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It's pretty rare to see a home crowd jeer the officiating crew when they stop a game in the fourth quarter to add time to the clock when the home team has the ball and is trailing. But that's exactly the reaction we saw from the folks at Autzen on Friday evening.
With less than two minutes to go, Oregon began a classic Oregon drive, moving quickly down the field. After a first down, the clock continued to run for just two seconds before it stopped to move the chains. When the referee stopped the game and instructed the timekeeper to add the two seconds back, there was a distinct mixture of cheers and boos from the partisan crowd is Eugene.
If you run an offense like Oregon, rhythm is everything. Running a play every 15 to 20 seconds has a way of not only gassing the defense, but also not allowing for adjustments. It's a huge advantage to the offense if it can be executed correctly, and the Ducks have made their names on doing just that.
Anything that throws all of that out of sync is cause for concern.
It's not just the officials, either. Oregon State's defense had success against Oregon's running game through the middle part of the game, and it was evident that unexpected setbacks rattled Oregon and its play-calling scheme.
Teams that live by the hurry-up also die by the hurry-up. Once the train leaves the tracks, it's difficult—if not impossible—to start things up again. It's almost a foregone conclusion that the drive will end in a punt, and the offense has to reset for its next drive.
So go ahead and boo, Oregon fans. We get it.