I know that I haven't hyped the Civil War as much as I probably should have, but that's more due to me being busy than anything about the Ducks. In preparation of the big game, we've done a Q & A with our Beaver bretheren over at Building the Dam. Here are Jake's answers to my questions, and you can check out my answers over at BTD.
Dave: Lets see. No Dennis Dixon. Or Sammie Stroughter. Brian Paysinger. Cameron Colvin. Sean Canfield. And probably no Yvenson Bernard. With two good defenses going at it, how is either team going to score? And could this be the ugliest game since the toilet bowl of '83?
Jake: There will be scoring-- no doubt. Both teams are likely going to try to put slow, methodical drives together. For the Beavers, it will probably be a lot of short passes, short runs, and the occasional big play. For Oregon, I think they're going to pull out a lot of trick plays, and try to beat the Beavers in whatever way they can. I really don't think this game is going to be ugly. It may be at times, but I'm looking for it to be a hard fought game.
Dave: In all seriousness, how do you feel about the offense without Bernard? Can Polk and Sieverson carry the load? Is Moevao legit?
Jake: Moevao is legit, I'll start by saying that. Riley talks a lot about how they knew at the beginning of the season that they had two starting quarterbacks. Canfield got the job, but he's proud of the way Moevao stuck with it and waited for his opportunity. Polk and Sieverson have been off and on all year-- so it's hard to say how they're going to perform. Polk is a better runner, the type of guy you would classify as a halfback. Sieverson is more of a fullback type. Sieverson is a better blocker than Polk. We'll see how things go with the Oregon State backfield.
Dave: For those who haven't watched the Beavs much this year, can you say a bit about the defense? In the games I have seen, the defense has been phenomenal. And even when OSU has been blown out, turnovers, not the defense, was the culprit.
Jake: Yes, the defense has been phenomenal. The main losses Pac-10 that stand out to me were Arizona State and UCLA. Like you said, in both those games, the Beaver offense was turning the ball over left and right. This gave the defense bad field position. Riley spoke in the Beaver Huddle today about how once we figured out how good we could be if we set the defense up well, the whole team changed. Long story short, even though our defense is stellar, we can't win games with those guys out there the whole time.
Dave: Personally, I expect both offenses to struggle. The key to the game for me is which team can get more opportunities on a short field, either by turnovers or great returns on special teams. What is your key to the game.
Jake: I'm going to say turnovers. I'm almost certain the Ducks are going to empty out the playbook. The thing about trick plays is that they seem to always work. But with young guys handling the ball, are any of these trick plays going to backfire? The game is also going to depend a lot on field positions. Obviously, turnovers usually set a team up with good field position (usually), so I'm going with turnovers and field position hand in hand.
Dave: It looks like they are going to bring back the Platypus Trophy for this game, which hasn't been awarded since 1961. How sweet is it that the Civil War is going to have a trophy again?
Jake: Yeah, it's cool. I'm not to caught up in it right now. Maybe after the game, I don't know. We're not used to playing for a trophy in the Civil War, so maybe it will set in for the team that wins.
I guess I'm the only one excited about the trophy?
Dave: Which color bras will the Beavies be wearing on Saturday?
Jake: Nobody knows. (Well, somebody does know, but I'm not certain) It sounds like we tried to wear the orange tops with white pants, but that would cause us to forfeit a timeout (Don't ask me why. The Ducks wore yellow at Reser last year). Don't know the logistics behind it, but we'll probably end up with either all white or white tops black bottoms. I'm hoping for the white tops and black bottoms, but really, I don't care. It doesn't matter.
While we're on the subject, I hear the Ducks are bringing back the Grellow helmets. That should make Duck Nation happy.....
Stupid fucking grellow helmets...
Thanks to Jake for joining us. Here's to a great game today.