After the loss to Stanford last week, many fans felt as if Oregon’s season was for naught. A special blend of blowouts seemed to have gone wrong and dominance turned to mush amidst the formidable Stanford defense.
Saturday turned all of those feelings around and made the season magical again.
Simply put, there is no better feeling in the world than beating your rivals, especially when they are as cocky and out-of-touch as Oregon State fans are. All week leading up to the 116th edition of the Civil War, OS fans talked of being the superior team; after all, Oregon had just lost an overtime thriller to the 14th ranked team in the county, while their beloved Beavers were coming off a dominating performance against a hapless Cal squad that had clearly given up.
They did it at home, a week after Oregon did the same thing to the same Bear team. That is, a week after they beat the Bears on the road.
Saturday’s CW had all the makings of an epic upset. Little Brother, so confident in their bounce-back season, had Big Brother right where they wanted them: on the ropes, on the road, and on their toes.
What they got was a big, heaping dose of reality.
Oregon is still light years ahead of Oregon State and that’s where they will be for the foreseeable future. OS, in a wonderful bounce back season after finishing 3-9 a year ago, currently lack the speed, athleticism, and execution to hang with the Ducks. As the points piled up in the 42-28 win, Oregon’s superiority was displayed on many levels, none more evident than in the maturity category.
For every Oregon first down conversion, there was a cheap shot by Oregon State. For every big drive the Ducks went on, there was a turnover by the Beaver’s young QB. For every touchdown by the winning squad there was a pack of fans leaving early, knowing the same movie was playing at the same theatre for the fifth straight year.
Oregon State will be good for a long time. Mike Riley is too good a coach to let his squad drift into oblivion. Oregon, however, is just that much better. No amount of Stanford slip-ups can change that fact.
So, for another year at least, Oregon fans can sit back and enjoy the triumph of their in-state rival.
For Beaver fans, the movie gets put to sequel – for now.