No. 10 Oregon can clinch a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Saturday with a win at rival and No. 22 Oregon State in the Civil War.
Oregon Ducks vs. Oregon State Beavers
Saturday, November 26, 2022 – 03:30 PM EST at Reser Stadium
Last Time They Met
ABC has the telecast of the annual Civil War between No. 10 Oregon and No. 22 Oregon State. It certainly means more for the Ducks, as they would reach the Pac-12 title game with a victory, while the Beavers would perhaps better their bowl slot with a win.
Last year, Oregon beat Oregon State 38-29 in Eugene. The Ducks had 506 yards and quarterback Anthony Brown (gone now) threw for 275 yards and 2 scores and rushed for 83 yards and a TD. Travis Dye (now at USC) rushed for 2 TDs.
Oregon State came into the game as the Pac-12's best rushing team at 229.4 yards per game but was held to 85 yards on 21 carries. Chance Nolan threw for 308 yards and 2 TDs and rushed for a score.
Oregon leads the all-time series 67-48-10. The road team is 11-4-1 against the spread in the past 16 meetings.
Pac-12 Title Game Awaits
Oregon can make this simple: win here and it will play in the Pac-12 Championship Game for a 4th straight season with Southern Cal and Heisman Trophy favorite Caleb Williams waiting in the wings. If Oregon loses, it can still clinch a berth if Washington State beats Washington in the Apple Cup.
The Ducks come off a 20-17 home win last Saturday against a good Utah team; the Utes would have controlled their destiny for a Pac-12 title spot with a win.
Great Nix Performance Despite Injury
Oregon QB Bo Nix was in some question with an injury, but played through it and had 287 yards passing and a touchdown, although he didn’t run much like he usually does.
Nix’s first carry of the night came with less than 2 minutes remaining, when he faked a pitch, dived for 2 yards, and picked up the clinching first down for the Ducks.
Nix is just the 5th FBS player since 2000 with at least 25 passing TDs and 14 rushing TDs through 11 games. The Auburn transfer is tied for the FBS lead with 40 total touchdowns, and his 14 rushing TDs lead all FBS quarterbacks.
4th Appearance in a Row
The UO defense, meanwhile, got 14 tackles and 2 interceptions from safety Bennett Williams. The 17 points allowed to Utah were Oregon’s fewest in the series at home since 2001. Oregon has now won 9 consecutive games when holding its opponents under 24 points and 15 straight games when scoring first and 17 straight when leading at halftime.
UO is one of just 3 teams (Cincinnati and Louisiana) to play in its conference title game each of the last 3 seasons and would be the first team ever to appear in 4 straight Pac-12 Championship Games. The Ducks are 6-1 ATS in their past 7 Pac-12 games.
Oregon State Tough at Home
Oregon State is currently tied for 5th in the Pac-12. The Beavers won for the 5th time in 6 games on Saturday, 31-7 at Arizona State. Damien Martinez ran for 137 yards and 2 touchdowns and Ben Gulbranson threw for 188 yards and a score while also rushing for a TD.
Martinez was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week on Monday. The 138 yards marked Martinez's 5th consecutive game over 100 yards rushing. He's the first Beaver to do so since Steven Jackson topped 6 straight in 2003.
Defensive Line Ranks 2nd
Defensively, OSU held Arizona State to 276 yards, the fewest by an opponent in a road game since the Beavers held Washington State to 192 in a 42-10 win on Nov. 21, 2009. Over its last 5 games, the Oregon State defense has not allowed a first-quarter point. It has given up just 27 in the second quarter over that stretch.
OSU’s defense ranks second in the Pac-12, allowing an average of 330.6 yards of offense per game, 1 yard shy more than No. 1 Utah (329.5). The Beavers have held 10 of their 11 opponents to less than 400 yards this season. They have given up the fewest points in the league in Pac-12 play at 146, 18.25 per game.
Ben Gulbranson up to the Task
The Beavers have won 8 games for the first time since 2012. OSU, at 5-3 in Pac-12 play, is assured of posting back-to-back winning conference records for the first time since 2008-2009. They are 10-1 in their last 11 games at Reser Stadium dating back to 2021.
Injury-wise, running backs Deshaun Fenwick and Jam Griffin, receiver Anthony Gould, offensive linemen Heneli Bloomfield and Tyler Morano, linebacker Jack Colletto, cornerback Alex Austin and safety Jaydon Grant are hoping to take part in practice this week.
Former starting QB Chance Nolan, out since Oct. 1 after sustaining a neck injury at Utah, hasn’t been cleared to fully practice. Time is running out for Nolan to even get meaningful practice time for a bowl game.
“He’s gotten better each week,” Coach Jonathan Smith said of Gulbranson. “Competition is healthy, so whenever Chance gets healthy again, or next year even, Ben’s gonna have to compete.”
If there’s one worry with OSU, it’s the kicking game. Overall, the Beavers are 9 of 17 on field-goal attempts. The 52.9% success rate is the worst in the Pac-12 by a wide margin.
Everett Hayes went 1 of 3 against Arizona State, missing from 23 and 44 yards.
I think this will go down to the wire, so I’m taking the 3.5 points at the NCAAF odds as the hook may matter.
OSU is a stellar 14-3 ATS in its past 17 at home.
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