Like the coaches and players, the University of Oregon and Oregon State fans are anxiously awaiting Saturday’s 120th Civil War football game between the Ducks and Beavers.
Kickoff at Reser Stadium in Corvallis is set for 1 p.m. The contest will be televised by Pac-12 Networks.
Oregon (4-7, 2-6 Pac-12 North) and OSU (3-8, 2-6) are both coming off conference wins. The Ducks knocked off then-No. 11 Utah 30-28 in Salt Lake City, while the Beavers whipped Arizona 42-17 at Reser.
Oregon State has dropped eight straight to the Ducks in the series. The Beavers last won 38-31 in double overtime at Autzen Stadium in 2007.
Here’s what a few of the fans had to say about Saturday’s game:
Josh Bidwell of Eugene, a graduate of Douglas High School in Winston, was a punter for the Ducks from 1995-98 and went on to punt in the National Football League. UO won three of the four Civil War games during his playing years there under Mike Bellotti. Bidwell currently serves as the UO football chaplain.
“The Ducks are young and the injuries haven’t helped. To see what they did at Utah was a pleasant surprise in many ways. They showed some grit against a good team on the road and have a good game to hang their hat on. I’m more than impressed with (freshman quarterback) Justin Herbert. He’s the real deal and an extremely poised young man at his age.
“When they’re not playing the Ducks I’m rooting for the Beavers. OSU’s playing well on offense. They’re hit and miss like we are ... it seems like they’re always one play away on offense and they do have a lot of talent and speed. I’ve always liked (running back Ryan) Nall, if he’s healthy he’s really dangerous. And (quarterback Marcus) McMaryion has impressed me.
“I’ll never guess a blowout in the Civil War. I think (the Beavers) match up really well with us. Both teams have motivation. It’s definitely going to come down to the offensive and defensive lines. We have to block them to open up our running game and defensively can’t give Nall open lanes.”
Tom Nelson of Roseburg is a longtime OSU ticket-holder.
“I feel it’s a Civil War year for the Beavers. Both teams are coming off wins, but you have a Beaver team that might be more hungry. You have an (OSU) offense that might be playing as well as it ever has under Gary Andersen and a bruising running back in Ryan Nall. They have a quarterback (McMaryion) gaining a lot of confidence and I look for that to continue.
“I saw Justin Herbert in high school (for Sheldon) as a pitcher and in basketball and I thought he’d be a tight end or defensive end in college. He was a great high school quarterback and is a diamond in the rough. He jumped ahead of some older players (on the UO depth chart).
“The play of the defenses is huge, and I do think the Beavers can stop the Ducks.”
Lee Paterson of Roseburg is a longtime UO ticket-holder.
“That was a great win for the Ducks at Utah. I was totally floored by a different defense I saw. I’m real high on Justin Herbert. He’s every bit as good as Marcus Mariota was his freshman year. They’ve been forced to play a lot of young kids and have had a very tough schedule. Their defense has struggled the last couple of years.
“I’m glad I don’t have an opportunity to watch this game (in person), because I’m scared to death. We’ve dominated our rival (over the last eight years), but I have a lot of Beaver friends who are chomping at the bit this is their year. But I think the (UO) coaching staff has what it takes to get the players geared up to take this game.
“That (OSU) running back (Nall) is an amazing runner and that quarterback (McMaryion) is a fantastic passer. Stopping Nall and putting pressure on the quarterback will be the keys to the game. If we can hold them on defense, I know our offense can put points on the board.”
Jim Walker of Roseburg was a center for the Beavers from 1973-74 and 1976-77. He was 2-2 in four Civil Wars, winning the first two under Dee Andros and losing the last two under Craig Fertig.
“OSU is building a foundation and moving forward. UO is falling apart, they are in panic mode. Gary Andersen and his staff are doing a great job.
“My blood runs orange and only through God’s grace I don’t hate the Ducks anymore. I just can’t stand them.
“The Beavers will win. As coach Dee Andros used to say, ‘It’s for the right to live in the state.’ Go Beavs!”
Jim Moyer of Roseburg is a longtime UO ticket-holder.
“No, I didn’t see it (season) coming at all for the Ducks. No. 1, we’re very young and No. 2, we’ve suffered a ton of injuries. Losing (Tyrell) Crosby and (Devon) Allen hurt. We’re starting four freshmen on the offensive line. I thought (quarterback Dakota) Prukop would do a better job than he did.
