Academics: Just One More Thing UO > OSU (US News & World Reports)

Sure Oregon’s beaten Oregon State in the Civil War the past two seasons, which, by all means is great. But there’s something else we’re better at than OSU that actually directly affects us — mere students, alumni and facultyinstead of 240-pound linebackers who were seemingly bred to play football.

The latest US News & World Report College rankings are out, and in a shocking discovery (Ed’s Note: not so shocking), the University of Oregon is a better academic institution than our rivals to the north.

And U of O is even a better value too!

 

However, UO still has a ways to go to crack the Pac-10 academic elite. Stanford, Cal, USC, UCLA and UW all blew us out of the water.

Conference Rankings:

Stanford – 5

Cal – 22

USC – 23

UCLA – 25 (just one more thing USC beats UCLA at)

University of Jake Locker – 41

Oregon – 111

Washington State – 111

Arizona – 120

Oregon State – 139

Arizona State – 143

For the next four months we can go back to not caring about how good our diplomas (will) look hanging on our office (cubicle?) walls, and just hope our genetically engineered three-percent body fat football players are better than theirs.

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TAILS: An Introduction

Ed’s Note: Last week I received this email from a UO student who wanted to write for the blog. He wrote: “I think topics less about physical prowess and more about things that rarely get people laid are really my area of expertise. You guys cover athletes, I cover mathletes. It’s just an idea I had and I would love to here what you think.” Unconventional, but I love it. I’ll let Drew Norton introduce himself.

Everyone loves sports. Fact. The first thing humans did after they learned to stand was learn how to kick stuff into other stuff. Then they grunted sounds that probably sounded like “ball” and “goal” and “in your face, bitch” and sports were born. They’re the spirit of competition, a celebration of physicality and a celebration of everything that’s good in society. These posts will not be about that.

Jocks, please refrain from shoving Drew into a locker.

I, Drew Norton, know next to nothing about sports. I know how to score points in most of them. I know the penalties. If someone yells about three in a key, I can yell along with them without glancing around awkwardly for an answer to what that means. When it comes to commentary, though, I’m hopeless; utterly, completely, Glenn-Beckianly hopeless. Was it a good choice for Chip Kelly to get rid of Masoli? I’m going to go with yes because of the robbery and pot charges. That’s about all I’ve got.

At this point, I’m sure you’re wondering (and rightly so, sir) why I’m a contributor to a blog about the University of Oregon Ducks — “OOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” Sorry, force of habit. Why indeed? Well, when Keith scoured the vast and empty wastelands that are the Internets, he found me like Kal-El in a cornfield (That‘s a Superman joke. It‘s his Kriptonian…never mind). When he showed me this blog, I felt that, even with the integrity it obviously had, it needed something else. Some spice. Some pizzazz. Some glitter glue. That spicy, pizzazzy, glitter glue is the glue of context. It is irresponsible if not impossible to have this much testosterone in any part of the Internet, much less the blogosphere, without incorporating a small man who could be crushed by the sheer weight of the biceps sported by his sportier compadres. That small man is me. I’m here to bring the other side of the coin (get it now?) and give a nerd’s perspective on what’s happening at the U and in Eugene at large.

I know what you’re saying. “I still don’t get it.” Shhhhhhhhhh my little darlings. All will be revealed in time, like a Shyamalan movie that isn’t The Happening or that Airbender debacle. It’s pronounced Ang! Say the letter ‘A’ and ‘ng’! They say it in the show M.! Sorry again. I may or may not have blog-tourettes. Really what I’m trying to do here is introduce myself, my style and what kind of content you’re likely to see in the coming months. I hope you will enjoy it more than I will enjoy writing it.

I Can’t Wait to Yell “O”: 30 Days From My First Autzen Stadium Experience

I had some trouble falling sleeping the other night. I closed my eyes, readjusted my pillows, counted sheep, but nothing. Still awake.

This.

I couldn’t get an image out of my head. No matter how hard I tried, it kept me up, like a bright light shining smack in my face that I just couldn’t shut off.

The image, that of a screaming section 8, a LaMichael James breakaway, a yet-to-be-named quarterback lob to the end zone, played over and over, 13 times until I finally dozed off.

