Oregon Opens at 3.5 Point Rose Bowl Favorite

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Oregon Debuts Rose Bowl Uniforms

Regardless of all the talk coming out of Oregon about a blowout over the Buckeyes, Vegas isn’t convinced. And although the Ducks open as favorites, they are only favored by 3.5 points.

A close game doesn’t bode well for the Ducks. If they are to have a chance, they need to get out in a high scoring game. And while we keep hearing about Oregon’s offensive speed, other then Blount (who may or may not play) I don’t think these guys are that big (correct me if I’m wrong). The Buckeyes front four brings size and speed and know how to pressure a quarterback. Bringing pressure and containing the ball will be a key factor in this game.

Offensively, the Buckeye O line improved leaps and bounds post Purdue. I don’t know how many times Pryor was sacked in the last four or five games but I bet I can count them on one hand and still have a few fingers left over. Against Oregon State, Oregon eventually found their way through the line but they had troubles getting to Canfield. If he can get away, watch what happens when Pryor runs.

There’s been a lot of talk about the Oregon spread/read option offense. A reader shared a detailed analysis of the Oregon offense on an earlier post on this blog. To be honest, all those x’s and o’s were a little much for my youth hockey playing mind. As I understand it, it’s got something to do with reading the defensive end or tackle — depending on how you run the play.

As I said, all those x’s and o’s were a little much for me so I tossed the post over to Rob Harley at Harley in the Huddle. Harley comes from a long line of Ohio State history (somebody in his family built a “house”) and he played on the ’02 national championship team. I figured he might be able to provide a working man’s description of the Oregon offense.

Rob did a great job at providing a breakdown (links above). As I see it, defending against it comes down to:

1. a strong secondary (which the offense is trying to thin by spreading them across the field) that can cover in the open field

2. Pressuring the quarterback and containing the ball.

In the read option, one defensive player goes unblocked. The quarterback “reads” this unblocked player and moves the ball in the opposite direction.

What makes Oregon’s attack so effective is their ability to fake the read. If you watched Oregon/Oregon State, you could see how well they hid the ball. Even on the replays I was watching the wrong guy take off down the field. What Rob points out so well in his post is that the misdirection is just “window dressing” disguising a typical option attack. As in a traditional option, the key is sending the unblocked player in the wrong direction.

So to me the answer seems simple. Get two defenders into backfield — one for the quarterback and one for the guy on the option. This of course means that somebody on the offensive line is going to need to get beat which as we all know, isn’t that uncommon against the Ohio State defense. Pressure the quarterback. Pressure him again and when you can’t get to him, contain the option.

The Ohio State defense knows how to shut down an offense — especially against the run. They’ve only allowed an average of 84 yards/game on the ground which puts them at 5th in the nation. They’ve posted three shout outs this year and came close to getting two more. The Coleman lead secondary is no laughing matter either. They’ve proven themselves pretty good at putting points on the board. Something that might be a problem for Oregon.

So there you have it. Pressure the quarterback, contain the ball and win the secondary battles. Seems easy enough. If the Buckeyes hit hard and hit early they’ll throw Masoli off his game. Keep him off balance and this game is ours to win.

If you haven’t stopped by Rob’s site (Harley in the Huddle), be sure to check it out. He’s got a great mix of blogging and video analysis.

Comments

  1. gulfportcarl says

    Boise State, and Stanford beat the Duck’s, Purdue only losr by 2, Oregon State only lost by a few points. They figured it out so Tressel and Heacock need to study the game films, and adapt accordingly. When it comes to football there is not new just variations of it. You have coaches running the spread (Florida,Oregon,Georgia Tech and etc), but the spread offense is nothing new to football. It’s just the old wing T. I’m sick and tired of everyone talking about speed. It’s easy to defend speed, just stay in your lanes play your assignments and that will take care of the rest.
    It dosen’t take alot of brains to play football like other sports. Football players have never been known for being the smartest athletes. Don’t get me wrong I love footbal especially college, but all you have to do is read the play book, it spells out what your assignment is.
    Getting back to the game at hand. If the Buckeye defense can play like they have most of the year and pressure the quarterback, get in thier backfield and blow up their scheme, game over.
    Gibson, Haward, Denlinger and Homan, Rolle, and the rest of the linebacker blitz, I think the ducks will go down. Then we run, run, run on Oregons undersized line and game over. We know our secondary is awsome, and they really don’t want to make it a passing game on thier part. If they have to go that route I can see alot of int’s. I think the Buck’s win 37-21.
    Sorry Duck’s and Duckeroos, it’s our turn this year.

  2. Tim says

    We just need to remember that the line is only there for Vegas to get money for both sides. They aren’t saying that Oregon will win by 3 points, they are saying people who gamble think Oregon will win by 3. Bid difference cause as we know the house ALWAYS wins. Also, this is basically a home game for Oregon (although as we all know OSU fans travel very well) which usually adds a couple of points in Vegas. Couple that with the national perception of OSU in big games and you have the makings of a trap line.

    Watch this line very very closely over the next couple of weeks and see if there is a shift in the line. To move a line in Vegas you are talking 10′s of thousands of dollars a half point. If you see the line move up or down a point there is lots of money coming in and usually it is the smart money that ends up moving a line right away.

    In my personal opinion this is a trap line. The OSU stigma (even though Tress has a NC) is that they choke in the big game and Oregon is the sweetheart of the Pac 10. I would take OSU +3.5 any day against an untested Oregon squad in a big game on New Year’s day. The Buckeyes are always in the spotlight and are use to it, these Oregon players weren’t alive the last time Oregon played a meaningful late season game on a National stage (last weeks Oregon State game does not count).

    Take that to the bank

  3. goducks says

    Hi Carl…After looking at some more stats, just wanted to compare a “running” philosphy as you have suggested will be a key for OSU. Between Martin, Seine, & Hall (discounting Masoli & TP) OSU has produced two games where an individual has rushed for over 100 yards. And no game where an individual ran for more than 125

    LaMichael James on the other hand, has nine games this season over 100 yrds and six of those 9 were over a buck fifty.

    I do expect a lot of running in this game on the Oregon side, if all goes well.

    And keep your eye out for undersized DT Brandon Bair, 6-7 250. He’s small, but pretty fast :D

  4. goducks says

    Annap…Love the photo, good one. Just for your info, the official count of different possible uniform combinations for U of O this season… 384. However, I doubt this is one of them, but who knows?

    When you are a showcase for Nike…sometimes you have to play along!

  5. Rob says

    “The Buckeyes front four brings size and speed and know how to pressure a quarterback. Bringing pressure and containing the ball will be a key factor in this game.”

    That may be true against Big Ten opponents. It’s not necessarily true against the Ducks, who thrive on a multi-option offense that doesn’t expose itself to pressure. The only thing that can contain the Ducks offense (at least occasionally) is having one defensive player on each Oregon skill player and tackling that player even if he doesn’t have the ball. Otherwise, defenses can be routinely fooled by Masoli’s sleight-of-hand routine, in which no one knows where the ball is until it’s too late. Masoli thrives on the broken play, throwing well when he has to and running with speed and power when other things break down. I think The OSU will be surprised at the speed and deception of this offense. This is not conventional football.

