While Ducks play Buffs, Seminoles play all of us.

Lunch at Autzen. Saturday at 1:30. Buffalo Burgers.
Colorado has lost 23 consecutive road games. But don't let that fool you. They've lost some very close games.
They've lost six games in a row. But two were in overtime.
Statistically they're average, but not terrible. Out of 105 teams, they rank about 120th in scoring defense. But they try hard.
They'll lose to the Ducks, but not without putting up some sort of a fight. You know, like a wiggling salmon in a grizzly bear's mouth.

It'll be a successful day if Oregon just gets the win and stays healthy. Center Hroniss Grasu is out for at least this game with a slight leg injury. Tight end Pharoah Brown is out for at least this season with a clean torn off leg.
Mariota should just unleash to track champion Devon Allen about five times in the endzone, then retire to the sidelines before he trips on a dent in the turf and thrashes his knee. Thank goodness SI so far hasn't decided to put him on their wicked cover for the fourth time.
Pleeeeeze just staaaay healthy stay healthy stay healthy
stayhealthy stayhealthy stayhealthy stayhealthy stayhealthy.

Oregon is currently #2. Alabama leaped over them. Florida State slipped to 3rd because in nearly every game, they've had to come from behind to beat the girl scouts they play.

There's another problem with Florida State . . . .


FSU QB Jameis Winston was accused of sexual assault nearly two years ago. Two of his friends who were at the scene of the alleged crime were given a hearing in May. Winston was not. One friend was cleared, while the other was given one year probation for filming the alleged assault without the alleged victim's permission.

So there's a film of Winston assaulting the victim? No. It was deleted before investigators could see it.

Winston's hearing had been scheduled for November 17th to discuss four charges against him. I'm getting my info from The Sporting News Story, "Shame of Jameis Winston and Florida State: Football above all else".
Here they say,
Winston is accused of four violations of the code of conduct; two considered "sexual misconduct" and two "endangerment." Punishment for any or a combination of the four ranges from probation to expulsion.
There's also the very real possibility that Winston could be charged with the lesser of the four violations — sexual misconduct defined as "conduct that creates an intimidating, hostile and offensive environment for another person" — and still play the remainder of this season

A letter of reprimand might be the hammer of justice in that case. The idea was he would have that hearing in front of a former Florida State Supreme Court judge (which wouldn't surprise me at all if that meant a Supreme Court judge who graduated from Florida State). The judge would then take up to 10 days to decide, or more if needed for "additional consideration of evidence and deliberation".

In any event, that would still leave time for a decision that allows suspending him from future games including their game against Florida on November 29th, the ACC Championship December 6th, the final College Football Playoff selection on December 7th, and of course the playoff and champion games to follow.

Guess what? His lawyer asked for an extension because he hadn't gone through all of the evidence yet. Here was Florida State's chance to say that two years was plenty enough time, and the matter at hand was more important than football.

Guess what? Free Shoes University granted the extension and set the new date for December 1st. That means that a decision doesn't have to be handed down until December 11th at the earliest, long after the regular season is over and the four playoff teams have been selected.
Life is good for the Winstonator.
But wait, there's more! Don't forget about the appellate process after the decision has been made which can be scheduled who-knows-how-long into the future. To sum it up, Jameis Winston is going to play every game whether he's a rapist or not. Florida State is seeing to that.

To make this a bigger pile of BS, this alleged crime -- although plenty bad enough -- isn't the only thing he's being investigated for. In his October 30th game against Louisville, Winston had a bad first half. A TERRIBLE first half. Two interceptions and less than 50% of passes completed -- one of his worst halves ever. Florida State trailed 21-0 going into the locker room.

One Winston fan was happy about it though. A high school classmate and family friend of Winston's bet a whopping $5500 that his buddy's Seminoles would trail in that first half. He won $5000. And magically, Winston improved tremendously in the second half and won the game.

The question to ask here isn't "Did Winston actually sexually assault that woman?" or "Did Winston shave points in a game?"  And the question isn't "What is Florida State's position in all of this?" We know that answer already. FSU has no shame.

The question I have is "Where is the NCAA?" Why aren't they outraged? The NCAA, who gave Joe Paterno the death penalty -- he literally died from their sanctions -- when they stripped Penn State of hundreds of wins. This same NCAA who stripped Ohio State of an entire season of wins including a Sugar Bowl victory when they determined the great QB Terrelle Pryor had sold football memorabilia and driven several nice cars that he didn't buy. Why aren't they raising any kind of concern over how these "investigations" are being conducted.

The part that leaves a bad taste is that those wins by Penn State and Ohio State, including bowl wins, were vacated. The trophy didn't go to the losing team. It was just taken away, forever to be a blank spot in the history books.