I am so excited for football season, it’s unhealthy. It being my first season in Eugene, it’s hard for me to think about anything else right now as we sit with just under a month left until kickoff.

I have so many expectations, so many questions! Is it really as loud as they say inside Autzen? Does it really never rain over there?

Aside from the spring game, my only Duck football game was the heartbreaking loss to Stanford last season at the Farm. It was just days after I had been accepted to the University of Oregon, the Ducks were flying high, but the unstoppable force that is Toby Gerhart seemed to run all over them. And while we didn’t come away with a W, my first experience at a Duck game was incredible.

The sea of yellow and green that was the Oregon section, taking up a good quarter of the stadium, yelled “O” with a force so powerful it gave me goose bumps. It was deafening. The (euphemism alert!) eccentric Stanford band could barely be heard!

With the devotion I saw from Oregon fans that chilly afternoon in November, I instantly knew that I had chosen the right school. While choosing a school known for my major took precedence, the atmosphere of the institution was something that helped weigh my decision. I could’ve chosen the tropical beaches of the University of Hawaii, but being on an island 6,000 miles away from my friends and family wouldn’t work. Or I could’ve chosen Arizona State University, which has an excellent journalism program, but it’s in the desert. ‘Nuf said.

But I chose Oregon. I chose Oregon because, coupled with an excellent J-school, the dedication, devotion and love from the fans is something that makes an excellent institution.

That, and Eugene is just damn pretty.

In the coming years, as Oregon football rises to the top of the college football scene, the amount of exposure the school gets will increase. This increase will do wonders for the school, as it already has. High school seniors will watch Oregon on ESPN on Saturdays, see the screaming student section, the beautiful campus, and all around general camaraderie.

Seeing this majestic environment will make them want to come here. They’ll apply. More and more of them, each year. Some will get in, and some won’t. But the more that apply, the better the school looks.

Which means, I might actually have a job when I graduate! (Editor’s note: still doubtful).

Essentially what I’m saying is, the better the team gets, the more exposure the school gets; the more exposure the school gets, the more competitive it becomes. The more competitive it becomes, the better a University of Oregon diploma looks hanging in my cubicle in a failing newspaper’s newsroom.

That said, I’m not looking too deep into the future, but instead trying to focus on right now. The right now being this football season. I will be at every game. Screaming O. Showing those high school seniors exactly where they want to spend their next four years, and increasing the value of my college education in the process.

University of Oregon – gasp! – hires an athletic director

Welcome, Rob.

After Mike Bellotti suddenly announced that he needed to not be University of Oregon’s athletic director anymore on March 20th, a replacement has finally been hired.

And your new Oregon Ducks AD is: Damon Evans.

Just kidding.

The Oregonian has confirmed that the Ducks have hired Rob Mullens, deputy athletic director at the University of Kentucky. Mullens had been a finalist for athletic director jobs at LSU, Maryland and Miami.

Mullens will take the place of interim athletic director Lorraine Davis, who has served since March when Mike Bellotti resigned to take a position with ESPN.

University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere released his comments in a statement:

Rob Mullens brings a deep reservoir of experience to the University of Oregon. He has played key roles in managing large and complex organizations at the University of Kentucky and the University of Maryland, and those universities have flourished as a result. His management and financial expertise will be invaluable to the UO as our athletics department continues to thrive and secures its place as one of the preeminent programs in the nation.

Mullens will begin his duties at the UO on or before Sept. 1. And who knows, he might even have a contract.

Watch the full press conference here:
http://www.goducks.com/mediaPortal/embed.swf

Come check out the UO World Cup this afternoon and support UO’s Warsaw Sports Business Club

It may be too late to make the first day of the UO World Cup, but there is still plenty of fun to be had this afternoon.

There are games scheduled throughout the afternoon at the UO turf fields (next to the Student Rec Center), concluding with the championship game at 4 PM.

Among the highly competitive teams competing are the UO Men’s club team, UO Women’s club team, OSU Women, and Portland State.

