There is no logical reason that Oregon State
should beat Oregon
tomorrow in Corvallis and derail the Ducks' hope of playing in the national championship Jan. 10.
Oregon has an 11-0 record. Oregon State has been up and down en route to its 5-6 record, including last Saturday's 38-0 drubbing at Stanford.
But as any sports fan will tell you, logic doesn't always necessary show up at the game
. There have been much bigger surprises
than a 16-point underdog winning a rivalry game like this, especially when that underdog has home-field advantage.
Let me count the reasons I can't relax as a Ducks fan
with barely more than 24 hours to go until kickoff at Reser Stadium:
. The flip side of Oregon's tricky and speedy offense has been a penchant for turnovers. The Ducks have 20 turnovers, a troubling average of nearly two per game (though thanks to an opportunistic Ducks defense causing 31 turnovers, Oregon ranks 10th overall nationally in turnover margin
with a plus-11). Early Ducks fumbles and/or interceptions—and Reser will be rocking.
2) Special teams
. The potential absence of Oregon punter Jackson Rice
is scary because his replacement would be a freshman, Alejandro Maldonado. Granted, coach Chip Kelly often disdains the punt on fourth down, instead deciding to try for the first down in some seemingly risky spots. But there are few things that can change momentum like a shanked or a blocked punt.
. There's never any guarantee that who starts the game won't get knocked out early. And with senior backup quarterback Nate Costa out
, the prospect of Darron Thomas suffering a game-ending injury like Dennis Dixon did so painfully
in 2007 is frightening.
Irrational fears, all? Perhaps. But the thought of any one of these setting off Reser Stadium and the chainsaw
has me totally distracted.
Meanwhile, as Ducks and Beavers fans count down the hours to kickoff, here's something I think Beavers fans will enjoy watching
And here's something I know I enjoy watching from Oregon's last visit in 2008 to Reser Stadium