Welcome to another edition of the Oregon Ducks Elevator. The football team has moved to 2-1 on the season, mainly because of inspired defensive play. Be honest, how many of you honestly thought we would be 3-0 going into the Cal game? I would have been thrilled but 2-1 is still pretty good, especially since we were still in the Boise State game and had a chance to win. On to the elevator.
Jeremiah Masoli: 4-for-16 passing for 95 yards. 12 carries for 47 yards and 2 touchdowns. 2 fumbles and an interception. It says something that Oregon only called 5 passing plays in the second half. Masoli just didn't have it. That interception was in the red zone and one of those fumbles was picked up for a Utah score. Even if you count the two touchdowns and his good execution in the zone read, you can't get past the point swing 14 to 21 point swing. Without those turnovers, we are looking at possibly a 38-10 victory and fewer questions going into Cal… like what are we going to do for a passing game. Elevator: Down 2 Floors
Rob Beard: Had a fantastic game kicking off. Rob routinely kicked the ball into the corner on kickoffs, making Utah routinely return the ball from inside their 5. Plenty of height in the kicks translates into good coverage. Elevator: Up 1 Floor
LaMichael James: 152 yards on 27 carries with a 45 yard long and a touchdown. Most importantly, he carried the load for the offense in the second half with the passing game struggling. I don't like to see James getting so many carries. If he goes down, we'll be struggling to find an offensive threat unless our passing game improves. Elevator: Up 2 Floors
Walter Thurmond III: He got the crowd and the Ducks into the game by taking the opening punt return back for 78 yards and a touchdown. He also batted down several balls and played lockdown coverage in the secondary. Outside of LaMichael James, he just might be our biggest scoring threat. Did I mention that Oregon is 5-0 when Walter scores a touchdown? How about a flysweep? Elevator: Up 2 Floors
Kenjon Barner: No one can disagree with the potential talent but Kenjon didn't have a great game. He only averaged 1.9 yards a carry on 9 carries. As the most likely candidate to give us another threat in the backfield, Kenjon will need to step up next week if we will have a shot against Cal. Elevator: Down 1 Floor
Nick Aliotti: How about that defensive performance? Not only is he putting players in a position to win, he's making the right calls at the right time. If the offense hadn't put the defense in horrible positions through turnovers, the score would show just how much of a performance the entire unit put in. After three games, the defense has kept us in each one and was responsible for winning at least 1 of those. Don't worry Nick. Duck Fans will be back to hating you after Cal this week when Jahvid Best comes to town. Elevator: Up 2 Floors
Fans at Autzen Stadium: I hate to do it but a few of you ruined it for the rest of us. Chanting "overrated" at the end of the game? Going up to the Utah fans afterwards and again chanting "overrated"? If those events aren't damning enough, you actually CHEERED Washington's win over USC. Since when do you cheer Washington for anything? Have they been down so long that you are starting to feel sorry for them? You should be ashamed of yourselves. The only reason you don't go down more was the great turnout on a rainy day. Elevator: Down 1 Floor