Kickoff is six hours away... here are the final thoughts from myself, Andy, Connor, Noghri_ViR, RVM, and the VD Special. Feel free to add yours in the thread below.
It's been a great week of hype and anticipation, and we're finally at gameday. It's clear to me that either of these teams could easily win the game-- and it seems like the X's and O's and stats and all that hardly matter now. The players have the game plan ingrained in their heads by now-- it's now all about execution. I really think that the team that jumps out to the best start wins this game-- or at least controls the tempo and has the advantage come crunch time. Still, I like the consistency of our offense to withstand the ebb and flow off the UO attack. I want this to be a great showcase of Pac-10 football-- and winning the game would mean so much for the program
After all the analysis, all the interviews, and all the posting and yakking, I've noticed 'Quizz is being quiet. He stood and watched last year, and couldn't do a thing. And didn't say a thing. Remember what happened earlier this season when 'Quizz got serious, after the back to back games below 100 yards? As a Beaver, I feel better realizing that 'Quizz will have his say, and it will be on the field. And James, after winning the game two years ago, was helpless last year too.
In my mind the keys to the game for the Beavers rely on two things. One, we are going to need to have one of our best Defensive games of the year. Containing Masoli and James will be huge for the Beavers if they want to win tonight. And two, we cannot let the crowd bother us. Look, we all know it's going to be loud and crazy, and hostile. But we've played in those types of environments before. One or two False Starts are okay. Three or more and this game will get even tougher to win.
I'm nervous and excited for tonight. Best of all, regardless of who wins or loses tomorrow USC isn't going to the Rose Bowl. It's a damn good feeling to see some parity in the Pac-10, even better to see the nations eyes focused on the state of Oregon.
I'm feeling a lot better about this Civil War compared to last year. I'm feeling a lot better about it then I did at the start of the year, when I just chalked this game up to a loss. The team is healthy and we're more than a one dimensional team. Both Rodgers brothers are healthy; Canfield has somehow replaced his arm with a laser guided cyborg arm; Adeniji has stepped up and we just seem to play better with a bye week before a big game.
For us to have a chance tomorrow I feel we need to make a big hit on Masoli during that first defense series. In games where the defense has been able to get to Masoli early, he's made mistakes. With us having the best rushing defense that Oregon has yet to face I think we have a real chance to make him make those mistakes. We'll have some problems with the passing game, but if we can make Oregon a little more one dimensional I think we can keep this game close enough to give our offense a chance.
On the offensive side I'm more than thrilled with the way we're playing. If our rushing game doesn't seem to be working at first we start going to the short pass, which opens up the rushing game....ect ect ect. If the defense starts paying too much attention to Quizz running the ball, we start running James with the fly sweep or the fake, which in turn opens things up for Quizz. Our offensive line has been able to open things up on their own and with the way Oregon's DT's have been playing I think we're going to see a repeat of what the Stanford rushing game did to the Ducks.
Will I be disappointed if we lose tonight? Yes. But I think I'm going to be proud of the way our team played the game. Go BEAVS!
I just finished posting a response to Connor about the fog of mystery we have become used to with the OSU football program under Mike Riley. I really think this game has been set up nicely to finally lift that fog and clear the air about how this program has finally arrived. Will this happen? I don't know. UO is a tough team this year within a very strong program, but beatable? Sure. But OSU is also beatable and playing in Autzen ain't going to be easy. But can OSU win? Sure.
I'm both excited and nervous about the game, not only for the game itself but for being able to actually attend it in person. I haven't been to a Civil War, well for a long time. It should be historic, but I'm hoping for it being HISTORIC if you fellow Beaver fans know what I mean. I think like many of us have talked about there is a better feeling this year, and that the OSU team coming into this one is in many ways a better team (and not only because it is a healthier team). Will I still be proud of the team and the season if they lose Thursday night? Yes. Will I be very disappointed? Yes. Will I be shocked if UO wins? No. Will I be surprised if OSU loses? Yes. From this mixed bag of answers you would be correct to conclude that the fog of what this program is about strongly lingers around me at the moment. So back to Coach Riley, I both envy and don't envy the position he's in right now. But, here's to clear vision Friday morning, along with a strong celebratory hangover.
The VD Special:
I'm not excited about this game at all. Its only pure nervousness. My dad told me when I was youngeer that sports are 90% disappointment, 10% happiness. I never fully understood until I became a Beaver die hard. I have been around for 2 major national chamionships. Hell, I was even there for the first one. I have seen our beloved team dethrone the SC giant twice, even if just for one night. I have seen us beat Oregon in Autzen for the first time in many years. But you know what I remember most? 65-38. Losing to Stanford and Arizona at home my freshman year, then losing to Oregon by 42 to end the season 5-6. Am I proud of what this team has done so far? Absolutely. But I won't be completely satisfied without a win tomorrow. And if you had told me at the beginning of the year that we would be playing in the Las Vegas bowl, I would have been disappointed. Anything less then a W tomorrow will be devastating, no matter how we play. So go get um boys!
Your final thoughts-- or responses to the above-- welcome in the comment thread.