Ah, it's November again. The time of year where our seasons seem to go falling apart.
Two years ago at this time, Arizona came into town, and our team rolled over. It was a pathetic, disgraceful display, with little effort and many mistakes. We saw Dennis Dixon broken and at his worst. We saw poor offense, defense, and special teams. This may have been one of the uglier games at Autzen since the drubbing by Washington State in 2004.
It would have been one thing if Oregon had been beat, but they just didn't put out the necessary effort to even be competitive.
But this year, things seem to be different. Oregon has not played well in too many games this year, but it's not due to lack of effort. They have made a ridiculous number of mistakes. But they come back fighting. Unlike other teams that have fallen apart, this team will not give up.
On offense, Jeremiah Masoli has taken over. He has the faith of the coaching staff and the team, and is able to put his mistakes behind him. He has been frustrating as hell for much of the season. However, he doesn't let this get to him. He goes out and he does his best, and has his head on his shoulders. Few Oregon QBs have, this early in their career, been able to put their mistakes behind them and move ahead. It took Dixon a couple years to figure it out.
On the other side of the ball, the leader is Nick Reed, who has been so exciting to watch. He has recently been named to the Lott award semi-final list, an honor well deserved. He sets the tone, never giving up on any play. He doesn't have all the size or the talent, but he is leading the Pac-10 in sacks, and is a force to be reckoned with on every play.
So, while this team has been frustrating, and has made mistakes, and may not have met our expectations, I like this team. They fight hard, and do their best, and we can't ask for much more.
So, what can we expect the next two games? Two hard fought games, where our team may or may not come out on top. If the Ducks can play mistake-free football for eight quarters, they should come away with two victories. If not, well, they won't give up. Either way, it should be fun.