Monday, October 31, 2011

Thanks Cougs. We needed that.

Washington State reminded at least this Duck fan of something. Anyone can beat anyone anytime in this league. Oregon couldn't get away with playing hurt and sporadic in the first half. The Cougs stayed right with them and went into the locker room ready to pull off the big upset. Had WSU played this way against Oregon State they would've won easily. But they chose to save it for the Ducks. They, along with every other team, planned to bring their best against Oregon.

(Pics from Oregonian.)  It's enough to just beat them,
but DAT made the Cougs look downright silly.
Fortunately Oregon is brandishing a weapon no one counted on -- their incredible depth of talent. Bryan Bennett finished the game for Darron Thomas and showed at the very least that he was not bothered by a hurting knee. Kenjon Barner and DeAnthony Thomas combined to amply equal the typical output of LaMichael James. And the defense outdid themselves while Cliff Harris was at Kinko's faxing a copy of his new driver's license to Coach Kelly's office.

It still came down to the second half. Can the other team keep up? Oregon is starting to get a reputation as a "second half" team, implying that they usually outscore and pull away from the opponent at that point.

While that is true, I don't believe that is an accurate depiction of what's happening. It's not that Oregon suddenly gets better in the second half, it's that the other team starts to loosen it's grip and slide away at that point. Oregon's conditioning is more intense. Their approach to the entire game is speed and never letting the foot off the gas.

I was shocked that as fast as Thomas is at getting the next snap off after the whistle blows the previous play dead, Bennett is even faster. Couple that with Bennett being fresh and healthy, Barner and DAT were feeling good, the offensive line rotated players -- the Cougs, like most other teams, couldn't keep up.
Hard to remember Bryan Bennett is just a redshirt freshman.
Nevertheless, I am glad that WSU played Oregon tough and never quit. Better the Ducks get that fresh bloody lip at this game in Eugene, than at Seattle or Stanford in the coming weeks. Coming off their exciting win over Arizona, you can bet the Huskies are going to bring it. Lots more on those mutts later.

Lavasier Tuinei, The Big Tuna.
As for Stanford, they remain undefeated after their thrilling triple overtime win at USC. That game got to a point where each team was just waiting for the other to make the critical mistake. It ended with USC fumbling in the endzone.

That poorly played game suggested to me that Stanford wasn't ready for the Natty.  But it said so much more to Oregonian columnist Jon Canzano. In his column, Andrew Luck is human, Stanford is beatable and Oregon could return to BCS title game, he, of all people, watched Oregon's and Stanford's games and came away convinced that the Ducks deserved to go back to the Natty.

That thought didn't occur to me. I still think there is a simple law of physics at play here -- that being the physical size and speed of the top SEC and Big 12 defensive lines. But hey, who am I to argue if someone thinks the Ducks belong back on top.

This is Husky H8 week, the week that Oregon Ducks reflect on all the ways and reasons we hate the Washington Huskies. Fortunately the Ducks have beaten the Dawgs into submission for several years now.

These days, I can actually have a cordial conversation with a Husky fan in the elevator or grocery store line without him going all obnoxiously rabid on me. But one defeat to the Dawgs, and it's like their purple fever comes right back and it takes another three or four years of beatings before the bitches lie down and stay again.

I'll have more on them later this week.



Anonymous said...

I went to the WSU game and came away feeling like I had gone in for a McMenamin's burger and came out with a sawdust sandwich. I am glad Canzano saw what he did, because when I watched Stanford in that triple overtime I could see the desire in them. I didn't see that from the Ducks on Saturday.

Your comment about the UW fans is right on (sit and stay bitches)! I have tired of hating the Huskies so much, now I spread it around to USC and Stanford. Oh and I also hate the Stoops brothers and their stoo-pid anger issues and antics. Glad that UA saw the light! - Heather

Killer Bee said...

Sorry you lost me at Mcmenamins burger. All I could think was "Mmmmmmmmmmm..... Wilbur's Jumbo Deluxe"

Mitzy Moo Moo said...

I'm looking forward to the Huskie game. Oregon 58 Huskies 21. "DAT'S" a fact Jack!