Raincoats and redemption, Ducks prepare for the 121st Civil War
The eight-game Civil War winning streak of the Oregon Ducks came to an end last year as the Oregon State Beavers claimed the victory, 34-24, for the first time since 2007.
“I remember it started to rain,” Oregon State head coach Cory Hall said on Monday. “I remember seeing that our sideline was jumping around and we didn’t have raincoats on. And I saw the fancy Nike Duck rain coats go on and I remember thinking ‘We’re gonna beat them because they’re not prepared for these elements.’”
The Ducks look to redeem themselves this weekend in the 121st Civil War hosted at Autzen Stadium. Motivation is high as both teams see their regular season conclude with this week’s game.
“They’ve been talking a lot,” Oregon senior Arrion Springs said. “And after last year we definitely have to get back. There is a little extra motivation going around, but right now just trying to practice as hard as we can and do as best as we can on Saturday.”
On Hall’s rain jacket comment: “I mean it was cold, and it was rainy. Those comments just sounds like the guy that’s hating on the guy who gets all the girls. I mean it just makes the girls like him more. It just never works out in their favor … We just got to respond to it and handle it out on the field.”
The game will mark Spring’s final time playing at Autzen.
“I think it’s going to be a fun time,” Springs said. “We are going to go out there and play hard. I’m going try to play as hard as I can. This is the last time, so I might be a little emotional, but probably not.”
Oregon safeties coach Keith Heyward confirms that his loyalty will be with the Ducks, even though he’s a former cornerback and coach from Oregon State.
“The Beavers are the Beavers,” Heyward said. “I mean I went there. I got a degree there. I made a lot of good friends there. However, I’m with Oregon and this is where I am and where my loyalty is.”
In addition to playing in his final home game as a Duck, Oregon senior Royce Freeman will look to surpass former Beaver Ken Simonton, in career rushing touchdowns in the Pac-12. Freeman is only one behind Simonton, with 58 total.
“He’s the G.O.A.T.” Oregon head coach Willie Taggart said of the senior’s final season with the Ducks. “He’s big time. He’s been awesome, and I hope a lot of our young guys have been watching the way he carries himself because that’s the way we want all of our Ducks to be. He’s been everything to me.”
Saturday’s Civil War will kickoff at 4 p.m. in Eugene at Autzen Stadium.
Follow Maggie Vanoni on Twitter @maggie_vanoni
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