We are officially less than a week away from playing in Glendale. Here's your Tuesday quack fix:
- Recent history tells us that the Ducks will have a trick a play or two ready for Monday's game against Auburn. According to ofensive coordinator Mark Helfrich, there is more to a trick play than energizing the crowd or your team - it is about attacking certain weaknesses or tendencies of your opponents. The article includes some quotes from Joey Harrington on his receiving touchdown in the 2000 Holiday Bowl and how the play was designed to take advantage of the aggressive defensive ends.
- Rob Moseley's notebook today has a note about the Ducks watching "The Fighter" as a team. Before the UCLA game this year, the team was actually addressed by Micky Ward, who is played by Mark Wahlberg in the film. Moseley also notes that Nate Costa was suited up for practice on Monday, though he is still uncleared to play.
- Aaron Fentress (Oregonian) and Evan Woodbery (The Mobile (Ala.) Press-Register) take a look at the matchup between the Oregon and Auburn return games. Oregon has a pretty decisive edge on punt returns, though Fentress calls the kickoff return matchup even.
- With the rest of the Pac-10 bowl games decided, Ted Miller turns his focus towards the national championship game. Miller makes a good point about the old adage that "defense wins championships." While he doesn't expect either offense to be shut-down, he argues that, "even if the offenses churn up yardage, as expected, that doesn't mean a defense won't win this championship. One of the two defenses is going to get more stops than the other, either through forcing turnovers or winning third down (and fourth, both teams aren't afraid to go for it)." So, it comes down to which defense wants it more. Right Ted?
- With the first week of conference basketball games in the books, only two teams managed a two-game sweep: Oregon State and Washington. Ugh. With the Beaver's surprising 2-0 start, Bob Clark jumps them up to the top half in his latest rankings -- leaving Oregon with little competition for the bottom.
As always, leave any other interesting links or comments below!