If you've ever been a part of a high school, college, or professional football team, you know how much effort goes into scouting the opponent every week. Sure, scouting is a part of every sport, but it's huge in football. Countless hours are spent in the film room by coaches every week. It's their job.
You've gotta know the opponent's tenancies, their offensive formations, defensive formations, their special team formations, their water boy formations, and now a days, their "haka" formations. You need to know what they're likely to do on 3rd and 7 from the 45, and 4th and goal from the 1. Do they like to run on first down, or pass?
You catch my drift.
My point is, how many of Oregon's tapes really are going to tell us anything about the way the Ducks are going to play on Saturday? One, last week's 16-0 shutout loss to UCLA? Because that's the UO team we're going to be facing Saturday in Autzen.
Dennis Dixon is gone. Brian Paysinger is gone. Jeremiah Johnson is gone. Cameron Colvin is gone. John Bacon is gone, and Brady Leaf is doubtful with two sprained ankles. (How do you even limp?)
That leaves the offensive line, a hobbled Jonathan Stewart, Andre Crenshaw, Jaison "50-50" Williams, and Cody Kepmt or Justin Roper to anchor down the Ducks offense that got 43 yards on the ground in 39 attempts at UCLA.
At this point, watching video of Dennis Dixon run all over teams like Michigan and USC aren't going to do us much.
What Oregon State does have to worry about is the Ducks' defense. They've only allowed a single rushing touchdown in six games, and they're still playing hard through the adversity. That's one thing you can say about this team-- they're not giving up, and the Beavers respect that.
It's just one of those years for the Ducks when fans, players, and coaches just have to think what could have been. And nobody is blaming the team-- there is nothing they could do.
My point is the Ducks have a lot of new faces in a lot of places that the Beavers haven't seen a lot of. Ten TRUE freshmen have already played for the Ducks this year. While most of those appearances came in Oregon's rout of Houston, guys like Aaron Pflugrad are making big contributions already. (Aaron sat out last week with an injury, what's new.) Heck, we just met both Cody Kempt and Justin Roper last week. Before that, they were just two guys buried in the depth chart, with the task of calling in plays. Now, they're Oregon's last line of hope for an outright Holiday Bowl bid.
Oregon State knows that they're going to playing against a fourth or fifth string quarterback. It's becoming easy for the Beavers to overlook this game, but they need to keep their eyes on the prize. It's the Ducks. In Autzen. For the Civil War.