  6. Tim says

    Rob – Penn State, Iowa, Michigan all tried to run a type of the option/spread vs. the Buckeyes and the speed and strength of the Buckeyes front 4 as well as Holman and Coleman was just too much. knowing that a team can’t run up the middle is a huge advantage to the Bucks. For Oregon to win they will need to take it outside which would be most likely be playing into the Buckeyes gameplan.

  7. Rob says

    Tim, although Oregon has not been in a BCS game since 2001, in which it blew ot No. 2 Colorado by about 30, it has played and defeated five Top 25 opponents this season. It also beat No. 3 Michigan in 2004 and again, at the Big House, in 2007. Add to that defeats of Texas, South Florida, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma in the past few years. Oh, and this year the Ducks also beat USC and Purdue, the only two teams who’ve defeated The OSU this season. The Ducks are hardly “untested.”

  8. Rob says

    Hi, Tim: LaMichael James gained over 1,300 yards this season, primarily up the middle, against four defenses then ranked in the Top 25 nationally against the run. This is a different form of spread. Unless your defensive linemen have arms about 10 feet long, it may be tough for them to contain this wide open attack.

    (P.S., I appreciate your breakdown of the game. This type of dialogue is fun and productive).

  9. Tim says

    Rob – Purdue beat Ohio State. It was a let down game. Ohio State demolished and injured Barkley for USC and that team wasn’t the same after that. You are welcome for that.

    Oregon beat Purdue by 2 early in the season. Lost to Boise. Went 2 OT’s to barely beat Arizona. Lost to Stanford. And the only real big margins of victory for Oregon was the two Washington State teams that if my memory is correct didn’t win a game last year.

    Yes Stanford is much improved but they are by no means a powerhouse and Boise should have been no problem for a powerhouse (but again that was early in the season so I don’t hold much faith in using that game).

    All that being said, I think this is going to be a very entertaining game.

  10. Tim says

    James is a great runner, but Oregon has not seen a defense this good. The thing is the front four will take up more than one body which will leave the LBs and Safeties to make the tackle. The front four will not have to make the tackle. Their job is to take up blockers and to allow Holman and Coleman to come clean up and make the tackle.

  11. James says

    Go here to see a matchup between Lines:

    http://azwebfoot.blogspot.com/2009/12/oregon-v-ohio-state-tale-of-two-stories_09.html

    You’ll see the Oregon O-line matches up pretty favorably with Ohio States defensive line.

    I can’t stress this enough: Ohio State’s defensive numbers were put up against some of the most anemic offenses in the country. You didn’t even play MSU or NW this year, two of the better offenses in your conference. Purdue, which spreads the field and has a good running game beat you.

    Before conference play began, there were 3 Pac-10 defenses in the top 10 nationally, which speaks to how well the Pac-10 plays defense. Of course those numbers soften when conference play begins because the Pac-10 is also a prolific conference in offense.

    Oregon played the 4th toughest schedule compared to Ohio State’s 59th ranked schedule. That right there should tell you that their defensive stats don’t hold up well. Meanwhile, Oregon’s defense is ranked 37th going up against Ohio States 119th ranked offense (keep in mind SOS).

    That is the real story of this game: Oregon defense taking care of Ohio States offense. I’m not predicting any kind of blowout, but a good game of contrasting styles. However, if Ohio State can’t sustain long scoring drives (TD’s, not FG’s), then it could get away from them by halftime.

  12. Rob says

    Hi, Tim: Oregon beat then-No. 6 Cal by 39 points. It then beat then-No. 4 USC by 27 points. It also beat No. 18 Utah, No. 24 Arizona and No. 13 Oregon State. That Oregon won some close games, I think, is a testament to its ability to get the job done. I’m not sure what more you’d want from a season that began so disasterously at Boise State. Looking at The OSU’s lackluster performance against Navy, and its playing other patsies such as Toledo and New Mexico State, I think the Ducks’s season compares pretty favorably.

  13. Tim says

    You can continue to throw out those numbers and SOS and rankings nationally and top 25 but none of it matters. The OSU offense was ranked so low because Tressel didn’t have to win a shootout. Ohio State played field position and and won on Defense.

    SOS is based off of the rankings and lets be honest, pollsters don’t know shit about what’s going on nationally. Most write for local papers and rank based on who they see on tv.

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Oregon is a good football team. But there is NO way that they blowout the Buckeyes. Oregon wins in shootouts and OSU wins on Defense and field position. It will be fun to see how it plays out.

  14. James says

    @Tim

    “James is a great runner, but Oregon has not seen a defense this good. The thing is the front four will take up more than one body which will leave the LBs and Safeties to make the tackle. The front four will not have to make the tackle. Their job is to take up blockers and to allow Holman and Coleman to come clean up and make the tackle.”

    You just don’t get it. It’s not about the offensive line going straight at the defensive line. It’s about movement and pace. You’re still thinking in old-school, smash mouth terms. Oregon’s line get’s out and runs from sideline to sideline. James hides behind the line, then exploits the smallest of creases. The wide receivers block downfield and he’s gone. No one has more runs over 20 yards than LaMichael James. Meanwhile you’re linebackers will have to be covering TE’s or receivers crossing the middle, while keeping an eye on Masoli.

    Lastly, we have seen defenses as good or better than Ohio State’s. I just don’t think you stay up late enough to watch Pac-10 games.

  15. Tim says

    No doubt about the Duck’s season being great. The won the Pac – 10 and finally dethroned USC. My point being that saying that a team was highly ranked and you beat them means nothing. Ole Miss was ranked 4 I think and they were horrible. They were ranked so high because of hype and because of the SEC.

    I have to agree in a little way with what someone else said. I would have liked for the Buckeyes to maybe not play in a major bowl game this year. We lost two all-american on defense and a stellar RB. The fact that the Big Ten other than a couple teams hurts us because sometimes we are put up against superior teams.

    That being said I think this is a close one with the Bucks winning by a FG. 24-21. Just an opinion so don’t jump down my throat.

  16. James says

    @Tim

    “You can continue to throw out those numbers and SOS and rankings nationally and top 25 but none of it matters.”

    Really? The level of competition doesn’t matter? By the way, SOS isn’t determined by pollsters. It’s determined by the Sagarin computer model that compares every teams record versus their opponents and factors in home field advantage. It’s as unbiased as it can get. The fact remains that Oregon played 6 teams ranked in the final BCS top 25 and beat 5 of them, more than any other team in the country. Ohio State is 2-1, which is still pretty good.

    If Ohio State fans want to hold up their #5 defense in the nation stat, you have to look at the competition, or it loses all meaning.

