The Oregon State Beavers and Mike Riley will aim for a shocking upset of Chip Kelly and the Oregon Ducks in the 2012 Civil War.
How would you describe the Civil War rivalry, and what is your relationship with your Duck brothers?
Jon (j_irwin1704), Northwest Sports Beat: Outside of the Trail Blazers, UO and OSU are all Oregon really has for major sports teams. That's why the Civil War rivalry is so big in the state. I think it's a fun and peaceful rivalry, but there are always those that can take it too seriously.
I have a lot of great friends who went to UO, and we get along pretty peacefully. Years like these make it the hardest, because both teams are playing really well. I can't imagine the tension if both teams had made it this far undefeated.
Andy (AndyPanda), Building The Dam: It's the one thing that gets people who won't bother with going to a Duck or Beaver game even when they are rolling to not only pay attention, but possibly even wear something Orange or Green. It's also the one thing that turns a year of bad jokes into a week of cheap shots.
Most of the Duck fans I talk to are of the type that say "I root for you guys every other week." But that's because I don't talk to the others.
Talk about the Civil War matchup. What will be the keys and the matchups to beating the Ducks?
Jon (j_irwin1704), Northwest Sports Beat: If OSU wants to win this game, that means playing offense like USC and defense like Stanford. The Beavers have some speedy wide receivers who can take advantage of a thin Duck's secondary. Markus Wheaton will be huge, but it'll be tough to win if Brandin Cooks doesn't return.
The biggest challenge comes on defense. Stanford won with sure tackling and discipline, two things OSU is good at. I trust the line and secondary, so this will come down to the Beavers linebackers. They're not great at penetration or pass protection, but play overall serviceable-good football. Michael Doctor anchors that group, giving him the biggest role to play.
What's your score prediction for the Civil War and why?
Jon (j_irwin1704), Northwest Sports Beat: With such polar opposite games last week, it's hard to not give Oregon State a nod. As I said before, it's going to be a tight battle reminiscent of 2009. But given how much OSU has given up on the ground over the last two weeks, I just don't see how they contain Kenjon Barner. Ducks win 35-31.