The Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers truly hate each other, and they will engage in the Civil War on Saturday afternoon with all to play for on both sidelines. Should the Ducks prove to be victorious, they will have their ticket stamped to the BCS Championship Game in Glendale in January. Oregon State needs this 'W' to qualify for a bowl game in December after playing the nation's most brutal schedule. Which one will get the job done? We have our Civil War picks right here at Cappers Info!
Matchup: Oregon Ducks vs. Oregon State Beavers
Date: Saturday, December 4th, 3:30 ET
Location: Reser Stadium, Corvallis, OR
Game Line: Oregon -16.5
Ducks Notes: Is there a team out there in the country that can stop the Quack Attack? The Ducks are on a roll right now, having won all 11 games this season by posting 42+ points in all but one of the 11. The bad news for those backing them on the college football odds is that they are only 0-2-1 ATS in their last three games, but that isn't going to bother HC Chip Kelly one bit. Kelly made a huge stand at the outset of the season by suspending his top rusher RB LaMichael James for one game for some off the field issues, but he made even bigger waves by kicking his quarterback, Heisman Trophy contending QB Jeremiah Masoli off of the team. With QB Nathan Costa being injured for most of the year, the pressure has fallen onto the shoulders of QB Darren Thomas. Talk about answering the bell! Thomas has rushed for 496 yards and five scores and has thrown for 2,355 yards and 26 TDs against just seven INTs on the campaign. As for James, he didn't turn out all that bad either. The sophomore has rushed for 1,568 yards, received for 169 yards, and has 20 total TDs on the campaign. Not too shabby for a man that was suspended for a game in which his team racked up 720 yards, eh? James is probably a Heisman Trophy finalist, as he is averaging well over 150 yards per game on the ground this year and is virtually impossible to keep out of the end zone. As always, keep an eye on WR Jeffrey Maehl as well. Maehl has 61 catches for 857 yards and 12 scores on the year, and he leads the team in all three categories. The only question is whether or not this defense is going to be able to slow down the Beavers. There is no doubt that the averages for the U of O are great, as allowing 328.5 yards and 18.3 points per game is nothing to sweat about, especially if you have an offense like this that is averaging over 50 points and nearly 550 yards per game, but this is a unit that has allowed at least 29 points three times this year and can be had.
Beavers Notes: The poor Beavers are probably the fourth best team or so in the Pac-10, and they are certainly deserving of going to a bowl game, but the fact that this is the fourth team this year that they are going to play that will be ranked in the final Top 10 in the country in nauseating. The averages for this team are terrible this year, as 330.2 yards and 24.8 points per game are not nearly what a HC Mike Riley team should be putting on the board on a regular basis. Nor should the defense be allowing 401.0 yards per game. Part of the problem has been that WR James Rodgers has been out for the majority of the season, which has really left QB Ryan Katz out to dry. Katz has thrown for 2,159 yards and 16 scores this year, but his eight picks have hurt, especially for a man that turns around and hands the ball off more often than he drops back to throw. And why wouldn't you want to turn around and give the pigskin to RB Jacquizz Rodgers? Many thought that Rodgers could be a dark horse for the Heisman Trophy this year, and though that hasn't panned out, he is clearly the man that the Ducks are most afraid of on Saturday. Rodgers has rushed for 1,100 yards and 14 scores and has caught 38 passes for 274 yards and two TDs. No one else has really been able to step into the shoes of the elder Rodgers brother though, as Markus Wheaton is the team's leading receiver with just 44 receptions, 523 yards, and three scores.
The Final Word: Though we know that taking points in rivalry games is usually a great idea, especially when you're talking about a ton of points for a team that is playing at home, we just can't do it on Saturday. The Beavers just appear to be snake bitten right now, and the fact that they were just shut out by the Stanford Cardinal last week isn't exactly appealing to us. There's just too much James, too much Maehl, and too much Thomas for OSU to stop. It will be a long, long night in Corvallis for the hosts, as they are going to end up waiting another year to return to a bowl game. The Ducks are heading to the BCS Championship Game with ease.
MAC Championship Game Picks: Oregon -16.5
Prediction: Oregon 52 – Oregon State 23