OK check the office pool. Which of us had Oregon winning by 38? A valuable asset for any team is peaking at the right time. And Oregon is playing it's best football right now in December, going into the playoffs.
Going into the Pac-12 Championship, we were all recalling what Arizona had done the past two times these teams have met. But Friday night, Mariota and Co. worked their magic and erased all those memories. Marcus was the true Superman that Oregon needed. One Arizona fan on social media commented that he couldn't believe this was the same team that beat Oregon in October. The truth was, Arizona was the same team.
It was Oregon who was different.
|No Scooby Sacks this time.|
|The second this guy fell on his butt, |
he was prey. Mariota saw him and raced
to the corner of the endzone for his second
rushing TD on the night.
Everyone said Oregon HAD TO shut down Arizona's run to have a chance. They held Wilson to 26 yards on 13 carries. Their best rusher was actually their third string QB, Jerrard Randall. He kept the ball 11 times for 74 yards, but couldn't muster a single pass completion in his only 5 attempts.
|Solomon going down.|
Arizona Coach Rich Rodriguez tried three different quarterbacks. After zero points and repeated three-and-outs in the first half, he put in his second and third string and we saw Solomon on the sidelines in a walking boot.
|Isn't it Rich?|
And what of Scooby Wright? I can't find the stats on him, but it's possible he had recorded fewer tackles for losses than losses of lunches. I mean dude was blowing groceries. So was AZ's center as seen in the video below. Did a puke bug drive the team bus?
Wildcat horkin' up a hairball on the field. Oh poor kitty.
All this great win did was solidify good things for the future. Mariota is going to win the Heisman. And Oregon finished #2 in the final national standings and will meet Florida State in the Rose Bowl for the playoff semifinal.
I'll focus on that in the days to come. But let me say how beautifully this is all setting up to be a storied season for the Ducks.
In the regular season, Oregon demolished one of their significant nemesis of previous seasons, Stanford. In the Pac-12 Championship, the Ducks got that rare opportunity in football -- a do-over, a rubber match. They got to face Arizona --the one team that had beaten them this year -- and vanquish them on a big stage.
Now they are facing Florida State, the reigning National Champion with last year's Heisman Trophy winner. Get past them, and the next opponent only becomes more legendary.
They'll face either Ohio State, a previous foe they had lost to the first time Chip Kelly took the Ducks to a BCS Bowl. Or they'll face the perennial National Champion and current SEC Champion Alabama -- the team coached by Nick Saban, the one who said the hurry-up no-huddle was bad for football. Oregon-Alabama is the matchup everyone has wanted to see for years.
But let's not count our ducklings yet. For now. Let's just enjoy these moments.
The Oregon Ducks: Current 11-time winner over Washington. 7-time winner over Oregon State. 8-time winner over Washington State. Current victor over Stanford and Arizona. Such a routine victor over USC and UCLA that it's not even worth counting.
Pac-12 Champions. #2 in the nation. National Champion Playoff Contender.
And there was one more thing. What was it? . . . . . . . . . Oh ya.
80th Annual Heisman Trophy Presentation. Saturday, Dec. 13th. 5pm Pacific on ESPN.