Corvallis, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - Tyler Gaffney rushed for 145 yards and a career-high three touchdowns on 22 carries, and Stanford's defense came up with a big stand in the final seconds, as the eighth-ranked Cardinal held off Oregon State, 20-12, on Saturday at Reser Stadium.
Gaffney's third score of the night came on a 32-yard scamper early in the fourth and staked Stanford to a 20-9 cushion.
After forcing back-to-back punts from the Beavers, Gaffney had a chance to ice the game for the Cardinal, but fumbled at his own 20-yard line, setting up Trevor Romaine's 39-yard field goal that brought Oregon State within 20-12.
With all three of their timeouts, the Beavers elected to kick it deep and then stopped Gaffney for no gain on 3rd-and-1 after using two of their timeouts.
Brandin Cooks returned the ensuing punt 28 yards to the Stanford 43 before a defensive pass interference call moved the Beavers to the 32-yard line.
Cooks came up with a pair of receptions to give Oregon State a 1st-and-goal from the 7, but Sean Mannion misfired on his next three passes to leave the Beavers with one play and only seven ticks left on the clock.
With the game on the line, Mannion fired a strike to Kevin Cummings in the end zone, but Cardinal safety Ed Reynolds jarred the ball loose, allowing Stanford (7-1, 5-1 Pac-12) to escape with the victory.
"The goal was to score and that was it," Cooks said of the team's final possession. "That was all we could hope for and all we were trying to do."
Kevin Hogan finished 8-for-18 passing for 88 yards for the Cardinal, who have won two straight heading into their Nov. 7 matchup with No. 2 Oregon.
"I'm already done thinking about Oregon State and the effort tonight, but it wasn't good enough to beat Oregon or good enough to be in the game against Oregon," Stanford head coach David Shaw said. "So, we have a bunch of stuff that we need to make sure we do in the next 12 to 14 days to play one of the best teams in the nation."
Mannion completed 41-of-57 passes for 271 yards and threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Cooks, who hauled in a game-high nine passes for 80 yards in the setback, which snapped Oregon State's (6-2, 4-1) six-game winning streak.
Oregon State opened the scoring on Romaine's 50-yard field goal early in the second, but the Beavers turned the ball over on downs on their next two touches, as Mannion threw incomplete on 4th-and-3 from the Stanford 18 before getting stacked up at the line on 4th-and-1 to end the team's next touch.
With 46 seconds left in the half, Hogan moved the Cardinal down the field, converting a 3rd-and-12 with a 37-yard strike to Ty Montgomery before breaking free for 23 yards down to the Oregon State 4 two plays later.
Gaffney capped the drive on Stanford's next play as he surged up the middle and appeared to be stopped for no gain, but kept his balance as he stumbled into the end zone for a 4-yard score to send Stanford into the break with a 7-3 lead.
Victor Bolden then fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half at his own 12-yard line, setting up Gaffney's 9-yard TD run two plays later. Conrad Ukropina missed the ensuing extra point, leaving Stanford with a 13-3 edge less than a minute into the third.
After turning the ball over on downs again on their next possession, the Beavers forced a Stanford three-and-out before marching 90 yards in 12 plays to pull within 13-9.
Terron Ward highlighted the trek with a 34-yard scamper before converting a 3rd-and-3 from the Stanford 15 with a 7-yard reception.
Mannion capped the drive on the next play, finding Cooks for an 8-yard touchdown to make it a four-point game with under a minute left in the third.
Stanford answered on its ensuing touch, which Hogan kept alive with an 18-yard completion to Kodi Whitfield on 3rd-and-14 from the Cardinal 35.
Three plays later, Gaffney took a carry off the left side and outraced the defense on his way to a 32-yard TD run that made it 20-9 early in the fourth.
Oregon State was looking for its first seven-game win streak since ending the 2000 season with a win over No. 10 Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl ... The Beavers compiled 23 first downs, while Stanford managed just 13 ... Stanford racked up 185 yards and held Oregon State to just 17 yards on the ground ... Oregon State finished 6-for-17 on third-down efficiency and 1-for-5 on fourth-down conversions.