  17. says

    What a great discussion. Thanks all. I’m struggleing with internet issues so I’m going to check in quick.

    The point about closing down the middle seems crucial. As I see it in both Rob Harley’s breakdown and also in the Smart Football link, the middle is key to the Oregon attack. If the Buckeyes can close down the lanes, which they have done so well against everyone else this year, I think the Ducks are in trouble.

    I agree that deception is key and that the Buckeyes will need to get more then one player into the backfield. The Buckeyes have been good at doing just that. While M might be good on the scramble that plays so well into the Buckeyes secondary. How many broken plays have they intercepted for either big defensive yards or TDs so far this year? That could be a serious problem for the Ducks.

    I think Tim is right on target with the Vegas odds. The media is down on the Buckeyes in bowl games. Public perception tends to go against the Bucks. The home field…yeah but Buckeyes turned Pheonix into home games and this is the Rose Bowl. I think an Ohio State underdog is a great value but I’m not convinced it won’t move into a bigger spread.

  18. Tim says

    I actually do get it. But look at the field in thirds. If you cut off the middle of the field there is only two ways to go. Oregon will try to get outside which is a good way to do it but if they can’t where does that leave them?

    OSU will play a zone in the middle and will go one on one vs. the WR’s. I think OSU will dare Oregon to pass it. We shall see if that is a good idea or not.

  19. Duck Duck Duck says

    1. All this talk coming from Ohio about how big and strong you are, blah blah blah….I just have two things to say: …….Purdue……..USC. How big and strong were you in those two games?

    2. Those aren’t our football uniforms in the photo, those are our basketball uniforms…get your facts right.

  20. Tim says

    Obviously level of competition plays into it. You can’t use a ratings system to compare two teams without a common thread. In this case that would give Oregon the edge since the two teams in common Oregon beat.

    You can’t rank emotion, fear, pain, excitement. All of these players have all the talent in the world and it is up to the coach’s to bring it out.

    I wish this game was this weekend and not three weeks away. I am pumped.

  21. Tim says

    I think we can all agree Duck Duck Duck doesn’t get jokes. Probably a Washington State fan bitter at teams that win games :)

  22. Rory says

    Tim, Rob,
    Lets put things in perspective a little. Oregon scored 40+ points 7 times this season, 37+, 3 other times. Beat the team tOSU lost to at home by a score of 42-3. They did this playing the 4th toughest schedule in the country. tOSU has a stistically strong defense but played the 59th toughest schedule in the country. You guys use a lot of analysis above, however anylitically, this game has Spreadnshred, written all over it.
    You mention that Pryor and OSU got better as the season wore on. Well, it’s safe to say Oregon got better too. Should be fun!
    Ps. Vegas spread on Duck games; a huge money maker for Ducks. Has to do w/ where all the money comes from and how little the folks in that region know about west coast football.

  23. Tim says

    Agreed Rory, it will be fun. I mean we can all flap our gums and talk big talk but at the end of the day none of us will decide the outcome of this game.

    Should be a good one.

  24. goducks says

    So, since the opening of this thread started with another duck uniform joke…I think it is a good time to ask the question

    Buckeyes…are you nuts or chicken?

    ….The Buckeye is a breed of chicken originating in the U.S. state of Ohio. Created in the late 19th century, Buckeyes are the only breed of American chicken known to have been created by a woman, and the only one to have a small “pea” comb. The breed’s name is derived from Ohio’s nickname of “Buckeye state”
    Buckeyes are yellow skinned chickens who lay brown eggs [especially on Jan. 1]….

    Hey, don’t blame me…I read it on the internet, it must be true :D

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckeye_(chicken)

  25. Rory says

    Tim,
    True, the great part is they actually play the game and we get to watch it….and eat too much junk!

  26. James says

    Can’t wait for the game either! It’s killing my productivity at work!

    @Jim

    “While M might be good on the scramble that plays so well into the Buckeyes secondary. How many broken plays have they intercepted for either big defensive yards or TDs so far this year? That could be a serious problem for the Ducks.”

    That’s a good observation, but I think you’ve drawn the wrong conclusion. Masoli is an excellent scrambler and has made many clutch plays passing in those situations. He has half the interceptions that Pryor does. Ohio State may have had success against pocket passing Big-10 QB’s who are scrambling, but scrambling and movement plays to the Ducks’ strength.

    That’s the thing about the Ducks offense. It takes what you give it and with a running QB there is always something open. You stuff the middle, the Ducks attack the edge just like they did against USC. You walk out a linebacker or DB to cover the WR’s and the Ducks run or pass over the middle. You blitz and the they cut back or dump a screen pass. The advantage to the system is that the play call isn’t made in a huddle and the QB has to stick with it. You will see Oregon either reel off play after play with 20 seconds left on the clock or they will approach the line as if to snap the ball, then back off and get the real play at the last second after the coaches have examined the defense.

    Lastly, if Ohio State’s game is field position and defense, I think that plays into Oregon’s hands as well. Kenjon Barner, one of the Ducks’ backup RB’s is also a great kick/punt returner who has returned a few for TD’s and has one of the highest return averages in the country. Ducks special teams and defense have scored numerous TD’s this year….

  27. Rob says

    Hey you guys, great discussion. Thanks.

    I don’t expect an Oregon blowout. Buckeyes defense is just too stout for that to happen. Perhaps the Vegas point spread is just about right. The Pryor/Masoli match up and comparison, in and of itself, will be worth the price of the ticket.

    Are any of you Bucks fans able to go to the game?

  28. WB says

    Boise State played a bad game and still beat the ducks and would probably beat them again if they played tomorrow. The Broncos won with a stout defense, a decent running game and, perhaps, the most underrated QB in the country. Thank God the Ducks have improved!

    Arizona is a more realistic model for defeating the Ducks as the Ducks squeaked by them in double overtime. The Wildcats used approximately the same formula as Boise, again featuring an excellent QB and a decent running game. Except for a weird FG that hit the crossbar and bounced through, coupled with the superior leadership of Masoli, Arizona would be playing the Bucks on New Years day.

    Stanford-Oregon was a classic Pac-10 shoot-out with 16 total kick-offs during the game. The difference in the game was that Stanford’s QB, Luck, was deadly accurate. That and the 300+ yards of kick-off return/receptions of their great receiver, Owusu (taking nothing away from Gerhart’s 225 yard rushing) … The Ducks racked up over 500 yards so it wasn’t Stanford’s D that did it. The Bucks don’t want to go there!

    Ohio State has a great defense but Oregon will find a way to score. Sorry Bucks fans, your offense, which doesn’t do shootouts, will come up short unless Pryor has a perfect day. Can that happen? While OSU will score more points than it’s used to, the Ducks will score a few more.

  29. Eagle says

    Not trying to be arrogant but tOSU is going to have to score 40 against the Ducks if they want to win.

  30. says

    Hey Tim, the Ducks played a pretty significant game Jan 1, 2002 (Fiesta Bowl beatdown of Colorado) to finish #2 in the nation. Granted, that seems like a long time ago and actually OSU has a much more recent history of big games.

