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Reason to Panic?

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The question of the day on Primetime (KFXX, Portland) was "Is it time for Duck fans to start panicking."  Why would it be time to panic.  Over one loss?  I fully realize that it is the job of sports talk radio to try and create controversy so that people will have a reason to call in.  However, I fail to see any reason why "panic" is something that Duck fans should be feeling.

Before the season, we expected that this would be a rebuilding year--maybe 8-4, 9-3 if we are lucky.  Instead, we are looking at a team that will proabably go 10-2, maybe 9-3 if UCLA or UW can upset them.  That's meeting or even exceeding expectations, folks.  Were problems exposed in the Cal game--absolutely.  However, they are hardly cause for concern.  Here is what I'm hearing:

  1.  Our defense is not good enough to carry our offense when they are not on.  No crap?  Really?  As good as our defense has played most games this year, they are very young, and very injured.  We all knew that offense was the strength of this team.  Our offense will not play that poorly very often.  But they are still young.  As long as they learn from this, they will be fine.  As for the defense, they need experience, and going through a game like this will be good for them.  They need experience and health.  They will be good enough to get us through this year, and hopefully really good (and healthy) for a Pac-10 title run next year.
  2.  Is it time to let go of Mike Bellotti? This is a big minority who are asking this question, and they clearly have no clue.  It was one loss to a really good team, people.  Bellotti has completely turned around this program and has the Ducks as a perennial top 20 team.  He's one of the best in America, and shame on anyone who has seriously asked this question.
  3.  Is Dixon really that good of a quarterback?  Remember Joey Harrrington in the 2000 Civil War?  Kellen Clemens vs. Indiana?  Enough said.  Dixon will be fine.
  4.  Why were the Ducks laughing during the loss?  Does this show that they don't care?  Um, what the hell were they supposed to do?  I heard a great response in the OregonLive Duck Forum to this question.  Remember in 2003 after the Michigan game when they suffered the big letdown against Wazzou and were laughing the whole time?  Its a lot better than dwelling on it.  They knew that the game was an aberration.  Learn from it, and move on.  Dwelling on it will get you beat again next week.
The only concerning thing that I saw in the Cal game was the special teams breakdown, as that is usually an Oregon strength.  I am convinced that Bellotti will find a way to fix it.  Other than that, they are 4-1, which many of us would have taken right now.  I know that its frustrating, because we all hold onto the hope that this is the year we will win the national championship, and then one loss shatters that illusion.  But we all really knew that next year will be that special year.  This year, we wanted to see a competitive, winning, and growing football team.  They are exceeding those expectations.  No reason to panic, this team is right on schedule.