Oregon Ducks vs. Oregon State Beavers: Watch Live TV Stream Online For Free; Preview
The Oregon Ducks face the Oregon State Beavers this weekend in the 116th meeting of the annual rivalry. (Photo: REUTERS / Beck Diefenbach)
The No. 5 Oregon Ducks face the No. 16 Oregon State Beavers on Saturday in the 116th meeting of this Civil War rivalry. The game will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Network at 3:30 p.m. ET, and you can also watch a live TV stream online for free here.
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The Ducks suffered their first loss of the season last weekend when they fell to the Stanford Cardinal. The Cardinal limited the Ducks to just 198 yards on the ground - 127 yards fewer than their season average coming into the contest.
That loss may have derailed the Ducks' title hopes, as Oregon fell to No. 5 in the Bowl Championship Series standings. The Ducks do still have a small chance of reaching the national championship game, if the teams ahead of them in the BCS standings lose over the next two weekends.
But for now, all they can do is try to defeat the Beavers and hope for a Stanford loss to UCLA on Saturday. If both teams win, then Stanford will have the tiebreaker over the Ducks and advance to the conference championship game.
For the Ducks to get back on track, they will need to regain the offensive prowess they showed during their 10-game winning streak to start the season. Before the Stanford contest, Oregon had scored at least 42 points in every game this year. Even with the Ducks 14-point output against Stanford, Oregon still ranks second in the nation with an average of 51.1 points scored per game.
However, they will face a tough test on Saturday against an improved Oregon State squad. The Beavers stand at 8-2 on the season and already have five more victories than they had all of last season. As of last weekend, the turnaround was tied for the largest among Division I schools this year.
Most impressively, the Beavers have accomplished this feat despite facing the fourth-hardest schedule in the nation, according to Jeff Sagarin's rankings in USA Today. Sagarin uses a complex ranking formula that takes into account both the strength of the opponent and the location of the game. Oregon, by contrast, has the 36th hardest schedule in the nation, according to Sagarin's system.
Unlike the Ducks, the Beavers' offense this year has been spearheaded by its passing attack. Oregon State is 22nd in the nation in passing yards per game, with much of the damage done after the initial reception. Receivers Brandin Cooks and Markus Wheaton average 47.0 and 38.2 yards per game after the catch this season, respectively. Both are among the top 14 nationally in receiving yards per game.
The explosive play from these two wideouts has allowed the Beavers to survive issues at the quarterback position. Starter Sean Mannion led Oregon State to a 4-0 start before missing two games with a knee injury. He returned for the squad's matchup with the Washington Huskies, only to throw four interception and get benched for backup Cody Vaz. But Mannion regained the starting job after an injury to Vaz two weeks ago, and the sophomore led his team to a blowout win over California last weekend.
Oregon has a 13-game edge in the annual rivalry. The Ducks have particularly dominated over the last few seasons, with a 27-9-1 record over the Beavers since 1975. Last year, Oregon racked up 365 yards on the ground on its way to a 49-21 win. Mannion threw three touchdowns but also had two interceptions in that contest.