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December 2, 2008

He said-She said. Picking up the pieces

...::He said.
.She said::...

...::THE OFFENSE
SHE SAYS::...

The magical run came to an end, but that doesn't mean that there weren't some good performances handed in. Most importantly, this team NEVER quit, even though the ball just wouldn't bounce their way.

I honestly didn't think that the loss of Quizz would be as big as it was, but given the way Oregon's defensive line played, it really may not have mattered. Oregon State showed the ability to strike quick, and put up 38 points, heck Lyle Moevao threw five touchdowns to tie an Oregon State record, but they just never could get a running game established.

In the end, though, it wasn't Oregon State's lack of productivity, but Oregon's aggressive defensive line who won the battle in the trenches most of the evening that kept the Beavers run game grounded.

SHE SAYS-GRADE: B

...::THE OFFENSE
HE SAYS::...

If you would have told me before the game that the Beavers would put up 38 points and 463 total yards of offense in the game, I'd have said that would be pretty close to an A grade. Of course, when you lose by 27, can there be many A's on the grade sheet?

Moevao has shown his ability to throw for a bunch of yards and touchdown's when behind. Mike Riley's offense can become one dimensional (remember Derek Anderson's last year) and still put points on the board.

But without a running game, they can't control the game like they want. An excessive amount of passes lead to an excessive amount of interceptions and sacks…both of which are game changers.

No offense can overcome a defensive performance like we witnessed, but they didn't help themselves enough either.

HE SAYS-GRADE: B-

...::THE DEFENSE
SHE SAYS::...

Whoa, deep breath. It is hard to be too critical of a group who gave it everything all night, but honestly these guys looked like they were running on fumes most of the evening.

The defense as a unit had a bad day (understatement of the year); it is just too bad that it came in the Civil War with the Rose Bowl on the line. I really hate saying this, but I have to give Oregon credit for coming in with a great game plan, that they executed flawlessly.

SHE SAYS-GRADE: D-

...::THE DEFENSE
HE SAYS::...

I'm still at a loss for words, even after watching the game again.

Give the Ducks credit. Their offensive line played a GREAT game. Masoli played like a veteran and not a true sophomore. Both their running backs looked like they could start for NFL teams now. And their maligned receiving corps made it look all too easy.

The D-line got manhandled much of the game. The linebackers regularly got blocked out of the play. And the DBs had trouble covering the pass.

All of this added up to a defensive performance that will likely go down as one of the biggest duds ever. Most points scored against….EVER. Most yards given up….EVER. These are records that should NEVER be set in a rivalry game, by either team.

Brutal.

HE SAYS-GRADE: F

...::SPECIAL TEAMS
SHE SAYS::...

Sammie Stroughter, James Rodgers, and Patrick Henderson had some great returns, and Brandon Hardin, even with the penalty, made some big hits. A missed field goal didn't determine the outcome of the game and freshman punter Johnny Hekker had a decent night punting.

Special teams was neither bad nor were they all that special either.

SHE SAYS-GRADE: C

...::SPECIAL TEAMS
HE SAYS::...

By far the highlight of the game. Big returns and solid coverage. Yeah, there was a shanked punt, and a missed field goal. But there were some nice punts and a made field goal too. Seriously, if the rest of the game had gone this good…things might have been different.

HE SAYS-GRADE: B+

...::OVERALL
SHE SAYS::...

It had the makings to be a truly special night. Marvelous 62 degree sunshine at kick-off…in late November, are you kidding me? The senior tributes were nice, honoring the 1998 Civil War team with Ken Simonton leading the band in the fight song had me thinking back to that great game, and Esera Tuaolo's rendition of the National Anthem brought tears to my eyes. The intro was inspiring and I was left feeling that the Athletic Department finally 'got it.'

This one hurts because it was the Ducks and so much was riding on this game. It stings because the Ducks did everything right and got some breaks, while it seemed nothing went right for the Beavs. Yet they kept plugging away and even into the fourth quarter down by 13, I felt that they could still pull it out.

No excuses, but I do think the AD's need to work together to make sure both teams have a bye going into the Civil War or neither of them do. Personally, I'd like to see the game moved out a week, give both teams a bye so that neither has to try to prepare during the holiday week.

So while we all mourn the loss, this has still been a great season and the team and coaches have done so much to make Beaver Nation proud. This team is full of character, grit, and passion and will forever live in our collective memories as the team that never gave up.

SHE SAYS-GRADE: C

...::OVERALL
HE SAYS::...

That one's going to leave a bad taste for a while. Whether it was injuries, sickness, poor preparation, poor execution, lack of adjustments, or lack of breaks….it just wasn't to be.

In one of the biggest games in Beaver football history, a collective egg was laid.

However, there is a lot to be proud of this year. A second place finish is better than last year and depth is better than ever.

15 bowl practices will go a long way to giving the young guys some valuable practice time. A bowl win would solidify another Top 25 final poll finish.

That should take some sting out of the Civil War loss….but this one won't be forgotten easily.

HE SAYS-GRADE: D




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