GameDay: Matchups and players to watch in the 118th Civil War
Rivalry week is upon us.
On Friday, the Ducks will head to Corvallis, Oregon for the 118th matchup between Oregon and Oregon State.
The Beavers, with senior quarterback Sean Mannion, haven’t necessarily lived up to expectations this year. However, with an overall record of 5-6, Oregon State can become bowl-eligible with an upset victory over College Football Playoff minded Oregon. It wouldn’t be the first time this year that the Beavers changed the College Football Playoff landscape. Oregon State upset then No. 6 ranked Arizona State in Reser Stadium two weekends ago.
Here are the matchups and players to watch as Oregon takes on Oregon State in the Civil War.
Victor Bolden vs. the Oregon secondary
Last week, the Oregon secondary shut down the nation’s leading pass catcher in Colorado’s Nelson Spruce, who came into the game averaging 9.9 catches and finished with two receptions for 16 yards.
The Oregon defensive backs will be challenged yet again this week against the Beavers.
Oregon State speedy receiver Victor Bolden is coming off his best game of the season. Bolden had 10 catches and 145 yards receiving in a 37-13 loss to Washington last Saturday. With 68 catches and 785 yards receiving on the year, Bolden has been Mannion’s go-to-guy when the Beavers need a big play. Stopping Bolden is essential for the Oregon defense on Friday.
Oregon run game vs. the Oregon State rush defense
The Oregon offense is averaging 235 yards per game on the ground. The Beavers defense is giving up an average of 154 yards per game this season against the run. Safe to say, the Beavers aren’t accustomed this year to seeing a rushing attack on the level of the Ducks.
Oregon State has faced off against one other team this year in the top-40 in team rushing. The Beavers easily defeated San Diego State, the 36th ranked rushing offense in the country, 28-7 on Sept. 20.
Though the Beavers aren’t used to a rushing attack like the one Marcus Mariota and Royce Freeman offer, they’ve shown they can hold their own.
Players to watch:
The senior wide receiver and native Oregonian has made it no secret that the Civil War hits close to home for him. He can still recall his favorite Civil War moment — an 83-yard rushing touchdown by former Oregon Duck Jeremiah Johnson in the 2008 rivalry game. However, as meaningful as its been for Lowe, he hasn’t necessarily produced in the big game. He has totaled one reception for two yards in his career against Oregon State. In his Civil War swan song, Lowe should be expected to have a proper send off.
Like Lowe, this is Doctor’s final Civil War and his last opportunity to beat the Ducks. Doctor has been a pivotal part of the Oregon State defense the past two seasons. His 35-yard interception return against Arizona State was a key play in the upset victory. If the Beavers can end Oregon’s national title aspirations, Doctor will be a huge reason why.
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