Stanford is next. The Ducks have 10 days to heal and get ready for the November 7th night game against The Cardinal, Thursday on ESPN. The bruisers from Palo Alto clubbed Oregon State 20-12 in the nightcap yesterday, sacking Sean Mannion 8 times and getting 145 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns from Tyler Gaffney.
That game will be the ultimate contrast of styles, #2 at #5. A win would give the Ducks the schedule strength to establish a firmer hold on the the #2 spot in the BCS, but nothing is guaranteed in that area: BCS pollster Jeff Sagarin, one of five computer rankings used in the formula, has Florida State #1 and Northern Illinois #3, ahead of the Ducks at #4. Sagarin is a whacko computer nerd with no understanding of football or connection to reality, and it illustrates how seriously flawed the BCS model is.
If things held, the Ducks would edge out Florida State and Ohio State, despite some scoreboard politicking by Urban Meyer. He ran up 63 points on Penn State yesterday in an attempt to impress pollsters and Coaches' poll voters. The Buckeyes could finish 13-0, undefeated for the second straight year and still be shut out of the championship game: an out of conference schedule that featured Buffalo and Florida A&M, plus a down Big 10 that lacks a heavy-weight challenger, dooms tOSU in a tight race for the top 2. Texas Tech and Missouri fell from the ranks of the unbeaten this week. Baylor and Alabama rolled to big wins, The Tide dispatching former Oregon victim Tennessee 45-10, 35-0 in the first half.
Oregon's kicking game was miserable yesterday. Alejandro Maldonado missed a 38-yard field goal. The Bruins blocked a punt. Matt Wogan put a kickoff out of bounds, the 7th time this season the freshman has set the opponent up on the 35-yard-line. In a close game, errors like those could be costly.
But the story of the game was Oregon's resilience, and a great effort by the defense. Mark Helfrich remarked that the team was even more eager for the second half kickoff than they were for the first. That's good; the team made a dominating effort in the decisive half. But the Stanford game and a matchup with Alabama or Florida State might demand four quarters of sustained excellence, with no glaring glitches in the kicking game or run defense.
The Ducks can also use the extra-long week to get De'Anthony Thomas healthy and incorporated back into the offense, out on the wing and in the open field. Leave the pounding between the tackles to Marshall and Tyner. The Beavers don't run the football well anyway, but they had just 17 net yards on the ground Saturday night against Stanford. Moving the ball on offense against The Cardinal will require a good plan and a determined effort. The Ducks have to find the right spots for DAT, whose quickness was one of their few effective weapons in last year's loss.
With an Oregon bye this week and Florida State taking on #7 Miami, if they blow Miami out, the BCS with no Oregon game probably vaults them back into #2
Did anyone read the post game notebook on goducks.com? The words are not what I am looking at though, it's the picture. Mariota wearing a knee brace? Has he been wearing that and I just havent been wearing my glasses? I never noticed during the game, but maybe when he was limping just a bit during the UW game when he lost his shoe is a bit more annoying than we know? Obviously it's precautionary and he hasnt really lost a step it seems. But just an observation.
In case you didn't get to see part of the Oregon - UCLA game, here is a link to the replay.
Great to see Oregon at #2 in the BCS. Next up Stanford.
Here is a tidbit about Nick Sabans wife house hunting in Austin, TX.
Dale, you said, "The Ducks can also use the extra-long week to get De'Anthony Thomas healthy and incorporated back into the offense, out on the wing and in the open field. Leave the pounding between the tackles to Marshall and Tyner."
Abso-friggin-lutely!!!! IMHO it was a terrible coaching decision to start DAT and run him up the middle again and again. Let's see, we have on of the best linebackers in the nation across from us....so....lets run DAT right at him over and over. There's a game plan. DAT is best on the edge and in space where he can really showcase his talents.
I know I sound hypercritical, however I think we are using DAT wrong. BM was doing fine and we changed what was working. Insane!!
Go Ducks WTD
How creative is this team? Who knew that when Oregon has 4th and 16 from their own 26, that #48 Rodney Hardwick has the ability to change the play? That was a gutsy call. What other teams give their players this level of creativity and trust?
@Dale Newton As of right now, I would say Alabama and Oregon are the teams ranked highest by all three polls.
Backload your schedule, get downgraded in the computers. Want some respect? Play someone good from your conference late in the season. Want more respect? Play a 9-game conference schedule against teams at least good enough to beat North Carolina State....
@Duckbill I loved that play... Good call DB.
@duckified God bless you Tiny Tim! Thanks for the link!
@duckified Thanks for the link. It's on ESPNU right now and the PAC-12 Network between 8 and 9.
