BF.C KEYS TO THE GAME: The Civil War

TALK ALL YOU WANT about what it looks like on paper. And on paper, this is a bad matchup for Oregon State. The Beavers lack the speed, depth, production, the razzle-dazzle, not to mention the No. 1 ranking. But when it comes down to the Civil War, records and rankings don't matter. This is a different animal. This is the Civil War.

And a victory here means everything for both teams. But in terms of mentality, the Beavers may actually have an advantage. They have nothing to lose, everything to gain. A victory here is something OSU wants so badly, it may have even adversely affected their focus last week against Stanford.

It's going to take an inspirational effort, and it's going to take some inspiring execution, but it's the Civil War and it's in Corvallis. Going toe-to-toe with Oregon and booting them out of a national championship berth in a lot of ways will soothe the ache from being blocked from the Rose Bowl two years in a row by the Ducks.

Before the season began, there were references aplenty to the Giant Killers. Top ranked TCU and Boise State loomed. And the Beavers lost a fistful of games in heartbreaking fashion this season. Then there were the collapses against Washington State and Stanford. But there is still fight left in Lunchpail U – and with their backs against the wall, it's time to let it all loose. Here are the BF.C Keys to the game.

1- Contain, contain, contain – Most important for Oregon State is not to allow Oregon to rip off big play after big play. If they score, make them do it with 15 play-type drives at 3-4 yards per carry. Contain, contain, contain. Everyone will have to do their job and be assignment correct to make that a reality.

2- Grind, grind, grind – Exactly the thing that Oregon doesn't want to do. Limit those big plays, and make more third down stops (and fourth downs, with UO's proclivity to go for it on fourth and short.) If OSU can get the ground game going, and take their deep shots sparingly and efficiently, they have more than a puncher's chance.

3- Blitz, blitz, blitz – The main thing that OSU is going to need to do in order to be in this game is to bring run blitzes. They must limit the ability of the QB to run by taking away his read and forcing the handoff to the RB virtually every time Oregon runs their zone read option. Clog the box. Take your chances with man coverage and the big pass.

Grading last week's keys:
The entire Beavers' team gets an incomplete. In fact, I refuse to even acknowledge there was a game last week. Game? What game? And let us never speak of this again.

Get well soon, James Rodgers. Send your comments, questions and outraged claims of not enough people kissing Oregon's ring to orangeattack@beaverfootball.com.


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