EUGENE — The bulletin board inside the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex, the Oregon football operations center, is full.
Oregon was already motivated for this year’s edition of the Civil War rivalry after squandering a 10-point lead and bragging rights over Oregon State during last year’s 34-24 loss in Corvallis.
Oregon State interim coach Cory Hall said he knew the Ducks were in trouble when the rain started falling at Reser Stadium.
“I remember seeing that our sideline was jumping around and we didn’t have raincoats on and then I saw the fancy Nike Duck raincoats on,” Hall, who was the Beavers’ cornerbacks coach for the 2016 meeting, said this week. “And I remember thinking, ‘We’re going to beat them.’ They’re not prepared for these elements.”
Ryan Nall was carried off the field after rushing for 155 yards and four touchdowns to help end the Beavers’ eight-game losing streak in the series.
“It was cold and it was raining,” cornerback Arrion Springs said. “(Hall’s) comments, it just sounds like the guy is hating on the guy that gets all the girls. You can’t never hate on the guy that gets all the girls — it just means the girls like him more. You can’t do that. It just never works out in your favor.
“Sure, that happened. It happened. You can’t deny that happened. It was cold, though.”
Saturday’s forecast calls for rain and a high of 55 degrees as Oregon hosts Oregon State in the regular-season finale at Autzen Stadium.
The Ducks (6-5, 3-5) are bowl eligible after finishing 4-8 last season.
Oregon players’ ears were burning long before Hall’s observation about their poor handling of the elements 12 months ago.
“Hearing that for a whole year definitely weighs in on your preparation that upcoming week for the game,” said linebacker La’Mar Winston, who played with Nall at Central Catholic High in Portland. “I’m taking all the comments into consideration that I heard this past year and I’ll be ready to go out and play.”
Oregon State is looking for its first victory over an FBS opponent since beating Oregon last November. Despite their futility, the 1-10 Beavers are making the most of their in-state bragging rights while they still can.
According to the Oregonian, Oregon State has been ending its practices this week with a rhyming chant that uses an expletive and ends with “Ducks!”
“We had all the quotes showing up in the weight room (Tuesday) and like all the coaches were reading it to us,” safety Brady Breeze said. “So we know what they’re saying and how they think — that they build everything from the bottom and nothing is bought, everything is worked for.
“And they act like we don’t do any work over here, even though we’re waking up at 6 a.m. running in the freezing rain in the offseason.”
The posh facilities and creative uniform combinations — including those flashy raincoats — are benefits of Oregon’s relationship with Nike founder Phil Knight.
But longtime followers of the Ducks have experienced tough seasons before and understand the program’s rise to national prominence began with milestone wins such as the 1994 Civil War.
“So (they) feel like, I don’t know, that everything has just been given to us. But we have this stuff because of the people that were here before us,” said Breeze, who grew up in Medford and finished his high school career at Central Catholic. “Guys like Kenny Wheaton and LaMichael James, Dennis Dixon, John Boyett, Jeff Maehl, guys that have worked their butt off to make this program the way it is.”