6:30 PM ET, September 13, 2003
Reser Stadium, Corvallis, OR
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) -- Steven Jackson crossed his arms over his face and grimaced as team trainers worked over his left knee and Oregon State's fans anxiously watched and waited.
Jackson had run for 166 yards and two touchdowns as the Beavers rebounded to beat New Mexico State 28-16 on Saturday.
But Oregon State's star tailback was hit hard with a little more than 5 minutes left in the game and limped off the field. He did not return -- but he earned a standing ovation from fans when he made his way to the locker room unaided several tense minutes later.
Coach Mike Riley said afterward he did not believe the injury was serious, but Jackson's status for next week was not known.
"He IS our offense," linebacker Trent Bray said. "Without him we really can't move the ball."
Jackson, the Pac-10's leading rusher, also caught three passes for 15 yards for the Beavers (2-1), who fell behind 13-0 early to the Aggies (1-2).
Oregon State quarterback Derek Anderson, under fire because of five interceptions in last week's loss to Fresno State, completed 17 of 30 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown. He ran for another score as the Beavers put up 454 yards of total offense.
"As a team, when adversity came up we kept fighting," Anderson said. "We struggled early offensively, but we kept it together and moved the ball."
Anderson was shaky at the start, dropping the ball as he reached back to throw on the Beavers' first series. The fumble was scooped up by Greg Scaffidi -- who ran 22 yards for a touchdown.
The Aggies stunned the sellout crowd at Reser Stadium when they made it 13-0 on Higgins' long run later in the first quarter.
When Anderson was unable to accomplish anything, fans started chanting for backup Adam Rothenfluh.
But midway through the second quarter, Anderson found tight end Tim Euhus in the end zone with a 1-yard pass.
Jackson ran 4 yards for another score as time ran down in the first half, giving the Beavers a 14-13 lead at the break.
Jackson scored from 2 yards out in the third quarter with a 2-yard scoring run, while Anderson's 1-yard keeper made it 28-13.
"To play pretty gutsy after a horrible start, that was pretty impressive," Riley said about Anderson.
Dario Aguiniga added a 53-yard field goal for the Aggies in the final quarter.
New Mexico State started with Dombrowksi but went to Pierce on their second series, keeping the Beavers' defense off balance.
Dombrowski was 6-of-11 for 93 yards, while Pierce was 4-of-11 for 23 yards. Dombrowski also had carries for 42 yards.
"I'm proud of the way they played," New Mexico State coach Tony Samuel said. "They played extremely hard and hung in there."
Anderson finished with two interceptions, capping a week where many fans questioned whether he should be the starter. As a sophomore last season he threw for a school-record 3,313 yards and 25 touchdowns.
So far this season, Jackson has rushed for 423 yards and five touchdowns and caught 12 passes for 189 yards.
"You've got a great running back right there. He does a great job," Samuel said. "He's a big kid. He played well late as well as early."
The Beavers were without kicker Kirk Yliniemi, who had an appendectomy earlier in the week. He was replaced by John Daily, making his college debut. ^