This morning, the Oregonian’s Bob Rickert posted a story about the top ten things most people won’t remember from Oregon’s win, but should. It’s a really good list, great even, but he left out a couple of the most important ones. I’m here to help him fill in the blanks.
Jeff Maehl earned the nickname the Maehlman last night. Oregon’s only weakness on offense this season has been at wide receiver. In fact, no wide out caught a single touchdown pass before Maehl did, coincidentally, in the Rose Bowl against UCLA in sixth game of the season.
But recently, the junior has stepped up big time to become a legitimate second receiving threat alongside Ed Dickson. Averaging 95 YPG his past four. including five touchdowns, Maehl has come up with several big catches to help Oregon back to Pasadena.
His 73-yard TD last night gave the Ducks their first lead, but even more important than that was an eight-yard catch on fourth down in thee third quarter to keep the comeback hopes alive. Maehl has really blossomed into another weapon for Jeremiah Masoli, and they will only be better next year. Add in the white receiver factor, and Maehl is even more likable.
Winning with the white pants. When the Ducks came out last night wearing white pants, I was shocked. Oregon has worn the white pants twice this season, and you guessed it, they picked up an L both times. Does Casey Martin get off on almost giving 60,000 a collective heart attack? I guess this proved that Oregon is better than a jinx. But Casey, please don’t do that to me again on New Years’.
The Autzen Zoo lived up to its billing. Duck fans pride themselves on being the loudest and most intimidating fans in college football, and last night, they did just that. I don’t believe there is a decibel rating quite yet, but for what it’s worth, the crowd noise was audible from at least eight miles away. Imagine what it must have been like on the field.
Overall, last night might not have been as loud as the USC game on Halloween, but when OSU decided to go for it on fourth and 16 with just over six minute left, that was the loudest I have ever heard a stadium get. My ears are still ringing from being in the student section.
Coaching. Football is all about making changes and adapting to the game. In the first half, the Beavers were taking of advantage of the spacious Oregon front seven. James Rodgers was running the fly sweep and Jacquizz was catching screen passes underneath for big yards. Realizing that, Chip Kelly adjusted, and stuffed the box, halting the OSU offense. The Result? The Beavs only got two first downs in the final 26 minutes.
Game. Set. Match. The Ducks are going to the Rose Bowl.
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