We’ve finally arrived. It’s November 7th- Oregon’s Redemption Day. After seeing the Tree take down Oregon and it’s Nation Title game hopes last year, the Ducks and their fans have anxiously awaited an entire year for this game. To add to the anxiety, the Ducks are again staring the Natty in the face and anticipating Oregon’s first Heisman Trophy courtesy of Marcus Mariota. Meanwhile, Stanford sits at #5 ready for a repeat of last year’s Duck Nation tragedy- hoping, with some help, they too could make it the National Championship. To say a lot is on the line would be an understatement.
After not sleeping well last night and not being able to focus on anything other than getting to 6pm PST, I decided I/we could use a calming pep talk- a little football Meditation if you will. Hey! It’s worth a shot right?
5 Reasons to stay calm during Oregon vs. Stanford.
1. It’s a New Season
For the past several months, there has been so much comparison between Oregon and Stanford and just how Stanford was able to contain the Ducks last year. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the “Oh BLEEP, they beat us last year, they can probably do it again.” Well, sure any team can beat any other on game day, but let’s not forget this is a whole new year. If we made the same argument last year, Oregon would have gotten the “W”.
2. Winning the Day
It sounds cliche, but these Ducks have definitely adopted this mentality. They are calm and are truly able to focus on winning one game at a time. To put it in perspective, one of players asked me where Stanford was this week. If that’s not faceless opponent, I don’t know what is. Don’t worry though, that same player has been studying film for weeks. I guarantee you fans are way more nervous than the players. That alone should make us feel a whole lot better.
3. In Mariota We Trust
If Mariota has taught us one thing, it’s that he can be trusted. Just when it looks like he’s having a rough game, he settles down and rallies the team to victory. Not just small victories, but big ones. No matter what that half-time score says, do not lose faith. Mariota’s island finesse will pull it out.
4. Ducks Are More Complete.
Last year, Oregon was running the table, rightly so, but they were almost entirely dependent on Barner and DAT’s run game. The passing game was improving, but still “growing”. This year, the run game is just as good as it’s ever been, AND the Ducks have legitimate threats in the passing game- enter Huff, Hawkins and Addison. Oh! And let’s not forget DAT, who sneaks into the slot more and more these days. Add to this, Mariota’s growth as a dual threat and well…you can figure it out.
5. Unused Bag of Tricks
I’m obviously no coach, but I’ve got to believe every coach has a bag of tricks at the start of every season. So far, the Ducks have really only used 1 or 2- most notably, a recent fake punt against UCLA. I have to believe there’s a few more- practiced and ready for the Farm.
If all else fails, just remember at the end of the day, it’s just football.