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Oregon State vs. Oregon Football Prediction and Preview

Oregon State vs. Oregon Football Prediction and Preview

Oregon State (OSU) vs. Oregon (UO) Prediction and Preview

A stunning loss at Arizona State ended Oregon's College Football Playoff hopes. A dizzying Washington State comeback denied Oregon State a bowl-qualifying win just a few hours later. And yet, despite the disheartening losses, Civil War rivals Oregon and Oregon State have plenty on the line as they meet at Autzen Stadium.

In addition to state bragging rights, Oregon likely needs a win to ensure a spot in a New Year's Six bowl. Oregon State needs a win to make its first postseason appearance since the 2013 season.

Oregon State at Oregon

Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 30 at 4 p.m. ET

TV: Pac-12 Networks

Spread: Oregon -19

When Oregon State Has the Ball

Former Beavers quarterback Jonathan Smith coordinated a high-powered offense at Washington. Since taking over at the head coach of his alma mater, Smith has injected excitement into the Beavers offense. With a balanced attack, Oregon State can and does put up points in a hurry.

Jake Luton has been accurate and productive, with the top receiver in the Pac-12, Isaiah Hodgins, as his top target. An outstanding offensive line has given Luton time to throw and opened holes for both Jermar Jefferson and Artavis Pierce on the ground.

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Oregon State's balance presents a challenge to an Oregon defense that, even in defeat like last week, has held up its end. The Ducks are hard-hitting and have a knack for generating turnovers. Getting to Luton for interceptions is typically a non-starter, but Oregon might need a turnover or two.

When Oregon Has the Ball

A frustrating performance on offense doomed Oregon in the desert. The woes vexing the Ducks against Arizona State had reared their head in other games, like the Week 1 loss to Auburn and a come-from-behind defeat of Cal midway through the season.

The loss of tight end Jacob Breeland dealt the Oregon passing attack a serious blow. While running backs CJ Verdell and Travis Dye have both had flashes of excellence, and Cyrus Habibi-Likio has been reliable in goal-line and short-yardage situations, the Ducks have not been consistent enough on the ground to win games as convincingly as they are perhaps capable of.

Oregon State's defense is its weakness, coming off a loss in which it allowed 54 points. Obviously, Oregon will come at Oregon State with a much different look than Washington State's air raid, but Hamilcar Rashed Jr. and the Beavers pass rushers will find difficulty getting through Oregon's offensive line — even if it's without Jake Hanson, the center who came out of the Arizona State loss midway through with an injury.

Final Analysis

Oregon's inconsistent play at Arizona State was the culmination of some issues vexing the Ducks in previous weeks. However, with the Pac-12 Championship Game still to come and a New Year's Six bowl on the line, Oregon has plenty of motivation to bounce back in the Civil War.

College Football Top 25 Rankings: Oregon

Oregon State's bowl hopes rest on this rivalry game. While the Beavers have made remarkable strides in Smith's brief tenure, Oregon State is not yet up to the level of the Pac-12 pace-setters. With a post in the title game already sewn up, the Ducks are very much one of the Pac-12 standard-bearers.

Prediction: Oregon 35, Oregon State 27

— Written by Kyle Kensing, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a sportswriter in Southern California. Follow him on Twitter @kensing45.