@SonomaDuck I'll believe that when they hold the press conference, although Texas has the revenue to take a run at him. After a horrible start this season Mack Brown has Texas 4-0 in the Big-12 and tied for first place after a win over TCU with Okie State, Texas Tech and Baylor at the end of the year.
@hoboduck DAT is a wonderful talent and he can run inside--his 96-yard touchdown in the Rose Bowl was on an inside running play. He's the PAC-12 career leader in yards per carry. He has 43 career tds in an Oregon uniform. But as you stated, the Bruins punished him on those inside runs on Saturday. They have to be more creative in how they use him, give him some lanes and let him create the magic. No doubt that the magic is there.
Aaron Fentress speculated today that DAT ought to return for his 2015 season at Oregon and play strictly receiver, his eventual position in the NFL.
You think DAT got banged up against UCkLA, wait til you see what Furd does to him when the CK minded coaching staff continues to pound him into the middle of the line. You'll have to pick him up with a shovel.
@hoboduck Agreed. The absence of DAT has been the best thing for Marshall and Tyner and now that they are established and looking more and more comfortable, DAT needs to go back to his role that he had when LaMichael James and Barner were there. Dude was being flung around like a rag doll out there.
@SonomaDuck That was really a bold move. The play was a dead ringer for the fake punt Michael Clay ran against OSU a couple of years ago. Rodney Hardrick played tight end in high school; he can really rumble in the open field, the longest run of the day.
@Duckbill and the Beavers were 1 fumbled kick-off return away from kicking a field goal to win teh game. fumbling on their own 18 to start teh 2nd half is how Stanford got 7 of their 21 points.
I agree that our sloppy & penalty laden play coupled with a sluggish start against Stanford will lead a in the trenches game that we could easily lose. I also believe it is likely we get a break or two to fall our way, forcing Stanford to throw early that could lead to a blow out.
Helfrich and company need to tighten up the penalties and fumbles if they want to be in the BCS Nat'l Championship discussion on Friday the 8th. Also the game plan of DAT running up the middle is getting old....there wont be a game we have for the rest of the season where that will make sense. get him in space and find a way to use him 10-15 times a game in space or with fluidity.
Ya but there were points in the card-beav game where stanford looked just awful on offense. Their d was beastly to be sure, but hogan and Lloyd are just not good quarterbacks in any sense, especially with cajuste out.
@duckified @hoboduck Really hated to see some of the garbage UCLA pulled in that game. They played hard and physical, but the gestures and taunting were inexcusable, Zumwalt's go to sleep and bye-bye waves just classless. Several missed 15-yard walkoffs for late hits, body slams and a helmet-to-helmet shot.
The Cardinal may be the most physical front seven in college football.
@duckified I'm not sure what CK has to do with anything. Check the two previous years stats for DAT under CK and you will see a HUGE difference because he was used to his full potential as a TZR etc.
Go Ducks WTD
@clostrom @hoboduck Marshall and Tyner have responded beautifully to the challenge of being the workhorses in the running attack, and both are running with increased confidence and authority. Marshall's emerging as a star, five straight 100-yard gains and some beautiful runs, great vision, leg drive and balance, really decisive to daylight. He has Kenjon's knack for reading and following the blocking, an excellent fit for the zone blocking scheme that requires the back to adjust the hole to the flow of the play, make one cut and go.
@Hammer 1962 @Duckbill Thanks Hammer. OSU was in that game all the way to the last play and hurt themselves with turnovers, dropped passes and a decision to pass up a pair of chip-shot field goals, a punt late in the game on 4th and short. Stanford bottled up the Beaver passing game and held Brandin Cooks under 100 yards.
@greenandyellow Hogan fits the Stanford system really well. He doesn't make a lot of mistakes, he can run, he's tough, and he throws the play-action passes they like to run very well.
The Stanford offense has struggled a little since the Washington State game, producing in the 20s most weeks. For the season Hogan's completing 61%, 13 tds, 5 interceptions. The Ducks have a significant matchup edge at quarterback, but Super Mario faces his biggest challenge of the year so far in taking on the Stanford defense. He may have to beat them throwing. They've limited opponents to 19.4 points a game and will be at their most intense for a showdown with #2 Oregon.
Of course a team could blow out Stanford, if Oregon gets one or two quick strikes, Stanford will be forced to change there game plan, I'll take my chances with Hogan throwing, and ifo/Patterson back there taking interceptions to the house.
Just like there is potential for Stanford to blow out Oregon. Not likely but that's why they play.
@Ganggreen88 You're right GG. He's thrown 293 passes since without one. Pretty incredible, considering all the things that can happen in a football game. Today Peyton Manning threw a pick-6 when the receiver fell down.