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November 24, 2012

Staff Picks: Civil War

Scott Hood (7-2)

Did Stanford break the code on how to beat Oregon? The Cardinal grinded out possessions and came up with key stops on their side of the field in order limit the Ducks to 14 points. As productive as Oregon State's passing game has been this season (303.4), the Beavers can't afford to get into a shootout where, borrowing a phrase from hoops, both teams trade baskets. Oregon State must run the ball, control the clock and frustrate the heck out of the Ducks, just like Stanford did last week. Storm Woods and Terron Ward must both run well and play mistake-free (no fumbles) football to give the Beavers a legitimate chance to win. OSU must win the turnover battle. Defensively, Oregon State must protect the edges, stay disciplined and play their assignments. Keeping Kenjon Barner underwraps is key. The Beavers have the quality defense to do that. Mojo favors the Beavs right now.

Oregon State 27 Oregon 21

Daniel Klobes (2-2)

Beavs come out fired up and shut the ducks up.

Oregon State 45 Oregon 34

Angie Machado (7-3)

The Beavers come out ready to play and put together a big game. While I was thinking about making it more of a defensive battle I think this could be a big statement win for the offense. There is no doubt that the Ducks can score a lot of points and quickly, but I think the Beaver offense gives the defense time to breathe and helps pace the game.

Oregon State 48 Oregon 45

Travis Rice (6-4)

Something deep inside of me feels a huge redemption game this Saturday and mysubconsciencekeeps telling me OSU will win by 14 (Yes I talk to my subconscience). Somehow I can't buy that right now. Oregon will be as focused as they have been all season, that said, I think OSU has the horses on D to contain the potent Oregon offense, no not stop them. This game should be eerily like the 2009 match up, luckily for OSU, this go-round it's inside Reser. OSU has faced fast paced spread offenses with UCLA and Arizona State and won both, Oregon moves faster and has better athletes but this season OSU has been focused on D and I think Banker finally figures out Chip's spread. Mariota has been brilliant pacing the Oregon offense but he's victimized a couple times as the secondary picks him off at key points in the game. Offensively Sean Mannion will need to handle the pressure that he will see from the active Oregon front seven, but with protection I think he can exploit a highly overrated Oregon secondary. None of this happens without the threat of a run game and I think OSU has their best day on the ground this season. Coach Riley finally has confidence in his run game and Ward and Woods combine for over 180 yards and two scores. Mannion adds another two scores through the air and OSU dances their way into the Top 10 after a Nichols State victory next week. 10-2, #9 in the country and earn an at large BCS bid. *Note: Can't let De'Anthony beat you on special teams.

Oregon State 31 Oregon 28
Eric Machado (6-4)

For Oregon State to win this game, they have to tackle well in space, play assignment defense, and score touchdowns instead of field goals. Sounds easy enough, right? The biggest variable in the game right now is Oregon's psyche. How will they respond coming off such a crushing loss? Will the Reser crowd intimidate them? I think it's all going to boil down to the 1st quarter. If Oregon State can weather the early part of the game and build a lead, I think they can pull the upset. However, I think Oregon's offense is going to be ready. They come out focused, don't let the crowd bother them, and almost pull away for the win. It's going to be close and I am very tempted to pick Oregon. But, after a day of watching some great Pac-12 rivalry games and double checking the weather forecast (it's going to rain), I'm switching my pick and going with the underdog at home.

Oregon State 38 Oregon 35

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