Thursday, November 29, 2007

Civil War

#18 Oregon Ducks vs Oregon State Beavers
Saturday, 1st December, 4.30pm EST
Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR

Two weeks ago, Oregon was entertaining thoughts of winning a national championship. Now it just hopes to win another game. The 18th-ranked Ducks (8-3, 5-3 Pac-10) look to avoid a third straight loss when they host Oregon State (7-4, 5-3) in the 111th edition of the Civil War game Saturday. Not long ago, Oregon was the No. 2 team in the nation and riding a four-game winning streak thanks to Heisman Trophy candidate Dennis Dixon. The quarterback was lost for the season, though, when he re-injured his knee in the Ducks' 34-24 loss at Arizona on Nov. 15.

The Ducks and Beavers are tied for third along with UCLA in the conference - one game behind No. 13 Arizona State and eighth-ranked USC. Neither Oregon nor Oregon State holds the tiebreaker over the Bruins, who would win the Pac-10 title and secure a spot in the Rose Bowl in the event there is a four-way tie atop the standings. That would happen if UCLA defeats USC and Arizona State loses to Arizona. The Ducks, who have lost five starters for the year due to injuries and will start a redshirt freshman at quarterback Saturday, are mired in their second straight late-season collapse. Oregon lost its final four games of 2006, including a 38-8 defeat to BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl.

The Beavers look to win their third straight game and sixth in their last seven since starting 2-3. Oregon State, though, hasn't played since a 52-17 win at Washington State on Nov. 17. The Beavers forced a season-high eight turnovers - including seven interceptions - against the Cougars and could be in for another big day against Oregon's struggling offense. Oregon State hopes to have senior running back Yvenson Bernard in the lineup Saturday after he had surgery to clean up his right knee Nov. 20. Bernard rushed for 74 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries in limited action against Washington State.
Go Ducks!

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