When the No. 15 ranked Oregon State Beavers (8-3) travel to Eugene Friday night to face the No. 6 ranked Oregon Ducks, fans watching a series formerly known as “The Civil War” might see each other for the last time in the foreseeable future. With Oregon bolting for the Big Ten conference, a game that was first played in 1894 could take a long hiatus after the 2023 edition.
Oregon State nearly knocked off No. 5 Washington this week, falling in a nail-biting fashion 22-20 to the Huskies. Despite the loss to Washington, Oregon State could still win a ninth contest by beating the Ducks, a feat the Beavers have achieved only seven previous times in school history.
Oregon’s only loss came to Washington, too. The Ducks lost a 36-33 decision against the Huskies in October and have their sights set on a rematch in the PAC 12 Championship game. Oregon’s pathway to one last PAC 12 title is simple: beat Oregon State or have Arizona State defeat Arizona.
Oregon holds a 66-51-10 advantage against their in-state rivals. Will the Ducks add to their record against Oregon State, or will the Beavers upend Oregon’s playoff chances with a second loss? We reveal below that answer plus which players bettors should observe in this heated rivalry game.
Few players in college football have been hotter than Oregon QB Bo Nix this season. The Heisman contender has completed an incredible 78 percent of his passes for 3,539 yards and 35 TDs against only two INTs. On the ground, Nix has added 128 rushing yards and five TDs.
Oregon State has surrendered three or more passing TDs twice this season. Washington State’s Cameron Ward and Arizona’s Noah Fifita both threw for three or more TDs against the Beavers, both performances coming in two of Oregon State’s three losses this season.
On Friday night with a trip to the PAC 12 Championship game on the line, Nix will continue his hot streak against the Beavers. In his last three games, the Ducks QB has thrown for 1,202 yards and 14 TDs. Expect Nix to pass for at least three TDs in this rivalry matchup.
One of Nix’s favorite targets is Oregon RB Mar’Keise “Bucky” Irving. The backfield athlete leads the Ducks in carries (149), rushing yards (1,002) and rushing TDs (10). Irving is also active in the passing game, ranking third on the team in receptions (43) and fourth in receiving yards (362).
Against Oregon State, expect Irving to eclipse the 30.5 receiving yards needed to make this a successful wager. The Beavers have been strong defensively against the rush, allowing just over 103 yards per outing. While Irving – who shares carries with Jordan James – may be limited rushing, the RB will net over 30 yards receiving as he has in four of the past five games.
After spending three years with Clemson, Oregon State landed QB D.J. Uiagalelei in the transfer portal for 2023. Uiagalelei has not disappointed, guiding the Beavers to an 8-3 record with 2,418 passing yards and 20 TDs this season.
While Uiagalelei isn’t known for his rushing prowess, the QB can scramble when needed. On the year, the junior signal caller has netted 201 rushing yards and six TDs on his 61 carries, ranking third on the team in both yards and carries this season.
In his team’s three losses this season, Uiagalelei has a combined 124 rushing yards on 21 carries. With this rivalry game with Oregon expected to be close, expect Uiagalelei to scramble constantly and earn at least 20 rushing yards against the Ducks.
While Oregon State may not beat Oregon one final time before this series takes a break, bettors can be sure that the Beavers will be up for the task. With a spread set at nearly two TDs, this game is certain to be closer than oddsmakers assessed.
Expect Oregon State to keep this game close – if not win outright – against Oregon Friday. The points sure look mighty fine in this hatred-filled rivalry game.
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