In addition to tournament play, there will also be an interactive fan zone on Sunday. The Portland Timbers, EA Sports, Muscle Milk, Kick City, Monster and KWVA Campus Radio will be represented. There will be a juggling contest, EA Sports FIFA ’10 videogame tournament, and various product giveaways.

Adidas is the title sponsor supplying Jabulani soccer balls and tournament t-shirts.

The UO World Cup is one of the two entirely student-run events the Warsaw Sports Business Club puts on annually (the other being the Warsaw Classic).

It’s a great opportunity for students to work in a real-world sports business atmosphere: finding sponsorship, fielding teams, getting access to the field and learning how to react on the tournament days when a sponsor decides to no-show and leave the entire crowd hungry for lunch (yes, this happened).

The club always does a great job with this tournament, so be sure to come out and support them, watch some soccer, and win some great prizes.

Get outside and enjoy the sunshine (err, no rain) while it lasts!

Can Lane Kiffin Fill Pete Carroll’s Massive Shoes at USC?

Pete Carroll’s out and Lane Kiffin is in. Just like that, mentee turned trainwrecked Raiders coach turned shadowy, feuding Tennessee coach has turned into his mentor’s replacement.

SportsbyBrooks.com tweeted this: "Txt from former SC asst coach w/Kiffin 1st time around: 'Norm schemed. Sark developed QBs. Lane got sandwiches.'"

SportsbyBrooks.com tweeted this: "Txt from former SC asst coach w/Kiffin 1st time around: 'Norm schemed. Sark developed QBs. Lane got sandwiches.'"

Amazing.

First of all, I’d like to give  a special thanks to ESPN’s Joe Schad for ruining my “who will be USC’s next head coach” story I was halfway through. Jerk.

But that’s enough bitterness for now.

USC needed to a make a move quickly, and they did so. But was it the right move?

Carroll took over a Trojans team in 2001 that was on the verge of falling from national relevance, after suffering 13 and eight game winless streaks to Notre Dame and UCLA, respectively, something not acceptable for a program with such a prestigious (sans O.J.) history.

After a mediocre 6-6 first year, Carroll rebounded with a huge second season, finishing 11-2, including a 38-17 win over Iowa in the Orange Bowl. Thus, reviving USC football in the NFL-less Los Angeles area.

With Southern California sports fans dying to jump onto the bandwagon of a winning team, USC football become as popular in Los Angeles as the beach, shopping and saying “bro.”

As well as winning, Pete Carroll had the perfect personality to mesh football with Hollywood. Not every team in the country can get Snoop Dogg, Denzel, and the Governator on their sideline all at once.

He was the reason Los Angeles isn’t clamoring for an NFL team. (Let’s see what happens after another 8-4 season and Emerald Bowl appearance.)

I thought the Trojans should have found a coach with a personality big enough to push the sanctions given by the NCAA to the backburner, someone who could grab the attention of a room and make them forget why they were there in the first place.

Is Lane Kiffin that guy? I don’t think so.

When I heard that former 49ers head coach Steve Mariucci was on campus yesterday, I thought it was a perfect fit.

Pro style offense? Check. Very well spoken? Check. Ties to USC? Check (he was an assistant in 1986). Great hair? Check. It’s a match made in heaven.

But obviously Mike Garrett doesn’t appreciate great hair as much as I do.

However, there are positives in the Kiffin hiring.

First of all, they needed to find a new coach before their 14 commitments all transferred to Florida.

Secondly, Kiffin is a great (read: shady) recruiter, who brings along Ed Orgeron, another fantastic former USC recruiting guru, and father, Monte Kiffin, who made the cover two defense famous, to be his assistants.

Although some players will bail this year, the trio will still be able to pull in top talent in the future, as long as they win.

Having coached for five years under Carroll, Kiffin is familiar enough with USC that there won’t be a big shake-up in the team’s philosophy.

But as important as recruiting and comfort are, those qualities don’t win games. Just ask Charlie Weis.

More importantly, will he be able to keep his players loose and relaxed enough to handle USC’s massive expectations? Can he make the media giggle like a computer geek talking to a super model on the Monday after a loss? Can you picture him talking to Snoop Dogg on the practice field?

I can’t. He’s just not that charismatic.

