It’s game day and the anxious butterflies in my stomach are going crazy! Not only is it the last game of the regular season for our Ducks but it’s the Civil War game. I have heard people say that this is not a rivalry game but I can’t think of any reason it wouldn’t be, and it seems to be a weekend of rivalry games in the Pac-12.
Yesterday afternoon the University of Arizona defeated Arizona State for the Pac-12 South title and the opportunity to face us next Friday night in Levi stadium for the Pac-12 Championship. REMATCH!!
Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves though, we still have to defeat OSU today. Now when you think about OSU and today’s game you probably have a nonchalant feeling about what the score will be. We can’t think that way Duck fans! If you do not recall last year’s game, let me remind you. In the last 30 seconds of the game, Josh Huff caught a 12-yard pass from Marcus Mariota for a touchdown to bring the score to 35-36, us. That is too close for comfort!
Although we are the Ducks and we are (obviously) better than those Beavers over there in Corvallis, this game cannot be taken lightly. In an article on Oregonlive.com, No. 3 Oregon vs. Oregon State: 5 things to watch, Tyson Alger expands on five specific things to watch for in today’s game. Those five things are:
- Tyner’s Absence: Thomas Tyner is questionable for this game as he is having some foot and shoulder injury issues. This means we will see the ball in freshman Royce Freeman’s hands quite a bit (as we have more and more as the season and Freeman have progressed) and possibly Byron Marshall and Kenny Bassett in the backfield.
- Marcus Mariota’s Goodbye: We won’t know what Mariota’s decision will be until the season is over. Will he be staying with the Ducks or heading up to the NFL? So, this could quite possibly be Mariota’s final game in Oregon as a Duck.
- Mannion’s finale: Sean Mannion, Oregon State QB, will play his final game on his home field tonight. He is the Pac-12 all-time passing leader and credited by Oregon Head Coach Mark Helfrich and Oregon Defensive Coordinator Don Pellum on his qualities and assets as a player; he is not to be taken lightly tonight.
- Week 2 without Grasu: Our beloved senior center Hroniss Grasu is out of the game for the second week in a row since his leg injury at Utah a few weeks ago. Hamani Stevens and Doug Brenner are doing an exceptional job on the front line but will definitely be in for a tough one against Oregon State’s defense tonight.
- The home stretch: Just as I discussed at the beginning of this article, this is our final game of the regular season for our Ducks. Statistically speaking, we should annihilate Oregon State as we have defeated much more statistically difficult teams such as Michigan State, UCLA and Utah. However, it is the Civil War game and anything can happen.
It has been such an amazing season; we have seen our Ducks grow and work through everything thrown their way with their heads held high. As fans, let’s show Oregon State what we Ducks are all about tonight! Whether you are at the game, in a sports bar or sitting on your couch at home, show your love. I have to work during the game but that’s not gonna stop me from being the crazed fan I am! Go Ducks!
Top Photo by Craig Strobeck