Get Your Aflac On: The Ducks’ Stats are Sick
Oregon’s Defense Unsung Heroes of High Velocity Offense
By Joe Bodolai (c) 2010, All rights reserved
This has not been one of those college football seasons where there are one or two teams so clearly above the rest that they will be memorable. Alabama, Florida, Texas, Ohio State, USC, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and the usual powerhouses have not all been even very good, but really, are they water cooler cool? I mean, is there one team that you just have to talk about Monday morning at the rehab checkin? Other than fantasy favorites Brazil’s national women’s beach volleyball team.
Oh, but there’s Oregon. The Ducks are averaging 55 points a game, 560 total yards, first in points per game, but — get this — 108th in time of possession! Okay, we know they score faster than John Mayer at a Grammys afterparty, but how about the defense? The Oregon defense’s play may be the unrecognized college football story of the season so far. Consider this: when UCLA scored on the Ducks in the final two minutes of Thursday’s 60-13 win, those were the first points they have allowed in the fourth quarter all season! Conventional wisdom, the kind of wisdom that says “we need to wear out their defense by using up the clock”, doesn’t seem to apply. These guys are on the field about 40% more than their offense. Aren’t they the ones that are supposed to be winded, “gassed”, hands on hips, “needing a blow” — oh wait, that’s Lindsay Lohan. If they are, why don’t opponents score on them later in the game, when it’s long already out of reach? Isn’t that what’s supposed to happen? This kind of a stat is about as out of place as a Shiite at a Bar Mitzvah.
The Ducks run a two-minute drill the whole game. Their defense has to practice against them! No wonder the Ducks’ defensive players watching their opponents in a huddle look more impatient than a lawyer on a cell phone in line at Starbucks. They play with the “velocity” (Jim Tressel’s word) of a video game.
We’ll know a lot more about the Ducks when they face USC, who, as usual, somehow seems to get an extra week to prepare for their big games. For bowl-deprived USC, this will be their big chance of the season to show the nation yadda yadda yadda woot woot woo… and whatever other arrogant crap they can come up with now.
With Oklahoma,Nebraska, LSU, Texas all losing , too bad Boise State didn’t play. They sure could use the whining opportunity. I guess they’re resting up to battle powerhouse Louisiana Tech on Tuesday. They will probably benefit from the extra practice time, as they did with the whole year they had to prep for Virginia Tech.
Before you start screaming again, Boiseisians (or whatever you are called), I do want you to win. I just wish I knew who the hell you are. Last week, I complained about not knowing about your traditions. This week, may I suggest some? How about coming out in a formation called “The Potato Gun?” or maybe the Jewish Student’s (sic) Union could initiate a “latke out” like Penn State’s “white out”? Unsold Cookbook of the Week: “Jewish Tailgating Favorites.”
A week when Michigan and USC don’t play is a week I am deprived of enjoying them losing, and losing
in some ignominious humiliating fashion. I really hope that happens to the Trojans next week when the Ducks travel to Southern California, but I’m sure you can guess that. In the meantime, I can savor Ohio State’s 49-0 rout, Alabama’s 41-10 win, Michigan State’s comeback against Northwestern, and Wisconsin holding on to beat Iowa 31-30 in the most exciting game of the week, all great showings by great teams. If I had to pick one very happy team and their long-suffering fans, however, it would have to be Western Kentucky, who snapped the nation’s longest losing streak at 26.
Send your congratulations to coach Willie Taggart and the Hilltoppers, who trounced Louisiana-Lafayette 54-21. Willie’s email address:
Tell him Joe sent ya… Every now and then, that’s what college football is all about.