As the old saying goes here in Eugene— It never rains at Autzen Stadium.
And after a day in which it rained through the most of the morning and afternoon, Mother Nature decided to once again make good on her unwritten pact with Puddles the Duck; pushing the sun out to show its face just in time. So that begins a list of predictable things at Autzen Stadium on Saturday.
As for South Dakota—they are who we thought they were.
And, Oregon—essentially the same is true.
That game on Saturday was as sure as sure bets come. One thing that was not expected was for Byron Marshall to go off for 228 yards—138 of which were receiving with two touchdowns.
So much for not having an experienced wide receiver…
Really, Aside from a 62 yard bomb from Marcua Mariota to redshirt sophomore Dwayne Stanford; Oregon’s receivers were relatively inactive as the running backs stole the show at Autzen. But, who are we kidding? We all knew that was the way things would go in front of the 96th straight sellout at Autzen Stadium. Mark another one down in the “predictable” column.
I really thought it would have been nice for the young receivers to get a little more action, and thus by that, more confidence to carry into next week’s showdown with Michigan State. The Spartans will be sure to do a better job of bottling up Oregon’s running attack much better than the Coyotes did. Next week might not be so predictable. In fact there’s probably going to be a fair share of surprises. But one thing is certain heading into game two. Oregon will have to work, and they will have to surprise the Spartans if they want to beat them. With all the different offensive formations and plethora of backfield weapons the Ducks are more than capable of pulling this off. They will just need to execute. To prove my point, look at the zone read option play in the second quarter where Mariota essentially slow danced into the end zone as if South Dakota’s defense was designed for the opponent to score. To detract from it, that won’t happen against the Spartans.
So you see? The Ducks will have to do what they do differently to win. Stick to the formula but switch up the game plan.
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu hurt himself. That wasn’t good. He says he’s fine, and we should all hope he is. A less than stellar defense losing its more than stellar star is a recipe for disaster. He seemed to look okay doing agility drills on the sidelines but the Ducks coaching staff told the cornerback they didn’t need him. Saw that one coming. Surprising they let the likes of Mariota and Marshall play as long as they did. Perhaps it was punishment after Marshall decided to get cute and drop the ball on the half yard line. It amazes me still when that happens. Didn’t DeSean Jackson embarrass himself enough for all of us (especially fellow football players) to never do that again? Tisk Tisk Byron. None of that nonsense next week ya’ hear?
I won a bet with my girlfriend on this game, which is always fun of course. I set the over/under at 66 and she said under. You know it’s a sure thing when you don’t expect the opponent to score more than 14 and feel confident with the over in that bet. But, again, we were all oracles with this one now weren’t we? That is exactly why I chose not to go. I saw that game well before it actually happened. As for Michigan State, I’m still looking for tickets.
Photo credit: Daily Emerald