19.Nov.2012 Oregon @ Oregon State (Civil War Pre-Game)
If the Beavers, like Stanford, zone in on the RB and force Mariotta (rather than Barner) to run I think they can win this game. Just go after Barner/Thomas on every option. Mariotta is a beanpole–he will start to fear the contact.
The formula to win this game is straightforward and the same as past years: time consuming drives, open-field tackling, winning the turnover battle, touchdowns instead of field goals, converting 3rd downs, and getting stops on 3rd (and 4th) downs.
Beavs run defense was bad last week (gave up ~200 yard to Cal). Mannion got away with INTs. I know they scored 62, but if they play the same game vs Oregon they'll lose.
I've liked Oregon all year and feel they should play Alabama for the national title. My eyes tell me those are the two best teams. However, Beavs just have to be better for 3 hours on Saturday. If I'm a Beaver player, I'm confident, focused, loving practice this week, and Saturday couldn't come soon enough. Beavs have senior leadership, feisty underclassmen, and the home crowd. I think this all translates into something good; though, I can never take Riley over Kelly. I'll just say Beavs +10 is a juicy line.
(If Reuben Robinson plays significant minutes and/or rushing downs forget everything I wrote–Beavs will get creamed. Can't get away 11 vs 10 this week).