Friday is the 119th edition of the Civil War between Oregon and Oregon State and this year's matchup looks to be the most lopsided in several seasons. The surging and host Ducks are -35 on 5Dimes' college football odds with a total of 68.5.
Andersen's First Season a Disaster
Certainly it hasn't been a great first season for Oregon State coach Gary Andersen, who was hired from Wisconsin (which seemed like a step down in jobs). The Beavers beat San Jose State 35-21 on Sept. 19 to start 2-1 but haven't won since and are the only winless team in Pac-12 play (0-8). And just one of those conference losses has been close: a 17-13 home defeat to Colorado, which OSU has replaced as the worst team in the Pac-12.
The Beavers are off a 52-7 loss to Washington to close out their home schedule for 2015. About the only bright spot in the game was redshirt freshman Marcus McMaryion throwing his first career TD pass as Oregon State avoided a shutout. McMaryion hit with Victor Bolden on a 24-yard play with 5:30 left in the third quarter. McMaryion set career highs in completions (eight) and yards (109) in his first substantial playing time of the season.
It's possible that Oregon State will get back former starting quarterback Seth Collins for this game -- but if he does play, it would be at wide receiver. Last Monday, Collins had been ruled out for the season with a hyperextended knee suffered in practice before OSU played at Utah on Halloween. But Collins was at practice running with the receivers on Monday.
"Some things that seem impossible a week ago may not be as far away as you think," Andersen said Monday.
The true freshman Collins completed 51.9 percent of his passes for 890 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions in seven games. Collins began splitting time with Nick Mitchell against Colorado on Oct. 24, and Andersen planned to continue using a two-quarterback system before Collins got hurt. Collins is still the Beavers' leading rusher (541 yards, five touchdowns) despite missing the last four games. Mitchell, a redshirt freshman, continues to play, but he was terrible against Washington, going 0-for-7. He was then replaced in the second quarter by McMaryion. OSU's offense is averaging just 16.9 points per game.
Oregon State is 2-9 against the spread on college football odds this season and 5-6 'over/under.'
Ducks Can Only Wonder What If...
I guarantee you that no team wants to play Oregon right now as the Ducks (8-3, 6-2) have won five straight and have looked like a totally different offense since quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. got healthy. Oregon won at ranked Stanford two weeks ago and then pummeled ranked USC 48-28 in Eugene last week. Adams threw for 407 yards and six touchdowns (to six different receivers) to just five incompletions against the Trojans. USC had never before allowed a quarterback to throw for six touchdowns in a game. Royce Freeman had another 100-yard game in the win over USC and his 1,539 rushing yards are third-most in the FBS.
It's too bad Adams' eligibility is up after this season. All three of Oregon's losses came while he was recovering from a finger injury suffered in the opening game. Adams, a graduate transfer, has played Oregon State before. He passed for 411 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 107 yards and two touchdowns to lead Eastern Washington to a 49-46 victory over the Beavers in the 2013 opener.
The Ducks will not be playing in the Pac-12 title game as they finished one game behind the Cardinal in the Pac-12 North. So really all that's at stake here is possibly improving bowl stock. The Alamo Bowl or Holiday Bowl seems likely for Oregon assuming a win.
No team has more uniform combinations than Oregon and you will see a new one for this game. The uniforms, called Oregon 33 -- Oregon became the 33rd state in 1859 -- feature slick green camouflage and a new helmet design.
Oregon is 7-4 ATS on college football picks and 7-4 O/U.
No. 2 Oregon visited Corvallis to close the 2014 regular season -- as the schools always do against one another -- and rolled to a 47-19 victory. Marcus Mariota might have officially clinched the Heisman Trophy that day, if he didn't already have it in the bag, by throwing for 367 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for two more touchdowns. Freeman rushed for 135 yards and caught a TD pass. It was Oregon's seventh straight win in the series; an upset would have gotten OSU bowl eligible. That would be the final game as Oregon State's coach for Mike Riley, who left this offseason for Nebraska.
College Football Picks: Obviously Oregon is much better, but it's a rivalry game and 35 points is a ton. Take them and go 'over' at 5Dimes. OSU is 3-0-1 ATS in its past four at Oregon. The road team has covered eight of the past nine meetings overall. The 'over' is 11-2 in the past 13.