not defeated their in-state rival since then.
"I told him I did not think he looked good and that I didn't think he should play," said Riley, who made the call after watching Rodgers in pregame warmups. "It's obviously tough, but ... being his last game also wouldn't have been any good to put him at risk. So I didn't think it was wise."
Rodgers was a fifth-year senior this season coming off a pair of knee surgeries.
Oregon linebacker Dewitt Stuckey (shoulder) and end Dion Jordan (ankle) both played against Oregon State after leaving with injuries against USC.
Last weekend's loss to USC at Autzen Stadium snapped a 21-game winning streak at home and a 19-game win streak in conference games. The Ducks haven't lost two straight at home since 2002.
"I felt like we shouldn't have lost that game," De'Anthony Thomas said. "But those things happen. Now we gotta get back and win the Pac-12 championship."
No. 4 STANFORD 28, No. 22 NOTRE DAME 14: At Stanford, Calif., Andrew Luck set the school record for the most career touchdown passes and eclipsed his own single-season mark, throwing for 233 yards and four scores to lead fourth-ranked Stanford past No. 22 Notre Dame in his final home game. Luck topped John Elway's record of 77 touchdown passes and helped the Cardinal (11-1) build a 21-0 halftime lead. He has thrown for 80 touchdowns in three years, including 35 this season.
Tommy Rees threw an interception, lost a fumble and took a bruising blow to the ribs for Notre Dame (8-4) before getting benched. Andrew Hendrix threw for 192 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score in a second-half rally for the Fighting Irish that came up short.
The victory likely vaulted Stanford into an at-large BCS bowl bid for the second straight year — with the Fiesta Bowl among the leading possible destinations — but the program will not play for a major championship this season. The lone loss to Oregon put the Ducks in the Pac-12 title game out of the North Division and crushed the Cardinal's dreams of a national title.
No. 10 USC 50, UCLA 0: At Los Angeles, Matt Barkley passed for 423 yards and six touchdowns in his possible Coliseum farewell, Robert Woods set the conference's single-season receptions record while catching 12 passes for 113 yards and two TDs, and No. 10 Southern California finished its resurgent season with a demolition of Pac-12 title game-bound UCLA.
Marqise Lee had 13 catches for 224 yards and two TDs during a showcase of offensive brilliance by the Trojans (10-2, 7-2), who are banned from postseason play under heavy NCAA sanctions. USC still went out in style, jumping to a 29-point halftime lead before posting its largest victory in the city championship game since 1930, the rivalry's second year.
USC won seven of its final eight games, capped by this utter obliteration of the crosstown Bruins (6-6, 5-4), who will represent the division at Oregon this week despite finishing two games behind USC in the South standings.
WASHINGTON 38, WASHINGTON STATE 21: At Seattle, Keith Price threw three touchdown passes to become Washington's all-time single-season leader in that category, the final one a 22-yard toss to Chris Polk, and Washington held off rival Washington State to win the 104th Apple Cup.
Price threw his 29th touchdown pass of the season midway through the third quarter. Price, who sat out last week's loss at Oregon State due to injury, finished 21-of-29 for 291 yards.
The Huskies (7-5, 5-4 Pac-12) snapped a three-game losing streak and sent the Cougars (4-8, 2-7) into an offseason filled with questions.
ARIZONA 45, LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 37: At Tucson, Ariz., Nick Foles threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns in his final game for Arizona, and the Wildcats held off Louisiana-Lafayette.
Foles, whose status for the game had been uncertain because of bruised ribs, tied the school record for career (64) and single-season (31) touchdown passes. He already held virtually all other passing records at the school. Foles also topped 4,000 yards passing for the season and 10,000 for his career.
Juron Criner caught nine passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns for the Wildcats (4-8), breaking the school career record for TD receptions at 32.
Blaine Gautier threw for 315 yards and a touchdown and ran for a score for the Ragin' Cajuns (8-4), who cut the Arizona lead to eight points three times in the fourth quarter. Javon Lawson caught five passes for 137 yards for the Cajuns.
Gautier tied Jake Delhomme's school record of touchdown passes in a season at 20.
Louisiana-Lafayette tied an NCAA record when Jemarious Moten intercepted Foles' pass and returned it 41 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, the seventh "pick six" of the season for the team. That tied a mark set by Tennessee in 1971.
The Cajuns of the Sun Belt Conference accepted a bid to the New Orleans Bowl on Monday, their first postseason appearance in 41 years.
Arizona (4-8) finished 3-3 under interim coach Tim Kish after Mike Stoops was fired halfway through the season. New Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez visited with tailgaters before the game and was introduced to the crowd at halftime.
CALIFORNIA 47, ARIZONA STATE 38: At Tempe, Ariz., C.J. Anderson scored three touchdowns, Isi Sofele ran for 145 yards and another score and California ended the regular season with a win over Arizona State on Friday night.
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Anderson scored on two runs and a 74-yard catch, and Giorgio Tavecchio hit four field goals to help Cal (7-5, 4-5) ensure its ninth winning season in 10 years.
Zach Maynard threw for 237 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score as the bowl-bound Bears racked up 484 total yards.
Arizona State (6-6, 4-5) lost its chance of winning the Pac-12 South and may have put coach Dennis Erickson's job in jeopardy with its fourth straight loss.
Cameron Marshall ran for 157 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but had a big fumble in the fourth quarter for the Sun Devils. Brock Osweiler threw for 264 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions.