What Does Oregon's Loss to Boise State Mean Today?
So we all remember the day. Sept. 3, 2009. It's burned into every honest Oregon fan's mind.
In addition to the idiocracy of LeGarrette Blount and the shame he's brought to the university, we have the whole rest of the game. Quite frankly, Oregon was the laughingstock of the NCAA.
Since then, what have the two teams been up to? Was the game a fluke? What was Oregon's problem that fateful night? Is the loss as significant as at was in September?
Well, since Sept. 3 the Ducks have skyrocketed. Losing Blount provided us with the gem LaMichael James. Masoli has stepped up as a leader, and Ed Dickson is a big bad touchdown-scoring machine.
Oregon has come off victorious against Purdue in a nail biter, and finished off non-conference play against ranked Utah, winning by a touchdown.
The Ducks have won conference games against then ranked number six Cal, and Washington State in impressive wins. The combined scores are 94-9. Ouch.
Ed Dickson began to really step up in Cal's win, followed by an impressive three touchdowns in the slaughter of the Cougars.
Last Saturday, the Ducks traveled to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena to take on UCLA. Despite injury to Masoli, Thurmond, Ward, and Blount being suspended, Oregon walked away with a 24-10 victory under "newbie" Quarterback Nate Costa.
Oregon is now 3-0 in conference play, and looks unstoppable in the Pac-10. USC might have something to say about that...but as of right now, we're 3-0 and leading the conference.
Boise State, however, is somewhat of a different story. Nothing has come close to living up to the Ducks mockery on Sept. 3.
Allowing Fresno three time to get touchdown runs of 60 yards or more, and 34 points? That turned some heads. Then we look at the UC Davis game. A FCS team, not even a top FCS team, almost took it away from BSU. Sure, Boise State fans pitch a fit when everyone "picks on them", but seriously.
UC Davis was right in it, and nearly won it. It honestly was a really good game, until the second half when the Broncos pulled away. Then Boise played Tulsa.
And wow, what a game.
Tulsa was really close, and looked really good with that fumble recovery during the third quarter. Boise was a mess, and the Golden Hurricane looked...golden. Boise only just squeaked it out 28-21.
Here's what CBS's impartial thoughts are. Now, while it praises BSU, it brings out two important things. One, this isn't helping their poll votes. It'll disappoint in the BCS poll for sure, and they might just drop a few spots.
Two is the fact that turnovers are a cause for concern. They made silly mistakes against Tulsa, fumbles that Tulsa really didn't cause. Same with UC Davis and FSU—bad, thought provoking mistakes and turnovers that nearly cost them the game.
Was that the case with Oregon? Hardly.
The consensus? While Oregon has improved 10 fold since losing that fateful night, Boise has gotten worse in a way.
So what does all this mean?
In two ways, our loss makes Oregon look good.
1. Oregon's loss looks much better now that BSU is a top-five team.
And it's true. While I, along with half the nation think they don't deserve the top five, they are there. Even if they were only one ahead of the Ducks, it makes Oregon look that much better.
Obviously you can put two and two together. As Boise St. improves, logically it comes as less and less of a surprise that Oregon lost. After all, the Broncos are a top five team right?
They might just stay up there considering the utter failure of the top 25 this week. That also looks even better for Oregon. Having a bye, we might move up two or three spots, starting to make people think the Boise game was a fluke.
2. Oregon has possibly made the best comeback in years.
Now before you go all calling me the arrogant Duck fan, face facts. It's true. It's a marvelous comeback. As any Duck fan knows, it simply incredible everything Oregon has put up with and overcome.
First, you have Chip Kelly. He's brand new at this coaching thing. Sure, he did offense for a while. But taking over the spot of (in my opinion) the best coach in Ducks history?
That's a big step. And he has quite possibly the worst offensive coordinator out there—Mark Helfrich.
I mean really, what on earth on this guy's resume would make you hire him? He's a train wreck and most of the reason the beginning of Oregon's season was so rough. Helfrich was terrible in Colorado, destroyed their offense.
Now that Kelly has the playcalling responsibility back, things are looking much, much better.
The Boise State loss was described by many sports writers as the biggest regular season loss for the Ducks in the last 10 years.
The scoreboard doesn't say it all, as the score really isn't a "blowout" at 19-8.
However the first half was pathetic. 13-0 off of a BSU touchdown, two point conversion, a field goal, and a safety!?
To make matters worse, the Ducks had six first downs the whole game, one of which actually came by way of a penalty.
Only 31 rushing yards the whole game, and while BSU had the ball nearly 43 minutes, we had it a whopping 17. Oregon only had half the number of plays as the Broncos. Pathetic.
So what happened afterwards? Well, Oregon rebounded. All the crap they, and all us fans took from the nation is slowly disintegrating. After edging out Purdue, beating ranked Utah and Cal, and crushing WAZZU, the Ducks have earned quite a bit of respect back.
Then going into UCLA, Oregon had quite possibly the biggest cause for concern. Masoli was down and out. They had to rely on Nate Costa who had never started a game in his collegiate career.
The first half was misery, and I just about had a heart attack. Then the third quarter gave us life, and the rest is history. Point is we won 24-10.
Now what am I saying?
I'm saying that despite a rookie coach, Blount's complete stupidity scarring the season, and multiple injuries to star players, the Oregon Ducks have pulled through, and made a complete turnaround of the Boise St game.
The game should be viewed in a different light today than Sept. 3. Am I undermining Boise St.'s mockery of Oregon? By no means.
But the game has a whole new meaning. Losing to a top five team is a no brainer. Stats aside, they are what they are. Oregon is ranked below them, making Boise a favorite.
Oregon's strength of schedule grows with each Boise victory, the respect of the team grows just a little bit each win.
By the end of year, with the national championship in the Duck's sights, an 11-1 season looks pretty good. Especially if Boise can stay a decent team the rest of the season.
The way the top 25 is dropping, if Oregon can seal victories against USC and rival OSU, the Ducks are sitting pretty high in the polls.
So let us not look at the Boise game as a catastrophe, but simply a setback making for a greater comeback.
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