    2009 Fiesta: LOST to Texas
    2008 Nationl Championship: LOST to LSU
    2007 National Championship: BLOWN OUT BY Florida

    Now it is great that OSU is in the hunt for the national title, but when you play in a weak conference year in and year out and pad your schedule with Toledo, Navy, Youngstown State (twice), Ohio, Kent State, Akron, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Illinois, Indiana and Purdue (oops those last four patsies are in the Big 10) you can’t help but be in the hunt.

    But the more we puff up OSU the better, especially when the Ducks sprint by those big “statues” you call your linemen and leave your team grasping (and gasping) for air. Oh by the way, even your “gifted” QB Pryor is a statue…I mean sacked EIGHTEEN TIMES this year? Now that’s not what I would call elusive.

    Don’t cry when you lose another BCS game, I’m sure you’re getting used to it. Oh, and by the way, the Big 10 has 11 teams in it, so which one is the “Little” school or is it you guys just can’t count?

  31. J says

    WOW…it’s nice to be heading into a game against a great team, that has some knowledgeable fans…I am so sick of hearing things like “well your team sucks!…who has a duck as a mascot anyways?…You guys get too much money from Nike that is why you are ranked high!” I mean really people that’s the best some fans can come up with….whats more, even when a discussion gets going in the right direction (like this one) someone gets their panties in a bunch and starts calling names! Thanks guys for not being stupid!

    OK on to my take:

    While OSU’s Defense is solid (and ranked 5th in the nation no less) and they have played some legit offenses (although not a high powered speed oriented offense), they have not come close to stopping them all year! See below:

    Team…………………………W/L……..Offense Rank….yards……points
    Navy………………………….W………………80th…………..342……….27
    USC……………………………L………………60th……………313……….18*they kept the score low, but lost
    Toledo……………………….W………………20th…………..210………..0* it’s Toledo, Who didn’t beat Toledo?
    Illinois……………………….W………………52th………….170…………0* See above
    Indiana……………………..W………………70th……………228……….14
    Wisconsin………………….W………………35th…………..368………..13* even though they won they gave
    up 368 yards….and Wisconsin is no Oregon
    Purdue………………………L………………55th…………..361…………26* We did beat the in the foot race
    Minnesota………………..W………………113th………….286…………7 Just another crappy big ten offense
    New Mexico State…….W……………….120th………..not even going to give you this one…its shameful
    Penn State……………….W………………36th………….201………….7* Once again not a high powered O
    Iowa………………………..W………………95th………….300………….24…….OSU got lucky, you all know it!
    Michigan………………….W………………61st…………309…………..10…….give it to UM next year….

    I just don’t see a reason to think OSU will be able to stop Oregon’s offensive scoring machine, I think the bigger question is how will Oregon’s defense be able to stand up to OSU’s offense……

  32. goducks says

    And with that…what happens if JT turns Pryor loose to run, or what happens when he gets flushed from the pocket. I’m sure that is of concern to the O since besides Locker, they really didn’t face a running quarterback threat all season.

  33. J says

    I guess while I was typing a few morons made it on and had to start the nonsense……hopefully these idiots form the O-live message boards go back to where they came from, and leave the intelligent discussion to the adults. I apologize in advance Buckeyes for the inevitable Sh** storm I just stirred up…

  34. goducks says

    Well J, where have you been…I’ve been here for the last two days and had numerous discussions with OSU fans. None has regarded me as a s**t storm.

    I certainly hope the OSU comes in with a Big 10 defense mentality. My take is the ducks are not excellent in one offensive area but pretty good in all. They’re also great at adjusting on the fly. Many calls are changed at the line. The Ducks don’t seem to care if you take something away, they just move on, and come back to it at a later point.

    OSU will need to be ready to change the emphasis of D at any moment. If they can out guess the Ducks, the O can stall. We’ve seen it happen…but not often.

    I’m not much into smack talking, just trying to learn a little about OSU so the game is a little more interesting.

  35. Ray says

    I’m sorry but how does not being predicted to win in a blowout mean the ducks are going to lose…

  36. J says

    Not you goducks, but I see some others that worry me…hope I’m wrong cause this has been an awesome discussion so far!

  37. Bob says

    One of the things to consider with talking about the lines is conditioning. A number of coaches have mentioned that they thought the Ducks had the best conditioned lines on both sides of the ball. This will be telling in the 4th quarter.

    I don’t think it’s gonna be a blowout either, but I do think that all things being equal, the Ducks will eeek out a win.

  38. Betting Man says

    Many good points. TP is as big for OSU as Masoli is for the Ducks as OSU will likely need to match or beat their point totals on offense. TP has not show consistency but has the tools and is improving. However, OSU has not shown the ability to score rapidly and regularly. OSU better not get down early or let down late.
    Oregon’s D is not bad. They have given up yards and points but have speed and are aggressive. They are also quite seasoned in that they have faced every team in the offense oriented pac 10, as well as BSU, Purdue, and Utah. One could easily argue that the Ducks have seen several offenses already this year more potent that OSU.
    If the Ducks can slow the run and get some pressure they should be able to create enough offensive opportunities to outscore OSU.
    I believe the style of play alone give the Ducks an advantage, especially considering the talent at each skill position and overall speed on defense. OSU will need takeaways and TD’s.

  39. goducks says

    So I’d be interested to hear what everyone’s “Keys to the game are”. Boil down just three items each. My X factors would be…

    O
    - Points off turnovers
    - TP containment
    - LaGarrett Blount

    OSU
    - Defensive agility / adjustments
    - TP rushing
    - Ball control / keep Oregon off field

  40. Oregon Fan says

    Bwaaaaaa Haaaaaa Haaaaaa!!! You crack me up! Do you really think stopping, or even slowing down the Ducks’ offense, is ‘simple’? In theory or on paper it may seem simple, but when you add in the speed and the fact that you are asking your defense to go against what their eyes are seeing, it leaves defenses a step behind. That’s all our offense needs, one step and they’re gone. I’m not saying the Buck’s D isn’t good (don’t think they’re great, but they’re good), but you are asking these guys to go against every instinct they have as a defensive player. The beauty of the Ducks’ system is as soon as the D slows or stops the run, here comes the pass. You bring up Boise St, but that was the first game of the season with an O line of guys who had never played together. The Stanford game? They didn’t stop the offense, our D just could not stop Tody Gerheart. The guy’s a truck and a legitimate Heisman candidate. No team has been able to stop Oregon, since they’ve jelled and my money says tOSU won’t be able to either.

  41. Oregon Fan says

    One more thing. The Ducks don’t want to flush Pryor from the pocket, because you’re right, he is fast and dangerous when he scrambles. The D will be happy to let him sit back and pass. If Pryor can beat us through the air, tOSU deserves to win. But, we all know that nobody has faith in Pryor’s arm. Oregon wins going away 42-24. Pryor gives up a couple picks.

