We're 5-1 overall and sit atop the Pac-10 standings at the midpoint of the season. If you would have told me that we would only have one loss by this point given our schedule, I would have been very pleased. I had pretty much penciled in losses to either Boise State or Utah, plus Cal given our inexperience on the offensive and defensive lines. So far, I'm +1 on my predictions,with our only loss to Boise State in the perfect storm of a game. Let's check in on this bye week version of the elevator.
Nate Costa: Before the game started, I was a bit nervous about our chances against UCLA, mainly because of a new quarterback making his first ever start in Pasadena. As the game kicked off, I found myself at peace with the idea that here was a man that personified grit, determination and never giving up in the face of extreme adversity. No matter the outcome, I was proud to a witness to a guy who had conquered his demons and became the starter for the Oregon Ducks. No one could take that away, no matter of the outcome. Oregon could have lost the game by 50 and I would have still been proud. Here's to you Nate and your journey back. Elevator: Up 2 Floors
Chip Kelly: It's easy to move someone up or down in the elevator based on the outcome of the game but this isn't one of those times. You want to know how good a coach Chip is? Look at him talk to Nate Costa after his pick in the endzone. He was joking with him, getting him to relax, smiling, doing all the right things. Some coaches could yell at a guy, destroying his confidence before sending him back out there to finish the game with a monkey on his back. You already figure that Chip knows the personal side of the game with the LGB situation but this moment with Nate was just another indication of the human side of the coach. Elevator: Up 1 Floor
ESPN Coverage: Look, I understand you're trying to give Van Halen some pub but did we really need the music history lesson? This is coming from a guy that studied music history, has a degree, and loves talking about stuff like that. We didn't need to hear about it for 5 minutes DURING THE GAME. Call the game, that's what you get paid to do. Elevator: Down 1 Floor
Jerry Azzinaro: I admit, I didn't know what to make of you before the season started and I'm sorry. You took a group that had a lot of question marks coming into the season into a powerful force in a great defense. The goalline stand against UCLA? Priceless. Jerry has inspired confidence in a unit that has more than delivered, especially in the last 3 games. Elevator: Up 1 Floor
Kenny Rowe: You're a monster. I don't know what else to say. Ridiculous play big man, just flat out. You were all around the ball, sacks, fumble recoveries, huge stops. Elevator: Up 2 Floors
LaMichael James: If his game stats of 20 carries for 152 yards wasn't enough, his 49 yard run from his own goalline should do it for you. The speed by which he makes cuts and decisions is just unreal. He's been the offensive MVP of the season for Oregon this year. Who needs thunder and lightning when you got one big giant storm coming at you? Elevator: In the Penthouse
Cliff Harris: Cliff saw his first real action on Saturday, working against UCLA receivers. By all accounts, he did very well in his role. Anthony Gildon was supposed to get the start but have we seen the Harris-era begin? Elevator: Up 1 Floor