Special guest post by Michael McCoy
[Editor's note: Michael McCoy is a lifelong Duck fan who lives in Southern California. Duck Stops Here welcomes reader contributions, and we'll be featuring a series of them in preparation for the Rose Bowl.]
Our past has set up many outside fans to believe we'll come up short in this because it's a big time out of conference game and we all know Oregon chokes those blah blah blah. When analyzing our recent failures OOC, the 2009 season should be thrown out. That was a gutsy and inspiring team but they were playing above their heads all season and I really don't believe they were ready to carry the PAC12 torch (2010 and '11 UO teams would spank tOSU and BSU). In analyzing the past two seasons' losses (AU, LSU, USC) and struggles (CAL '10, ASU '10) you'll notice (as has been well documented) that a dominant front 7 has been our only weakness. But it can't be just any type of dominant front 7. We have torched many great front 7s over the last two years. It takes many multiple huge and fast DLinemen (LSU, AU, USC, CAL) and very fast, disciplined Linebackers (ASU, USC, LSU, CAL).
In looking at Wisconsin, they have neither.
photo right: The Ducks came up short two years ago in the Rose Bowl, as Ohio State got a career performance from Terrelle Pryor (gettyimages photo).
Their front 7 matches up decently against a power run team (although tOSU still put up over 250 rushing yards on them). They simply don't have the athletes IMO to move sideline to sideline with us. To further their defensive problems, they don't have quick DBs that they can leave in single coverage and focus primarily on the run (LSU). LaMichael should have no problem running for 150+ yards against these guys. This D is very overmatched verse us even with the extra time to prepare.
If you look at what they do on offense, we actually don't match up as poorly as many think we do. The Big10 has some of the slowest corners of the big conferences. If we can get any sort of stop against the run (can't let what happened at USC happen again), then our CBs should be fine. They will get their points against us no doubt but I just don't see it being enough.
A lot can go wrong in a football game and I am in no way guaranteeing a victory but I personally love the way our offense matches up with their defense. I think MSU would have been a far tougher challenge with their great corners (2 of Wilson's 3 picks on the season were verse them) and quick front 7. MSU could have been a very tough match up (ask the Badgers) for our team. I personally am stoked we have Wisconsin instead of them for 2 reasons. 1) I think we'll get far more national recognition for beating them than MSU. 2) I think LaMike's about to have his first dominant game on the national stage.
This team is ready to turn the corner. It all comes down to Jan. 2. I personally will be there (with a bunch of USC who no doubt will be rooting for Wiscy. haha). Went to the Rose Bowl vs tOSu and called the buckeyes, went to the Natty and called the Tigers, and I'll be there for Wisconsin and I'm calling Ducks. This feels different. If they can't get this one I'm afraid even many of UO's most passionate fans will no longer be able to defend their play on the big stage. As long as the Ducks don't have a very slow start, don't turn the ball over, and Darron Thomas plays at a B to B+ level (which I'm not sure he's capable of. haha) then I think Oregon puts the "can't win the big game" and 94 year Rose bowl drought to rest. GO DUCKS