These investigations on Jameis Winston won't amount to anything until months or years after this season is over, long after he has bolted to the NFL. And yet why doesn't the NCAA see the hand writing on the wall that this could end badly? Why are they not upset that the first College Football Playoff -- their first attempt at making us forget all about the BCS -- could end with vacated wins? The chances are disturbingly high that a Winston-quarterbacked FSU team could make a mockery out of their inaugural new playoff system.

How does that affect the other three teams? What does that do for the #5 team sitting on the outside while Winston plays?

It seems to me that the NCAA president Mark Emmert would very much want to avoid "vacates" (Vacancies? Vacations?) of major bowl games including and especially THE Championship Game. It smashes the remainder of college football's already dented credibility.


Why doesn't he see the train wreck coming and order FSU to hurry up instead of delaying these investigations? Or better yet, why doesn't he tell FSU and other teams that players cannot play while investigations are under way for certain heinous crimes? 

Which crimes? Off the top of my head, sexual assault and fixed gambling come to mind as two pretty good examples.

If December turns to January and Winston is still playing football, the shame belongs to the whole system.

Colorado at Oregon game time: Saturday, 1:30 pm on the Pac-12 Network.
If you still don't get the Pac-12 Network, drive to your nearby television channel provider. Ask to speak to the supervisor and KICK THE BASTARD IN THE NUTS!!!


Heisman Trophy? How 'bout the Mariota Trophy?

I wasn't able to put up a post about Oregon's sweet victory over Stanford the week before last. So shall we just take a moment to enjoy these photos of Stanford losing?

The greatest touchdown in Oregon history, of course, is The Pick. They're calling this The Pick-UP.

This single play has gone super viral. It immediately hit YouTube from several different angles. Twitter and Facebook blew up. And last Sunday night, there it was on both the ABC and CBS Evening News with the anchor saying something smarmy like, "Let that be a lesson to you kids out there."

Ute Kaelin Clay could not wait to drop the ball so he could begin his dance. In the press conference after the game, he said he took "full responsibility" for that.

Well GREAT, Clay. Was there someone else trying to steal the blame for that one?

And here is a reaction from a Utah fan . . .

This game was a battle. A cage match. It was so nice to have beaten Stanford the week before with the Cardinal putting up little fuss. But these Utes were particularly fussy, sacking Mariota four times and forcing him to fumble once.

Down goes Marcus.

Injuries were huge. Guys on both sides were dropping right and left. Utah's starting QB and wide receiver. Oregon's center Hronis Grasu, then Tight End Pharoah Brown went down.

Watching the replay of Brown's injury the next day, I listened to the announcers say the guys in the truck had a camera angle on the injury, but thought it best not to show it. So I checked YouTube. Here is a 3 second video of what happened to Pharoah Brown. Warning: This is not pretty. If you're eating, stop for a second. If, during this cold and flu season, you're already battling nausea, don't even watch it.

But when you do watch it, you'll instantly understand why he was in so much pain, why he spent days in a Salt Lake Hospital and is now recuperating in his hometown in Ohio, and why the coaches said, "Obviously he's out for the season."

Here is what I don't get. The four big injuries mentioned above -- they were all non- or otherwise little contact. They were all weird twists between the person's leg and the ground. I'm looking at all of them wondering "What is with that turf?"  It's like it has funny seams or a sticky surface that suddenly grabs a foot and won't let go. Maybe just bizarre coincidences.
Pharoah Brown scores in 2nd quarter.

After the barrage of sacks he had received from Washington State and Arizona, It appeared to me that Mariota finally came to full acceptance of what everyone was telling him. If he didn't play like Super Mariota, Oregon would lose. If he didn't dedicate himself to doing EVERYTHING he could to make the plays needing to be made, Oregon would not go anywhere. No Pac-12 Championship. No College Playoff. No Heisman. Nowhere.

Granted he could not have done it without his offensive line suffering through their own wake up call. But together, they all regrouped and rededicated themselves to the cause. In this latest stretch of wins, I think Mariota has kept the ball and run it more often than he did all last season.
*(If I were a responsible journalist, I would actually research the stats and compare how many rushes he's had then and now. But I'm too lazy and it's easier just to offer that point and say it's true -- you know, like Fox and Friends.)
 The result is Oregon is on target for the College Football Playoffs, and Marcus Mariota is on target for the Heisman Trophy.

