Just before the 2012 Civil War, a drunk Oregon State fan stood by Reser Stadium jeering Oregon players as they entered the stadium. Maybe you’ve seen the popular No Natty You Tube video. “Son of a Bitch!” the fan yells. “No Natty! Is there a Natty up in here? Is there a Natty?” Oregon had just lost to Stanford the week before and had been knocked out of the National Championship race. That year, the Ducks ended up in the Rose Bowl, and the Beavers in the Who Cares Bowl.
This year, the Ducks are in the running for the National Playoff and the Beavs must win to become bowl eligible. Beaver Nation took heart earlier this month when they beat the sixth-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils behind Terron Ward and Storm Woods’ combined rushing of more than 250 yards. But life doesn’t look all that rosy for the upstart Beavs; Ward is out for the rest of the year with a bum knee, and Woods was clomping around practice this week in an orange “Don’t Hit Me” jersey. The next rusher up for the team is Damien Haskins, who has carried the ball a total of nine times this season. His backup, Tyler Anderson, hasn’t logged a carry in 2014.
With their rushing game in disarray, what can we expect offensively from Oregon State? According to some, Sean Mannion is the prototypical pro quarterback; a tall pocket passer with a strong arm. Expect to see him tossing the ball long down field to his favorite target, Victor Bolden. Also expect to see Bolden on the fly sweep a lot. Without his top two running backs, Mike Riley has to figure out a way to slow down the Duck rush. The only tools left for him are the fly sweep and the middle screen.
With an anemic Oregon State offense, the Duck defense will shine and Mannion will have to run for his life. On the other side of the ball, Oregon’s offense will quickly wear down the gritty Beav defense and put up big numbers. Great game if you’re a Duck, an ugly game for Beaver Believers. Maybe the No Natty guy can make a new video:
“No bowl! Is there a bowl game for us? Give me another Bud Light, Martha. It’s going to be a long winter.”
Top Photo by OregonLive