The Ducks have been on tight-lipped alert this week. They also may still be a bit humbled, having lost four of five games in the middle of the season.
Four seniors Ñ Kevin Mitchell, Matt Floberg, Dan Weaver and Samie Parker Ñ sat down with the Tribune to talk about Saturday's Civil War.
Mitchell: It's my last game at Autzen Stadium, the Civil War. I'm excited, but at the same time, I'm sad. This is a good opportunity for us. We're 7-4, and if we get this win it will put us 8-4 and move us up into a possible Holiday or Sun bowl. Eight-and-4 would be OK.
Floberg: It's been a weird year. It felt like we were at the bottom and then fought back and showed a lot of heart. Now we're back on track, and everybody's got their chin up.
Weaver: We've salvaged the season, but a win this week will make the salvage even more impressive. These are the games played for well over 100 years, and to be a part of them, with an opportunity to win your last Civil War, is huge. It wouldn't ruin our season if we lost, but it would put a tarnish on it.
Floberg: My relatives are -almost all Beavers. They're a great team this year, their defense is obviously very good, No. 1 in the league, very fast. They have great players.
Weaver: A lot of guys really hate the Beavers. I don't know if I hate them Ñ you do when you step on the field against them. I've always wished the Oregon teams played for the Pac-10 title every year. It would be good for the state and Oregon football, and I always hope the Ducks prevail, always hope the Civil War has a lot riding on it. I've lost two of them, only won one Ñ guess I've played in two bad ones.
Mitchell: They've got Steven Jackson, enough said Ñ great back, everybody knows that. I'll probably have his helmet imprinted right here on my chest (from tackling him). He's got all the tools for this level and next Ñhands, feet, power, strength and size. Derek Anderson spreads the ball around; they've got some good receivers, some playmakers, and he runs the show, and the line does a great job of blocking.
Parker: I saw them on TV, talking it up. Hearing that fires me up. Makes it more exciting. We just have to get ready and hopefully put together a beautiful day.
Floberg: I don't dislike the Beavers. They're the same thing we are, just 40 minutes north. Obviously, being in-state rivals, I want to beat them more than anything.
Weaver: My personality is to play. Your pads speak louder than words. They have great talents and they've had a great season, and they can say all they want to back it up. We reflect our head coach. He's a very politically correct guy.
Parker: I think we're the kings of the state. Of course, everybody's going to say they're the kings of their state. Portland State is probably thinking they're better than everybody else, too.
Mitchell: Blue-collar, white-collar, all that stuff doesn't matter. Everything that matters is what's inside these white lines here, up and down these hash marks. All that other stuff, if they want to talk, that's their opinion. I've got nothing bad to say about them, I don't hold grudges or any hatred. It's just football. Whatever.