Well, this is it–the week we’ve all been waiting for. The turkey’s cooked and eaten, Black Friday shopping’s done, and my soap box is ready to FINALLY talk about Civil War.
First off, since I am on the soap box, can I just say that I am SO SICK of listening to Lou Holz and most other announcers for that matter, talk INCESSANTLY about how great Notre Dame is? Can I just say that Notre Dame had about three games this season where they were lucky to have made it out with their behinds intact–including their 3 pt. overtime win to Stanford at home that many would argue Stanford should have won. Let’s also not overlook their near loss to BYU in S. Bend just one short week after OSU went to Provo, put up 42 pts. to BYU’s 14, and came home. Let’s also not forget that OSU put up 23 unanswered pts. against Stanford AT STANFORD, and were it not for a quarterback fumble at the end of the game which led to a Stanford score immediately therafter, the Beavers would have walked away from Palo Alto winners and our game would be the ESPN Game Day game this week. My overall point with all this ranting and raving: I am NOT impressed by Notre Dame this year, and frankly, I don’t think they’re any better than the Beavers. In fact, if we were to compare how both teams played against common opponents (BYU and Stanford), I would argue that OSU is obviously the better team (study the film, Lou). And, I would argue that USC is the better team as well–which allows me to segue into saying that I hope that USC, on behalf of the entire Pac-12 conference, kicks some Notre Dame butt in the Coliseum this Saturday and sends them home no longer undefeated. Take that, Lou Holz. Four losses or not, USC is still USC, and Matt Barkley or no Matt Barkley, I am guessing they are not happy about their four loss season and are going to be HUNGRY to redeem themselves.
OK, so now that I have that off my chest, I will return to the game of the week for all of us in the great State of Oregon–the Civil War.
I will admit that prior to last week and the Stanford win over Oregon, I thought there wasn’t much of a chance for us to be able to stop the Oregon offense. I know that might sound very unpatriotic to my comrades in Beaver Nation, but have you guys watched Mariota play (not to mention Kenjon Barner and DAT)? As much as I hate to admit it, it is pretty impressive (not to mention boring and uneventful game after game) to watch. What I find the most impressive about the Oregon team, however, is the number of plays in their playbook, the lightning speed at which those plays are executed on the field, the obvious level of conditioning that their athletes endure, and the fact that they never say die. Like them or hate them, everyone that watches the Oregon Ducks football team has to admit that they look, talk, walk and behave like champions.
That being said, we are going to need to walk, talk, look, think and behave like champions to beat them, and this extends to the coaching staff as much, if not more, than the team. Do I think this is impossible? Heck no. Do I think it’s going to be challenging? You betcha.
The Beavers are going to need to bring their A game Saturday to have any chance of beating the ducks, and we are particularly talking about the defense here. If our defense can succeed in shutting down the Oregon run game like Stanford did, we could absolutely win this game. We need our defense, under the leadership of Jordan Poyer, with lots of help from players like Doctor, Crichton, Wynn, and Watkins, to step up BIG TIME tomorrow, and I would love nothing more than to see them do it and stop the Ducks.
We are also going to need Sean Mannion to rise to another challenge and stop trying to force passes into coverage which could potentially lead to more interceptions, and look around at who might be open right around him and get that guy the ball.
That perfect, balanced game has been eluding us all season and if there ever was a time for us to have that game it’s tomorrow.
I don’t know about the rest of Beaver Nation, but I am sick of listening to everyone basically count us out whenever it comes to any top of the PAC or BCS berth discussions. For that reason and oh so many others, I would love nothing more than for us to beat the Ducks and Stanford to beat UCLA tomorrow. And don’t look now, beaver fans, but if that happens we could very well be the team that ends up with the invite to the Fiesta Bowl and the Ducks could be playing in San Diego on Dec. 27th. What would I call that after the Ducks dashing our Rose Bowl hopes in both 2008 and 2009? Yep, you got it, beaver fans–that would be Karma, baby. GO BEAVS!!!!!!!!!