Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sports Illustrated Showing DAT Some Love

I wonder what the person who told me De'Anthony Thomas was overrated at the beginning of the season is thinking now?  Might wanna take off your orange colored glasses and wake up!  Don't let your Duck envy get in the way of recognizing game.

A threat to score every time he touches the ball, he's totaled 382 yards on 24 touches (13 rushing, 11 receiving), and the 7 touchdowns Thomas has are tied for the most in the nation.

Oh, and he returns punts too (when teams actually kick to him).  Thomas averages 13.3 yards on 7 returns, ranking him in the top 30 nationally.

As for the person who called him overrated?  Strange, I haven't heard back from him in a while.  It's ok, I understand...nobody likes to eat their own crow.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What Rivalry Means The Most To Oregon?

Many factors contribute to a rivalry, like geography, culture, and the product of competition in the series.  

So when it comes to Oregon, who really matters most to you?  If I had to ask you, who you wanted to beat the most this year, who would it be?  Oregon state?  Washington?  USC?  Lets take a look at each of them, and maybe your answer will change at the end?

First lets start with probably our most natural rivalry, Oregon state.  They fit the first two factors (geographically and culturally) but they fail to meet the third factor (series competitiveness) for many reasons, that I see keep the program always at a distance from Oregon.

The beavers will never be our equal.  There was a time when both programs were down, but Oregon state was really down, and even then the series wasn't competitive enough to be a real intense rivalry.  

The Ducks lead the series 59-46-10.  But they are 28-11 since 1972, and have currently won 4 straight in the series.  

The steady climb of Oregon's program to the top has generated a lot of support from fans (thank you Phil Knight), incredible facilities (again, thank you PK), and national relevance.  All of those factors will keep Oregon an elite program, and ahead of Oregon state.  The beavers don't have the money or fan support to ever compete on the level with Oregon.  They're already too far behind.  

And most Duck fans you talk to always say they root for Oregon state whenever they're not playing Oregon (I want them to lose every game).  Even at Autzen stadium, when they announce the beaver score, if the beavers are winning the fans will cheer (I don't).

So is that a real rivalry then?  Don't you need hate for the other side, like with Washington?
Then there is our rivalry with the Huskies.  Duck fans HATE Washington.  You could read more about it here, but the hate comes from both sides, unlike with Oregon state, where a lot of it comes mostly from them (jealousy and envy).  

Duck fans for years resented how obnoxious and arrogant UW fans were.  Believe it or not, they were always contending with SC and UCLA, so they were a bigger target for Oregon to climb over.

The huskies used to be the big bullies on the block, and Oregon was little brother.  But Oregon got tired of being picked on, they grew up and got bigger, and fought back!  They have firmly replaced UW as the top program in the region, and it's been that way for quite some time now.  Husky fans (who once were too proud to admit they had a rivalry with Oregon) now resent Oregon for sending them back to the bus.

But it hasn't been that competitive either.  Since Kenny Wheaton picked off Damon Huard's pass at the 3 yard line, and housed it 97 yards later in '94, Oregon is 15-4 against Washington, including an 8 game winning streak.  

Oregon has turned their attention elsewhere, to an even bigger bully with a much bigger target on its back...USC.

Duck fans have always taken pleasure in being a thorn in the trojans side.  It's probably because of their arrogance, their southern Californian life style (a lot of animosity towards SoCal in Oregon), and all the hype they get from playing in the nations second largest television market.  

But Oregon has largely been off USC's radar, until recently.  After dominating the conference for most of the 2000's, Oregon elevated their program to even greater heights soon after the hiring of Chip Kelly in 2007, putting them in direct competition with the trojans.

The series has been the most competitive out of the three (OSU, UW being the other two) recently, with Oregon going 3-2 vs. the trojans since 2007. When these two teams meet, there's usually a lot at stake.  Both are ranked, probably in the top 10, and conference as well national positioning is at stake.

You can read more about the growing rivalry here. 

