Autzen Stadium, 12:30 PM / ABC / KEJO 1240 / KPAM 860 (Streamed)
Oregon St. (3-8, 3-5) takes on Oregon (9-2, 7-1) in the 115th Civil War today. It's Senior Day for the Ducks, who must win in order to earn another home game next Friday, to host the first ever Pac-12 Championship Game.
Two years ago, the teams met in a true Pac-10 Championship Game, with the winner earning a trip to the Rose Bowl. Though Rose Bowl and other post season bids have been claimed and lost in previous battles, It was the only time in the history of the Civil War, which dates to 1894, a 16-0 Oregon St. win, that both teams had the chance to win the conference outright, and go to the Rose Bowl with a win.
The Ducks claimed the Civil War for the Roses, after having knocked the Beavers out of a Rose Bowl shot the year before. And last year, Oregon extended their streak to three consecutive games, which happens to coincide with Chip Kelly's tenure as head coach, and earned a trip to the Tostitos National Championship Game.
Four years ago, the Beavers claimed their last win in the series, when a promising freshman WR named James Rodgers scored on a fly sweep, a new play Oregon St. was starting to use more often, in overtime, taking a 38-31 victory.
So the last couple of games in Autzen Stadium have been a couple of the best ever in the history of the Civil War.
Oregon got into the position of having to win, and out of the picture for a return trip to the BCS National Championship game when Matt Barkley threw 4 touchdown passes, and USC jumped ahead 38-14. Despite a 96 yard kickoff return for a touchdown by De'Anthony Thomas, and a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns by Kenjon Barner and LaMichael James, the deficit was too much to overcome.
Oregon only got to the Trojan 20 yard line on their last drive, and Alejandro Maldonado's 37 yard field goal was no good. USC had broke their 5 game losing streak in the Willamette Valley, handed Oregon their first home loss, by a 38-35 score, since Kelly's first game as head coach in 2009, and put themselves in position to claim the initial Pac-12 South Championship, even though they won't be eligible for a rematch with either the Ducks or Stanford.
Oregon St. returned to their winning ways against Washington with a 28-21 win over the Huskies, a product of their best offensive performance of the season.
Jovan Stevenson ran for 3 fourth quarter touchdowns, Sean Mannion threw for 339 yards and 2 touchdowns. and the Beavers picked off passes by both Nick Montana and Keith Price.
The win means the winner today sweeps the Northwest, but the state of Oregon has assured themselves of the top half of the Northwest pod, regardless of the outcome of the Apple Cup.
Oregon leads the Civil War series 58-46-10, in addition to having won the last 3 in a row, after Oregon St. had taken back to back wins.
The odds, and the oddsmakers, favor the Ducks, who are 28 point favorites today.
Here's the place to discuss the spread, the divergent seasons the two teams have had, and whether their recent changes of fortune means their paths are converging again. Or if last week was an aberration on both parts.
Buildingthedam.com will be at the game, and back later as usual, with complete coverage and analysis.