29.Nov.2013 Civil War Pre Game Thread

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Here is my Q&A (his questions/my answers) with Rusty Ryan.

1.  What has been the biggest struggles behind the running game this year?

The biggest struggle has been consistency on the line. Guys were hurt early in the year, and they never gelled. Also, Riley has abandoned the run game early in games, and in some games he never tried to establish it. Riley believes in team “identity” (he uses this term all the time). It’s clear he thinks this team’s identity is the passing game, to the extent he doesn’t even try to run.

2.  What has been the greatest strength and greatest weakness of the team this year?

The greatest strength has been the WR corps. Cooks and Mullaney are both future pros. Caleb Smith is an intriguing tight end, and also a pro prospect if he can stay healthy. The weakness has been the defensive front. The Beavers cannot stop the run at all.

3.  If you could fix one problem with the program what would it be, and why?

That’s a tough question. There are many problems, and it’s hard to know the core of them. I would probably change out the athletic director, because the defeatist, woe-is-me attitude around Oregon State starts at the top. Bob DeCarolis is constantly crying poverty and implying this is the best OSU can do. I don’t think that’s a healthy mentality from the guy at the top.

4.  Are there common traits of Beaver wins?  Does it come down to third-down conversions, not turning the ball over, or running well?

The only common trait has been weak opponents. The Beavers won 6 straight versus bad teams. As the teams improved, the Beavers wilted. Stanford was the defining game this year, and the magnitude of each loss has snowballed since then.

5.  What would have to go right for Oregon State to win Friday?

In short, everything. But specifically, I think Oregon will have to turn the ball over 3+ times and the Beavers will have to have long, sustained drives to win the game. My hunch is the Beavers will try to pass and get into a shoot out. That would be a dire strategy. The Ducks are not as physical this year, so I think going into the game with an attitude that they’re going to be the more physical team, and then surprising them with the run game is the only hope. I wouldn’t rule out trick plays if the situation dictates one. My prediction is 52-27 Ducks.

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  • Beavblazer Beavblazer says:
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    Ducks wilk blanket Cooks and pass rush Mannion. Until he can figure out how to get rid of the ball quicker for short gains, the Beavs will go nowhere. What happened to passing to the tailbacks? If theyre not blocking, they should be open for a quick hit.

    • angry angry says:
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      That seems logical, which is why I think their only hope is via a non-existent run game, which means they’ll have to come out with major attitude and find it somehow. Don’t see that happening since it hasn’t all year….but maybe they view this as a swan song and find an edge.

      • Numbers says:
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        Could be interesting if they are creative enough to go with Dylan and Anderson in the backfield , run a little pass a little out of that formation. I think the Beavs can win, though I don’t think it’s good for the program. Luck o the Beavs

  • Numbers says:
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    They key to the Beavs winning will be short yardage and redone conversions. Some lucky bounces. And winning some one on one match ups on defense(making tackles and shedding blocks/ not over pursuing).

  • helmsley says:
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    I cannot imagine the Beavs winning today. However, I’m trying to put a positive spin on possibilities. 1. Beavs lose, by a lot, more pressure on Riley etc., to do something. How can he be so self-delusional about his worth? He will gracefully retire, and although BDC will still be the ineffectual AD, a well-chosen search committee will pursue a new coach and tell BDC to stuff it.

    2. Beavers pull out a fluke win. Riley feels he’s redeemed himself and can retire on top, (sortof).

    3. Ed Ray has been quietly taking in all the fuss and is waiting for the fb season to end, when he will fire BDC and name a search committee to find an energetic, savvy,modern, creative but practical AD who will shake up the established dogma of not being able to recruit to Oregon State.

    4. None of the above.

  • StarcraftSquall says:
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    Phil Steele’s breakdown of today’s game:

    Thanks to embarrassing performances by both squads last weekend, this year’s Civil War game is the least meaningful that it’s been in years. Would it be crazy to say that the powers that be in Eugene could question whether head coach Helfrich is the correct choice if the Beavers pull the upset? I’d be shocked if that happened as Oregon has dominated the rivalry, winning 5 in a row. QB Mariota hadn’t thrown an interception all year but was picked off twice last week, then was knocked out of the game and his status for this week is up in the air. Oregon State has QB problems of their own as Mannion has a 4-10 ratio his last 3 games after starting out with an incredible 30-3 ratio his first 8 games. The Ducks will rebound and continue their series dominance in blowout fashion.

    OREGON 45 OREGON STATE 21

    Projected Rushing: Oregon 309-55
    Projected Passing: Oregon State 305-271
    Experience Edge: Oregon State
    Schedule Strength: Oregon State

    POSITIONAL BATTLES: when the Beavers have the ball
    Oregon State QB/WR vs Oregon DBs: Oregon +0.17
    Oregon State RBs vs Oregon LBs: Oregon +2.10
    Oregon State OL vs Oregon DL: Oregon +1.61
    POSITIONAL BATTLES: when the Ducks have the ball
    Oregon QB/WR vs Oregon State DBs: Oregon +0.69
    Oregon RBs vs Oregon State LBs: Oregon +1.43
    Oregon OL vs Oregon State DL: Oregon +1.57
    INTANGIBLES
    Special Teams: Oregon +0.45
    Kicking Game: Oregon State +0.56
    Coaching Staff Comparison: Oregon State +2.10

    Total position by position breakdown: Oregon +5.37

    • Jack says:
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      My heart: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      My head: Sounds about right.

  • GOBeavs GOBeavs says:
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    Mark Schlabach at ESPN has OSU going to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

    Most projections didn’t have Mississippi State beating Ole Miss to become bowl eligible, but he did so looks like we could be playing Bowling Green in wonderful Boise in December…

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/bowls/projections

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    The frustrating thing is that I thought the Beavs were going to be ok after the Stanford game. Stanford is a tough as they come and the Beavs were almost there on both sides of the ball. It’s like Riley doesn’t have the patience or attention span to play a short, disciplined passing game against the top teams every time out and I don’t now what the hell happened to the defense last week.? I don’t pretend to understand psychology, but something went downhill after Stanford. It’s hard for me to believe that one hard fought loss could take so much out of a team, but it seems to have happened.

    • Jack says:
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      Yeah… that game was not a “hang your head” moment. They played hard. Mistakes were made by players and coaches which may or may not have won it in the end. But they had no reason to be down after the loss. In fact, I thought they might feel inspired by their tough play with so few mistakes.

      Man was I wrong.

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