  42. Tim says

    This is off topic but for all of you Ohio State die hards. the OSU Hockey team plays #1 Miami (OH) tonight at 7pm at Value City Arena. If you can make it out it should be a great game. Or for those that can’t you can find it and would like to watch some big time college hockey you can find it here for $2.99 http://video.bigtennetwork.com/index

    Is it me or is the Big Ten Network a little weird? I know college hockey isn’t technically in the Big Ten (its the CCHA) but they only have 9 games on the actual tv? And a matchup between Ohio State and the #1 team in the nation won’t draw better viewing numbers than a student produced program on Woman’s Basketball: Idaho State vs. Minnesota or a student produced event on Wrestling: Northern Iowa vs. Iowa.

    I guess I will be paying the 2.99 to watch the game on the computer.

  43. says

    Hey OSU gang, how come you didn’t buy your share of tickets to the RB? You had like 27,000 available and your donors/season ticket holders didn’t buy them up. Is it because ou go to a BCS bowl every year so it’s no different than any other year? Is it because unless it’s for the BCS title there’s less interest? It is interesting that even though yo have slightly less available tickets, you don’t sell them all. Of course the UO donors/season ticket holders snapped up all 31,000 tickets because quite frankly when we only go to a BCS bowl once every 7-8 years, there’s pent up demand.

    So I guess it’s fair to say UO fans are envious of the consistent success of OSU football and at the end of the day, OSU has a tradition of excellent football that we are only beginning to establish. That makes it special to have us play you in the RB and even more special if we manage to win.

    Let’s just hope it will be an exciting game, say 45-36 rather than 10-7 (whoever wins, I hope it’s a lot of scoring/excitement). GO DUCKS!

  44. Tim says

    Please tell me you are kidding about “snapping up” all of your tickets while the Buckeyes didn’t sell theirs right away. There is a difference in the commit to travel from Oregon to Pasadena than Columbus to Pasadena. There is no doubt in my mind that Ohio State is in the top of schools that travel but I mean come on. If the game was in reasonable driving distance don’t you think Ohio State fans would have “snapped up the same tickets”?

    P.S. Eugene, OR (I think that is where Oregon is located) is a 13 hour drive to Pasadena. Just for shits and giggles it is a 34 hr drive from Columbus. And that is straight through.

  45. Buckeye Fan says

    It’s great seeing all the Ducks fan on here talking smack. That’s why we play the game. My team is only as good as what someone else says it is. The Big Ten and Pac 10 are two totally different conferences. The pac 10 just tries to outscore its opponents on office. The Big Ten just tries to muscle its way and control the field and win a low scoring game at the end. Two totally different styles of play. Should be a good game. I found a couple of things interesting though with national stat rankings of big 10 compared to pac 10. Big 10 average national stat ranking for offense is 54 where pac 10 is 60. Then I looked even deeper and found that big 10 average national stat ranking for defense is 44 and pac 10 is 53. This says that the big 10 is playing better defenses and doing better offensively than the pac 10. Also, I found one more thing in common between Oregon and Ohio State. Arizona scored 41 pts vs Oregon and only got 17 vs Iowa. This proves my stat rankings above to be true at least for the defense. All this doesn’t matter though. I hope it is a good game and both teams do well.

  46. Washington DC Duck says

    With all due respect to the Buckeye Blog, where have you heard this talk out of Oregon circles that Duck fans think a blowout is going to happen. I think that’s a pretty vague statement that you should be careful when you incriminate an entire fan base. On the contrary, at the recent New York City Duck Club, a packed ballroom full of Oregon Football boosters spoke highly of Ohio State and its great tradition- nobody whispered a word of blowout. Are you kidding? Get over yourself.

  47. Tim says

    Not siding with anyone here but, Washington DC Duck, if you go back and review some of the comments that have been posted to other stories that Jim has written regarding the game you can see several people claiming to be Ducks fans predicting a blowout. It a small sample size but still is true.

  48. Quackhead says

    Tim,
    Appropo of nothing and to be taken with a large grain of salt (just checking in to see if everyone –or even anyone– is behaving):
    –regarding respective drive times to Pasadena . . .we have this invention that we utilize to great degree here in the Pacified Northwest called the aeroplane….
    –is it just me, or is having Pryor commanding an Ohio State offense the same as putting a Jaguar hood ornament on a Hyundai??
    –Ducks 26, Ohio Staid 16.
    Yes, Go Ducks!

  49. Tim says

    Yes I have heard of an airplane, surprisingly. But you can get a group of friends in a car or RV and drive from Oregon on 100 bucks. At the moment a flight to LAX from Columbus about $600 a person at the lowest and you would have to leave at 6am on new years eve. I’m not making excuses and I’m sure all the tickets will be sold.

    I was just pointing out that it is easier to make it to Pasadena for Oregon fan’s (that live in Oregon) and most likely more Oregon Alum in the LA area. If the game was on the east coast Oregon would have the same issue because of the Buckeye alum in the east as well as the close proximity.

  50. Bisonducks says

    The ignorance and myopia on this blog is alarming. A close game doesn’t bode well for Oregon? Seriously, because we haven’t won every game decided by single digits? This team thrives in pressure situations. The way to beat us is to jump to a big lead and hope you can hold on because at some point our offense will have a spurt. By the way, Ohio State couldn’t beat Purdue. They also couldn’t beat USC at home. Of course, all of this is meaningless. We played terribly in the beginning of the year and I surmise that that may be the case for Ohio State.

    Our undersized defensive line is not really as undersized as it looks on paper because, for whatever reason, Oregon doesn’t like to update the media guide. They actually weigh: Bair DT/DE (270), Clark (280-285) DT/DE, Toeaina (292) DT, Montgomery (285) DT, Ferras (290) DT, Terrell Turner (255) DE, Tukuafu (262) DE, and Rowe (245) DE/OLB hypbrid. It’s really tough to gage these guys playing weights but I’ve taken the most recent information from beat writers and what the players said in actual interviews. I would not be surprised to see some of these guys playing heavier with the time off because guys like Bair and Clark are constantly trying to gain weight; Bair started his career at 234, was 250 last year, and is currently 270. Bair is the most undersized for what he plays but he’s an absolute physical speciman that is under 10% body fat at 270. He garnered All Pac-10 honorable mention as a junior and should be a favorite going into the next season, especially with additional weight gain with that 6’7″ frame. Rowe is also undersized but you will see him standing straight up and dropping into coverage to confuse offenses. He is a very versatile DE/OLB hybird that has 8.5 sacks on the season and is a 4.7 speed rusher. We rotate 8 guys very frequently to wear out the oline. There is little dropoff in the two deep. Bair and Clark will play a lot on the outside in our 3-3-5 and 3-4-4 looks. These guys are moving all over the place.

