Canzano: what to make of Ducks loss, Beavers win

Our own John Canzano broke down a thrilling week in college football on his website, starting with Oregon’s stunning loss to the Huskies:

The odds caught up to the Ducks in the fourth quarter at Autzen Stadium. Nix’s ninth carry of the game came on 3rd down and 5 in the red zone. He gained two yards, and appeared to tweak his right leg while being tackled. He left the game, then came back for the final series of the game. Nix wasn’t the same. We’ll see how he does in the coming days, but I’m left wondering what might have happened if Oregon had just put the game on his arm vs. his legs at the end.

The final minutes of the game will leave fans questioning the play calling for some time:

Give the Huskies some credit. They made the tackle. They blew up Oregon’s offensive line on the play. But the decision gave UW’s offense a short field. That Nix came back for the ensuing last-ditch offensive possession, down by three points, doesn’t make the strategy look better. If Nix was available, why not punt and play for overtime with your star QB?

Meanwhile, Oregon State put the clamps down on a struggling Cal team:

Cal has routinely looked bad this season. It’s been a rough year for Justin Wilcox’s team. But the Bears (3-7) were particularly harmless on offense at Reser Stadium on Saturday night.

Give Oregon State credit.

Its defense dominated in a 38-10 win.

OSU allowed Cal only nine rushing yards in the game. The Bears managed only 10 first downs. The Beavers won for the 10th time in their last 11 home games. It sets up an interesting two-game regular-season finish for OSU (7-3).

With the win, Canzano writes, things are looking great in Corvallis:

A nine-win regular season is now a possibility for his Beavers. Health is about to become an issue for a lot of Pac-12 teams. Depth tends to plague OSU more than some others. So keep an eye on that for the Beavers. But if Smith’s team wins the final two games, Oregon State should throw it a parade in downtown Corvallis.

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