USC fans, as you could imagine, resent Oregon's success, and have developed some hatred for them.  It's a big deal to the players too.  Trojan quarterback Matt Barkley said this about Oregon: 

"Oregon is our biggest competitor in the conference.  Beating Oregon last year was special.  It let us know that if we can compete with Oregon, and beat Oregon, that we can compete with anyone in the country."

Plus it has to mean a lot to so many of the Duck players come from Southern California.  

With everything taken into consideration, in terms of most significance, USC has to rank #1 because there's so much at stake.  A win puts Oregon in the drivers seat for a conference championship at the very least.  The competitiveness in the series has made it more intense as well, and given it a big time feel.

But there's still something about keeping little bro (Oregon state) in check, and never seeing them succeed.  And it's always important to remember why Duck fans hate husky fans so much in the first place.  

I think most Duck fans will always have a special place in their heart for hating on UW and OSU, while the rivalry with USC could fizzle.  And that's why I think Washington and Oregon state will always matter most to Oregon fans. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

LeBron James Knows It's O-TIME!

Thank you King James for doing a little bit of recruiting for Oregon!  He only has 6 million followers on twitter who look up to him, and saw him tweet this pic out, with the following message:

@KingJames: S/O to Oregon for the fire!! Best uni's in the Nation #Nike

Tuesday Rants: Weekend Recap, plus Links

The Oregon offense is the type of offense that causes defensive coordinators to lose sleep at night.  

And maybe it was in the head of Matt Barkley and his fellow trojans as they stumbled their toe once again against Stanford.  Perhaps they were looking ahead to that showdown with mighty Oregon?  It's a shame they lost and didn't hold up their end of the deal, because now, that game will take a back seat to Alabama/LSU.  

But Oregon took care of business last Saturday by crushing Tennessee Tech 63-14.  I'm a little late in getting to this, and have already moved on to Arizona, so I won't spend much time here, but here are some of the things I took away from that game.

Oregon's offense is good!  Really good!  Oregon has weapons everywhere, and scored at will, amassing a total of 652 yards.  And I know the critics will say Tennessee State, but Oregon did what good teams do to inferior opponents...they dominated them.
De'Anthony Thomas (6)

De'Anthony Thomas is a threat to score the ball every time he touches the ball.  He's on a whole 'nother level and is a game changer.  He's worth at least 7 points a game, if not more.

The only negative I took away from the game is the Ducks need to clean up the penalties.  Eliminate those "self inflicted wounds" as Chip Kelly would say.

With the win, Oregon improves their record to 4-0, and moves up to #3 in the polls.  They appear ready to make another run at a fourth consecutive conference championship.  It won't be easy, as the rest of the Pac appears to be better than previously thought (minus Colorado).  Their first test is coming up this Saturday, as they host #22 Arizona under the lights at Autzen stadium.

Now the links:

From espn's Pac 12 blog, everything regarding the conference. 

De'Anthony Thomas rising in the Heisman race (bout time)

Aaron Fentress takes a look at the defenses of both Arizona and Oregon

Marcus Mariota discussing Arizona

Rob Moseley on Oregon's penalties

A look at UA/Oregon from Oregon Duck Football News

Oregon recruit RB Thomas Tyner is killing the competition!  Watch all 18 of his touchdowns here.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Oregon's All White Road Unis

If you're like me, you were probably wondering what Oregon's "storm trooper" unis looked like this year?  Have a look:



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday's Rants: Cocky Beaver Fans, Plus A Bunch of Links

From the Civil War last year. 

There's an awful lot of noise coming out of Corvallis lately.  A win against an extremely overrated Wisconsin team, and now suddenly the beavers are back, and are on their way to a 10 win season.  Shoot, may even beat the Ducks this year!

While the win over Wisconsin (that they claim is the biggest home win in program history) looks nice, let's not get ahead of ourselves here.  Wisconsin is not nearly as good as the team Oregon beat in last year's Rose bowl.  

But that didn't stop beaver believer Andrew, from Salem, emailing me his garbage about how Oregon hasn't beaten anyone, the defense looks terrible, the injuries will catch up with them, and Oregon state will upset the Ducks based on home field alone.  

