Hi Ladies! Oh how I’ve missed you.
As you know, last week was a “bye week” for the Ducks and although I could have written a little something, I decided I too, would take a “bye week”- to clean my house. Those who know me well know that my house, my children and my husband are completely neglected during football season. So, I figured I’d at least try to redeem a little bit of my domestic goddessness, especially since all my readers (You) were probably out shopping and getting your nails and hair “did” anyway.
Now, back to football.
1st Down- “Behind the Scenes”
Tomorrow begins the real test for our beloved Ducks. They will travel for just the second time this year, to meet up the Arizona State Sun Devils. For months now, I have heard about 9 billion guys say, “ASU is the one we gotta watch for” and “The Ducks could really meet their match with ASU”. Honestly, I’m not that concerned (someone please get me a piece of wood so I can knock on it). Seriously though, I really think the Ducks will win this without much trouble. I expect some early mistakes, as Marcus Mariota tries to find his rhythm on the road, but after some settling in, the Ducks should run the table- baring any turnovers and excessive penalties of coarse. I’ll get into the nitty gritty “what to watch” details next, but as women, I understand you need an emotional connection (and a cute player to focus on), and this week most certainly has one- The Marshall brothers.
This is the stuff movies are made from. Tomorrow night, two brothers, Byron and Cameron Marshall will face off, each playing Running Back for their respective team- Byron, a freshman for the Ducks, and Cameron, a senior, star Running Back for the Sun Devils. Both guys come from San Jose California where they played for their high school football team. As the story goes, Byron, who likes to antagonize his older brother, was suppose to join the tolerant and focused, Cameron, at ASU, but decided to commit to the Ducks so he could play on a winning team (love it). So, the Ducks scored and Byron now plays back up to Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas. He’s done a good job this season and is expected to be one of the Ducks future stars. Cameron, on the other hand, has already proven himself in the college football world and is on track to break records at ASU. Most of the Marshall family will be at the game tomorrow with Mrs. Marshall cheering for both brothers and Mr. Marshall rooting for Cameron since he is a senior. Not smart Mr. Marshall.
2nd Down- “X’s and O’s”
The Ducks and the BCS Rankings:
In case you’ve been stuck in a tanning bed for the past week, the BCS rankings have been released. These are the highly controversial rankings that determine which bowl games the top college football teams in the country will go to, including the coveted BCS National Championship-Sound familiar? At the end of the regular season, the top 2 BCS teams play for the National Title. Just so you’re prepared, there are a LOT of anti-BCS Duck fans right now because once again, the Ducks were snubbed. The major polls (USA Today and AP) have held the Ducks in the #2 spot for a couple of weeks now-solidly, and with reason. Unfortunately, the BCS poll put the Ducks at #3. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter because the current top 2 teams, Alabama and Florida, will have to play each other (both are in the SEC conference) and one has to lose. So, if the Ducks continue on to win out, they should end up in the “Natty”. All that being said, it’s just the principal of it all. The BCS seems to always favor the SEC schools, hence the controversy. There you have it. A VERY basic explanation of BSC smack talk you are likely to hear the remainder of the season (ie: Stupid BSC, *Bleep* SEC Bias, etc).
3rd Down- “What to Watch”
1. Tempo. Oregon is known for their no-huddle, fast-paced style. They generally wear down teams because they line up fast, run fast and are in REALLY good shape. This generally means they can play full speed for 4 quarters. Arizona State however has a new coach- who happens to believe in the same strategy. He apparently took over the pretty out-of-shape Sun Devils and has been focused on conditioning and tempo. Oregon should theoretically have a tougher time wearing down the Sun Devils’ defense. Look for the game to feel like it’s “moving faster”.
2. Passing. The Sun Devils’ defense is ranked pretty high nationally. Theoretically, this will mean the Ducks might try to kick the passing game up a notch. As you know, this isn’t really the Ducks’ strong suit right now, so this could end up being one of the “Keys” to the game. If Mariota can settle down and connect with a variety of receivers, the Ducks should win.
3. Colt Lyerla. Colt has been fairly quiet the past couple of games, but with the Sun Devil’s strong defense likely focusing in on key players, Barner and DAT, Colt may be the sneaky wild card. Duck fans know he’s good, but he isn’t quite nationally recognized yet- sort of a hidden gem. He is basically a big receiver (TE who does a lot of blocking while playing receiver). Chip however has experimented a bit with playing him at Running Back when the Ducks need some Power- (for you older fans, think Johnathan Stewart).
4th Down- “Predictions”
At the end of the day, Oregon is considered one of the best teams in the country but really hasn’t played a really tough team this year. On the other hand, Arizona State is highly underrated, according to many, and is believed to have a solid defense. The Sun Devil’s however have also had a light schedule thus far. This one is hard to call. Vegas has the Ducks winning by 10. It could quite honestly be a coin toss, but since I’ve committed to the this whole prediction thing, I’m going to go:
I think the Ducks will struggle early on as they adjust to being on the road, but after the jitters subside, they will gradually break away with the win”. (How’s that for an ESPNish breakdown?).
Lets. Go. Ducks.