UO | OSU
Roper 144 | Moevao 245
Sieverson 142 | Stewart 163
Powers 80 | Maehl 86
How many of us were really pumped up about this game before watching it?
Me neither. After the disaster in Arizona, and the general ineptitude in LA, watching this game was mostly out of obligation than enjoyment. After all, if we couldn't move the ball against a thoroughly mediocre UCLA team, how were we going to score against an OSU team that was actually pretty darn good? And, with the ram rammers on a hot streak, what made us think that this wasn't going to be a blowout, and quickly at that? After all, we were basically playing our scout team.
Our only hope to keep it close seemed to be our defense. As we saw Anthony Brown and Matt Sieverson carve up our defense for a big gain and a score 30 seconds into a game, we thought we were roast duck.
Funny what can happen when you least expect it.
Cody Kempt was completely ineffective manning the offense, but our defense had stepped up and was not allowing the bucktooths the big plays that had gotten a score early on. Ten minutes in, Kempt would get hurt, and our FIFTH string quarterback would enter the game. While we were wondering how long it would be until we saw Andre Crenshaw taking snaps under center, Justin Roper promtply threw a 31 yard touchdown pass on his first play from scrimmage, giving us our first sniff of the end zone since Dixon went down. Our thoughts of "maybe this Roper guy isn't so bad" returned to four letter expletives when OSU scored on thier next possession. The first quarter ended 14-7 but, hey, at least we weren't going to be shut out. My expectations for the game had already been exceeded.
The second quarter provided some love/hate with our newfound quarterback, as he threw a pick six on the first play. However, our defense would stay stout, and Roper, to his credit, rode Snoop and found a way to keep the ball moving. When Mr. Fifth String threw another TD pass with just over a minute to go, there was a sense we might actually be in this thing. When the Beavers fumbled their next play, and Jairus Byrd scooped it up and ran for a score, tying the game, we were giddly like a schoolgirl. We were tied at halftime? How freaking great would it be if our scout team offense beat the Beavers, home of one of the top five defenses in the nation?
I had my wife read me the score. It wasn't the Hefeweizen talking, this thing really was tied.
As the Beaver offense struggled with three and outs and missed field goals in the third, Jonathan Stewart was piling up more and more yardage. Going into the final quarter of play, the Ducks actually led by a score.
The Beavers would tie it up early in the fourth quarter, and it would stay that way until OT. But it wasn't for a lack of trying, and crazy turns of events eliminated what looked like sure wins for both teams.
With a little over four minutes to go, the Beavers got the ball on their 40. Because Alexis Serna was one of the best kickers in the nation, I really thought that the game was likely over at that point. And, as Sieverson inched the Beavers closer and closer, I felt worse and worse. Finally, with 1:09 to play, and the ball at the Oregon 17, the Barkrodents lined up for the field goal. This was a chip shot for Serna. However, Walter Thurmond made one of the best play you'll ever see, laid out, and hit the ball with his fingers. Now, it was Roper completing pass after pass the other way. They were finally in place for a game winning 40 yard field goal attempt. However, instead of using their last time out to set it up, the Ducks rushed it, Evensen shanked it, and we were headed to OT.
The teams traded field goals in an uneventful first OT.
However, in the second OT, Beavers got the ball first and ran a sweep to James Rodgers. He scored easily. Oregon had a fourth and one to extend the game but, in the decision that I find to be the most unacceptable all season, they line up in the shotgun to give Snoop the ball instead of under center. He is stopped, game over.
Its funny because, although we had no expectations coming in, we were completely devastated at this point. So much frustration could have been wiped away with an upset win here. Although it was a great game and it was nice to be competitive, somehow a heartbreaking loss hurt much worse than a blowout would have.
However, this game was a positive sign after the debaccles of the previous two games. It made our upcoming Sun Bowl game with South Florida a bit more intriguing.