HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Blame the delay in the video reaching KVAL.com's offices in Eugene for the lowered expectations of Cpl. Paul Spies.
The No. 1 Ducks might do even better this year - unless Kyle Conklin of Bend has his way.
The Marine and Beaver fan thinks Oregon State will come on strong late in the season.
"They need a win, especially the Civil War," he said "They played some pretty tough teams."
The Marines from the 2nd Platoon of the 6th Engineer Support Battalion based out of Springfield, Ore., didn't just talk football.
"I'd just like to thank my family for supporting me," LCpl Trevor Simonis of Eugene said. "I'll see you guys in a few months."
"I'm looking forward to coming home," LCpl Shay Miles Roseburg said. "It's going to be a great Christmas."
And Spies, the Duck fan from Corvallis, had family on his mind, too.
""I miss my girlfriend Elizabeth," he said, "and I can't wait to see my parents."