Updated: Nov 26, 2020
The Rivalry Formerly Known as Civil War
Sometimes called the oldest rivalry in all of College Football, the Oregon State Beavers and the Oregon Ducks have been playing each other since 1894. During that time the game has been called many things. From 1894-1928 the game was called the Oregon Classic or the State Championship Game and from 1929-2019 the game was known as the Civil War. During the series, the Ducks have had the edge winning 66 times while losing 47 times with 10 games resulting in a tie. After taking into consideration the feelings of the Duck and Beaver Students, players representing both universities decided to not play anymore games under the "Civil War" moniker.
So this year on the day following Thanksgiving when we all are feeling full and content, the Beavs and the Ducks will once again do battle in Autzen Stadium. For the first time in over 100 years the game won’t have a name, but the game will still be played and a new name for the rivalry will be announced at a later date.
The game pairs 1-2 Beavs and the 3-0 Ducks who will travel by bus about 48 miles from Eugene to Corvallis. The Beavs have relied heavily on the run game behind the 5’10, 217lb hard running Jemar Jefferson for the bulk of their offense with Jefferson rushing for 449 yards on the season. The passing game for OSU hasn’t been nearly as polished as the run game; QB Tristan Gebbia, who has completed 62.5% of his passes for 2 TDs and 3 INTs, will look to get the Beaver's passing game going early. On the other side, Oregon Duck QB Tyler Shough is second in the PAC12 in passing yards with 873 passing yards with 8 TDs and 2 ints and has by far been the most consistent part of the Moorhead offense thus far. CJ Verdell, who looked very good against Stanford and Wazzu with over 100 yards and 1 TD per game, looked equally as bad in the UCLA game with 18 yards, 1 TD and a lost fumble. Verdell and the Ducks will look to get the running game back on track, early and often.
Both teams admittedly have struggled in various ways on defense. The Beavs should be focused on getting a solid rotation going to keep fresh players on the field at all times. OSU is led by LB Avery Roberts with 32 total tackles on the season and hope to get edge pressure from fellow LB Omar Speights who is currently 2nd on the team in tackles with 22 tackles. On the other side of the ball, when the Ducks play defense, the team looks to capitalize on takeaways to give the Offense more quick change opportunities. The Ducks are led by Boise St grad transfer Safety Jordan Happle who had a monster game last week with 11 tackles and a pick six. The other area the Duck need to improve upon is QB pressure/sacks with Kayvon Thibodeaux and Co. Leading the team in sacks is Noah Sewell who left the game early against UCLA with a lower league injury. Sewell was spotted at Monday’s practice and appeared to be healthy. The Ducks hope they will have Sewell to anchor the middle of the defense against the OSU. My prediction is Ducks 35 Beavers 17. We will worry about the name change some other time because we will have football on Friday, and its the biggest game of the year for Eugene and Corvallis, dividing Oregonian households across the state!