CORVALLIS -- For this Saturday's Civil War against No. 1 Oregon, the Oregon State Beavers will be wearing new uniforms that pay homage to the 1967 "Giant Killers," who had a knack for knocking off high-ranked teams.
But the Beavers will need a lot more than throwback jerseys to put their disappointment over an inconsistent season aside for the Ducks.
"This is it. We've got to finish. This is our bowl," cornerback Jordan Poyer said.
With a victory, Oregon (11-0, 8-0) will lock up a spot in the national championship game on Jan. 10. The Beavers (5-6, 4-4) need a win just to become bowl eligible.
While the Ducks are obviously heavily favored, recent history has shown that Oregon State coach Mike Riley makes sure his team can rise to the occasion.
Two seasons ago the Beavers upset top-ranked USC 27-21, a loss that ultimately cost the Trojans a shot at the national championship. In 2007, Oregon State derailed No. 2 California 31-28 on Oct. 31 in Berkeley. The Golden Bears were on the verge of becoming No. 1 after the top-ranked team that week had lost.
But Riley said his Beavers have no illusions about what they're facing this season in the Ducks.
"I think everybody understands where Oregon is and what's on the line for them," he said. "For us it's survival in the bowl picture and a tremendous challenge and a great opportunity. Oregon State has had both a challenging and uneven season. They lost to ranked teams in TCU and Boise State early on, but beat ranked Pac-10 opponents Arizona and USC.
They have lost three of their last four games, including a 31-14 upset by lowly Washington State, and a 38-0 blanking by No. 4 Stanford last Saturday.
There's no question the Beavers were hurt when they lost wide receiver James Rodgers to a season-ending knee injury in Oregon State's 29-27 victory over Arizona on Oct. 9.
Rodgers, the older brother of Beavers running back Jacquizz Rodgers, was averaging 176.8 yards in total offense a game, as well as averages of 18.3 yards on punt returns and 28.7 yards on kickoff returns.
At least for Civil War week, the Beavers didn't have time to dwell on what might have been this season. It will all come down to this game, with its national championship implications and Oregon State's own postseason aspirations.
And winning this Civil War means certainly lifelong bragging rights.
"We have everything to gain," senior cornerback James Dockery said. "We're the underdogs. The No. 1 team is coming into our house, We have to go out there and put our best foot forward. I can't ask for a better bowl game than this one right here."
The legend of the Giant Killers has stood the test of time. The 1967 Oregon State team tied with a No. 2 team, beat a No. 2 team and upset a No. 1 team -- all in the span of 21 days.
Led by former coach Dee Andros, who was known as the Great Pumpkin because of his girth and penchant for orange jackets, the Beavers beat second-ranked Purdue 22-14 in Lafayette before playing to a 16-16 tie at No. 2 UCLA two weeks later.
The team's greatest upset came on Nov. 11 when they downed top-ranked USC 3-0 at Parker Stadium. The Beavers withstood 188 yards rushing by O.J. Simpson, who fumbled with three minutes left on his final carry.
Oregon State ended that season ranked No. 7 with a 7-2-1 record, but it wasn't enough to get them to a bowl game. Southern California claimed the Pac-8 title that year and went on to beat Indiana in the Rose Bowl.
On Saturday, the Beavers will be wearing special Nike Pro Combat uniforms that recall the '67 team, with stark "solar orange" on black jerseys and off-white pants.
"It would really be a disservice if we just put those jerseys on and came out flat and didn't give our best effort," said Dockery. "Win or lose, I would imagine (the real Giant Killers) would want us to give our best effort, be classy, play hard, and represent them well."
Last season, the Civil War was dubbed the "War of the Roses" because both teams had the opportunity to go to the Rose Bowl with a victory. Oregon won 37-33 to claim the Pac-10 title and the trip to Pasadena.