Oregon Preview


Posted Nov 22, 2002


Oregon comes into Reser Stadium on a two-game losing streak and looking to put themselves in place for a better bowl game. But the Beavers are looking for the same thing. Find out more about the Ducks here.

Record, rankings, and standing in conference: 7-4 overall, 3-4 in Pac-10 play, tied for 5th in the Pac-10 conference

Key Players:

Offense:

QB Jason Fife – has struggled recently, but remains fourth in the conference in quarterback rating and has only seven interceptions

WR Keenan Howry – big play receiver is tied for Pac-10 record for consecutive games with a catch (46); also is second in the conference in punt returns

TE George Wrighster – good hands and difficult to bring down after catch; has 35 catches for 525 yards (15 ypc) and 6 touchdowns

Defense:

LB David Morretti - leads the team and is third in the conference with 95 tackles, 49 solo. Has 3 sacks going into his final Civil War

LB Kevin Mitchell- second on the team in tackles with 90, 53 solo; has 6 sacks and an interception returned for a touchdown

Injuries:

Who's Hot:
Haloti Ngata has gotten better every game on the defensive line, and has blocked three kicks this year.  Keith Lewis has three blocked punts and five interceptions. 

The best player nobody's heard of:
TB Ryan Shaw – Ran well against Washington; expect increased looks this week.  If Shaw continues to perform well, Oregon should move Whitehead to Defensive Back during the off-season.

Weaknesses:

Defensive secondary is one of the worst Oregon has ever had.  Injuries have plagued this unit, but they do have an interception in each of the last 15 games, and Moore and Lewis are decent.  The offense is struggling at nearly every position.

Strengths:
The offensive line is a good, young unit.  The receiving corps is experienced and tough to defend.  Defensively, the linebackers and down linemen will hope to create enough pressure to help out the beleaguered secondary.  Watch for corner and safety blitzes.

Last game result:

Oregon suffered one of their most humiliating losses in recent memory, 42-14 to the Huskies.  Washington was able to overcome a 14-0 deficit by reeling off 42 unanswered points.  Oregon gave up two costly turnovers deep in their own territory in the pivotal third period, one on an interception by briefly appearing quarterback reliever Kellen Clemens.   

Series History and last meeting result:

Oregon leads 53-42-10.  The Beavers were only beaten once from 1959 through 1971 and the Ducks were unbeaten in 13 straight meetings through 1987.  The Ducks have had the edge since then, with a 9-5 record, but the home team has prevailed in the last five meetings.  The Civil War was first played in 1894, and only six other Division I teams have played more often.  Oregon is 26-15-5 in Corvallis.

Last year, Oregon held on to win 17-14 when Rashad Bauman intercepted a Jonathan Smith pass with under a minute to play with Oregon State in field goal range.  James Newson ran a 10-yard out route, but slipped on the rain-soaked turf, leaving no one in Bauman’s path to the ball.  Oregon was aided by a 102 yards rushing by Maurice Morris and a 70 yard punt return for a touchdown by Keenan Howry.   

Prediction for game:

Saying this is a down year for the Civil War shows the lack of historical perspective.  This is, by far, one of the most important Civil War games in the history of the rivalry.  The winner will end up in a better bowl game and will have the right to live in the state for the next year.

The home team has held serve in recent years.  In a year when both teams are very equal, it is the edge.

Oregon State 21, Oregon 17.



Related Stories
Around the Pac-10
 -by BeaverFootball.com  Nov 21, 2002
45-24 Oregon State
 -by eDuck.com  Nov 23, 2002
This Week in the Pac-10
 -by Dawgman.com  Nov 21, 2002

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