Oregon was Cocky, Their Defense was Sloppy, and Ohio State Leaves Happy

Caleb M.@MouthoftheQuackAnalyst IJanuary 3, 2010

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Quarterback Terrelle Pryor #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes runs with the ball against the Oregon Ducks during the 96th Rose Bowl game on January 1, 2010 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

What a weekend for college football. Florida State, Penn State, and Auburn all won in thrilling games. Saturday gave us a few blowouts, and then a great game between Arkansas and East Carolina.

But in the Rose Bowl, the "Granddaddy of them all," Ohio State ended their BCS losing streak. Oregon fell short of expectations.

Chip Kelly had overcome so much this year, just to fall short in the Rose Bowl. What a letdown. 

The Ducks didn't even reach 20 points, though "expert" predictions were showing Oregon to score close to 30. 

What went wrong? What should Oregon have done differently?

In the end there were three main problems.


Oregon Went in Cocky

Just the same way they did against Boise State, Stanford, and now Ohio State. They thought they could do it all. The media day showed us they were overconfident (unlike Ohio State), and their gameplay proves it.

The first drive the defense looked rather confused as Terrelle Pryor walked all over Oregon straight into the endzone. 

I think Oregon came out overconfident on offense, which proved fatal as the first quarter left Ducks fans confused at the lack of production from the offense and the control Ohio State had.

That brings us to the second problem of the day.


The Playcalling was Horrible.

I mean seriously! Ohio State ran the option better than Oregon did! It was embarrassing to say the least. There wasn't a single speed option play from Oregon that I could see, and the cameraman was fooled more times than the Buckeyes.

Jeremiah Masoli ran for a pathetic nine yards and one touchdown, which was a season low for him. LaMichael James ran for less than 100 yards for the first time since Washington State.

The offense was punished all day, and it seems no matter what happened, they didn't stick with the "Oregon way" as Chip Kelly said they would.

Running the option better, the speed option Oregon used to be known for, probably would've been very useful. They ended up being too predictable. They should've done what they did against OSU and USC. Oregon was prepared, determined, and won those games. 

Hopefully Oregon will learn from their mistakes and next year, if Chip Kelly takes them here again, he'll be ready.


The Defense Couldn't Contain Terrelle Pryor

It seemed like from the very first scramble, it could be a long day. And with the defense playing like it did, Pryor made sure it was. 

Pryor walked all over the Ducks defense, scrambling, running the option, breaking tackles...it was a nightmare. 

The defensive scheme run against USC was so confusing...the mix of zone coverages and blitzes made it confusing for the offense. Where was that on Friday? 

For some time the Ducks looked like a bunch of high school kids that couldn't tackle. Pryor escaped and broke tackles time and time again, scrambling for big gains or launching a pass out to a wide open receiver.

He threw for a career high 266 yards and two touchdowns. Jim Tressel said he wasn't going to hold Pryor back, and he meant it.


The Ducks did have some bright spots though. They sacked Pryor on several occasions, the defensive line had no problems bursting through all day. 

Masoli and James faked out the Buckeyes several times, getting rushes of 20-plus yards on a couple plays. But for the most part, OSU was never fooled.

Next year looks to be bright for the Ducks as they return several stars, and most of their starters. Chip Kelly will be that much more experienced, and the out-of-conference schedule is much easier next year. 

Oregon does, however, have reason to be proud. While they got manhandled, they did make it to the Rose Bowl ending the USC dynasty.

That's a reason to be joyful. Hopefully, they'll end the season on a better note next year.