"You can let it define you, destroy you or strengthen you," Barner said. "With this team, every loss we've taken in the past, it's strengthened us, made us stronger. Looking back on Stanford, it was a loss. We knew what we had to do to get back on the winning track, and we did it."
Barner ran for 198 yards and two touchdowns despite leaving the game for a time with what he called a minor injury, and No. 5 Oregon defeated No. 16 Oregon State, 48-24, in front of a Reser Stadium-record 47,249.
The victory kept the Ducks (11-1 overall, 8-1 Pac-12 Conference) alive for a spot in the conference title game and even an outside chance at the national championship.
It was Oregon's fifth consecutive victory in the 116-game rivalry series with the Beavers, known as the Civil War.
Oregon State (8-3, 6-3) will play host to Nicholls State on Saturday in a matchup that was supposed to open the season but was put off when Hurricane Isaac bore down on the Colonels' campus in Thibodaux, La.
The Beavers will have to wait to learn where they're headed for a bowl game, but already their season can be counted a success after they finished 3-9 last year.
Barner appeared to injure his abdomen or ribs late in the first half and headed to the locker room. He returned after the break, but much of the work went to De'Anthony Thomas until Barner returned on a scoring drive that made it 41-17 early in the fourth quarter.
Thomas finished with 122 yards rushing and three scores. Teammate Marcus Mariota, a redshirt freshman, threw for 140 yards and a score, and rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown.
Sean Mannion threw for 311 yards and a late touchdown for the Beavers, but had four passes intercepted. Storm Woods rushed for 70 yards and two scores.
"We have another opponent and we don't have time to pout and feel sorry for ourselves," Mannion said. "Nicholls State is going to come in here and try to beat us, and we have to prepare accordingly. I think it will be a good thing because I know everyone is hurting about this one, especially the seniors."
Oregon struck on its first possession with Mariota's 42-yard touchdown run. A two-point conversion try failed.
The Beavers took a 7-6 lead on Woods' seven-yard touchdown run, but the Ducks answered on the next series with Thomas' two-yard touchdown dash. Barner scored on a one-yard run before being injured.
With his first 15 yards rushing Saturday, Barner moved past Derek Loville (1986-89) for second on Oregon's all-time rushing list.
Trevor Romaine kicked a 36-yard field goal to narrow it to 20-10 at halftime and the Beavers pulled closer with Woods' two-yard scoring run on their first series of the second half.
It was all Ducks the rest of the way.
The Ducks hold a 60-46-10 advantage in the Civil War, which began in 1894 and is the seventh-most contested rivalry in the nation.
It was the fourth time that both teams were ranked going into the game. The last time had been 2009, when Oregon was No. 7 and Oregon State was No. 13. That game was dubbed the "War of the Roses" because the winner was guaranteed a Rose Bowl berth. Oregon won, 37-33.