I mean is there any doubt? At this point in the season, does anybody see Oregon playing at this level without Mariota? Does anyone not see any other team with Mariota suddenly vault to the upper slots in the polls.
Not only should they give Mariota the Heisman already,
but they should recreate the Heisman
in this image of him.
The rest of this season is just hoping nothing terrible happens. Word is Mariota has got this. Here is an excerpt from USC's SB Nation blog "Conquest Chronicles".
But the biggest takeaway from this week's update of the college football odds is that Marcus Mariota is now dominating the Heisman Trophy odds. After another four-touchdown performance (239 passing yards, 3 TD; 114 rushing yards, 1 TD), Mariota's odds are now an overwhelming 1/5.
Everyone else on the Heisman odds list dropped with the exception of Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett and TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin. Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott is second but dipped for the second week in a row. His odds are now down to 13/2.
It's his to lose. 
I propose a new rule in college football. If you play a patsy lower division school in November, it counts as a loss regardless of the score. Last week two SEC teams, Ole Miss and Mississippi State played football opponents in the loosest sense of the words.
#11 Ole Miss played a church, Presbyterian, and beat them convincingly 48-0. And then #1 Mississippi State got by a team called UTM 45-16. I've checked around, and I still don't know who UTM is. I think they're a labor union.
Although they have beaten every SEC team they've played, Missy State's strength of schedule rating is tied with Oregon's at #7 thanks to their scheduling very weak non- league teams.

Missy State vs. UTM
"Ha ha. We're KILLING these guys!"
Meanwhile in that same strength of schedule tally, Florida State is ranked #14. Being a member of the Atlantic Conference, they have played only one other ranked ACC team, Clemson. And their tough win over Notre Dame now looks suspect after ASU just slaughtered the Irish. That explains why Oregon passed them in the Playoff poll. Oregon has beaten three ranked teams this year (Michigan State, Stanford, and at UCLA) and they lost to a currently ranked Arizona team. Pollsters tend to see that as a "good loss".
I point this out because when I see these allegedly awesome teams schedule unbelievably weak teams, it just pisses me off further knowing that Texas A&M had a perfectly good home-and-home series scheduled against Oregon, and they pulled out. Now let's hold our breaths to see what cupcakes Jack Boot U. schedules in those open slots.

Oregon is bye this week in perfect time to heal and finish strong against Colorado, Oregon State, and then the Pac-12 Championship.

In a few days, I will post a special report about a different team. Which team (mentioned above) best comes to mind when I say the word "shame"?


It's not complicated.

It's real simple. Beat Stanford, and Oregon is a legitimate playoff candidate. Don't, and they're not. Beat a Stanford team that currently owns Oregon; Conquer a foe that has it's same cinder block defense and a new revamped offense. Prove, FINALLY, that they can get past their toughest nemesis.

Yes, Stanford has a new offense. They don't have quite the behemoth running back that they've had in the past, or the overwhelming offensive line to clear his path. Their line is still plenty good. But now they're better for pass protection, which is what QB Kevin Hogan is doing these days.

What's more, they're spreading their offense more. And they've even run a couple of plays in succession without huddling. Cardinal coach David Shaw ain't no fool. After three losses, he changed his offense to work better for his personnel. Here's how SI put it in their story, STANFORD TRYING TO UPEND OREGON IN A NEW WAY. . . . .
The Cardinal passed more to offset a young offensive line that has struggled to block in the run game. They ran more to the outside than between the tackles because the running backs are faster and shiftier than the physical bulldozers on past teams. And they opted for a no-huddle offense, at times, to speed up the tempo for quarterback Kevin Hogan - who seems to thrive in a quicker pace.
Stanford also created more touches for top playmaker Ty Montgomery, promising freshman Christian McCaffrey and deep-ball threat Michael Rector. And it spread the ball around more to utilize all of the team's threats, including wide receivers Devon Cajuste and Jordan Pratt and a trio of blossoming tight ends.
What players found is the offense actually got simpler, allowing them to think quicker and play faster.
''We recognized that something needed to change,'' Hogan said, ''and I think it changed for the better.''
The quick-strike approach is still in its infancy, though, and the sample size is limited. What worked against an overmatched Oregon State team might not work against an Oregon team that can score as fast as anybody.
Shaw got Stanford's new offense humming at a terrible time for Oregon State. Stanford crushed the Beavs 38-14 last week. But that thrashing also gave Oregon some valuable game film. So what will it be like when Stanford comes to Autzen playing a more Oregon style of offense?

The perfect guy to ask is Nick Aliotti. You will recall he retired last year and is currently a commentator for the Pac-12 Network. Or to put it another way, he traded in his whistle for the right to speak his damn mind and say whatever the hell he wants. ("USC is soft!" "OSU's offense has become predictable.")

Here, in John Canzano's column, Aliotti answered a few questions about Stanford bringing a read-option to Oregon.
On why teams still struggle against the read option:
"Sometimes it's one-on-one battles, but often times it's people just don't know how they're going to defend that play. (At Oregon) we had a standard way going in so that there was no mistake on who had the quarterback and who had the dive... we always had a rule. We see it every day (in practice). If Stanford runs that against Oregon, that should not be a problem. Stanford's typically been a line-up, smash-mouth, play-action pass, but I'm not just seeing that at all."
Why has David Shaw adjusted on offense?
"I think they don't like their back not being a (Tyler) Gaffney, a (Toby) Gerhart, a Stepfan Taylor... they don't have that guy. The most carries any back has had in a game for Stanford is 14 --- unheard of. And I'm not sure they're in love with their offensive line even though they're all five-star Generals. They're not playing like five-star Generals.
"I don't think they like their running backs... they don't have THAT guy and their O-line has been very average. I think David Shaw doesn't want to do what he's doing now.... they're the same as everyone else, but without the up-tempo offense, so in my opinion they become easier to defend."
Stanford had been able to handle Oregon lately because their offense was both very good and very different from what the Ducks were used to facing. Their defense was also a huge factor in limiting Oregon's scoring.
Hopefully the difference this year for Oregon is an offensive line almost back to full strength, a key player back for the defensive line, Stanford attempting to play a style that Oregon is used to, and most importantly, a healthy and smarter Marcus Mariota.

