This season’s Civil War is “everything you could want in a college football game,” according to Oregon Coach Mario Cristobal.
Oregon (9-2, 7-1 Pac-12) is doing its best to avoid lingering effects from its devastating first conference loss to Arizona State. The Ducks have five days left to refocus and retool their goals after the trip back from Tempe, which coach Cristobal described as the quietest plane ride he’s ever been on.
The Pac-12 North Division champion Ducks still have a chance at playing in the Rose Bowl by winning the Pac-12 Title game on December 6th in Santa Clara. But first, a compelling matchup vs. Oregon State on senior day in Eugene.
The Duck defense, which was embarrassed by giving up 408 yards passing yards to ASU, will face a Beavers team riddled with offensive weapons, only one win away from bowl eligibility. OSU (5-6, 4-4) hasn’t played in a bowl game since 2013 and was seconds away at Washington State from getting their sixth win, to become eligible.
Cristobal spoke particularly high about junior wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins, who just moved into seventh place at OSU for overall career receptions with 168.
“He’s one of the best in the country, hands down,” Cristobal said. “He is a complete wide receiver, very polished. By that I mean he can take you down the field and go deep. He could run his double-move stuff as good as anybody out there, his stutters, great intermediate route runner, great in the quick game.”
As OSU quarterback Jake Luton’s go-to target, Hodgins has totaled 1,086 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns.
Cristobal continued that "there’s nothing he can’t do” and one of the biggest things Oregon will have to defend is Hodgins ability to make players miss and take it to the house. This is concerning for an Oregon defense that is coming off an uncharacteristic bad tackling night.
It’s crucial that the Ducks secondary avoids getting burned again while the front generates pressure and an effective pass rush to keep the Beavers in check.