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Reliving the Season: Washington State

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Leaders:

 

UO | WSU

 

Passing:

Dixon: 287 | Brink 251

 

Rushing:

Stewart 66 | Tardy 34

 

Receiving:

Williams 108 | Anderson: 127

 

Secretly, many of us feared this game.  After all, we’d seen it in the past, where the Ducks lose a game they weren’t supposed to, or lose one in heartbreaking fashion, and the wheels start to fall off.  Washington State was a terrible team, but we’d lost to some terrible teams in the past.

 

Not this year.  40-0 at halftime will put away any fears in a hurry.

 

For the second time in three weeks, fans wouldn’t see this game on TV due to the Pac-10’s “exclusivity” clause (thank God Tom Hansen is retiring!), but for those of us sitting in Autzen that day, we were treated to one of the biggest ass kickings in Oregon football history.

 

The start was rather inauspicious for a Duck blowout.  Alex Brink, the Sheldon grad upset that he wasn’t recruited by Oregon, finally played his first game in Eugene.  He wanted to beat the Ducks badly.  The Cougars won the toss, and Brink drove them down to the Oregon 9, until John Bacon intercepted Brink’s pass, and returned it to the WSU 42.  While I hate the “bend but don’t break” defense, it was run to perfection in this game.  Oregon got the ball, and JJ took it to the house on the first play.  7-0 Ducks.

 

It still didn’t look like a blowout.  Unfazed, Brink again drove the Cougs, this time to the Oregon 2.  Nick Reed then sacked him for a whopping 17 yard loss, and on the very next play, Jerome Boyd picked off a Brink pass at the Oregon 5.  The defense did it again.  Oregon would only get a field goal this time, but the spirit of the WSU offense was broken.  For the first half, their possessions went as follows:

 

INTERCEPTION

INTERCEPTION

PUNT

FUMBLE

PUNT (3 and out)

SAFETY

PUNT (3 and out)

PUNT (3 and out)

Three turnovers, a safety, and three 3 and outs in one half is never a good sign.  Meanwhile, Oregon’s possessions were the opposite:

 

TD Johnson

FG Evenson

Punt

TD Johnson

Punt

TD Dixon

TD Williams

TD Jones

 

On both sides of the ball, it was the most complete half of football I have ever seen.  Total domination in every facet of the game.  And, to boot, Oregon came out at halftime and drove down the field again.  This time, 5’7” freshman and ATQ hero Aaron Pflugrad would make his presence felt, with a gorgeous 22 yard TD reception down the middle of the field between two defenders.  Oregon only scored two field goals the rest of the game, as the Crenshaw’s, Leaf’s, and Cavaille’s of the team finished off the clock.

 

It was another test passed with flying colors by these Ducks.  But, oh, it came with a cost.  Cam Colvin went down in the second quarter, and as soon as I saw the replay on DuckVision, I knew his ankle was broken.  Also, JJ went down, another victim of the torn ACL bug that plagued us.  Both were huge weapons, and both were gone for the season.  So while we celebrated our victory, we wondered how our team would respond to the loss of two more weapons.

 

Next up were the hated Huskies.  And, while all of us expected a win, the Huskies in Seattle are never easy.  After all, lose that game, and everything we had done in the season was for nothing.  You want to have a successful season?  In my mind, it all starts with beating Washington.  Another week, another test.

 

GO DUCKS!!!

 

--Dave (addictedtoquack@gmail.com)