Beavers host rival Oregon for season-ending Civil War
To say the 2018 season didn't go as hoped for Oregon State would be a understatement.
The Beavers (2-9, 1-7 Pac-12) have the worst record in the conference and have occupied the bottom for several years, and nothing that happens in their final game will change that.
But that doesn't make their finale any less important, or a win in that last contest any less enjoyable.
So it goes in the Civil War, the rivalry between Oregon State and Oregon, which is set for its 122nd edition when the Beavers host the Ducks (7-4, 4-4) Saturday at 1:05 p.m. PT.
"I think rivalries are one of the coolest things about college football," OSU coach Jonathan Smith said Monday in his final weekly press conference. "The state of Oregon, you're a Duck or a Beav."
Smith has many fond Civil War memories from his playing days, as well as some bad ones. Among the positive recollections were the double-overtime win over Oregon in 1998 and the 2000 victory that clinched the Beavers' last conference championship.
"Probably one of my favorite memories of playing was taking the knee in that game and taking the Pac-10 title at the time," said Smith, who played quarterback for OSU from 1998-2001.
Smith went 2-2 against the Ducks during a 10-year window in which Oregon State took six of 10 Civil Wars. Since 2008, though, Oregon has won nine of 10, with the Beavers' only victory coming at home in 2016.
Last year's game was a 69-10 bloodbath, one of 38 losses endured by the senior class that will be honored on Saturday.
"I do appreciate those guys, they've been through a lot," Smith said. "I appreciate their willingness to try something new."
Oregon comes to Corvallis having lost three of its last five, all three losses on the road. The Ducks feature a potential future first-round NFL draft pick at quarterback in junior Justin Herbert, an 1,100-yard receiver in junior Dillon Mitchell and a defense that has intercepted 13 passes.
"We know it's going to be a challenge, but we're excited for it," Smith said.