“Much has been made of the Oregon uniforms in the past, but a little known nuance, this year’s helmets feature a running total of points and first downs for Oregon." The sarcasm of ESPN’s quick-swinging pundits was apparent in the halftime wrap-up.
Twin zeros, clever fellas—that’s why you guys are paid the big bucks.
I won’t try to sway it any other way: The offense was ugly in the first half. A total of 14 yards and, as mentioned above, zero first downs and zero points seemed to be the product of a sluggish, heavy-footed offensive line.
I won’t put it all on the line, though the surprising tentativeness of the unit as a whole looked to be the ailment of what was the Pac-10’s top assault in 2008. But as the O filled the role of the fat ugly friend, the defense definitely was cast as the good-looking blonde with all the invites.
Despite opening drive jitters and a 24-minute, 10-second endurance test, the Oregon defense held the Broncos to 11 by the halfway mark, making it 13-0 courtesy of a second quarter safety. Oregon’s special teams played arguably the most vital role, keeping Boise State under heavy enough pressure to force two missed field goals.
The second half prompted signs of life from the Oregon offense after an opening drive score by Boise State and a devastating loss to injury of top defenseman T.J. Ward. Oregon’s response provided possibly the most relieving first down that I, to this day, have ever seen.
The Jeremiah Masoli-Ed Dickson connection with 7:07 left in the third quarter finally afforded Duck fans some offense to cheer about and Oregon their first, first down of the season.
This big conversion sparked what at the time was the most crucial drive of the game, giving Oregon the momentum to drive the field and conclude the possession by way of a Masoli five-yard rushing touchdown, which was then complemented by a LeGarrette Blount two-point conversion.
The remainder of the game was marked by a plethora of sloppy INTs, fumbles, and bobbled snaps, including two sets of back-to-back turnovers.
The closest Oregon got to putting more points on the board was with just under 12 minutes left on the clock, when Chip Kelly opted to go for it on fourth down, just outside of the red zone, to no avail.
With the Ducks down 19-8, Kelly needed a field goal at some point to tie the game, but with some of the game’s only Duck momentum on his side, going for it seemed to be the right call.
With this bitter Duck defeat on unexpected terms, Boise State advances to 65-2 in home games since 1999.
Now, to the post game incident involving a deserving, big mouthed, trash talking, Bronco defensive lineman and an emotionally charged, frustrated, no nonsense elite running back. Unfortunately this will be a topic of the morally pretentious ESPN broadcasters for the entire week and will also involve repercussions by the NCAA and possibly additional punishment by the UO athletic department.
My only ill will toward Blount’s actions are that the Ducks are now without their top running back indefinitely. Football is a game where players train everyday to be aggressive and hit. Good players play with emotion, and emotions don’t just stop with a whistle. It is too bad that Blount reacted the way he did for his own sake, and it is unfortunate that his immediate reaction will be held accountable while the instigator Bryon Hout will most likely see no action by the NCAA.
It’s obvious that Blount could have responded better. I was sorry to see he couldn’t slow his roll after the right hook and avoid the kafuffle with the Boise fans chanting, “F@&% YOU!” as he made his way to the locker room.
Hout acted like an classless unsportsmanlike punk stupid enough to get into the face and slap on the shoulder pad a player that promised an ass whopping prior to the game. I'm not sure what Hout was expecting to get out his actions. Anyone lacking the common sense to avoid that volatile situation deserves to be dropped like a rag doll, and he was.