Last year's Oregon-Washington State football game was a sloppy and tedious 62-38 Ducks win that surprised absolutely no one, and was on track to be easily the least memorable Oregon win of 2013. But everyone lost their damn minds in the fourth quarter when the Washington State offense kept throwing, and throwing, and throwing. Connor Halliday finished with 89 pass attempts, and a school-record (since-broken) 557 passing yards. Never mind that teams losing by a gazillion points almost always keep passing in order to lose by less than a gazillion. Never mind that Washington State is one of the worst running teams ever to play football, and doesn't run the ball even when winning. Never mind that Mike Leach couldn't give less of a shit about the way things are supposed to work. This was some bush league nonsense according to then-defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti, who called it "low class". Nick Aliotti is like the psychotic Italian uncle I never had, and though I may disagree with his reaction to what happened, I'lll stand by him through anything. So I want revenge.
And I want it now.
Set a single-game record this Saturday against Washington State. There are plenty of demeaning ones, but one stands above the rest.
Most rushing yards in a game - 528 yards, set vs. Portland State in 2010
- This might be the most impressive Oregon offense of all time. 2012 is the current leader, the only year of the Chip Kelly-Marcus Mariota tandem, when Kenjon Barner ran ramshackle through the Pac-12 and Oregon was a couple butterfly wings away from hanging 60 on Notre Dame in the BCS title game. This year's unit looks better. The sheer ease of the scoring drives, even against an elite Michigan State defense, has been unreal. This offense has no ceiling, none whatsoever.
- Between Tyner, Marshall, and Freeman - who I'm henceforth referring to as Run-TMFree - and Mariota, Oregon has four legitimate home run threats running the ball. To get to 528 in 2010, LaMichael James had to put up 200+. With that many weapons, it won't take a Herculean one-man effort to get to 529.
- In a related story, the Oregon record for most 100-yard rushers in the same game is 3, against Nicholls St last year. I think those four could all get to the century mark if the chips fall the right way.
- Washington State's defense includes two plastic lawn flamingos, an Olive Garden never-ending pasta bowl, and an actual cougar. Not the cat, a 48-year old divorcee named Tammy who'd love it if you bought her a gin and tonic and lit her menthol. She lives like, right around the block. Just sayin'. Also, one of the flamingos just robbed a liquor store, and is suspended for this week's game.
- In most blowouts, Marcus Mariota and the starting offense grabs baseball hats and takes a seat pretty early. But Washington State has a talented offense, one that can put up yards and points of their own. If the Cougs can put a few in the endzone, the ones will see significant time in the second half. And that means boatloads more yards.
- I have a hunch that Mark Helfrich has a little evil streak in him. He's been kind of the bran muffin of head coaches since he took over for Chip "Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Popper" Kelly, but the second-half hubbub against Michigan State, finishing with the Royce Freeman exclamation point, had an air of, "we don't need no water, let the motherfucker burn". It was cold, calculated, and ruthless. Yessssss, feel the hate floooooooow through you.