    I hate looking at stats without understanding the context. We have a very good defense that ranks #1 in the Pac-10 in yards given up per play. Our scoring defense is #3 but teams end up running a lot plays against us due to our fast tempo. We also played one of the toughest OOC schedule in the country. You are going up against a very good defense that has all the tools to stop Pryor’s rushing prowess.

  51. Tim says

    So we are ignorant because Oregon decided not to update their media guide? Does that make Oregon lazy?

    I don’t think anyone with knowledge of football or even just watches football thinks OSU is going to dominate this game offensively. The recipe for the Buckeyes success is clock management and field position and lean heavily on a very good defense. If the Buckeyes can keep Oregon between the tackles it gives them a very good shot at shutting down a potent offense.

    Oregon’s best shot to win is to keep Pryor between the tackles and not allow him to scramble for crucial first downs like we have seen from him all year and to make him beat you with his arm (which he hasn’t been able to).

    Oregon has the talent to win this game, but so does Ohio State. And for all of the people that talk about speed and size, Ohio State had the fastest guy on the field during their NC loss vs. Florida. Unfortunately one guy can’t win a game alone and the field is only so big so speed can only take you so far.

    And your comment “this team thrives on pressure situations”… Come on. Really? Everyone is going to say that about their team. We are all a bunch of homers but just as OSU lost to Purdue, Oregon lost to Boise St, and the star punched a guy and had to be restrained by the cops so he didn’t go into the stands. That seems to be letting the pressure get to you. I don’t point that out to talk trash but that all of these teams have their faults and at the end of the day they are just kids. So the pressure will get to them all.

  52. Planet of the Ducks says

    Did anyone really think the betting line would be more than 3-5 points between two teams ranked 7th and 8th and each champions of their respective conferences? After all, Alabama is only a 5 point favorite over Texas even though the Crimson Tide stomped #1 Florida while the Longhorns squeaked out a 1 point win in the final seconds against Nebraska.

    tOSU fans seem to be playing the underdog card for everything it’s worth. Oregon will go into this game with full respect for their opponent just as they have for every game. They’ll neither fear nor underestimate the Buckeyes knowing that there is nothing that can happen in the Rose Bowl that would exceed what they’ve already experienced this season. Expect the Ducks to be loose and ready to leave everything on the field, as I’m sure the Buckeyes will as well.

    Good luck and may the best team win.

  53. Bisonducks says

    My ignorant comment is more about formulating an opinion about a game when you’ve clearly not scouted the opponent. It takes more than media guides and http://www.cfbstats.com to formulate an opinion. A co-worker, and Beaver fan, asked me what I thought about this game. My response: “I have no idea.” That is because I have no reference to Ohio State. I was trying to shed light on our team because I follow the team day to day.

    The other thing: yes, our team is great under pressure. Both losses came from teams taking big leads. We won against Purdue by 2, Oregon State by 4, and Arizona by 6. In each of those games, we had to come back from a single digit deficit. If the game is close, I like our chances. This is primarily due to Masoli working well under pressure and the team’s conditioning (even your coach has acknowledged that your team will have to condition a lot to get ready). I am not saying that Ohio State won’t win a close one, just that the formula that you want to follow is one already paved by BSU and Stanford, which is take a double digit lead and hang on.

    The comment about Blount is ludicrous. He was one guy that was restrained by the entire team. What is amazing is both teams showed restaint and didn’t let two knuckleheads (I am including Hout from BSU) cause an all out brawl, a la Miami a few years back. That was below the belt.

    As far as athletes, it would be naive to think that ours are faster because you’re in the Big – 10. OSU gets all kinds of blue chippers and our coach even acknowledged that your defense will be the best we’ve faced all year. We have purposely gone small and recruited kids with speed. For example, LMJ, our runningback, won the Texas 100 meter. Holland, one of our wide receivers, won the California 100 meter. We are really fast at linebacker because we use a nickle backer, an OLB/Safety hybrid, on the strongside, namely Eddie Pleasant, the third fastest guy behind the two aforementioned track stars. Our weakside backer, Paysinger, is a 4.55 guy that converted from wide receiver (he is not small though). Our end is an OLB/DE hybrid. So, again, we’ve gone smaller to put speed out there. Bair, our undersized DT, started out on offense at TE.

    I really see this game not being a blowout. Never said that.

  54. Tim says

    Bison

    I never said you were ignorant, nor would I ever. My statement was that you called us ignorant in your original post. Go back and re-read.

    The comment about Blount was merely to say that he let the pressure get to him. He is part of the team. By logic the team let pressure get to them and they lost. One player does not make a team, but one players actions do hinder a team and reflect the overall team.

  55. says

    Did anyone really think the betting line would be more than 3-5 points between two teams ranked 7th and 8th and each champions of their respective conferences? After all, Alabama is only a 5 point favorite over Texas even though they stomped #1 Florida while the Longhorns squeaked out a 1 point win in the final seconds against Nebraska.

    tOSU fans seem to be playing the underdog card for everything it’s worth. Oregon will go into this game with full respect for their opponent just as they have for every game. They will neither fear nor underestimate the Buckeyes, knowing that there’s nothing that will happen in the Rose Bowl that could exceed what they’ve already experienced this season.

    Good luck and may the best team win.

  56. Tim says

    We don’t block here at The Buckeye Blog. All are welcome to discuss and even talk trash. I guess there are some rules but Jim is all for lively discussion.

  57. Quackhead says

    Mr. Tim,
    (You deserve the honorific, putting up with the likes of we Quackers)
    It’s been refreshing scanning new territory; have enjoyed reading civil, reasoned exchanges. I’m not a big fan of the blogosphere, but respectfully have read some great analysis here and even seen some photo/graph material on the DUCK offense that I doubt I would have seen on our own pond.
    Am impressed with the Harley contributions, too. If you want to cross over, check out Ken Woody @ registerguard.com under blogs, (“X’s & O’s with Ken Woody”).
    Tim, I understand the travel logic; I tend to needle –nothing personal. I think I’ve unwittingly helped turn you into a heckle-ee. Truth be known, it’s flying or nothing for trips over a few hundred miles these daze. . .we’re a couple/few decades removed from loading up the ’66 VW microbus with six, ahem, students –not to mention the hippy girl next door– and blasting off to Baja. (the quiet fishing village of San Felipe will never be the same. Come to think of it, we had to wrap the gas line with DUCK tape while coming back over the peninsular mountains that last trip. Back then the DUCK tape incident would have carried deeper meaning. Now it’s just tape.)
    But I digress. Here’s wishing THAT Ohio State team and their fans the best of health on New Year’s Day, and the mental toughness to live with what surely will be a 26-16 Duck victory. Carry on, good Buckeye.