Overall, I think it could turn out to be an O.K. hiring, but I think they should have found an NFL coach with a big enough personality to make the media forget about the sanctions that are sure to come.

But even if it turns out well in the long run, both USC and Tennessee will see plenty of turnover in the coming months.

And guess what, my Oregon Ducks play both teams this year. I like our chances.

You can follow Keith on twitter or on his Facebook page.

My Oregon Ducks Christmas Wish List

1. For Oregon Baseball to Take the Next Step: It’s no coincidence that my two favorite teams both wear green and yellow (gold). George Horton (and Phil Knight) have this team headed in the right direction.
2. For Ernie Kent to be Fired and be Replaced by Mark Few: Wouldn’t it be nice to actually have a half-court offense?
3. To Sign the Recruit With the Best Name in the Country: Lache Seastrunk. Oh, and he’s a little more than just a name. Hats off to the Oregon coaches for a hell of a recruiting season so far.
4. For Oregon State to Pick a New Favorite Song: For their sake. Even I’m getting tired of the Miley jokes.
5. A Better Rain Jacket: Come on, it rains a lot in Eugene. A hoody and two-year old vans with bigger holes than the Washington State pass defense will only take you so far in a freezing rain storm.
6. Attend at Least One Track & Field Event This Year: I have completely taken them for granted. How often do you have one of the most successful teams in the country in your backyard and not watch them a single time? Plus, girls running around in spandex. Everybody wins.
7. To Go on a Date With Amanda Pflugrad: If I could ever pull that off, I would accept whatever consequences my girlfriend would bestow upon me. Amanda is on “the list”.
8. The iPhone 3GS: Speaking of my girlfriend, she has been hinting (what’s a stronger word than hinting?) that she has gotten me one for three days now. If she didn’t actually get it, that would be just cruel.
9. A Strong Finish for the Pac-10 this Bowl Season: Just so I don’t have to hear those illiterate, barefoot, double negative-speaking SEC fans talk about much better they are than the Pac-10 (play someone not named Charleston Southern or Southeastern Louisiana and we can talk). And also, so that when Oregon beats Tennessee in Knoxville next season, it’ll give the Ducks a little more street cred.
10. A Rose Bowl Win: Enough said.
What’s are your Christmas list?
How cute is this?

1. For Oregon Baseball to Take the Next Step: It’s no coincidence that my two favorite teams both wear green and yellow (gold). George Horton (and Phil Knight) have this team headed in the right direction.

2. For Ernie Kent to be Fired and be Replaced by Mark Few: Wouldn’t it be nice to actually have a half-court offense?

3. To Sign the Recruit With the Best Name in the Country: Lache Seastrunk. Oh, and he’s a little more than just a name. Hats off to the Oregon coaches for a hell of a recruiting season so far.

4. For Oregon State to Pick a New Favorite Song: For their sake. Even I’m getting tired of the Miley jokes.

5. A Better Rain Jacket: Come on, it rains a lot in Eugene. A hoody and two-year old vans with bigger holes than the Washington State pass defense will only take you so far in a freezing rain storm.

6. Attend at Least One Track & Field Event This Year: I have completely taken them for granted. How often do you have one of the most successful teams in the country in your backyard and not watch them a single time? Plus, girls running around in spandex. Everybody wins.

7. To Go on a Date With Amanda Pflugrad: If I could ever pull that off, I would gladly accept any and all consequences from my girlfriend. Amanda is on “the list”.

8. The iPhone 3GS: Speaking of my girlfriend, she has been hinting (what’s a stronger word than hinting?) that she has gotten me one for three days now. If she didn’t actually get it, that would be just cruel.

9. A Strong Finish for the Pac-10 this Bowl Season: Just so I don’t have to hear those illiterate, barefoot, double negative-speaking SEC fans talk about much better they are than the Pac-10 (play someone not named Charleston Southern or Southeastern Louisiana and we can talk). And also, so that when Oregon beats Tennessee in Knoxville next season, it’ll give the Ducks a little more street cred.

10. A Rose Bowl Win: Enough said.

What’s on your Christmas list?

If you’ve read this far, visit my new store for UO Sports Dude merchandise and you can follow me on twitter or fan me on facebook.

