Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Season Review

Many people felt that this was Chip Kelly's most balanced team at Oregon going into the season, and had the potential to be his best.   

And they were balanced, as they were dominate on both sides of the ball, ranking second in the nation in scoring offense and 25th in scoring defense.  Most games were over by halftime.  In fact, 8 of Oregon's 12 opponents couldn't even hang within 3 td's.

Oregon got off to a 10-0 start and were in position to play for the national championship, and probably would have if it weren't for a fluky 17-14 overtime loss to Stanford.  There were so many "what if's" in that game.   

Like the chop block by De'Anthony Thomas, which would have turned a 77-yard Mariota run to the Stanford 15-yard line, possibly into an early touchdown.  The officials rulling that Stanford TE Zach Ertz had control of that 10-yard pass in the back of the endzone, tying the game at 14, with 1:35 to go in the 4th qtr. And Oregon's kicker Alejandro Maldonado missing that FG in OT, setting Stanford up for an easy game winner.

De'Anthony Thomas stepped up big in Oregon's 48-24 win over the rats
(24) Kenjon Barner and the Ducks ran away from KSU in the fiesta bowl
But the Ducks rebounded the following week with a dominating win in the civil war, and beat a top 5 Kansas St. team decisively, 35-17, in the fiesta bowl.  The Ducks finished the season ranked No.2 in both major polls, which tied the school record for best-ever final ranking. 

Then came the loss of Chip Kelly, who took the job with the Philadelphia Eagles, putting a damper on things, after it seemed like he had turned the NFL down for a second year in a row.

But that doesn't take away from the fact that it was another great year for Oregon football.  Another 12 win season, back-to-back bcs bowl wins, and finishing No.2 in both polls.  The only negative was the loss to Stanford, which prevented Oregon from playing Notre Dame in the national championship.  A game that most experts thought Oregon would win easily.

Losing Chip was tough, but Oregon will be fine.  They're pretty stacked with what they have coming back, and who they have coming in.  They'll be in almost everybody's top 5 at the start of next year, and will be favored in every game they play. 


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