You see this is why I fuckin hate beaver fans.  Hey beaver fans, who are you to be bumpin your gums at Duck fans?  Your program is garbage, and you haven't achieved anything!  Which is why beaver fans resort to the tactic of comparing other teams (like Alabama, LSU, or USC) to Oregon, and say Oregon will never be on their level, and couldn't compete.  They do that because they know they have no grounds to stand on when it comes to their OWN program.

Wanna know how to shut a beaver fan up?  Just hit 'em with facts.  When I emailed Andrew from Salem back, providing support for my claims from national writers, he got pretty quiet.  Even if all he said about Oregon is true (weak schedule, bad defense, injuries will hurt them) Oregon will still smoke the beavers for the 5th straight year, and put all their little fans back in check.  

Know your place beaver fan.


A very good breakdown of why Oregon will beat USC this year from the bleacher report.

Latest on Josh Huff

Oregon's schedule may be tougher than thought?

Oregon's all white uniforms revealed

Week 3 and Oregon is a consensus top 5 team

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tennessee Tech: You're Next

Anybody really worried about this game?  No, seriously?  Didn't think so.  This is another stat game for Oregon to put up playstation like numbers, get the backups experience, get a W, and hopefully remain injury free.

Tennessee Tech:  you get to fly across the country and for your trouble, you get an ass beating and $500,000.

Even Tennessee Tech's head coach Watson Brown will admit the odds are stacked against him:  "this is the best team we've played since I've been here.  They're just so big and fast everywhere.  They don't make many mistakes and they just jump on everybody quick.  They get you fast," he said Tuesday, during a conference call.  He added, "we know what we're running into."

An interesting note...Tennessee Tech's wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers has seen Oregon's offense firsthand.  As a freshman receiver at Tennessee in 2010, he watched as his Vols lost to Oregon 48-13.

He told coach Brown, "it's not a pretty sight," about Oregon's offense.

So what should you expect from Tennessee Tech?  They pride themselves on running a no-huddle offense.  Yeah, like that's gonna work!  Oregon's defense see's this every week in practice when they go up against THE best up tempo offense in college football.

I don't know why, but something just tells me the Oregon defense will be able to handle whatever Tennessee Tech throws at them.

Another blowout win for Oregon, lets just hope they get through this one without suffering any casualties. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Injuries To The Ducks Have Some Fans Nervous

Carson York
The hits just keep on coming...first Boyett, now Carson York is out for the year. That's football though. Injuries happen...somebody needs to step up. Let's have faith things will work out. I get tired of all the negative crap I see sometimes, especially after the game vs. Fresno St. (and that's why I left for a while). Yeah there are some issues, but c'mon already! Give the team time to develop and let everything work itself out.  

John Boyett (20) blowing up a Trojan
The loss to Boyett is tough (more on him later), but it's a chance for a new guy to shine.  Remember, it was Boyett that filled in for an injured TJ Ward in 2009.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuesday Duck Links

Oregon's Byron Marshall (#9) dives for a touchdown last Saturday vs. Ark. St. 

Oregon moved up to #4 in the latest polls which were released today.  I was happy they jumped OU.  I smell a fraud when it comes to the sooners.  To see the complete list go here.

Aaron Fentress of the Oregonian takes a sneak peek at Fresno State, because well, that's what he does, and he does it very well.

Speaking of Fresno State, Vegas like them too much...Oregon opens as 33.5 favorites.

Here's an interesting story about how an all men's college in Queens adopted the Ducks as their team!

Several of the talented freshman on Oregon's roster saw significant playing time, here's how Charles Fischer (also from fishduck) graded them in the Oregonian.

Here's a good piece by the Oregonian's Aaron Fentress (again!) on Kyle Long's (son of Howie Long) first game as a Duck at Autzen stadium.

