Shabbat Shalom

September 6, 2008

Saturday’s action is far from over, but already a number of interesting stories have developed.  Ohio State barely survived a rough game against Ohio.  Michigan nearly lost to Miami of Ohio.  Ole Miss made it a nail biter with Wake Forest, and East Carolina proved that they deserved to be ranked after totally dominating No. 8 West Virginia and that “potent offense” led by “Heisman Candidate” Pat White.  Washington’s Jake Locker was inappropriately flagged for excessive celebration and the referees handed BYU a close game in Husky Stadium.  And despite what many writers said might be a close game after a number of Penn State suspensions and dismissals, the Nittany Lions handed the Oregon State Beavers their own asses, wrapped up in cellophane in a carefully arranged gift basket of shame.

 

While that Big Ten victory was rather impressive (and it came over a Pac-10 team which makes my heart hurt just a little), the Big Ten was looking marshmallow soft until it happened.  Yes, Wisconsin and Purdue also got the job done today in convincing fashion, but let’s be honest, they were playing cupcakes.  When Michigan and Ohio State both trail for quite a while and barely hang on to win games that they scheduled as for-sure victories, I said to myself and out loud to my father, “Dude, the Big Ten sucks.”  All I know is, Ohio State needs a complete renovation if they don’t want to be totally embarrassed in the Coliseum next week.  Yeah, USC had the week off, and could look at the Ohio State game and think, “Wow, we are gonna punk these fools,” but you had better believe that regardless of how either team starts the game, USC is going to do Arizona proud and “bear down” in a serious way at home against the perennially overrated Buckeyes.  Boeckman is seriously at risk of being injured, and OSU’s young QB Terrelle Pryor didn’t show nearly enough promise to even challenge USC’s defense at all.  I can’t wait for the Big Ten’s best team to get trounced by the Pac-10’s best, a USC team that ends up coughing up a couple games most years regardless of being the conference champion.  Says something about the strength of the conference versus the Big Ten, does it not?

 

Staying within the Pac-10, my very own Oregon Ducks put up 66 points at home against a ridiculously weak Utah State team, so I can’t get too excited about the point total.  However, I can get excited about a couple of things.  One being the fact that LaGarrette Blount was able to get enough touches to break 100 yards on the ground, another being that a number of other bench players got a chance to gain some experience, and probably one of the best things about this game being that the Ducks were able to get a win wearing those ridiculous yellow helmets that everyone hates so much.  Not only did we break the curse that those helmets have thus far brought, but we were also able to get our one game a year to wear them out of the way safely, leaving the rest of the season potentially yellow-helmet-free.  Good idea, Ducks.

 

Now that I have gotten these few things off of my chest, I’m going to continue to watch this Miami vs. Florida game and root for a Hurricanes upset.

 

MOST LIKELY TO:

 

Never hear the end of it from the fans for those stupid yellow helmets – Oregon Ducks

Continue to struggle next week – Big Ten

Somehow turn it around and spoil some Pac-10 hopes – Oregon State Beavers

Suddenly realize being the head coach is more pressure than you thought – Bill Stewart

Make it to the BCS from a non-BCS conference – East Carolina Pirates (yaaarrrrrgh)

Be bored until next Saturday – me

 

 

 

 

 

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To Put It Blountly

May 1, 2008

bustin\' a move in the spring gameBeing a fan of the Oregon Ducks, I was absolutely thrilled to read Ted Miller’s article on ESPN about our new running back, LaGarrette Blount.  I had been having concerns about how we were going to fill the shoes of the early-departed Jonathan Stewart, our stud junior tailback whose athleticism and strength are superhuman, and concerned that Jeremiah Johnson’s knee may still be feeling the ill-effects of an ACL tear that he suffered in the game against Washington State last season.  Fortunately, Ted’s article eased both of those worries, and now I am looking forward to see if we can yet again possess the best backfield in the Pac-10.

 

Blount hails from Perry, Fla., and had initially committed to Auburn out of high-school but was unable to meet academic eligibility standards, and played at East Mississippi Community College.  The buzz last season was that he was headed for Florida State, but after watching Oregon beat USC last season on national television and a recruiting trip from running back’s coach Gary Campbell, he decided to make a pilgrimage to the birthplace of Nike, the holy land of track and field, and the school that has consistently had the best running game in the Pac-10 for about a decade.  Good choice, LaGarrette.

 

The scoop on this kid is that while the coaching staff thought he was solid, he showed up huge in the spring game and gained 68 yards on five carries, and is now drawing comparisons to eight-year NFL veteran Reuben Droughns, who was also an Oregon product, and was a big-time back during his college career. 

 

Ted’s article also makes many references to Oregon’s vibrant array of uniform combinations.  This is something that I’ve had an ever-evolving relationship with.  When they first started pulling out some of the yellows, those nasty gold helmets that they tried once or twice, and the all-white storm trooper get-ups, I was a little unsure.  I was so in love with the all-black and dark green “smooth criminal” look that they tend to strut for home games, and even with the “roboduck” look of the Joey Harrington/Onterrio Smith era, but eventually it all grew on me.  Now, I think of it as such: whether you love it or you hate it or you just don’t know how to feel about it, you are talking about it, and therefore, talking about Ducks Football.

 

In the words of LaGarrette Blount, “those uniforms are tight,” but hopefully not tight enough to restrict him from blowing open Pac-10 defenses and establishing himself as the future (and likely the immediate present) of the Oregon backfield.

 

MOST LIKELY TO –

 

Go pro after his junior season – LaGarrette Blount

Be the lightning to Blount’s thunder – Jeremiah Johnson

Get a pay increase – Gary Campbell

Continue to draw outstanding recruits – University of Oregon

Knock off USC again – Ducks?

Get hurt again – Rudy Carpenter

Start a conversation about the Ducks – ::pointing thumbs at self:: THIIIIS GUUUY!