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No. 16 Beavers look like a legitimate challenge for No. 5 Oregon this season

While they're still underdogs, the Oregon State Beavers certainly have more reasons to be hopeful this season heading into Saturday's Civil War against rival Oregon.

The surprising No. 16 Beavers are not only buoyed by their own dramatic turnaround but also by the vulnerabilities No. 5 Oregon showed in last weekend's loss to Stanford.

Oregon State has already defied the odds by improving to 8-2 overall after going just 3-9 last season. After two years without a bowl game, the Beavers were bowl eligible early after a 6-0 start, their best since the 1907 season.

They've also overcome an injury to starting quarterback Sean Mannion, and now one to successful backup-turned-starter Cody Vaz.