Friday, December 04, 2009

Oregon overtakes OSU in historic showdown" -- Going to the Rose Bowl!

Friends from back in the day will remember when an Oregon-Oregon State game generally decided who would fill the bottom of the Pac10 standings (before that the Pacific 8 standings). Both teams were, to put it mildly, bad. Autzen Stadium, which last night was overflowing with people, generally was half full, if that. Over the past decade or so, maybe the last 15 years, both teams have risen in prominence. The Ducks have played in the Rose Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl, while the Beavers have played in the Fiesta Bowl. Last year, if the Beavers had won, they, rather than the Trojans, would have played in the Rose Bowl (but the Ducks won that game). This year, the annual Civil War game was played as the Pac10 Championship game. Both teams were ranked, and whoever won got tickets to Pasadena.

And, if you watched the game last night, it didn't disappoint. The house was full, the Beavers came to play, the 7th ranked Ducks seemed nervous, knowing that this was theirs to lose. They made mistakes, fumbled the ball deep in their own territory -- and yet, they hung on, got things going, and won in big fashion.

Oh, and there was a story within a story, a story of redemption. In the opening game of the season, the Ducks, led by their first year coach Chip Kelley, played Boise State -- a team now ranked just ahead of them -- in Boise on that hideous blue carpet. It was a tough game -- neither team, though having high powered offenses, could generate much offense. It was a tough loss for the Ducks, but perhaps understandable as they were playing a very good Boise State team in Boise's own house (on that hideous blue carpet). Something happened, just after the game, that could have destroyed that team, led by its first year coach.

A Boise State player said something to Duck running back LaGarrette Blount, something Blount apparently didn't like, and in the heat of the moment the RB turned and swung at the player. It was a picture that made the headlines. Dirty player was the message of the day. Blount should be run out of football. The coach suspended the player who was supposed to be the key to his team's offense, and rallied the team around the QB (who started the season rather cold -- Jason Masoli) and a redshirt freshman RB named LaMichael James. James went on to break, by a large margin the Pac10 freshman rushing record and gave the Ducks the chance they needed to redeem themselves. Big wins would follow over Cal and USC, and then last night, with the nation watching, they took on the Beavers and won 37-33.

The team redeemed itself, but so did that disgraced running back. When Chip Kelley suspended Blount after that fiasco in Boise, he gave the running back a chance to redeem himself. He told him what he would need to do to get back on the team and into a game. Well, last night Blount made his post debacle debut and handled himself with dignity, and helped his team with a key touchdown and another key run that allowed the Ducks to maintain possession at a time when the Beaver's QB was especially hot. Thus a team and a player redeemed themselves and gave the opportunity to go to Pasadena -- for the first time in 15 years.

Oh, and the Ducks play another OSU team -- this time the Ohio State Buckeyes. Sorry Big10 fans from church -- I'm a Duck fan all the way!!!

News: Local | "Oregon overtakes OSU in historic showdown" | The Register-Guard | Eugene, Oregon

Photo of LaGarrette Blount from ESPN article


Danny Bradfield said...

Didn't you hear? All true Disciples are supporting TCU this year. I'm pretty sure it says we're required to do this, somewhere in Leviticus.

Pastor Bob Cornwall said...

Danny, I've always been out on the edge of things! So, I'm staying with my team.

Anonymous said...

Football, the opiate of the people. David Mc