Beavers stun Ducks to breathe new life into old rivalry that's getting a new name


I've seen a lot of these football games between Oregon and Oregon State. 

I’ve seen some big upsets, too. But I cannot recall being as surprised by the outcome of one of these contests as I was in the Friday night fog in Corvallis, Oregon.

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Yeah, I know the Beavers have been making a lot of progress under head coach Jonathan Smith, who once quarterbacked the Beavers to a similar shocking outcome.

And I know that even though I hear so much about all those blue-chip recruits at Oregon, the Ducks are playing this season with a lot of untested and inexperienced players.

But still…

Are you kidding me, Ducks?

You not only suffered a brutal upset against a team that doesn’t appear as talented as you are, you let down your whole conference. Oregon was the great green hope for the Pac-12’s appearance  -- and cash grab -- in the College Football Playoff. Now, the Ducks appear to have no chance.


And honestly, they don’t deserve a playoff berth. They aren’t good enough and neither is their conference.

We knew after the UCLA game that Oregon would have trouble stopping the Beavers’ running game. But Oregon State’s passing game was successful, too, and the Beavers racked up 532 total yards of offense.

By the fourth quarter, OSU was dictating the terms of this game.

The Ducks got a bit timid in the second half, trying to protect their lead, and were outscored 28-14 over the final two quarters. Their vaunted offense seemed to lack energy and they didn’t exploit an obvious advantage in quickness.

Oregon State -- which has had more trouble with bad spots this season than my once-clean white shirts -- got a couple more poor spots from the officials as the clock was winding down, but finally scored to get the win.

For Smith and his hard-working coaching staff, this was the biggest of wins. It should help with in-state and out-of-state recruiting and is a nice validation that the program is headed in the right direction.

For the Ducks, this fiasco had to be a wakeup call. How good, really, are they? And how good is their conference?

Both squads are still a lot better than the conference’s officiating crews, who don’t seem to know an offside from a side of fries. Oh well, the state of the conference’s officiating is such a cliche there is no point in talking about it.

The Beavers overcame all obstacles and, as a double-digit underdog, won a game that should reignite a rivalry that hasn’t been much of a rivalry in recent seasons,

The Ducks, of course, have recently dominated the artistry formerly known as “The Civil War.”

The Beavers, though, now have a 1-0 lead in “Whatever They Are Going To Call This Series Next.”