  58. Canard says

    Oppositional NCAA ranks for for OSU and Oregon’s opponents:

    NAVY:
    Total Offense– 80
    Total Defense– 44
    Scoring Offense–53
    Scoring Defense–33
    Rushing Offense–3
    Rushing Defense–41
    Passing Offense–119
    Passing Defense–60
    Pass Eff. Def–56

    USC::
    Total Offense– 58
    Total Defense– 42
    Scoring Offense–64
    Scoring Defense–21
    Rushing Offense–39
    Rushing Defense–42
    Passing Offense–68
    Passing Defense–52
    Pass Eff. Def.–16

    TOLEDO:
    Total Offense– 16
    Total Defense– 96
    Scoring Offense–41(t)
    Scoring Defense–116
    Rushing Offense–51
    Rushing Defense–86
    Passing Offense–18
    Passing Defense–91
    Pass Eff. Def.–61

    ILLINOIS:
    Total Offense– 50
    Total Defense– 91
    Scoring Offense–82
    Scoring Defense–95
    Rushing Offense–18
    Rushing Defense–76
    Passing Offense–89
    Passing Defense–100
    Pass Eff. Def.–102

    INDIANA:
    Total Offense– 70
    Total Defense– 89
    Scoring Offense–84
    Scoring Defense–93
    Rushing Offense–97
    Rushing Defense–78
    Passing Offense–34
    Passing Defense–92
    Pass Eff. Def.–92

    WISCONSIN:
    Total Offense– 34
    Total Defense– 18
    Scoring Offense–21
    Scoring Defense–41
    Rushing Offense–15
    Rushing Defense–8
    Passing Offense–71
    Passing Defense–66
    Pass Eff. Def.–59

    PURDUE:
    Total Offense– 53
    Total Defense– 68
    Scoring Offense–56
    Scoring Defense–90
    Rushing Offense–77
    Rushing Defense–94
    Passing Offense–33
    Passing Defense–40
    Pass Eff. Def.–32

    MINNESOTA:
    Total Offense– 113
    Total Defense– 61
    Scoring Offense–98
    Scoring Defense–56
    Rushing Offense–112
    Rushing Defense–64
    Passing Offense–82
    Passing Defense–59
    Pass Eff. Def.–49

    NEW MEXICO STATE:
    Total Offense– 120
    Total Defense– 104
    Scoring Offense–120
    Scoring Defense–101
    Rushing Offense–67
    Rushing Defense–115
    Passing Offense–117
    Passing Defense–38
    Pass Eff. Def.–53

    PENN STATE:
    Total Offense– 36
    Total Defense– 8
    Scoring Offense–41(t)
    Scoring Defense–4
    Rushing Offense–38
    Rushing Defense–10
    Passing Offense–40
    Passing Defense–19
    Pass Eff. Def.–14

    IOWA:
    Total Offense– 93
    Total Defense– 11
    Scoring Offense–86
    Scoring Defense–10
    Rushing Offense–103
    Rushing Defense–33
    Passing Offense–54
    Passing Defense–8
    Pass Eff. Def.–4

    MICHIGAN:
    Total Offense– 59
    Total Defense– 81
    Scoring Offense–45
    Scoring Defense–79
    Rushing Offense–27
    Rushing Defense–92
    Passing Offense–81
    Passing Defense–69
    Pass Eff. Def.–73

    OREGON:
    Total Offense– 25
    Total Defense– 32
    Scoring Offense–7
    Scoring Defense–52
    Rushing Offense–6
    Rushing Defense–38
    Passing Offense–91
    Passing Defense–37
    Pass Eff. Def.–22

    ———————————

    BOISE STATE:
    Total Offense– 8
    Total Defense– 13
    Scoring Offense–1
    Scoring Defense–16
    Rushing Offense–20
    Rushing Defense–39
    Passing Offense–30
    Passing Defense–13
    Pass Eff. Def.–12

    PURDUE:
    Total Offense– 53
    Total Defense– 68
    Scoring Offense–56
    Scoring Defense–90
    Rushing Offense–77
    Rushing Defense–94
    Passing Offense–33
    Passing Defense–40
    Pass Eff. Def.–32

    UTAH:
    Total Offense– 54
    Total Defense– 20
    Scoring Offense–47
    Scoring Defense–19
    Rushing Offense–45
    Rushing Defense–57
    Passing Offense–55
    Passing Defense–14
    Pass Eff. Def.–9

    CALIFORNIA:
    Total Offense– 46
    Total Defense– 70
    Scoring Offense–47(t)
    Scoring Defense–54
    Rushing Offense–37
    Rushing Defense–27
    Passing Offense–50
    Passing Defense–108
    Pass Eff. Def.–82

    WASHINGTON STATE:
    Total Offense– 119
    Total Defense– 120
    Scoring Offense–119
    Scoring Defense–118
    Rushing Offense–118
    Rushing Defense–117
    Passing Offense–100
    Passing Defense–116
    Pass Eff. Def.–111

    UCLA:
    Total Offense– 88
    Total Defense– 38
    Scoring Offense–99
    Scoring Defense–31
    Rushing Offense–98
    Rushing Defense–60
    Passing Offense–52
    Passing Defense–30
    Pass Eff.Def.–41

    WASHINGTON:
    Total Offense– 63
    Total Defense– 79
    Scoring Offense–70
    Scoring Defense–71
    Rushing Offense–71
    Rushing Defense–67
    Passing Offense–42
    Passing Defense–90
    Pass Eff. Def.–97

    USC::
    Total Offense– 58
    Total Defense– 42
    Scoring Offense–64
    Scoring Defense–21
    Rushing Offense–39
    Rushing Defense–42
    Passing Offense–68
    Passing Defense–52
    Pass Eff. Def.–16

    STANFORD:
    Total Offense– 13
    Total Defense– 85
    Scoring Offense–10
    Scoring Defense–65
    Rushing Offense–11
    Rushing Defense–61
    Passing Offense–59
    Passing Defense–105
    Pass Eff. Def.–95

    ARIZONA STATE:
    Total Offense– 91
    Total Defense– 12
    Scoring Offense–91
    Scoring Defense–28
    Rushing Offense–95
    Rushing Defense–18
    Passing Offense–63
    Passing Defense–24
    Pass Eff. Def.–19

    ARIZONA:
    Total Offense– 40
    Total Defense– 21
    Scoring Offense–41(t)
    Scoring Defense–46
    Rushing Offense–47
    Rushing Defense–22
    Passing Offense–39
    Passing Defense–43
    Pass Eff. Def.–38

    OREGON STATE:
    Total Offense– 28
    Total Defense– 50
    Scoring Offense–22
    Scoring Defense–51
    Rushing Offense–64
    Rushing Defense–25
    Passing Offense–21
    Passing Defense–87
    Pass Eff. Def.–60

    OHIO STATE:
    Total Offense–71
    Total Defense– 5
    Scoring Offense–47(t)
    Scoring Defense–5
    Rushing Offense–19
    Rushing Defense–5
    Passing Offense–106
    Passing Defense–17
    Pass Eff. Def.–7

    OSU has faced opponents who rank on average:

    TOTAL OFFENSE–65

    TOTAL DEFENSE– 59

    SCORING OFFENSE–70

    SCORING DEFENSE–62

    RUSHING OFFENSE–45

    RUSHING DEFENSE–62

    PASSING OFFENSE–67

    PASSING DEFENSE–58

    PASS EFF. DEF.-51

    OREGON has faced opponents who rank on average:

    TOTAL OFFENSE–55

    TOTAL DEFENSE– 52

    SCORING OFFENSE–56

    SCORING DEFENSE–51

    RUSHING OFFENSE–60

    RUSHING DEFENSE–52

    PASSING OFFENSE–51

    PASSING DEFENSE–60

    PASS EFF. DEF.-51

  59. Tim says

    I appreciate the kind words. I will have to check out the blog you mentioned. I have read a couple and have seen a lot more homerism than you will most likely see here.

