CFN Analysis: Oregon 48, Oregon State 24
Oregon RB De'Anthony Thomas
Oregon RB De'Anthony Thomas
Posted Nov 24, 2012

The CFN instant analysis of Oregon's tremendous run to win the Civil War.

Richard Cirminiello

See what happens when De'Anthony Thomas—finally—gets more than 10 touches in a game. Kenjon Barner wasn't too shabby either, but it was refreshing watching Thomas get enough carries to find a groove for a change.

While the Ducks still would have come out on top, the Beavers would have been more competitive had QB Cody Vaz been healthy enough to play. Sean Mannion has a high ceiling, but just hasn't been the same since getting hurt in October.

Oregon corners Terrance Mitchell and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, just sophomores, did a very nice job of limiting the damage of Oregon State receivers Markus Wheaton and Brandon Cooks, the Pac-12's most dangerous combinations this side of the Coliseum.

The Beavers team that just allowed more than 450 yards on the ground to Oregon? Yeah, they began the weekend ranked No. 14 nationally against the run, allowing only 108 yards a game and 3.5 yards per carry. The Ducks have a penchant for taking past history and simply rewriting it.

Regardless of what happens in the Rose Bowl this evening and next Friday in the Pac-12 Championship Game, Oregon is the best all-around program in the conference. The Ducks proved their worth as a top 5 team by rolling at Reser Stadium, which no visitor had done since last Nov. 5.

By Matt Zemek
E-mail Matt Zemek

In the larger economy of any sporting event, the favored team might not always find its form in the first 10, 15 or 20 minutes. When a game is finely poised on the fence, sitting between a blowout and a nail-biter, the key for the underdog is to not commit the kind of gaffe that simultaneously takes away likely (or certain) points while breathing fresh confidence into the clogged windpipe of an opponent who is having trouble breathing freely.

In the second quarter of Saturday's Civil War, Oregon State's Markus Wheaton committed just such a blunder. It turned the tide and allowed Oregon to find the comfort zone it needed in a high-stakes rivalry game that doubled as a road game for the Ducks.

Oregon State's offense managed to counterpunch on even terms through the first one and a half quarters. The Beavers were driving inside the Oregon 40, trailing by only six at 13-7. The Beavers were establishing the tempo and game flow they wanted. On a third and two, OSU head coach Mike Riley unfurled one of his exquisitely designed short pass plays, a throwback pass that was perfectly set up. Wheaton was all alone on the left side of the field, outside the numbers. A big gain awaited as long as he caught the ball, a soft toss placed right into his breadbasket by quarterback Sean Mannion.

Wheaton dropped the ball. Oregon stuffed an Oregon State running play on the subsequent fourth-and-two snap. A few minutes later, the Ducks raced downfield to score a touchdown for a 20-7 lead. Oregon State did, to its credit, mount one more rally to close within three points in the early stages of the fourth quarter, but against the Ducks, coming back from a 13-point deficit is simply too big an ask. Stanford was always able to remain within one possession of Oregon, and that's why the Cardinal were able to stay in the hunt until the very end. Teams that minimize their margins for error are teams that generally do not beat Oregon.

Markus Wheaton knows this truth, now more than ever.