Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
p.s. It was just announced that ESPN will be televising the ASU - Oregon game at 3:45 PDT. Some regions will get OSN or FSN but the majority of the country will see it on ESPN. The deal was just announced by ESPN.
They will be broadcasting live from Autzen stadium starting at 7:00 am local time this coming Saturday. If you plan to attend, get there early. A group of us arrived at about 6:30 am when they were here for the Cal game and it was tough to get a good vantage point.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
|How many turnovers will the Duck "D" have against the Trojans?|
|1-3 36% (4 votes)|
|4-6 9% (1 votes)|
|7-10 0% (0 votes)|
|It doesn't matter the Ducks will kick their ass! 36% (4 votes)|
|The "O" train doesn't need turnovers 18% (2 votes)|
|Total voters for this poll: 11|
We had a tie but it didn't matter, both answers were right! This weeks question is, "Ducks winning margin over ASU?" Let the voting begin.
The great USC dynasty died here Saturday of natural causes (and the Oregon defense). It will be fondly remembered for dominating the first decade of the 21st century with its high-powered offense and smothering defense. It is survived by three recent Heisman winners. In lieu of flowers, loved ones suggest you send Holiday Bowl ticket orders or a cash contribution to the University of Oregon Athletic Fund.
Nice story over at ESPN.com from Eric Maisel:
EUGENE, Ore. -- No. 5 Oregon has spent the season piling up points and yards as if it's buying them at Sam's Club: in bulk, and way more than it needs. The Ducks scored 50-plus points in their last four victories, and they have averaged 551 yards of total offense per game.
But No. 12 USC came to town on Saturday. It's on Page 1 of the coaching textbook: Defense wins championships. Explosive offenses usually don't explode against talented defenses, and the Trojans have a defense with seven NFL first-round draft picks on the front seven, according to Oregon offensive coordinator Chip Kelly. As USC warmed up before the game, Kelly allowed himself a moment of awe.
"I said, 'Whoa. These guys are pretty good. They look like the Patriots,'" Kelly said.
Oregon gained only 339 yards of total offense Saturday, some 212 yards below its average. Quarterback Dennis Dixon, the Ducks' Heisman Trophy candidate, failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time this season.
And the Ducks controlled the game throughout. Defense won this game, and it just wasn't the defense with all of the first-round picks.
On a brilliantly sunny Saturday, before 59,277 fans (the largest crowd in the history of Autzen Stadium), Oregon won, 24-17. The Ducks won by playing outstanding defense, by playing offense as patiently as a spread offense can play and by recovering from their mistakes while making the Trojans pay for theirs.
In short, Oregon won by playing not the way Oregon has played, but by playing the way national champions have played.
"This game felt like a championship game," USC coach Pete Carroll said, "like it was supposed to."
USC and Oregon threw something at each other that neither team is used to seeing week in and week out -- athletes as good as their own. When Oregon attacked the Trojans' perimeter, the USC tacklers closed the gaps quickly.
But Dixon gave as good as he got. On the Ducks' two-minute drive at the end of the first half, Dixon gained 9 yards, and saved 20 seconds on the clock, by juking inside and loping to the right sideline. He took Oregon 58 yards in 11 plays, and Matt Evenson kicked a 41-yard field goal to give the Ducks a 10-3 lead with 15 seconds to spare.
"Before the game," Dixon said, "I talked to Chip. He said, 'Think completions. Manage the game.'"
Dixon did that and more. If Heisman voters look at his numbers (16-of-25 for 157 passing yards, 17 carries for 76 rushing yards and a touchdown), Dixon may suffer. If Heisman voters watched the game, Dixon gained a lot of votes.
The only bad decision Dixon made was his third-quarter pitch to tackle Geoff Schwartz. Dixon saw a black jersey behind him and made the instinctive move. Somehow, Schwartz caught it and rumbled for a 3-yard gain.
"That was a designed play, as you probably could tell," Oregon coach Mike Bellotti deadpanned. "We like Schwartz's ability in the open field."
