Oregon St. (6-5, 4-4) at #12 Oregon (9-2, 6-2) / Autzen Stadium / 4 PM PST / Fox Sports 1 / KEJO 1240 AM / KEX 1190 AM
Oregon St. and Oregon meet in the 117th Civil War tonight in Autzen Stadium. 4 years ago, it was the "Civil War For The Roses", with a trip to the Rose Bowl going to the winner. This year, it will not.
The Ducks, after making statements that they weren't interested in playing in the Rose Bowl, having already done that, and no longer being in the hunt for the BCS National Championship game, won't have to worry about that. Going to Tucson, Oregon controlled their own fate as far as the Pac-12 North Division Championship, hosting the Pac-12 Title game, and going to the Rose Bowl as the favorite.
In Tucson, the Ducks controlled nothing, and suffered the upset of the season in the Pac-12, after Arizona rolled to a 42-16 win.
It was Oregon's worst performance in over 5 years, since a 44-10 loss at USC in early Oct. 2008, the last year of the Mike Belotti era.
The Beavers, already mired in a 3 game losing streak, got beat in every phase of the game by Washington, as the Huskies roared out to a 48-0 lead on the way to a 69-27 win.
It was arguably the worst performance in Oregon St. history, at least defensively, as Washington scored more points than any team ever has against the Beavers, ran for more yards than any team ever has against the Beavers, and had 3 different players rush for over 140 yards. No team has ever had 3 different players run for over 100 yards in the same game against Oregon St.
It overshadowed Biletnikoff Award finalist Brandin Cooks becoming Oregon St.'s all time leader in pass receiving yards in a single season, surpassing Mike Hass' 2005 record, and moving into the #2 spot in conference history, trailing only USC's Marqise Lee. Cooks trails Lee and Robert Woods, also of USC, in catches in a season, but his 110 is only 1 behind Woods. 9 catches would pass Lee.
Not surprisingly after the several losses in recent weeks, and last Saturday's outright disasters, there are now disappointing disappointed rumblings inside and out of both locker rooms.
If Oregon bounces back, the Ducks are likely to land in the Alamo or Holiday Bowl, and the Beavers will be likely trying to persuade a lesser bowl that despite a 5 game losing streak, a Pac-12 team will still sell tickets.
If Oregon St. can pull off the upset, the Beavers could claim one of the Pac-12 Conference's lesser bowl tie-ins, but the Ducks would still be higher on the pecking order.
In either event, future donor support at both schools is vulnerable to fan base dissatisfaction, especially at the locale that takes the loss.
Oregon leads the series 60-46 with 10 ties, and has won the last 5 Civil Wars in a row. Last year was a 48-24 Oregon win at Reser, as the Ducks, who were on their way to winning the Fiesta Bowl, and a 12-1 season, while the Beavers were headed to a 9-4 campaign, after a loss in the Alamo Bowl, capitalized on a string of second half turnovers to score 28 straight points, and pull away, after leading by only 3 points early in the 3rd quarter.
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota suffered (or didn't suffer) a concussion to some degree late in the Arizona game, and Byron Marshall left the game in Tucson early with an ankle injury Duck Coach Mark Helfrich refuses to address in an adult manner, both potentially significant issues that may (or may not) affect tonight's game.
Mariota passed the concussion protocol, and declared he would start tonight, though he also stopped short of declaring whether it will or will not be his last game at Autzen.
Oregon St. avoided any further major injuries against the Huskies, but the absence of WR Kevin Cummings since he suffered a wrist injury that required surgery after the Stanford game has coincided with the derailment of the Beaver passing attack, and the losing streak.
Oregon is a 21 1/2 point favorite for the game, with their debacle not being seen as serious a sign of system flaws as Oregon St.'s was.
At least Beaver Nation has stopped worrying so much about their quarterback Sean Mannion leaving "early", though he will graduate next month.
Buildingthedam will be at the game, and back afterwards with coverage and analysis of what's bound to be one of the stranger Civil Wars, atmosphere wise, we have seen in some time.