Breaking Down the Rose Bowl: Battle of the WRs

Continuing with position breakdowns, today I’ll go over the running backs. If you missed yesterday’s, you can read about the running backs here.
This is by far the toughest decision so far. Oregon has the depth and Ohio State has the star power. Fortunately for the Buckeyes, I am leaving tight end for a separate position, so there is no Ed Dickson or David Paulson in the equation.
For all the publicity that Jamere Holland was getting during fall camp as the next breakout wide receiver, it’s a bit of a letdown that he finished the season with more drops than he had catches. (Maybe I’m making that up but it sure feels like it)
Looking back on it now, it seems like the Oregon media said, “Well, there’s no one else so let’s just say Holland is going to be the man.”
13 receptions, five missed games and only two touchdowns later, Holland has turned out to be a bigger disappointment than any single Nicholas Cage movie, finishing with only one catch in four out of his seven games.
Luckily for the Ducks, their offense isn’t exactly built around a superstar wide receiver. With the emergence of LaMichael James and the ability for Jeremiah Masoli to take off and run like a fullback with 4.6 speed, passing the ball isn’t the top priority.
But when he’s needed to throw, Masoli has several adequate targets. In fact, of late, Jeff Maehl has established himself as the go-to-guy, coming up with huge games against Arizona and Oregon State down the stretch.
Junior D.J. Davis and sophomore Lavasier Tuinei are both nice slot receivers, but the only plays ever really called for them are “Hey, let’s throw three screen passes in a row and see if the corners will figure it out.”
Shockingly, Davis and Tuinei average 10.5 and 8.5 yards per catch.
For tOSU, sophomore DeVier Posey is who Holland should have been.
The track star and former five-star recruit, has blossomed into a legitimate No. 1 wide receiving this fall, leading the Buckeyes with 727 yards and seven touchdowns. That is even more impressive considering that he has accounted for 40 percent of Pryor’s pass yards.
Although, some have said Pryor looks a little too much in Posey’s direction. (Maybe that’s why his interceptions have spiked this year)
It’s a good thing Posey has stepped up, because following the departures of Brian Robiske and Brian Hartline to the NFL, Ohio State was looking abnormally thin at the position compared to what they are used to having (Robiske, Harline, Anthony Gonzalez and Santonio Holmes).
Helping relieve some pressure from Posey is Dane Sanzenbacher. The junior has adjusted nicely from being the seldom used slot receiver last year to starting this season, finishing with 506 yards and six touchdowns.
I’m not sure which would be more impressive: his 18.7 yards per catch average or his last name in Scrabble if used on a double word score. (I vote for Scrabble, because if you can find a way to use 12 letters, you deserve a prize just for that)
Wide receiver play isn’t going to decide the game, because for both teams, passing the ball is the third option. But Ohio State’s quick strike ability sure is an advantage in case they need to come from behind.
Which I am sure hoping is the case.
Rating:
Ohio State 7, Oregon 6.
Overall: Oregon 25, Ohio State 22.

Continuing with position breakdowns, today I’ll go over the wide receivers. If you missed yesterday’s, you can read about the running backs here.

Devier Posey is the biggest airial threat in the passing game for either team.

Devier Posey is the biggest airial threat in the passing game for either team.

This is by far the toughest decision so far. Oregon has the depth and Ohio State has the star power. Fortunately for the Buckeyes, I am leaving tight end for a separate position, so there is no Ed Dickson or David Paulson in the equation.

For all the publicity that Jamere Holland was getting during fall camp as the next breakout wide receiver, it’s a bit of a letdown that he finished the season with more drops than he had catches. (Maybe I’m making that up but it sure feels like it)

Looking back on it now, it seems like the Oregon media said, “Well, there’s no one else so let’s just say Holland is going to be the man.”

13 receptions, five missed games and only two touchdowns later, Holland has turned out to be a bigger disappointment than any single Nicholas Cage movie, finishing with only one catch in four out of his seven games.

Luckily for the Ducks, their offense isn’t exactly built around a superstar wide receiver. With the emergence of LaMichael James and the ability for Jeremiah Masoli to take off and run like a fullback with 4.6 speed, passing the ball isn’t the top priority.

