Ducks vs. Cougars. 7:30 PST CenturyLink Field. ESPN2
Hey ladies! It’s that time again- time to feel bad for another opponent…I think/hope/pray.
1st Down- “Behind the Scenes”
Of all the opponents the Ducks have faced this season, I actually feel the worst for Washington State. It may be because they’ve been one of my other PAC 12 favorites over the years, or it could be that they really have so many strikes against them before they even get started. First of all, what a recruiting nightmare! Can you imagine what it must take to convince top recruits to pass up sunny California or Oregon’s Nike Gear shopping spree to head to go all the way to middle-of-no where Pullman, WA? Second of all, Wazzu just isn’t very good. They don’t have the “at least you’ll play in a bowl game” dangling carrot and they really can’t brag about top of the line facilities. So honestly, poor Wazzu starts each year with an uphill battle. There were times when they held their own (1996-1997 for example) but those days are a distant memory trying to surface year after year. To make matters worse, they will have to play this “Home” game in Seattle’s Centurylink (hello commercialism) Field- hardly close to home. Thanks to fishduck.com, I now know why. Apparently, the Cougars play 1-2 games a year in Seattle due to the large fan base there, and the fact Pullman is so remote (ticket sales). Then, as an added bummer, the Cougars’ starting QB, Jeff Tuel, hurt his shoulder and has been replaced by back up QB, Connor Halliday, who has a knack for throwing interceptions. To be fair, this probably has something to do with his lame offensive line not protecting him…but still. So, poor Wazzu,unfortunately it’s probably about to get worse. The Ducks are coming to town. Oh, and by the way, their #1 fan (me) will be there! *Woot Woot!*
2nd Down- “X’s and O’s”
I know some of this may be review but these will be important to know this week…
Offensive Line- The guys that protect the quarterback.
Sack- When the Quarterback is tackled behind the “Line of Scrimmage” (where the players line up), while he has the ball- of course.
Blitz- When most of the defense rushes to sack the quarterback.
3rd Down- “What to Watch”
This is a huge mis-match, much like the Ducks’ non-conference games. But, as always we can never count our
chickens ducklings before they hatch. Funny things can happen at any point during any game and the Ducks haven’t exactly played perfect football this year (they just happen to be good enough to win despite their mistakes- so far.) Non-the-less, the Ducks are favored to win by 29 pts.
A couple of things to watch for:
1. Sacks. Watch for a lot of Ducks rushing to take down Washington State’s QB (s). The Cougars’ offensive line has played horribly and the Ducks will have no problem taking advantage of that.
2. WSU: Running UO: Passing.
I may get some smack talk for this because Wazzu isn’t known for it’s running backs this year and they have been passing A LOT, but given the fact their offensive line is terrible, they may want to get the ball handed off quickly (to a running back) before the Ducks get to their Quarterback. They will likely get some passes to two of their only weapons, WR’s Marks and Wilson. If any of the cougars get a TD, they’ll likely be the ones. On the other hand, I anticipate the Ducks to pass more than run. They know Barner and DAT can take care of business, but the passing game needs some work. Mariota has made some rookie passing mistakes (There. I said it.) and this will be a good opportunity for both him, and some struggling receivers, to practice before some tougher opponents (ie: USC and Stanford).
3. Penalties against the Ducks….or not. The Ducks have racked up a lot of penalties this year already, which obviously isn’t good. Let’s hope they’ve cleaned things up a bit.
4th Down- “Q& A”
Don’t forget to Subscribe and send me some questions/comments (is anyone out there)!!! While you’re at it, read some of the other blogs- WVU and Texas will have you LOL!-(seriously) :
Here’s to a “Win The Day” performance in Oregon’s first road game….See ya there!