Usually in this game I can see a chance for both sides to win. I’m having a real difficult time picturing the Beavers finding a way this year, though.
I just don’t see it. They don’t appear to have the kind of defense that can stop the Ducks on the ground and they don’t seem to have the kind offense that can play mistake-free and dominate the clock. Can they run on Oregon? Heck, they haven’t been able to consistently run on many teams this season.
Oregon is just too good for them this season. And I’m afraid this one could be an early blowout. I thought bad weather — a lot of rain — would help OSU but it appears that other than some fog, the skies will be clear Saturday afternoon.
For the Beavers to win — Ryan Katz will have to be error-free and play the game of his life. Jaquizz Rodgers needs to have at least 150 yards rushing. Oregon is going to need to put the ball on the turf more than twice. Darron Thomas would probably have to throw two interceptions. Or, Thomas would have to get hurt — which would frighten me a little if I were Oregon.
I’m still not a big fan of not getting the backup quarterback at least one series prior to having to use him in a game like this. There is simply so much at stake and Thomas is bidding, I believe, to be the first Duck quarterback in the Chip Kelly era to stay healthy enough to get through an entire season as the starter in every single game. If a true freshman has to come in at quarterback in a tight game Saturday, Oregon might be in trouble.
The biggest thing OSU has going for it is Mike Riley. He’s one of the best big-game coaches in the country and is capable of coming up with a game plan that could work. Problem for him — I’m not sure his guys can execute it.
Meanwhile, on the other side, there’s simply too much at stake for the Ducks to lose this game. Huge amounts of money, incredible recruiting advantages, prestige and the chance to do something that’s never been done before in this state — win a national title.
The oddsmakers have been kind to the Beavers by calling this a two-touchdown game but I think it’s going to be a much bigger margin than that.
A few notes you might like:
- In the last two Civil War matchups Oregon has outrushed OSU 673-172.
- Oregon is averaging 44.3 points in the last three Civil Wars.
- Oregon has a higher winning percentage against the Beavers in Corvallis (.573) than it does in Eugene (.519).
- Jaquizz Rodgers was held in check during last year’s Civil War, getting just 64 yards on 16 carries.
- According to USA Today. Kelly would earn nearly $4.3 million in bonuses and future contract guarantees with a win and keep alive the promise of a $250,000 bonus for winning a national title.