But when he’s needed to throw, Masoli has several adequate targets. In fact, of late, Jeff Maehl has established himself as the go-to-guy, coming up with huge games against Arizona and Oregon State down the stretch.

Junior D.J. Davis and sophomore Lavasier Tuinei are both nice slot receivers, but the only plays ever really called for them are “Hey, let’s throw three screen passes in a row and see if the corners will figure it out.”

Shockingly, Davis and Tuinei average 10.5 and 8.5 yards per catch.

For tOSU, sophomore DeVier Posey is who Holland should have been.

The track star and former five-star recruit, has blossomed into a legitimate No. 1 wide receiving this fall, leading the Buckeyes with 727 yards and seven touchdowns. That is even more impressive considering that he has accounted for 40 percent of Pryor’s pass yards.

Although, some have said Pryor looks a little too much in Posey’s direction. (Maybe that’s why his interceptions have spiked this year)

It’s a good thing Posey has stepped up, because following the departures of Brian Robiske and Brian Hartline to the NFL, Ohio State was looking abnormally thin at the position compared to what they are used to having (Robiske, Harline, Anthony Gonzalez and Santonio Holmes).

Helping relieve some pressure from Posey is Dane Sanzenbacher. The junior has adjusted nicely from being the seldom used slot receiver last year to starting this season, finishing with 506 yards and six touchdowns.

I’m not sure which would be more impressive: his 18.7 yards per catch average or his last name in Scrabble if used on a double word score. (I pick Scrabble, because if you can find a way to use 12 letters, you deserve a prize just for that)

Wide receiver play isn’t going to decide the game, because for both teams, passing the ball is the third option. But Ohio State’s quick strike ability sure is an advantage in case they need to come from behind.

Which I am sure hoping is the case.

Rating:

Ohio State 7, Oregon 6.

Overall: Oregon 25, Ohio State 22.

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Breaking Down the Rose Bowl: Battle of the RBs

This play made me salivate.

This play made me salivate.

Continuing with position breakdowns, today I’ll go over the running backs. If you missed yesterday’s, you can read about the quarterbacks here.

After losing Beanie Wells, a first round pick, last season, there were questions about how effectively the Buckeyes would be able to run the ball. Coach Jim Tressel downplayed it, instead talking up how Terrelle Pryor’s growth over the summer would account for the lack of the workhorse running back they are used to having (Wells, Antonio Pittman and dare I say it, Maurice Clarett).

That didn’t go according to plan, but Ohio State still won the Big Ten (eleven), even though they might as well have been playing against beer-league flag football teams. I mean, their biggest competition was Iowa. If the second best team if your conference can throw five interceptions again Indiana (the Hoosiers!) and still win, yeah, you have a weak conference.

In fact, their leading ball carrier is none other than the quarterback. Not a good sign for a team that is known for grinding it out on the ground. It’s amazing what teams will do to land a top recruit.
Apparently Ohio State was willing to throw their entire offensive strategy out the window. But hey, I guess it was time to change it up. Getting smashed harder than Lindsay Lohan at an open bar in BCS games is only fun for so long.

But in all seriousness, the Buckeyes do have a legitimate threat in the backfield, even though he is third on the team in carries and gets little to no national publicity. For all the press than Pryor and DeVier Posey receive on the offense, junior Brandon Saine goes relatively unnoticed.

In fact, like Bill Livingston said in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the biggest case of tOSU neglect stands 6-2, weighs 217 pounds, ran a faster 100-meter time (10.38 seconds) when he was Ohio’s high school state champion than Ted Ginn Jr., the old Glenville flash, and made second team All-Big Ten, despite having only the third-most carries on his team.

Neither of the Ohio State losses can be blamed on Saine. He received only one carry for two yards against Southern California while sophomore counterpart Daniel Herron ran 18 times for 44 yards, including getting stuffed at the Trojan goal line.

Saine also missed the Purdue game with an injury. But he has gotten healthy and turned on the jets lately, finishing the season strong with four touchdowns in as many games.

It will be intriguing to watch the Duck defense contain the Buckeye backfield, with an uncharacteristically fast offense match up with the speedy Oregon side.