C'mon Ducks.
This ain't no
office Halloween party.
This is Stanford!
People may forget it wasn't very long ago that Oregon handled a tough and talented Michigan State team. And after that win, everybody said, "That proves it. Oregon can finally beat Stanford.
Well, here they are. They proved they could win those kind of games. Now they just have to do it. It's that simple.

Game time: Saturday 4:30 Pacific on FOX

Putting the Dawgs Down

Ten years had to be enough for Washington. And to top it off, they had to come to Autzen and have Oregon's 20-year old highlight rubbed in their faces. Who was Kenny Wheaton anyway?

Half of those players probably weren't even born when Wheaton caught that "INTERCEPTION . . . . INTERCEPTION . . . ".

Coming in to Saturday's game, Washington was 5-1, which ironically was their record on that fateful day 20 years ago. They were playing well. Cyler Miles is a seasoned QB. Good running back. Big defensive line.

This was the perfect time for Washington to get off the mat and wallop Oregon.


Have the Ducks finally broken the Huskies? This had to be the worst Dawg show I had ever seen. They were toothless. Heartless. Mangy. Droopy. Submissive. Neutered.
In all my years, I have never seen a Duck win over the
Huskies get so boring that the kids broke at the
inflatable beer pong.

New coach Chris Petersen's hiring to lead Washington was popular partly because his BS Broncos had beaten Oregon twice. He was in the perfect position to tell his team, "The streak ends NOW!"  Days before the game, he was asked if his team was fired up for this game. His answer:
 “Hard for me to know. I know about the Oregon-Washington stuff, but that’s not my focus, getting them fired up. To me, this needs to be about us. We’ve got (to play) a really good team — one of the better teams in the country, if not one of the best in the country, for sure. So what are we going to do? We know what they’re going to do. We know how good and how hard they’re going to play. What can we do? So I always want this to be back on us, the focus on us: ‘Are you doing the best you can do?’”

Pragmatic and honest. But not exactly the stuff of Bear Bryant . His team certainly answered his question for him.

The Oregonian's Jason Quick wrote a great article, DUCKS BEAT HUSKIES, WHO RETURN TO IRRELEVANCY WITH A LAUGH. Here's the first part . . .
EUGENE — These days, the path to irrelevancy has become so well-worn by the Washington Huskies that near the end of Saturday's 45-20 beatdown by the Oregon Ducks, it apparently has become a laughing matter.
With 4:30 left in a game well out of hand, junior defensive back Marcus Peters and  senior defensive back Travell Dixon stood beyond the 35-yard-line on the Huskies sideline and had quite a knee-slapping chuckle.
Peters, who is one of the Huskies better players, but has been suspended and off limits to media the past three weeks, acted as if he was dealing dollar bills into the air, one after the other like a blackjack dealer. Dixon, who didn't play a down, thought that was funny, and exchanged a couple quick slaps of the hand with Peters.
It went on and on for the rest of the 4:33. Smiles. Laughs. A couple index-finger-to- the-eyebrow salutes by Peters.
Never mind the closing minutes included more of Oregon continuing the bludgeoning of their teammates on the field, eventually settling for a field goal after Oregon true freshman Royce Freeman had his fifth touchdown negated by a penalty.
I asked first-year Huskies coach Chris Petersen what he thought of players on his sideline yucking it up during a bloodbath.
"It depends what you are talking about, and what they are laughing at,'' Petersen said. "But I don't think anyone thought that game was funny the way it turned out.''

Credit two things to Oregon's total domination. First, the team continues to heal and improve, especially the offensive line. Jake Fisher is solidly back, and the entire unit is light years beyond those terrible games against WSU and Arizona. Their success was Mariota's and Royce Freeman's success. We had never seen a better display of straight-up-the-middle runs this season.

The second key was the defense's success in shutting down the meat and potatoes of Washington's offense. Rob Moseley of goducks.com explained it well in his story, DEFENSE SWARMS HUSKIES, SHUTS DOWN RUNNING GAME. Here is an excerpt:
While the Oregon offense displayed impressive versatility in beating Washington 45-20 on Saturday, the UO defense kept the Huskies from doing so when they had the ball. While helping the Ducks forge a 35-6 lead through the first 40 minutes, Oregon all but shut down the UW rushing game and also coaxed quarterback Cyler Miles into his first interception of the season.

