One Step Closer to Roses: Oregon Tames Wildcats in Instant Classic

(singing from American Pie) How sweet it is to be loved by you!

(singing from American Pie) How sweet it is to be loved by you!

I’m usually a pretty confident guy, arrogant even, you could say. But coming into the Arizona game this weekend, I was more nervous than any other Saturday this season–and it had absolutely nothing to do with the players on the field.

It didn’t matter that we were playing on the road in front of a raucous red-out, or that our Rose Bowl hopes had crashed and burned in our last two trips to Tucson’s house of horrors, or even that Sunshine-look-alike Nick Foles had a ridiculous 69 percent completion and might tear up the depleted secondary.

You could throw that all out that window.


I had to watch this game with my girlfriend.

On the outside, that sounds like a nice Saturday evening. We go to different schools and live in different states, so any time I could spend with her sounds like a good thing, right?

Well, not when it comes to Oregon Ducks football.

I have watched two games with her this season, and guess which ones they are. You got it–Boise State and Stanford.

So the thought of watching my beloved Ducks’ Rose Bowl hopes vanish right before my eyes while cuddling with my almost-as beloved girlfriend would have been remarkably bittersweet.

I almost threw her out of the house after Oregon didn’t convert on the late fourth down conversion, but when I imagined the following month-long silent treatment punishment, I decided against it.

Fortunately, that never had to happen, as the Ducks emerged victorious in one of the greatest games I’ve ever seen, even though I was watching the entire game-tying drive and overtimes through the cracks in-between my fingers.

Hopefully my girlfriend doesn’t read this.

Here are my thoughts on the game:

  • Hands down, the best game of the year. It had every element you could want. College Game Day, tons of points, a fourth-quarter comeback, two overtimes and a Ducks victory. I’m still giddy.
  • What the hell got into Jeff Maehl? Was he drinking the “special stuff” that Bugs Bunny created in Space Jam? Seriously. I take back and apologize for everything bad I’ve ever said about Jeff Maehl (which is a lot).  He absolutely came to play today and we won because of it.
  • The end of the game couldn’t have been scripted better if it were a movie. The second those Arizona students started hopping onto the field, I knew we had a chance. The football Gods love irony.
  • Jeremiah Masoli’s reaction: “I saw it and I actually smirked,” Masoli said. “It was kind of funny. I wasn’t really worried about it.”
  • And when the cameras found Masoli smirking, I knew we were all about to witness greatness.
  • The only thing greater than that drive was watching the student section slink their way back up into the stands after Ed Dickson came down with the catch of the year. Absolutely priceless.
  • But then an Arizona student had to go and throw a water bottle at an Oregon cheerleader. Not cool, bro.
  • I’m pretty sure my heart stopped when Morgan Flint’s field goal attempt ricocheted off and through the goal posts.
  • Congrats to my ever-growing man crush, LaMichael James, for breaking Jaquizz Rodger’s Pac-10 freshman rushing record.
  • Sneakiest play of the night: the fourth-quarter draw to LMJ on a second and eleven. Big Balls Chip at his finest.
  • Speaking of Chip Kelly, I think the abilities of his half-time speeches might have become a little exaggerated, especially when the idiot kicker (the kicker!) decided to taunt Oregon’s sideline right before half. If that doesn’t fire you up, I don’t know what will.  Not too impressive the past couple weeks.
  • But then again, who needs coaching when you have Masoli’s six touchdowns?
  • I’ve said it before, but I have to say it again, Nick Foles is a dead ringer of Sunshine from Remember the Titans. I don’t think I have ever seen two people look more alike in my entire life.
  • Did anyone else see Brent Musberger’s suit last night? That image will be burned into my retinas forever.
  • Could there be a more perfect set-up for the 113th Civil War next Thursday?
  • Rose Bowl on the line, vengeance looming, rivalry game, ahhhh I’m excited.
  • One more reason to hate Oregon State: The Beavers were caught blasting Miley Cirus after the game. And there goes the man cards for the entire team.
  • And I’m obligated by every Oregon fan out there to end this column with “I Love My Ducks.” There I said it! Now let’s go get that Rose Bowl!!

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