“I’m disappointed, but realistic. You’re not going to stay at the top forever, and this happened to be our year to be down. I’m excited about our quarterback (Herbert). When you have a 6-6 quarterback who’s not afraid to run and can throw like he does, the future is bright. I’m looking forward to next year.
“The Beavers are an improving club, they solved their quarterback issue. Nall, for sure, and (Victor) Bolden are two guys who stand out. The whole key to Oregon winning will be defense. Do they show up and play like they did at Utah? If they do, they have a chance.
“I see two evenly matched teams this year. It’ll probably come down to which team can make some key stops (defensively) and special teams could play a significant factor. I give the Beavers a slight edge at home.”
Joe Newton of Roseburg was a tight end for the Beavers under Mike Riley from 2003-04 and ‘06. The RHS graduate was 2-1 in the Civil Wars he played, including a 50-21 romp at Reser in 2004.
“I’m not into moral victories, but the Beavers have been competitive in almost every game this year. What they’re doing has the looks of a successful team in the future. They’re building their run game and their defense has made steady improvement. With McMaryion able to drop back and hit guys (with the passing game) there’s a lot to be optimistic about.
“Ryan Nall is an incredible player to watch. Their other running backs are good, but Nall changes the entire game if he’s playing. I think the Beavers have a receiving corps most college teams would be happy to have.
“I’m a huge Mike Riley fan. I was sad to see him go (to Nebraska), but they got a great coach in Gary Andersen. I’m a Beaver and I’m all in, and we’ll see what happens.
“The UO offense is very scary. The best way to defend them is to keep their offense on the bench. The Beavers need to grind out some long drives. The Ducks got a huge road win (at Utah) and I have a tremendous amount of respect for their offense. I think Royce Freeman is a fantastic running back.
“If Nall plays the whole game, and the Beavers have some balance on offense and keep the Oregon offense on the bench they have a great chance. I think it’ll be a really competitive game and could go either way.”
Rich Ruhl of Eugene, a Roseburg High graduate, was a linebacker for the Ducks from 1992-95. Ruhl was 3-1 in Civil War games (three under Rich Brooks and one under Bellotti) that were decided by seven points or less.
“It’s been a rough season for the Ducks, but it was exciting to see them win last weekend. That should give them confidence going into the Civil War. I think the defense needs to have another good game for them to win (Saturday).
“(The Ducks) have players who didn’t have a lot of reps (before this season). I think it was the right move (to go with Herbert at quarterback). For an 18-year-old to lead a team like that says a lot.
“They (Beavers) play with a lot of emotion. They’re playing at home and their fans are always up for their games. Nall is a heckuva player.
“I think it’ll be a low-scoring game. The Ducks, playing in a hostile environment, will have to play with a lot of emotion, play under control and play with discipline.”
Paul Brothers of Eugene was a quarterback for the Beavers from 1964-66. The Roseburg graduate was 3-0 in Civil Wars in games that were decided by five points or less.
“I like the way the Beavers are playing. I followed Gary Andersen when he was at Utah State and Wisconsin. I felt he’d do a great job, and he is, and it’s going to take a while. To get this one would really help (OSU)’s recruiting efforts.
“I’ve felt like very game — in spite of the injuries — they’ve shown improvement. The kids have played as hard as they could for the amount of talent they have, and that’s positive to see.
“They’ve got to be able to run the ball (Saturday). Nall crucified the Ducks last year (with 174 yards rushing) and they couldn’t stop him.
“I’m really impressed with Justin Herbert. His grandfather (Rich Schwab) is one of my best friends and played split end for the Ducks. Herbert’s athletic and really calm, and that’s pretty unusual for a freshman.
“The Beavers have to get (defensive) stops in crucial situations, because the Ducks have the firepower to drive the length of the field. I think (the margin of victory) will be six points or less.”
John Livingston of Glide is a longtime UO ticket-holder. Livingston played baseball for the Ducks.
“The Ducks have struggled to say the least. Not enough sic ‘em. Their defense is something to be desired, but maybe they’re stepping it up a bit (after last weekend). I’m hopeful (for the offense) after seeing Justin Herbert and Tony Brooks-James.
“I think it’ll be a pretty even game. I think the (UO) offense is there, but defense is going to be the key.”