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'When we line up against them, we're going to be better players and better coaches, and we're going to beat them,' OSU linebacker Richard Seigler told the Tribune in late August, referring to the Civil War matchup with Oregon.

Seigler looks prophetic these days because he also questioned whether Oregon could recover from the loss of Joey Harrington and whether Onterrio Smith could take the heat as Oregon's solo back. The Ducks have missed Harrington's leadership greatly, and oft-injured Smith underwent knee surgery Monday.

Were the Ducks 'overrated,' as some Beavers suggested last summer? Yes, it appears.

Without Smith, and with QB Jason Fife's confidence shaken and the defense grasping for answers, Oregon clearly can't muster its best game on the road Saturday. The Beavs are surging, with Steven Jackson plowing for yards and the defense ready to stuff Oregon's skill players again.

The Beavers should recapture state bragging rights convincingly.

The pick: OSU 33, Oregon 17.