Oregon State has enjoyed a significant amount of success this season, and the team must continue to take its season one game at a time, despite the exciting showdown that awaits it next weekend.
The rivalry between Oregon and Oregon State has been so fierce that it has been dubbed the Civil War. It will have even more significance this year, as both teams are likely to be ranked in the BCS standings.
The Ducks are currently No. 2 and the Beavers are No. 16, but OSU would plummet down and possibly out of the standings if it were to lose sight of the challenge in front of it when hosting Cal.
The Beavers are a longshot to reach the Pac-12 Championship Game after a heartbreakingly close loss to Stanford, but they can still reach a high-profile bowl game to end their season.
A win over Oregon is what they will need to accomplish this.
Beating the Ducks will take extraordinary efforts from all of the team’s key players, and even a slight mistake may doom them to defeat. That is an incredible amount of pressure to deal with, and it will be all too easy to look ahead to that game.
The 3-8 Bears have turned few heads this season but still hold the big-play potential needed to upset OSU if the Beavers do not play up to the standard they have set for themselves.
Oregon State just needs to look at the team right behind it in the rankings to realize this.
No. 17 UCLA posted an impressive victory over archrival USC today, but five weeks ago the Bruins were blown out 43-17 against the Bears.
Cal’s C.J. Anderson shredded Jim Mora’s team for 151 yard and a touchdown while UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley threw four interceptions.
Turnovers are often the manifestation of a lack of focus, and the Beavers must prove from the start in this game that they are fully invested in the game that they are playing. If this does not happen, the game against the Ducks will mean little more than bragging rights.
If the Beavers lose to Cal, even an upset over Oregon may not be enough to push them back towards one of the top 15 spots in the standings. OSU would have three losses on its record, with two coming against unranked teams.
Oregon State has the talent to dominate Cal, but only if it is completely focused on the task at hand.