Meanwhile, we all know about LaMichael James. My number one man crush also received Pac-10 freshman of the year and AP Third Team All-American honors.

James more than filled in for LeGarrette Blount; he made fans forget about him. He made me feel like I was playing a video game every time he touched the ball.

Case in point: the UCLA game (fast forward to 55 seconds in).

LMJ’s short stature actually works to his advantage, allowing him to sneak behind the offensive line until he finds the hole and then bursts through it faster than Lance Briggs fled the crime scene after crashing his Lamborghini Murcielago in 2007.

The freshman has the highest yards per carry, at 6.9, than any other running back in a BCS conference.

The re-emergence of Blount only adds to the punch of the Oregon backfield. (See what I did there?)

For the first time all year, Chip Kelly can give LMJ a breather knowing that he won’t have to take a hit in talent at running back. (Oops, I did it again)

The running game has been the strongest point for the Ducks all season long, averaging over 236 yards per game on the ground.

But the Buckeyes are no slouches either, topping 200 a game themselves.

I think it’s safe to say that whoever wins the running game will most likely come out on top.

Rating:

Oregon 10, Buckeyes 8.

Total: Oregon 19, Buckeyes 15.

Breaking Down the Rose Bowl: Battle of the QBs

It’s never too early to start talking about the Rose Bowl. And even though we’re still 18 days away from the annual New Years Day tradition, I’m about nine days and eighteen hours behind everyone else.
With so much time to kill before the actual game (insert I want a playoff rant here), I will compare the Ducks and Buckeyes position by position to see who stacks up better on paper – because as we know, whoever is better on paper always wins the game. Uhh, never mind.
Where better to start than the quarterbacks? Let’s get it on.
If I had told you in December of 2007 that Jeremiah Masoli would be better than Terrelle Pryor you probably would have laughed harder than the first time you showed your unsuspecting friend the two girls one cup video.
Prior, the all-everything uber recruit, drew Vince Young comparisons before he even signed a letter of intent. The Army All-American Bowl MVP was ranked No. 1 by every single recruiting service in the world, galaxy and universe.
My roommate even started a Facebook fan page called “Make Terrell Pryor an Oregon Duck” that quickly amassed 2,000 supporters. Of course, on March 19th, the name of the page was quickly changed to “Terrelle Pryor Will Get Owned by the Oregon Ducks”.
Funny how things change in the world of sports.
What about Masoli. Where was Masoli in 2007? He was trying to recover from being expelled from Bay Area football power house Serra High School (in my hometown!) after he, and three other captains, were arrested and charged with robbing a kid at the mall.
Fortunately, Masoli got back on track at Community College of San Francisco, a national junior college power, winning the national championship and player of the year honors as a freshman.
Quietly and with little fan fare, the Ducks landed the three star recruit and listed him fifth on the depth chart going into last season. There was no such Facebook page was made for him.
Four injured quarterbacks later, Masoli was starting and we all know the story from there.
Masoli is what Pryor was supposed to be, a spread-option machine, perfect for Chip Kelly’s wide open system. And well, Pryor is the tenth most efficient quarterback in the Big Ten – slightly behind expectations.
Ok, maybe that’s selling Pryor a bit short.  He still has all the potential in the world, and being thrust into the starting role as a freshman in one the country’s biggest programs, and having coach who has no idea how to run a spread offense is no easy task to deal with.
That said, he still has trouble making the correct reads and knowing when to take off or stay in the pocket. His interceptions are up and his completion percentage is down from last year. Also, Prior has been sacked 18 times for more than 200 yards.
With a month to prepare for Oregon’s speedy, yet undersized defense, Pryor might be at an advantage. The Ducks have never seen such a gifted dual-threat quarterback before, so they might have some trouble stopping him in the open field.
But if the Oregon defense can bring pressure and fluster the sophomore quarterback, there’s a good chance Pryor will start to lose composure, like in the Purdue game where he was visibly upset, even starting arguments with his teammates.
Masoli, on the other hand, has played just about as well as humanly possible since the start of Pac-10 play. Since the Cal game, Masoli holds a 63-percent completion percentage and a 15:3 touchdown to interception ratio, not including his seven rushing touchdowns.
Another plus for Masoli is that he gets up for big games: Both Civil Wars, the Holiday Bowl and the last few games in the Pac-10.  Masoli truly thrives when the pressure is on (see Masoli’s run late in the fourth quarter against the Beavs in you don’t believe me).
I fully expect Masoli to be the better quarterback on New Years Day.
Rating (I will rate each position on a 1-10 scale and keep a running tally as we go along):
Masoli 9, Pryor 7.
If the only thing that mattered in college football was freaking athletcism, Pryor would be a two-time Heisman winner.

