Win or lose, the Oregon State football season will be over on Saturday.
With no chance for the Beavers to make a bowl game, after losing nine straight games since the team’s 1-1 start, Oregon State will wrap up the 2017 campaign in a road edition of the “Civil War” against rival Oregon.
And as far as early predictions go, the annual clash between the Beavers and the Ducks could be a more one-sided affair this time-around, as Oregon State opens the week as 26-point underdogs to Oregon, according to the Bovada-Las Vegas.
As most of Beaver Nation will remember, last year’s “Civil War” meeting was a favorable one for Oregon State, as the program broke an eight-game losing streak in one of college football’s best rivalries, helped by a huge day from running back Ryan Nall. The then-sophomore play-maker tallied 155 rushing yards on 31 carries, while also adding four touchdowns on the ground in a ten-point victory.
While last year’s end-of-season win ended a rough 4-8 campaign for the Beavers on a high-note (helped by a 42-17 thrashing of Arizona in the previous week), a 2017 victory over the Ducks would be a complete program-changing win, with some much uncertainty currently surrounding the program. At the moment, Oregon State has been silent on if interim head coach Cory Hall will return in the same role next season or which of an endless list of potential candidates will be considered for the program director position.
However, with the focus now on the field, the Beavers will need to set their sights on containing Ducks’ quarterback Justin Herbert, who returned in Oregon’s last game from a fractured collarbone, to lead the team a 48-28 beating of Arizona.
And Herbert may only be one of the Beavers’ biggest concerns.
Ducks’ running back Royce Freeman has also been on a tear of late, posting five straight outings of 122+ yards per contest, including most recently a four-score performance against the Wildcats. Along with Herbert and fellow back Tony Brooks-James in the backfield, the Beavers defense will have to bring one of their best efforts of the season to contain a potentially high-scoring Oregon team.
Kick-off time for Saturday’s contest (November 25th) is scheduled for 4:00 PM PT. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2.