Oregon vs. Oregon State Football: This Year's War May Not Be So Civil

Tyler RobinsonContributor IIDecember 2, 2010

EUGENE,OR - DECEMBER 03:  Running back LeGarrette Blount #9 of the Oregon Ducks breaks a tackle by linebacker Dwight Roberson #59 of the Oregon State Beavers and runs for a touchdown at Autzen Stadium on December 3, 2009 in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)
Tom Hauck/Getty Images

You might not know it if you didn't live in the great northwest, but the Civil War between Oregon and Oregon State has been the premiere rivalry game in college football as of late.

In 2008, the Beavers were on track to appear in the Rose Bowl for the first time in 44 years. The only obstacle standing in their way was their in state rival, the Ducks.

Oregon's squad came into Reser Stadium and stomped out any dreams that the Beavers had about Pasadena. The Ducks soared to victory, 65-38. Oregon's 65 points were the most points that Oregon State has ever given up to one opponent.

The stakes were at an all-time high when the two met in last year's game—the Rose Bowl was on the line. For the first time in 113 years, the march for roses was going through the state of Oregon.

The game would live up hype.

Last year's battle was the most thrilling Civil War in the history of the rivalry. All night long, the game went back and forth. Oregon State led 23-21 at the half, and by the end of the third quarter Oregon led 34-33.

LaMichael James had a huge night running for 166 yards to go along with his three touchdowns. The Ducks also got boost from fallen star LeGarrette Blount, who ran for a touchdown in his first game back after his suspension stemming from the punch he threw against Boise State.

The deciding play in the game came with 3:29 left in the fourth quarter.

The Ducks led 37-33 and faced a 4th-and-3 on the Oregon State 32, and Chip Kelly decided to go for it. This began Kelly's legacy of making gutsy calls. What happened next will forever remain as one of the greatest moments in Duck history.

Jeremiah Masoli got the snap, rolled right and took off upfield where he was met by Beaver linebacker Lance Mitchell with one yard between him and a first down.

Masoli was not going to be denied.

He lowered his shoulder and plowed right through Mitchell, sending the linebacker to the ground, then spun off him and picked up the first down.

The Ducks had done it—they were going to the Rose Bowl. For the second year in a row, the Ducks dashed the Beavers' bid for a Rose Bowl.

The Beavers (5-6) are having a down year and will be looking to spoil the Ducks' dream season. Oregon has been the country's top team all season, and if they can go into Reser and win on Saturday, then they will be in Arizona come January for the "Natty," as Cliff Harris calls it.

There would be no sweeter way for the Ducks to clinch their first national championship berth than to do it against their bitter rival.