The return of defensive end Arik Armstead from injury had a big impact. He and the rest of the 'D' forced Washington into a lot of third and longs.

It all contributed to the Ducks making Washington look downright terrible. Before the game I was nervous over whether Oregon could continue the streak. I never imagined win #11 would turn out to be one of the most dominant.

Good News for Cal. They can lose and no one will notice.
Cal throws much like Washington State did. But they have no defense. Limit their passing, and Oregon will sweep them into the Bay. But the real question is, If a Duck quacks in the Bay, and no one is there to listen, does it make a sound?

Who in SF is going to even notice?  They're playing at the 49er's Levi Stadium -- far away from the Cal Berkley campus. That'll reduce their gate.

What's more, at game time the city of San Francisco might be distracted by their Giants playing across town in the World Series.
How bad is it for Cal? (I kid you not.) They were selling tickets to the Oregon game cheap through Groupon.
Maybe Cal should tell it's fans they can get Wi-Fi
in Levi Stadium so they can watch the World Series
once Oregon starts pulling away.
Why win when you can be unique?
Cal Coach Sonny Dykes, when asked by John Canzano in this story, had this to say about recruiting and those kids who choose to go to Oregon because of their fancy uniforms.
"That's where you're going to go to college, that's where you're going to get your education," Dykes said. "There's a lot of factors that I think are a lot more important factors than what you're going to wear 12 Saturdays a year. But, you know, kids like those things.
"The thing about it is, at Cal, we're a unique university. Academics are going to be a big thing here. Kids who come to Cal are going to have to work really hard. The type of kids we recruit, typically, the uniforms aren't going to matter that much."
That's really good Sonny. You should be proud. No really. Hopefully that'll work for you to turn around your current 5-14 record at Cal.

In other news, another 4-star quarterback just committed to the Ducks. Meanwhile two other 5-star recruits each just narrowed their choices to a handful of teams including possibly Oregon and definitely not Cal.

Nevertheless he's right. It's not about fancy uniforms. It's about identifying with a program that cares about feeling like winners, looking like winners, training like winners, acting like winners, and just being winners.

Texas A-holes & Morons

I'll give you something
to salute, you
jack booted freak.
This just in. Another SEC team backs out of a scheduled home-and-home series against Oregon. Here's a link to the story.Texas A&M won't play Oregon in 2018, 2019 football series
Hey Saggies, stick your jack boots up your chicken sh!t asses. I am sick of these top tiered teams canceling their commitments to come out West and play at Autzen. Mark my words, the Saggies will replace those dates with weak patsies like Furman, Weber State, Presbyterian, or Washington.

Game time FRIDAY EVENING, 7:15 Pacific on Fox Sports 1


Washington at Oregon 1994. As I remember it.

It was a sunny October day in 1994. Perfect football weather in Eugene. I don't remember where I got my two tickets to the game. They were hard to come by because Washington fans usually bought up most of them.


The 80's and 90's were the Dark Days of the Purple Haze when Huskies would come down to Eugene and fill no less than 51% of Autzen Stadium. The Dawgs had won their mythical national championship just a few years before this game. At the end of that year, they were #1 in one poll while the Miami Hurricanes topped another. The Huskies thought it was good enough, so they crowned themselves king and made themselves a National Championship flag to fly over their stadium.
During that time, they were beating everybody, especially the Ducks. Sure we had nipped back at them a few times over the years, but they were the dominant force in the football galaxy and they lorded over us like we were their peasants. Whenever their fans trekked down to Eugene in their massive army of travel trailers, you often saw a popular sticker on their bumpers:

Their collective superior attitude swelled. In all my years, I could never have a conversation with a Husky fan without him or her scoffing, bragging, belittling, or sometimes just swearing in my face.

The morning of this game was no different. I believed that my tickets could have been in a particularly Husky-held part of the stadium. As I and my wife walked around the tailgate area, I came across several Huskies talking loud, complaining about their seats in particular and the puniness of Autzen in general. I walked up to one particularly loud meathead in a purple lettermen's jacket and offered to trade.

I said, "I think these will be better seats for you."

HIs reply, "They better be or I'll come back and find you and kick your ass."

I wasn't at all shocked by his reply. In those days, that was a typical conversation with a Dawg fan. This was life under the dominance of the Washington Huskies. It was like the Romans over the Jews. African Americans in the Deep South. The Germans over the Jews. The New Worlders over the Indians. Everybody over the Jews.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not comparing Oregon and Washington's football rivalry to the catastrophic dehumanizing plight of the Jewish or Native or African American peoples.  I mean granted, there were no fire hoses and German Shepherds; and they didn't make us build pyramids or smash our glass storefronts and haul us by train to our tortured deaths. But a few years before, the Husky marching band stood in the middle of Autzen and played Oregon's fight song in a waltz. I mean . . . . who does that? Have they no shred of decency?