That play encapsulated how the Ducks dug themselves out of holes, literally right from the beginning.
Oregon returner Andre Crenshaw fumbled away the opening kickoff to USC at the Oregon 21. The Trojans got to fourth-and-1, and Carroll, who just can't help himself, refused to attempt the short field goal on the road. The Ducks stuffed Joe McKnight for a 1-yard loss.
"Four plays later, it was over," Oregon defensive end Nick Reed. "We were off the field like it never happened."
USC went off the field with no points, just as it did three weeks ago, when it failed on fourth-and-goal at the Stanford 1-yard line just before the half. The Trojans went on to lose, 24-23.
A crazy bounce on a second-quarter punt glanced off the Ducks' Garren Strong and was recovered by the Trojans' Rey Maualuga at the Oregon 33. USC needed nine plays to drive all of 20 yards before settling for a 30-yard field goal by David Buehler.
Two red zone trips. Three points.
The Trojans actually outgained the Ducks, getting 378 yards of total offense, but those statistics are so misleading they could have been put out by a campaign committee.
"All we can do is clear up the mistakes we made in this game," USC quarterback Mark Sanchez said.
The Ducks won by confusing the Trojan sophomore, who was making only the third start of his career. Sanchez had his moments. He completed 26-of-41 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns. With USC trailing, 24-10, and only 5:32 to play, Sanchez completed four straight passes, the last a 14-yard scoring pass to David Ausberry with 4:44 to play, to cut the deficit in half.
Oregon failed to make a first down and gave the ball back to Sanchez with 3:10 to play at the USC 17. Sanchez drove the Trojans 50 yards, to the Oregon 33. He had :23 and one timeout remaining, not the best time for inexperience to rear its head. But he threw two interceptions to Oregon free safety Matthew Harper, the second with :11 to play after Sanchez had driven the Trojans to the Ducks' 33.
Though Harper lined up on the side of the field opposite tight end Fred Davis, he planned to cover him. Sanchez didn't figure that out.
"I baited him," Harper said. "I went back to the middle and I don't think he saw me. I jumped in front of the tight end."
The national championship debate will enter November without the USC Trojans on the stage. If that sounds unusual, it hasn't happened since 2002, since Carson Palmer led a late-season surge that earned USC a slot in the Orange Bowl and him the Heisman Trophy.
How long is five years in college football? Five years ago, Dennis Franchione still coached at Alabama and Tim Tebow played linebacker and tight end as a freshman at Trinity Christian in Jacksonville, Fla.
"To beat them is very big," Bellotti said.
Do not hit your refresh button. Bellotti tried to back away from making it a big deal, then said it again.
"Because they have been a great football team, and they still are a great football team," Bellotti explained. "They are as talented a football team as there is in the United States. We played Michigan [and beat the Wolverines, 39-7]. We've seen other games across the nation. 'SC has as much talent as anybody. … Their 11 best? Our best 11 is better. We played as a team. We trusted each other. This is a big step."
With five weeks left in the regular season, Oregon is front-and-center in the national championship picture. The steps don't get any bigger.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Dennis Dixon completed 16 of 25 passes for 157 yards. He also ran for 76 yards and a touchdown for Oregon (7-1, 4-1). The Ducks, who came into the game ranked second nationally in total offense, had 339 yards against the Trojans' third-ranked defense. But it was turnovers -- including a fumble recovery and a pair of interceptions -- that gave Oregon the advantage over the Trojans (6-2, 3-2).
Matthew Harper received player of the game honors as he intercepted 2 USC passes, the 2nd won sealed the victory with 30 seconds remaining.
It was the first time in Autzen Stadium's 41-year history that two top-10 teams played. The game drew a stadium record of 59,277 fans.
Our corner of Autzen couldn't have been any louder. I think I lost my voice somewhere in the 3rd quarter. I uploaded some pictures to Flickr and will try to find a highlight video to post in the morning. ASU comes to town next Saturday and I can't wait!
