Oregon State has had an up and down season all year. At times, they look like world beaters, knocking off then #8 Arizona State and they have also looked like the team that is stuck in the North cellar when they lost to Washington State the week before that. Having the #2 team in the country and the team’s biggest rival coming in to town is certain to rile up some of the Oregon State players and coach Helfrich knows the Ducks are going to get their best shot.
“They are really good. They are extremely talented and there have been some games and the outcome could have been very different. There are a bunch of games where they look really scary and we know we are going to get that version,” said Head Coach Mark Helfrich.
Part of what Oregon will be facing is senior quarterback Sean Mannion. The all-time conference passing leader has had his receivers come up and mature through the season and have given Mannion some vertical threats. Oregon will need to make life uncomfortable for the senior or it could end up in a shootout.
“We have to change things up, we have to change up the coverages and make him move. He’s such a polished guy. There isn’t much he has not seen but it is just a matter of staying one step ahead,” said Helfrich.
Oregon’s seniors got a nice sendoff last week and this week, the Beavers will be celebrating senior day and will be getting a boost from what is certain to be a raucous crowd. With last season’s game being so close, Oregon knows they are going to have to stick to the plan and move forward the Oregon way.
“There were a lot of things in that game that are ‘shoulda, woulda, coulda,’ to make it different. Again, that’s where we have to focus on our deal and not on their mentality or anything like that,” said Helfrich.
As far as Reser being a hostile environment, Helfrich embraces the energy and wants his team to use it when they play on the field.
“I love it. I love those kind of places. They do a great job and are very creative. It’s a highly competitive atmosphere and it makes you hone in on your job and rally the troops that much more,” said Helfrich.
The Ducks will be facing a hungry team in Oregon State but their focus remains on moving past Oregon State and into the conference title game. Win that and they are as close to a shoo-in for the college football playoff as any team in the nation.
Oregon focuses on self in face of hostility
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