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I want to go on record saying that even though I believe these six reasons the Ducks will win are the realistic view, it's not impossible that the Beavers could pull this game off.
The Civil War is one of the best and longest rivalries in college football, and it got that way for a reason. These two schools, their players and their fans don't much care for each other, or, for that matter, each other's life philosophies.
That results in a hostile environment (overused cliche) like no other. Marcus Mariota has never been to Reser Stadium (that I know of). Reser is a very unpleasant place for Oregon fans, and what Mariota will encounter on Saturday bears no relationship to previous road game experiences.
He will be taunted. He will have things thrown at him. He will have his parentage questioned. What we don't know is how the Stanford loss affected Mariota's psyche. He's 19 years old and just experienced his first big loss—it's bound to have taken an emotional toll. If Mariota loses his confidence and succumbs to the pressure, it could tilt Oregon State's way.
If the Beavers can get their running game in gear early, and the beat up Ducks' D-line doesn't respond, that could also bring trouble for the Ducks.
Most likely, the weather will be typical Oregon November weather. That is to say, wet and wild. Whoever deals with the elements best will win. That kind of weather generally produces mistakes. If the Ducks mistakes come at critical times and the Beavs take advantage, that will be a major factor.
So, lots of intangibles in the 116th Civil War. May the best team win.
Kay Jennings is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.