After an unbelievable game last week against Michigan State, it’s hard not to continue basking in the glorious glow of victory, especially in light of match-up number 3.
Tomorrow, Oregon will face its final non-conference opponent of the season when the Wyoming Cowboys come to Autzen. Let’s face it, this isn’t the gitty up and call in ESPN Gameday kinda of showdown. In fact, some predictions have the Ducks scoring close to triple digits. Of course, those kinds of score predictions might be a bit overly ambitious but you get the point. The Cowboys are clearly over matched and like South Dakota, would need a small miracle to pull out a victory- just don’t tell the Ducks that.
As Marcus and Co. prepare to roll into Autzen at the crack of dawn (ok, maybe not the crack, but 11am is close enough), each of them has hopefully adopted the Win the Day mentality- something that is clearly working. After last year’s unexpected losses, this team knows the value of their mantra. ” This is only the third game of the year, you have to be prepared for anything that comes at you,” quarterback, Marcus Mariota said yesterday.
But no one said fans had to adopt the same mentality. After all, wouldn’t that take away all the fun?
Again, baring a small miracle, the Ducks should send the Cowboys back to their snowy ranch in dominating fashion. There’s no doubt about it, the Ducks have proven they are a force to be reckoned with. The offense is on fire, Marcus Mariota is breaking record after record, and the defense showed last week that flash and physicality can definitely co-exist.
With all of last week’s game hype deflated a bit, it’s hard to find something to focus on. It’s really a tough problem to have (insert sarcasm) but seriously, what’s a Duck fan to do? The answer is simple: Get picky. Duck fans are good at that after all. Come on, you know it’s true. Last year, the Ducks went 11-2, a record most could only dream of, yet many were shouting “We want Chip!” This year, as the Ducks struggled to find momentum in the first half of last week’s game against MSU, Twitter was again abuzz with those 2013 Stanford and Arizona game comparisons. That is until one little thing surfaced. . .Rhythm. With a short shovel pass by Mariota, fandom was ignited and hope was restored.
Folks, this is what things have come down to in Week 3. To stay hyped, we have to go deep. We have to get picky. Sure, the Ducks have passed one of the most difficult tests they will face this season but there will always be something to improve on- something for fans to keep their eye on. Right now, it’s Rhythm. Yes, the team has outscored both of its first two opponents by fairly large margins, but what they haven’t done is come out with a bang. They haven’t started fresh out the gate with that typical Oregon flash. When asked yesterday about whether or not the team realized they had started out flat in some of the recent games, Mariota said,
“Yeah, of course we realize it but for the most part it’s just building that rhythm. A lot of times, we get a three and out and it’s done. And then once you get to the sideline, we talk about it and learn from it and then move on. Then once we get that rhythm going, you get that first five yards and it really helps this offense and helps this team.”
Moving into the talent-filled Pac 12 game schedule, Oregon will absolutely need to come into each game strong. There won’t be room for sluggish starts, playing from behind and taking 2 quarters to find its momentum. They will need to find early Rhythm. If that’s the worst of their problems right now, they better prepare for one heck of a ride.
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