Monday, September 3, 2012

First Week Impressions

After the first weekend of football in the Pac 12, one thing is clear:  it's Oregon and USC, then everybody else.  I'm not even wasting my time pretending to make a case for everybody else, but here's where I rank 'em:

  1. Oregon
  2. USC
  3. Utah
  4. UCLA
  5. Arizona State
  6. Stanford
  7. Washington 
  8. Arizona
  9. Cal
  10. Oregon State
  11. Washington State
  12. Colorado
I know Cal lost and Oregon state has yet to play, but c'mon, Cal is better (at least on paper).  Beavers will be 0-1 after this week.  And if I'm Washington, I'd be very concerned if my team had played a rebuilding MWC program with a demonstrated to be crap QB (Katz), and performed as poorly as you did at home. Oregon is gonna smoke you again this year, like they have for the last 8.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Mission Impossible: Oregon

Fresno State, your task is to come up with a way to slow down the Oregon offense.  While you're at it, you may wanna increase the tempo of your practice to get your defense ready for the speed that the Oregon offense operates at.

You have a week to do it.  Good luck.

Like it will matter?  All the preparation in the world isn't gonna stop the inevitable from happening.  It's like patching a leak with bubble gum, eventually you're doomed.

Weber State (who they beat in week one 37-10) may have been a confidence booster for you, but it did nothing in terms of getting you ready for Oregon.

Jonathan Stewart running away from Fresno State in '07.
This is a team coming off a 4-9 record last year, and they're not even as good as they were the last time they visited Autzen, in 2007, when they got drilled 52-21.

Fresno State may be confident now, but they're gonna get a reality check when they go up against one of the nations elite.

Ducks win going away.

Post Game Thoughts: Arkansas St.

It was one of those night games at Autzen stadium that make it one of the most beautiful settings in all of college football - a warm 74 degrees at kickoff, incredible sunset, and a full moon - all had people pulling out their camera phones.

The uniforms Oregon rolled out with were just as impressive, proving once again, that Oregon sets the standard in uniform design.  Most of the people I talked to loved them as well, save for a few old curmudgeons.

On to the game.  Oregon won 57-34 and already people are grumbling that the defense gave up that many points.  Look, lets not kid ourselves...the defense only started to give up points in the second half when the backups came in.  

Oregon dominated that game.  They pretty much did what they wanted, when they wanted in the first and second quarter.  The students that came got free tacos by the 10:45 mark in the second quarter, when the Ducks reached the 43 point mark (the total needed for the students to receive 2 free tacos from Jack In The Box).

Mariota looked sharp, the offense has plenty of weapons, and the defense I thought played well when they were into it early on.

The team you saw early on in the first and second quarter is the team that will gradually be increasing over the season.  Oregon did what good teams do, they dominate inferior opponents, put in their backups, and escape without suffering any major injuries.  

The Ducks are locked and loaded.  Up next on the hit list: Fresno State. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

First Autzen Stadium Memory

With today being the first game of the season, a yearly tradition resumes, as I get ready for another special season full of great memories at Autzen Stadium.

Everybody has their favorite story or first memory, for me, it was November 17th 1992, in a game against Cal.  I was 6 and not even a Duck fan yet.

Not much I remember from that day other than the most important parts, which stuck with me and made me the passionate Duck fan I am today.

I remember walking up to what seemed like just a hill...a mound of dirt.  But as I made my way up the hill and looked over the brim, I was blown away at what I saw.

It was love at first sight.  It was my first football game I attended live, so I had never seen anything like it before.  The bowl seemed so big!  I had never seen so many people before, even though looking back, it probably wasn't that big.

What stood out to me the most was the multi-colored turf, with white numbers, and the old school Duck stepping through the block "O" at midfield.  The walls surrounding the field were concrete at the time, with the banners of every Pac 10 team hanging on them.

I loved the atmosphere as well.  The crowd was into it, with their chants and booing the officials or the other team, the fight songs (even Cal brought their band) - all exemplify the pageantry of college football.

And of course, the best part of the day was, Oregon won 37-17!

By the end of the day, I was a full fledged Duck fan.  I told my dad I wanted to play football here and go to school here.  On the way home, I couldn't stop humming the Oregon fight song.

Today, families will be bringing their children to Autzen for the very first time, creating special memories for years to come.