Now let me just make one other side note here before I continue with my story: The day that we EVER let the Dawgs win again -- just one game -- we will see that attitude come right back as if they had never lost. Mark my words.

Get your commemorative jersey now
at The Duck Store.

That ticket trade proved very fateful, as they put us right in the corner and just a few rows up from where the miracle would happen. The Pick. Or as I had always called it after seeing it with my own eyes -- The Immaculate Interception.

But this trade for my new seats did nothing to get us away from Husky fans. We were surrounded -- literally surrounded -- by purple in our own stadium. Being a nice guy, I tried to strike up conversations. But I was always met with condescending and critical feedback about what Oregon's problem is, what we did wrong, why Washington is better.
At one point in the fourth quarter I was able to get in a good jab in the tight back-and-forth contest when Washington was FINALLY called for holding. I said to one Dawg fan who had decided early he would give me no measure of respect for the Ducks, "Best not hold a Duck or you might get something nasty in your lap."
I know. Corny. But it was all I had at the time. Made him and the other purple people laugh though.
The following is the first of three nice videos compiled by 'keeerrrttt' of approximately the final 5:20 minutes of the game. In it, Washington had just scored to take the lead. But Oregon engineered a drive and a heroic performance by Danny "Boy" O'neal, Patrick Johnson, Dino Philyaw, Ricky Whittle, Dameron Ricketts, and a little used fullback named Dwayne Jones. It started out terrible when Johnson fielded the kickoff at the two and slipped on one knee to be called down right there. Deep in Husky territory, Coach Rich Brooks made a very gutsy unBrooks-like call when he said to his young offensive coordinator Mike Bellotti: "Come out throwing."
This is "The Drive".
 But Washington wasn't finished. And they were Washington. They were used to winning. They expected to win -- especially against Oregon. They had all the time in the world. Their objective was to score while letting all the air out of the clock, leaving the Ducks to suffocate in yet one more defeat in their bizzaro world where the Dawg was the Master.  At the end of this video, Washington is 1st and goal to take the lead with just over a minute to go. Oregon calls timeout to take a breath.
Patient, planned, successful. Washinton's drive had all the feel of "The Empire Strikes Back". During that timeout, I saw something I would never forget.  I was watching the Husky man in front of me to whom I had made the "Holding a Duck" joke. He made a strange motion I had seen in only one other place a hundred times. During this timeout, he clapped his hands together and rubbed them in gleeful anticipation.
Where had I seen that before? It was where we all had seen it before.
Remember? The ending of every Flintstones episode where Fred orders one family-sized serving of Brontosaurus Ribs. Then he rubs his hands together in anticipation. I watched this Husky guy do just that as the teams came out of the timeout.  

I saw the Huskies line up. I watched Damon Huard drop back and look to his left. He threw. I looked over at his target. And in slow motion, I watched Kenny see that ball leave Huard's hand and run to it like it was his all along. He said afterward that he had seen that play on film and watched it all day. He was willing to bet the receiver wasn't going to hook and go. He knew if the ball came his way, he would at least be able to knock it down. He was just waiting for it. . . .
After Kenny Wheaton scored, I remember something happening to me that I had later heard other men in the stands had experienced. I remember my wife wiping tears out of my eyes. You see, that play wasn't just a last-minute game changer. It was a decades long chain breaker.

Kenny could've just knocked it down. He could've picked it and run out of bounds to let Oregon run out the clock. But his run back, his direction shift, his blowing past Washington's great QB to score the out-of-reach touchdown -- all of that was the haymaker punch to our tormentors that served as an announcement that the Duck/Husky relationship had hereby changed. Kenny didn't know it at the time. None of us did. But looking back at it now, that WAS the moment when the Dark Days of the Purple Haze had ended.
And as for Fred Flintstone Husky? This time he did something totally different with his hand. He reached out to me, shook mine and said, "Good game." And he quietly left.
One other thing, when the Oregon players piled on Kenny in that endzone and the refs announced the penalty against them for excessive celebrating, I stood up and shouted for all the purple people around me to hear. . . .
Here we are 20 years later. Throw the flag, ref. We're still celebrating.

Now I know what you're thinking, and you're right. "Nice videos KB; but it's just not the same without Jerry Allen shouting the play".
Well luckily I found this gem on Youtube. It is exactly how I had always imagined it.

11, because it's one better than 10
So today, Oregon marches on to keep this a Husky-free Northwest. It these last 20 years, Oregon had beaten the Dawgs an incredible 15 times. As for this present win streak,  we beat Washinton's longest win streaks over Oregon at seven. At eight, we reached the mark where two whole generations of 4-year Husky students had never seen their team beat the Ducks. Last year, we reached an even 'Duckade' at 10. To win an even dozen next year would mean we would blank three whole generations of Husky students.

