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The Kickoff: Civil War 2011, with Oregon's Rose Bowl hopes on the line.

Not pictured: the nine-foot troll he had to kill with his bare hands before catching the pass.
Not pictured: the nine-foot troll he had to kill with his bare hands before catching the pass.

The Teams: Oregon looks to rebound following the first home loss of the Chip Kelly era. The Ducks have never consistently been able to start in rhythm under Kelly, and we finally found out how late is too late to get moving. Despite the loss, the Ducks are still in the driver's seat to win the Pac-12 North and host the first-ever Pac-12 Championship Game. Oregon State began the year with a home loss to FCS Sacramento State, and it hasn't gotten much better. The Beavs beat the huskies at home last Saturday, improving their record to 3-8.

The Coaches: Chip Kelly hasn't faced this much heat for his in-game decisions since his debut on the Smurf Turf in 2009. Duck fans can question his time management, or the way he prepared the team for last week's game, but the fact of the matter is, Coach Kelly has us approaching the doorstep of a third consecutive BCS bowl. So I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt this time. 

Meanwhile, in Corvallis, Mike Riley is trying his best to get fired and avoid serving the rest of his bazillion-year contract doing his best to get his players fired up for the Civil War, since it's all the Beavers have left this season.

The Injuries: Once upon a time, Bo Thran and Nate Costa put their genes in a petri dish. Due to a birth defect, that baby was born with brittle-bone disease. That baby was James Rodgers.

For the Ducks, defensive lynchpins Dion Jordan and DeWitt Stuckey left the USC game with injuries, and did not return. They are listed as day-to-day. 

The Game: @ Autzen Stadium. Good. I wouldn't wish a day in Corvallis on even the worst of my enemies.

Key Players for OSU:

WR Markus Wheaton - 71 catches, 947 yards, 1 touchdown. I'd editorialize, but I think that sums up the Beaver offense by itself.

QB Sean Mannion - The freshman has played so well this season, former starting QB Ryan Katz is rumored to be transferring. He's been picked 16 times, against only 13 touchdowns. He's also been sacked 18 times. 

The OSU running game - averaging 93 yards per game, good for 116th in the nation. Make it harder on the freshman, why don't you?

Key players for Oregon:

CB Troy Hill - Troy, it's over. Marqise Lee isn't going to bother you anymore. He's gone, back to Los Angeles to pick on somebody else. Come on out of the bathroom, Troy, it's okay. 

WR Anyonewhocan Catchtheball - Drops in the USC game came at the worst possible times. Please, for the love of Chip, can somebody hang on to the ball that isn't...

TE David Paulson - He's really good. It's disappointing he hasn't had the standout season that Duck fans were hoping for, but that's what happens when we don't have any other consistent receiving targets.