    On another self promoting note, the buckeye blog will be covering more than just football this year ( hopefully if Jim let’s me). I have already scheduled an interview with former Buckeye and current Washington Capital David Steckel and am hoping to grab more soon. I was thinking of may e grabbing a Oregon Duck to maybe compare what this game means to him or her. If you guys have any suggestions or you Buck fans want to hear from your favorite Buckeyes let me know. You can reach me on Twitter under my posts about the Buckeyes basketball team. If you want to hear from or about them and see where they are I will track them down.

    Thanks All

  60. TotalDuck1950 says

    Greetings Buckeyes….I have four tickets on the 10 yards line…row 40. They are in Buckeye territory. I am looking for a Buckeye fan with four similar tickets in the Duck sections. I would like to trade tickets so we can both enjoy the friend confines of our own fans……write me at: russ at addirector dot com.

  61. TotalDuck1950 says

    Greetings Buckeyes….I have four tickets on the 10 yards line…row 40. They are in Buckeye territory. I am looking for a Buckeye fan with four similar tickets in the Duck sections. I would like to trade tickets so we can both enjoy the friendly confines of our own fans……write me at: russ at addirector dot com.

  62. So.OregonDuck says

    Tim, to address your comments regarding LeGarrette Blount & the team after the Boise State game, (NOT TO MAKE EXCUSES), but the young man had just lost an Aunt that basically raised him and his fiancee was ready to give birth. He is barely 20 years old. Alot of pressure and it was proven (film & witness statements) that the Boise State fans threatened him as well as called him the N word. Also, the video crew ran the “punch” over & over & over to incite the crowd. Of course they neglected to include the video of Mr. Hout taunting LeGarrette. Anyway, I wanted to clear that up a bit. I have to say our team has show more perserverance, drive and class than many of their peers. Pressure has been intense and all eyes have been on this program since the Boise State game. A bunch of 20 year olds deserve a huge pat on the back for what they’ve achieved. Hopefully, many of you will be able to attend the game because when you see the Ducks in person, they are amazing when firing on all cylinders.

    They can run plays when you’re barely looking and definitely not ready. I have seen many defensive players drop to their knees begging for a time out against our offense. Not kidding. I look forward to a great game and watching Terrell (who almost was a Duck) play.

  63. says

    I’ve been offline all weekend so I’m sorry I didn’t check in sooner. I have to say, I’m impressed with the discussion. As I’ve mentioned in the past, we can’t get the SEC fans anywhere near this level of debate.

    Granted, the uniform thing is silly (and I stole it from a Penn State site) and so is the back and forth about the Ducks/Buckeye. Did you notice the picture I use next to this signature (circa 1965) ? Not really the most intimidating of mascots but it works for me. It’s going to be hard to let Oregon off the hook for the uniforms though. It’s just such a drastic difference between Ohio State and Oregon.

    As for the game, the one thing that keeps coming back to me is the confidence of this Oregon fan base. They’re also really hung up on USC and Purdue. The Buckeyes were asleep through the Purdue game. Not an excuse but it was a wake up call and the play changed dramatically at that point.

    As for USC, I was there and it was a great game. The Buckeyes beat themselves more then USC beat the Buckeyes. Tressel didn’t go for the kill when he had the chance — especially the choice to punt instead of the long field goal. The Buckeyes had a kicker who’d made it from that range. And of course, there’s this which was on a fourth down and would have significantly changed the game. Again, why Tressel didn’t call for the review is beyond me.

    There is also something to be said for USC not bouncing back after the Ohio State game. I’m not the first to say they left everything in Columbus that night. The Buckeyes recovered well from what was a very difficult loss.

    My point in saying that a close game doesn’t bode well for Oregon is that if it’s close, it’s because the Ohio State defense is shutting down the Oregon option. One of my biggest concerns is the time off for Ohio State. It hurts them every year and the Buckeyes have tended to over prepare and have had trouble in bowl games changing the scheme mid game. By the time the Rose Bowl comes around, it will be seven weeks (I think I counted that right) since Michigan game. It’s just too long a break.

    I like GoDucks suggestion of three keys to the game. What I think I’ll do is expand that into another post.

    As for Buckeye fans not selling out Rose Bowl tickets. I’m finding that hard to believe however, cost is a huge factor. When you price air fare (which tripled out of Columbus the second the Iowa game was over) and hotel accommodations, you’re in for $1,000 or so and you don’t even have a ticket. That’s if you go by yourself. Take the wife or a family and it doubles from there.

    Even so, it is amazing how well the Buckeyes travel. Just ask Phoenix. There is no Rose Bowl let down. However, until I find a free ride, I’m afraid the cost is keeping me at home.

  64. gulfportcarl says

    I watched ESPN bowl prediction show last night and the experts two had OSU winning because of their defense and had OSU ranked high on their board. Only Jesse Palmer had Oregon winning
    but had them ranked low in probability. They are only predictions witch really are meaningless as they are only someones rational. I like the fact that they also believe OSU’s defense will stop the mighty Ducks. Quack-Quack

  65. goducks says

    Well, I think a discussion of this OSU defense is warranted. How is it that they will stop the O offense? I would like to hear the game plan. Is it shutting down the middle with the gap control of larger big 10 players, thereby negating LaMichael James? Is it stunting another with the hopes of getting two D uncovered in the O backfield (remember we always leave 1 uncovered to option off of). Or will Coleman & crew cover all possibilities so that the ducks become predictable with having to run, thereby reverting to a team that takes more than an average 2:30 / possession to score.

  66. goducks says

    Well, I think a discussion of this OSU defense is warranted. How is it that they will stop the O offense? I would like to hear the game plan. Is it shutting down the middle with the gap control of larger big 10 players, thereby negating LaMichael James? Is it stunting another with the hopes of getting two D uncovered in the O backfield (remember we always leave 1 uncovered to option off of). Or will Coleman & crew cover all possibilities so that the ducks become predictable with having to run, thereby reverting to a team that takes more than an average 2:30 / possession to score.

    Once I hear the strategy, I might be able to comment how Kelly may react, or if I feel OSU is on track ( PS… I think there is a right answer to stopping the ducks!)

  67. goducks says

    oops, apologies for double posting…I misspelled the first challenge, but it still went through