Friday, October 26, 2007
The key for Oregon will be the defense and turnovers. Stop the Trojans, limit our offensive turnovers, create a few turnovers on defense, then Dixon and company will emerge the victors.
On paper this should be a close game but there are always unknown factors that come into play. One thing is for sure, Autzen will rock. Can the USC offense deal with all the noise? The Trojan QB question still hasn't been answered. It will either be a rusty Booty or an inexperienced Sanchez at the helm. Look for either of them to have trouble avoiding false start penalties.
Update: Sanchez is starting.
JStew might not run for 251 yds this week but I predict he will get at least 3 TD's. Dixon will be in high form with his running, passing and faking the jock straps off the USC defenders.
We have a chance to be the premiere Pac-10 team with a win tomorrow. We had the spotlight back at the Cal game and let it slip away. It won't happen this time, Oregon will make their statement on the field!
Ducks 44 - USC 27
Monday, October 22, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
The Ducks finished with a school-record 465 rushing yards and 661 total yards. The final numbers even staggered some of Oregon's offensive linemen, who bullied Washington's defense.
The Dawgs lost their 5th straight game but have had a tough schedule as those 5 teams were in the top 12 at some point this season. I will give Jake Locker a lot of credit. For a freshman, he showed a lot of poise, has a gun for an arm and I couldn't believe how he ran with the ball. He will be a thorn in our sides for the next couple of years.
It was a close game for 3 quarters, which surprised me, but the Ducks pulled away in the 4th as the Huskies ran out of steam.
The Oregon secondary will need to step it up a notch next week against USC, I have no doubt they will respond in a huge fashion as we will back in the friendly confines of Autzen Stadium.
It will be interesting to see how the polls end up today as South Florida, South Carolina and Kentucky all lost. I see the Ducks moving up to #6 in the BCS. I will add a new post when they announce the standings later today.
|Who will win the Oregon vs Washington game?|
|Oregon of course 37% (7 votes)|
|Ducks demolish the Dawgs 26% (5 votes)|
|Lightning strikes twice 5% (1 votes)|
|The Green & Yellow 5% (1 votes)|
|The ''O Train'' rolls 16% (3 votes)|
|Huskies are humbled 0% (0 votes)|
|Washington gets lucky?? 11% (2 votes)|
|Total voters for this poll: 19|
89% of you were right. Does anybody else smell a wet Dawg after the Ducks pissed all over them in the 4th quater last night? Next weeks question is, "How many turnovers will the Duck "D" have against the Trojans?" Let the voting begin!
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
The Ducks defense has been gradually improving each week, culminating in last weeks 53-7 victory over the Cougs. Keep up that improvement and Oregon will come home with another big win.
As long as we don't turn the ball over and hand the Huskies easy scores this game shouldn't even be close. With last weeks injuries, I think Dixon will be fairly conservative throwing the ball. He will look for lots of option plays that will give him the opportunity to run. If J.Stew has the soft cast off for this game I think he will be in some pass plays as well (and run for 150 yds too.)
Washington (2-4, 0-3) hopes to snap a four-game losing streak -- its longest since dropping six in a row last season. The Huskies were again done in by a poor third quarter last Saturday in a 44-20 loss at then-No. 12 Arizona State. In the last four games, Washington has been outscored 56-0 in the third quarter.
Oregon has won three straight overall against Washington but hasn't won in Seattle since Nov. 8, 1997. That will change Saturday night!
Oregon 45 - Dawgs 17
Sunday, October 14, 2007
|How many points will Oregon score against Wazoo?|
|0 - 10 0% (0 votes)|
|11 - 20 0% (0 votes)|
|21 - 30 6% (1 votes)|
|31 - 40 19% (3 votes)|
|41 - 50 31% (5 votes)|
|51 - 60 13% (2 votes)|
|61 - 70 6% (1 votes)|
|Over 70 25% (4 votes)|
|Total voters for this poll: 16|
The voters got this one right. New poll is now available and the question is, "Who will win the Oregon vs Washington game?" Let the voting begin!