Three keys to an Oregon win against Oregon State

Bri Amaranthus

No. 14 Oregon (9-2, 7-1 Pac-12) still has a chance at playing in the Rose Bowl as Pac-12 Conference champions and achieving its first 10-win season since 2014. Standing in their way? Rival Oregon State who has surprised many by winning five games and is 3-1 on the road in Pac-12 play.

History: Saturday is the 123rd meeting between the two programs. Oregon has won 10 of the last 11 meetings, including five-straight in Autzen Stadium against Oregon State. 2007 was the last time OSU won in Eugene.

Betting line: Oregon opened as 20.5-point favorites over Oregon State

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A DUCK WIN WOULD...

Make Mario Cristobal the fourth head coach in program history to win 10 games in a season.

A BEAVER WIN WOULD...

Be their sixth victory, making Oregon State eligible for its first bowl appearance since the 2013 season. Also, it'd guarantee a winning conference record for the first time since going 6-3 in 2012.

Three keys to an Oregon victory

MISTAKE FREE

In Oregon's loss to Arizona State, quarterback Justin Herbert's two fourth quarter interceptions were huge difference-makers. They were uncharacteristically bad decisions as Herbert had thrown only three picks over the season heading into that game. Herbert has to respond and return to his mistake-free self on his senior day. OSU quarterback Jake Luton also excels at taking care of the ball this season, throwing 28 touchdown passes to just three interceptions.

Oregon cannot let penalties give Oregon State a chance. The rivalry game will likely be chippy, but the Ducks must play with passion instead of emotion.

DUCK RUSHING ATTACK

Oregon has had at least one 100-yard rusher in the Civil War every year since 2007. Last season, Duck duo CJ Verdell and Travis Dye combined to run for nearly 400 yards.

Oregon State's defense is allowing 12 points fewer per game this season than it did in 2018. However, OSU is still 10th in the Pac-12 in rushing defense.

For the Ducks to find offensive success, they must establish their ground game, which will allow Herbert to throw on his terms. Saturday is a big opportunity for Verdell, who needs 87 yards rushing to becomes the fifth Duck with back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

Oregon's offensive line will have a big task vs. Hamilcar Rashed Jr., who has 14 sacks, to protect Herbert and open up the ground game.

STIFLE OSU'S FIRE POWER

Oregon State's offense has scored over 50 points twice in its last four games. Oregon cannot overlook Luton, running back Jermar Jefferson, running back Artavis Pierce and wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins.

Pierce (848 rushing yards, six touchdowns) and Jefferson (604 yards, seven scores) are the only Pac-12 duo each over 600 rushing yards this season. Hodgins, leads the Pac-12 with 13 receiving touchdowns and has 1,086 yards. Luton has had a solid senior season, completing 62 percent of his passes.

The Duck defense, which was embarrassed by giving up 408 yards passing yards to ASU, must avoid getting burned again and generate pressure to keep the Beavers in check.

How and where to watch

Time: Saturday, Nov. 30, 1 p.m. (PT)

Where: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Oregon

TV: Pac-12 Network

Radio: KUGN-AM (590), KUJZ-FM (95.3), KZEL-FM (96.1)

Three keys to an Oregon win against Oregon State originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

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