Oregon (4-7) vs Oregon State (3-8)
Saturday, November 26h // Corvallis, OR // 1:00pm PST
You can run the ball on Oregon State. The Beavers give up 230 yards rushing per game (108th in NCAA) and 5.3 yards per rush attempt (111th). Cal, a team that averages only 150 yards rushing per game, posted 317 yards when they played OSU in early October. Considering Oregon rushed for 251 yards at Utah last week–the Utes give up an average of 132 yards per game–it would make sense for the Ducks to ride Royce Freeman and Tony Brooks-James on Saturday afternoon.
The players want to send Helf out with a win in his last game. The beavers aren’t very good. Herb is starting to really spread his wings and Royce was starting to look a little better last week.
Contrary to the Laws Of Sports, in my experience the Civil War visitors have tended to outplay themselves when it comes to this game. It is well known that rivalry games — even between two teams on opposite ends of the success spectrum — are often a toss up. Crazy things happen. Even teams which have been bad (Oregon State) for most of the season (Oregon State) can push the hosts to the brink (unfortunately also Oregon State).
Mark Helfrich is another native son of Oregon, and he has acknowledged in the past that the Civil War is always special. Imagine how special it must feel knowing you may very well be playing for your job (or Charlie Strong’s). I think the win last week spared him from seeing the chopping block, but a loss would still be very bad.
Our (once) Mighty Ducks come in on the heels of a Top 12 upset that NOBODY saw coming. Oregon’s 22nd ranked rush offense meets up with Little Brother’s 106th ranked rush defense. This could easily be the final game of Royce Freeman’s Oregon career & if so, expect a big output from him. Justin Herbiota continues to improve game by game & if a sudden re-emergence of Darren Carrington (né Droppington) holds for the final game of the season, Oregon should easily handle the Biebers.
The Ducks can’t stop the run. Every bad thing I said about Oregon State’s rush defense can be said about Oregon’s rush defense. The Ducks allow 255 yards per game on the ground (119th) and 5.9 yards per rush (123rd). I’m not sure what the Civil War record is for most combined rushing attempts, but this game should test it. And while the Beavs are bad against the run, their overall defensive numbers are much better than Oregon’s. They allow 5.7 ypp (Oregon gives up 6.5) and 440 total yards (541 for Oregon). You can bet their goal on Saturday will be to make the Ducks beat them through the air, the strength of the Beaver defense.
It’s 2016. Nothing goes right. We have a Cheeto as the president elect. The Ducks probably miss a bowl game with the first losing season in 10 years. The players are all fixated on Tom Herman and the future.
There are two Oregon teams that have played this year: Oregon Weeks 1-10 and Week 11 Oregon. While I’d like to believe last week was a sign of upward mobility, I’m not confident. In fact, I would be MORE surprised to see us come out like the strong, confident team of last week than if we came out like a limp fish. Or a…Lame Duck, if you will. Oh, you won’t? Ah, you’re right. I apologize. Consider it redacted. This is a game to see who will finish last in the Pac 12. That’s a dishonor the Beavers are accustomed to — and, presumably, very tired of. I’m inclined to believe they will be more motivated than we are.
Well, like always, defense. Maybe Utah had an off day. Maybe Utah was looking ahead past the Ducks. Who knows. But for most of an entire game, for the first time this season, Oregon’s defense wasn’t entirely abysmal. If Oregon comes out playing Oregon defense like the first 10 games of the season, Little Bro is gonna have a good day. OSewe mopped the floor with Arizona, but let’s remember, that’s not saying much when a team has yet to win a conference game & whose only victories are against juggernauts Grambling & Hawaii. If the Arizona drubbing creates confidence & a little bit of rhythm in the Beavfense, all it will take is a lackadaisical Oregon D to find ourselves losing yet another streak in a season full of broken streaks.
The Beavers are 3-3 at home, and the losses are by 14 to Boise State, 5 vs. Utah, and 4 vs. WSU — they’re a much different team in Corvallis. They’re playing a game they fully expect to win in front of their first sellout in two seasons. I think they’ll punch the Ducks early and force them to play from behind. Unlike last week, there won’t be any crazy comeback, and OSU will end their 8-game Civil War losing streak 36-31.
Oregon 37-OSU 36
I genuinely think this one is a toss up. That’s kind of fun, in a way. This is a very low-stakes game for both teams. In a sense, it’s the perfect rivalry game. Of course it would be preferable to be, say, Ohio State and Michigan. Everyone wants to play for a shot at a title. But you know what? That’s stressful. This isn’t. This is sports at its purest.
Civil War is once again THE bowl game for both teams & my it’s been a while since we said that. This game should hinge on the type of defense that Oregon plays. I don’t believe this team has it in them yet to string together consecutive weeks of par defense. Oregon is bad, but Saturday, Oregon State is just a little bit worse. Oregon 44 Little Brother 34