So what is the significance of 11? Let me offer you the one person who is an expert on 11. That's right. I give you Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap:

Go Ducks. Crank it to 11.


Making the football gods proud.

Well if that wasn't a case of separating the wheat from the chaff . . . . This win had as much to do with UCLA showing their true selves as Oregon finding theirs.

The Oregonian's Ken Goe said so much when he commented in his video blog:
-- For most of Oregon's 42-30 victory over UCLA on Saturday in the Rose Bowl, the Ducks looked like they did during their 2010 run to the BCS Championship Game.
They had UCLA's defense on its heels. They ran the ball with authority and passed on their terms.
The opportunistic UO defense bent a little, but compensated with big plays.
If the Ducks keep playing like that, they have the inside track to the Pac-12 title. Win that, and they have a shot to make it into the first College Football Playoff.
Hundley lays ball on the carpet.
-- UCLA didn't look like a contender, leaving me to believe the Bruins have been severely overrated.
I don't think UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley bears much resemblance to a first-round draft choice either.
He is a big guy with some sizzle as a runner. But when he looked to pass, I thought it was advantage defense. If I were advising Hundley, I would suggest another year at the college level.

No doubt the Ducks played better this week than last week against Arizona. The running backs ran with purpose. Mariota ran more (Was he healthier? Did UCLA's defense allow him more running opportunities than 'Zona's? Hard to say.).

Whenever Pharaoh Brown is
in the picture, others are sent flying.
But one thing behind this sudden turn around was that the offensive line got back a key injured starter in Jake Fisher. And they doubled down on their training to improve as a unit, albeit a patchworked injured one. The offensive line played better, and magically that makes everything better.

To prove that point further, one only had to watch USC at Arizona later that evening. USC, without any special tricks or gimmicks, went to Arizona and flat out-footballed them. And probably the biggest difference for the Wildcats between that game and their victory in Eugene was that USC's offensive line was quite healthy, deep and sizeable.

The Trojans have probably two of the biggest offensive tackles in the league. All night they were blowing 'Cats off the line. Arizona played about as well as they did in Eugene, but they couldn't stop USC's running game. They couldn't touch USC's quarterback. Are USC's running backs and QB's any better than than Oregon's?


But they certainly performed better behind that solid offensive line.

The same could be said for Oregon's performance at UCLA. You can say that Mariota and the RB's performed better. But that wouldn't have been possible had the offensive line not significantly improved.

It's looking at games like these that make me realize coaches like Vince Lombardi and Knute Rockne are still right all these years later. It begins and ends with your linemen.
They would've been proud of Oregon last Saturday.

What is it?

"Some kind of probe.
They definitely know we're here."

Wonderful, Joyful, Lovely Hate Week
This is the week when we gather our children and loved ones together to share stories of our hatred and laughter of our dominance of the Huskies.Ten years in a row, we have kicked their asses.

Of the ten, which victory was my favorite? Oh such a question. That's like asking which is your favorite child. To me, they're all very special in their own way.

We'll celebrate the hate more later in the week. But for now here's a photo album of each of those precious wins.

More later.
Ken Goe doesn't do his video blogs from his back deck too often
because he has a weird neighbor (He calls himself Iron Duck) who
constantly photobombs the shot.

System (Temporarily?) Offline

As I was watching Arizona control the game, I was expecting a window to pop up at the bottom of my screen saying,

"The Oregon offense has unexpectedly quit. The program will close now."

Quick, somebody hit 'Restart'!

The next day when we all gathered around the water cooler to ask "What happened?", our autopsies revealed several things.

This was the most glaring of problems. For whatever reason -- injuries, inexperience, betting against the spread -- the offensive line no longer functioned properly. Mariota had been sacked seven times at Pullman, and five times against the Cats. The running game had stalled to average only 3.5 yards per carry.

The defense was now carrying the load against very prolific teams.

 Where? How bad? No one was saying. He was asked about it on Tuesday and brushed it off as "typical football stuff". "You kind of get banged up through the years and you just have to fight through it," he said. For all we know he could be paraplegic and they wouldn't tell us.

 Mark Helfrich said several elements of the offense, namely the offensive line and receivers, were miscommunicating and not on the same page. 

"That's on me," he said. Darn right that's on you, Coach. The worst indictment you can say against any coach in any sport is if his or her team comes out unprepared. Even with a few extra days practice, they looked woefully unprepared for this matchup.
 Some have said that Don Pellum doesn't know what he's doing, never mind that he was a genius against Michigan State. Holding Arizona to 31 points is actually pretty good. And they wouldn't have scored that last touchdown had it not been for . . . . .