If the only thing that mattered in college football was freakish athleticism, Pryor would be a two-time Heisman winner.

It’s never too early to start talking about the Rose Bowl. And even though we’re still 18 days away from the annual New Years Day tradition, I’m about nine days and eighteen hours behind everyone else.

With so much time to kill before the actual game (insert I want a playoff rant here), I will compare the Ducks and Buckeyes position by position to see who stacks up better on paper – because as we all know, whoever is better on paper always wins the game. Uhh, never mind.

Where better to start than the quarterbacks? Let’s get it on.

If I had told you in December of 2007 that Jeremiah Masoli would be better than Terrelle Pryor you probably would have laughed harder than the first time you showed your unsuspecting friend the two girls one cup video.

Pryor, the all-everything uber recruit, drew Vince Young comparisons before he even signed a letter of intent. The Army All-American Bowl MVP was ranked No. 1 by every single recruiting service in the world, galaxy and universe.

My roommate even started a Facebook fan page called “Make Terrell Pryor an Oregon Duck” that quickly amassed 2,000 supporters. Of course, on March 19th, the name of the page was swiftly changed to “Terrelle Pryor Will Get Owned by the Oregon Ducks”.

Funny how fast things change in the world of sports.

What about Masoli. Where was he in 2007? Masoli was trying to rebound from being expelled from Bay Area football power house Serra High School (in my hometown!) after he, and three other captains, were arrested and charged with robbing a kid at the mall.

Fortunately, Masoli got back on track at Community College of San Francisco, a national junior college power, winning the national championship and player of the year honors as a freshman.

Quietly and with little fan fare, the Ducks landed the three star recruit and listed him fifth on their depth chart going into last season. There was no such Facebook page was made for him.

Four injured quarterbacks later, Masoli was starting and we all know the story from there.

Masoli is what Pryor was supposed to be, a spread-option machine, perfect for Chip Kelly’s wide open system. And well, Pryor is the tenth most efficient quarterback in the Big Ten – slightly behind expectations.

Ok, maybe that’s selling Pryor a bit short.  He still has all the potential in the world, and having been thrust into the starting role as a freshman in one the country’s biggest programs, and having coach who has no idea how to run a spread offense is no easy situation to deal with.

That said, he still has trouble making the correct reads and knowing when to take off or stay in the pocket. His interceptions are up and his completion percentage is down from last year. Also, Prior has been sacked 18 times for more than 200 yards.

With a month to prepare for Oregon’s speedy, yet undersized defense, Pryor might be at an advantage. The Ducks have never seen such a gifted dual-threat quarterback before, so they might have some trouble stopping him in the open field.

But if the Oregon defense can bring pressure and fluster the sophomore quarterback, there’s a good chance Pryor will start to lose his composure, like in the Purdue game where he was visibly upset, even starting arguments with his teammates on the field.

Masoli, on the other hand, has played just about as well as humanly possible since the start of Pac-10 play. Since the Cal game, Masoli holds a 63-percent completion percentage and a 15:3 touchdown to interception ratio, not including his seven rushing touchdowns.

Another plus for Masoli is that he gets up for big games: Both Civil Wars, the Holiday Bowl and the last few games in the Pac-10.  Masoli truly thrives when the pressure is on (see Masoli’s run late in the fourth quarter against the Beavs in you don’t believe me).

I fully expect Masoli to be the better quarterback on New Years Day.

Rating (I will rate each position on a 1-10 scale and keep a running tally as we go along):

Masoli 9, Pryor 7.