Players to watch in the Civil War
Ryan Nall / Running back / Oregon State
Ryan Nall is a star in an otherwise underwhelming offense. Nall is ninth in the Pac-12 with 76.9 yards per game. He has been the lead back for the Beavers since his redshirt sophomore year, and he currently starts ahead of former Oregon five-star recruit Thomas Tyner. In last year’s Civil War, Nall ran for four touchdowns, tying the Oregon State all-time rushing touchdowns record for one game. He also had 156 rushing yards in OSU’s first Civil War win in nearly a decade. The Beavers have had a down season, especially with head coach Gary Andersen leaving the program. But if anyone can get things going offensively for the Beavers, it’s Nall.
Royce Freeman / Running back / Oregon
It’s been one record after another for Royce Freeman in his senior season. This will be Freeman’s fourth Civil War and final game at Autzen Stadium, and there’s no question that he’ll want to go out with a bang. He ran for over 100 yards last year but was held without a touchdown. Coming off of a three-touchdown game against Arizona on Saturday, it’ll be tough for the Oregon State defense to keep Freeman out of the endzone.
Manase Hungalu / Inside linebacker / Oregon State
The senior linebacker is ranked fourth in the Pac-12, averaging 8.5 tackles per game, two spots behind Troy Dye. He had a career-high 20 tackles against Cal on Nov. 4. He will have to have another impressive game if the Beavers stand a chance in stopping the Ducks’ strong running game.
Tony Brooks-James / Running back / Oregon
Freeman may be the face of the Oregon football program, but Brooks-James is another vital part of the Ducks’ offensive rush. Overlooked during Freeman’s four-touchdown game against Arizona, Brooks-James had 124 yards rushing. After the win, he tweeted, “Great team win today, couldn’t ask for anything else. Next up … Beavers. Payback time.” He and the rest of the Ducks haven’t forgotten about the stinging loss in the Civil War last year, and he is ready to make a statement. Freeman can’t play every snap, and when given the opportunity, Brooks-James can make big plays as well.
Follow Kylee O’Connor on Twitter @kyleethemightee
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