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National Championship Game Recap: Ducks Outplayed And Outcoached, Lose Title To Ohio State

Oregon is always the bridesmaid, never the bride.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

I don't even know what to say.

In nine seasons I've written for ATQ, I've never had to write about a loss to washington. I've written about conference championships and Rose Bowl wins and a Heisman trophy.

But this is the second one of these I've written about. And it's the worst. The absolute worst.

Oregon was +4 in turnover margin, and got ten points off of it. They dropped easy catches. They couldn't run the ball. Everything this team has been since October, they all of a sudden weren't.

Much will be made of the defense. But we knew Ohio State was going to get points. The defense got us four turnovers. The offense did diddly. And it would be easy to blame that on Mariota for not being superhuman. He was 23/34 for 310 yards and two scores. Several of the incompletions were drops, including two easy catches in the first quarter that should have meant points.

But there was also Ohio State. With the best coach in America. A ruthless running game. And a backup quarterback who doesn't know he's not supposed to be good.

And we're left wondering. What if Oregon had caught those early passes? What if so many guys hadn't gotten injured?

I'm proud of this team and what they accomplished this year. But in the biggest moment, Oregon was outplayed and outcoached. It will always feel unfinished. Like there is something missing.

Once again, we are the bridesmaid, and never the bride. With Marcus Mariota assuredly leaving, it's a long, long wait until August.

We're 0/2. And, once again, we don't know if we'll ever have this opportunity again.