TONY WASHINGTON, who may only be less of a bonehead than the ref who flagged him.
Take a bow, Tony.
On second thought, don't.
Oregon stopped Arizona's drive in the fourth quarter. Lineman Tony Washington took a bow, just like he had done the week before in Pullman and nothing happened. This time the ref penalized him for unsportsmanlike conduct, gave the Cats the ball back with first and goal and they scored the winning touchdown.

If you're upset with him, you need to know he was upset at himself. From Oregon's practice report on Monday:
Oregon’s loss can’t be chalked up to any one play; the team has acknowledged as much, and Washington did so as well. Still, he told his teammates, “what hurts me the most is, I feel like I put myself ahead of the team.” In an interview with media afterward, Washington again took ownership for his mistake. “Celebrate with your teammates, and I didn’t do that,” he said.

But Washington’s message to the team went beyond that. He spoke of not letting the loss to Arizona define Oregon’s season.

The loss was surprising enough. But even more surprising was the Ducks' immediate reaction to it. To a man, they were all like, "We lost. It's a shame. But we got to move on."

Mariota repeatedly said, "We're not in panic mode." That task was left to the fans who called radio shows and demanded Helfrich be fired.

But really it is the best and only reaction. Fans of the Wildcats -- the only original Pac-10 team to have never gone to the Rose Bowl -- are absolutely giddy about this win. They'll be talking about it for months.

But Oregon will forget about this loss as quickly as they forgot about the previous wins. "We lost one. Who did we lose to? Don't remember. Who's next? UCLA."

That's all that matters.
This matchup against the Bruins was slated to be a match between the two top teams in the Pac-12 -- perhaps even a preview of the Pac-12 Championship. But with Oregon's stumble and UCLA's stunning loss to Utah, it is now a fight for survival. Loser gets voted off the island.

FOX Sports announcer Charles Davis was in the booth calling Oregon's game against Michigan State. He'll be in the booth again at UCLA. In this interview with The Oregonian's Andrew Greif, he said that Oregon played like they really had something to prove against Michigan State. That's why they came out in the second half and played like heroes. One must remember they were also far less injured in that game.

When Greif asked Davis his thoughts on the keys to Oregon's and UCLA's offense, he said this:
Do you have an under-the-radar key for the game, offensively on Saturday?
To me it's patience. The word patience, which isn't generally associated with either one of them because they both try to move it pretty quickly, you know, with the no-huddle, it's really weird to see that Oregon doesn't run as many plays in a game as UCLA does. You know they're going to want to go real uptempo and do that. But when I say patience I mean in the running game. They both have to take pressure  off their offensive lines to avoid getting their quarterbacks hit. So the first thing for me is it's not just your standard, I turn around and turn the ball off to Royce Freeman or Thomas Tyner. How else do I manufacture offense? Am I doing jet sweeps and things with Byron Marshall? Am I doing that new shovel pass down the line with him? Am I running more quarterback run game with Marcus? Am I doing option stuff, quarterback draw?
I'm trying to figure a way to manufacture offense and keep the running game going and tamp down the pressure coming at him. When I flip it over to UCLA, Brett Hundley has to figure out how to exit the pocket and take the pressure off. I thought he stayed in there against Utah almost like he had to prove something, "I'm a pocket quarterback." They ran him six times, and probably should have thought about running him 26 times. I think when that gut pressure comes at you up the middle if you make the first guy miss like a punt return and go back in the same spot where they came from guess what they've vacated the area haven't they. That's what'll be the thing, is patience to stay with the running games to take the pressure off the quarterbacks. They have to, but it has to be creative pressure, it can't just be turn around and hand it off.

Others have said the same thing. The first team to reestablish it's running game will win.

Davis also said that Oregon's defense will have to steal more turnovers to stop UCLA.
Why should Oregon win all their remaining games?
Because immediately after this game, Mariota
walked over to some sick kids from a children's
hospital and signed autographs for them.

So what about us, the fans?
What are we supposed to do? We've all gone through the four stages of loss: Disbelief, Anger, Grief, and finally Acceptance. That's why it was so hard for some of us to see the players go straight to acceptance right after they showered. But how are we supposed to approach this game?

My plan is to make my Saturday morning as calm as possible. Take a walk. Catch up on some DVR recordings. Plan for a nice lunch with a special beverage. Do NOT think, read or talk about football at all.

Then just before the game comes on, I'll get into my routine of putting on my most potent combo of lucky duck clothes. Sing the fight song before the kickoff. Give my stuffed Puddles mascot the best seat in the house. And then I'll just relax into the game like I'm preparing to sit back and enjoy Citizen Kane.

The Ducks know what they have to do. They know the injuries they have to compensate for. Each player knows how he needs to step up. And the coaches know that they have to do much better than last week.

And it's really simple. Win, and the Ducks are right back in the fight and can still reach all their goals. Lose, it's all over.

That is why I'm forcing myself to be calm when they kick off Saturday 12:30 PT on your local FOX station.
|  MAD DUCK 2020. Blogger Template By Lawnydesignz Powered by Blogger