This will be a little different type of post, sorry no pictures today Tako, you're going to have to read.
So as I sit here drinking my MacTarnahan's Amber re-watching the dawg beating that would make even Michael Vick blush, I am so impressed with our defense...again. Which brings up an interesting point, that I would like to hear from other AtQ'ers on: I enjoy watching a dominant Oregon Defense more that I have ever enjoyed watching a dominant Oregon Offense.
First, let me explain. When Chip Kelly's offense is in full stride, like in the third quarter against the litter to the north, it is a site to behold. Sometimes, you see him just standing there on the sidelines, arms crossed, visor pulled down tight, with that shit-eating grin like he's saying, "watch this, this is gonna go for another 10 yards...or...you know we're about to score, you know it, the fans know it, the whole world knows it, you can't stop it." I absolutely love it when that offense is in full rhythm. LMJ left, LMJ right, Masoli up the middle, Dickson on the cross, it is beautiful the way the entire O works in concert and you can almost see the confidence in the O-line. It's like a perfect symphony being played in perfect harmony to the tune of 7 points.
All that being said, you never pick up the intricacies or wonder of the dominance in a defense until the game is over, or sometimes until 4 games are over (UW, UCLA , WSU, and Cal). I think there is a reason for this and that is because when an offense dominates it takes an entire team effort moving as one; the O-line must block together, the WR's must block together, the RB's and QB's must make the right reads and cuts together. But when a defense is dominant it is a lot of one on one match ups...thus the reason for my title, I heart Cliff Harris. He was the epitome of one on one match ups on Saturday.
You have the 1:1 match ups of each defensive lineman on their lineman, the 1:1 between the LB on either a lineman or a RB or a WR, the 1:1 between the Safety and the WR or the scrambling QB, and last of all the 1:1 match up of the corner on the WR. All these 1:1's have to be won time after time after time for a defense to dominate even one drive...much less a quarter...even more so a game...and it is completely unthinkable for 4 games!!!!! If Rowe doesn't win his match up and the QB has time to look down the field, Boyett can get caught out of position for a big gain. If Matthews doesn't win his match up and get off his blocker, the RB can have a big game. If Harris doesn't win his match up his WR can get down field and open for a big gain. It is the intricacies of these 1:1 match ups, and the utter domination the Oregon defense is having that makes this team so much fun to watch.
So often we as fans watch the ball whether we are on offense or defense. But if you watch the rest of the field you will see that the corners are winning their 1:1's giving Rowe, or Matthews or Tukuafu time to get to the QB, or vice versa, the WR would be open, but Rowe or Tukuafu won their 1:1 and the QB doesn't have time to look downfield. You'll see Bair winning his 1:1 up the middle (when he's not getting a 15 yarder for hands to the face AUGHHH!!!!) and making the RB cut before he wants to right into our LB who won his 1:1 with the lineman filling the gap.
Or last but certainly not least, you'll see Harris, all alone on his little island, one on one with a WR running a short stop route. And not even a perfect pass can stop him from winning his 1:1 as he lowers his shoulder drives it into the WR jarring the ball loose. Or he peels off his man as he baited the QB into throwing towards the corner (where the safety has won his 1:1 forcing the WR to the sideline) and flies into the air taking the ball away from the other team at the 3 yard line.
It is these one on one match ups that are so much fun to watch, and the consistent victory time after time after time by the Oregon defenders that has produced 4 of the greatest defenses performances I have seen from Oregon, ever.
Take the poll, leave a comment. Let's tell this defense what we think of them!!!!
[update] Who is your favorite defensive or special teams player???... leave in the comments below, name and why or what play made them your favorite player!!!!!! Mine: It's obvious Cliff Harris. I was watching Oregon Football with Chip Kelly and after Kearse from UW got that long pass, Kelly went up to him and said. "you ok?" and Harris said. "Don't worry about me coach, I'll get the next one." Three plays later...Harris INT!!!!!