Sunday, October 3, 2010

Oregon Ducks Will Swim to National Title

This was real.

It’s highly impossible to beat the Oregon Ducks, a college football program comprising of a high-powered offense, called the Quack Attack. The Ducks dominated Stanford in every facet of the biggest showdown in college football this weekend. The most elite program in all likelihood is the well-anticipated Ducks, arguably favored in the Pac-10 conference.

By the end of the night, the scoreboard read 52-31. Thrilled Oregon fans were giving their appreciation and wearing green and yellow attire, all while generating a crazed frenzy. By the end of the night, fans swarmed around the heroes of an outweighing annihilation.

Darron Thomas and LaMichael James were transcendent. James, an explosive and agile tailback, rushed for a career-high 257 yards on 31 carries. From the moment of an early blowout, Oregon hadn’t surrendered and answered with a decisive touchdown in a high-scoring contest among a pair of powerhouses within a disparaged conference.

“You just can’t worry about the score,” said James. “You’ve just got to play your game. This team right here is really buying into this system. We’re down, but we know eventually something is going to break because of our tempo and our endurance.”

Never mind Jeremiah Masoli, the quarterback who led the Ducks on a sensational turnaround and drove the program to the Rose Bowl, but was dismissed for his off-the-field troubles. The best team in the Pac-10, if not in the nation, is destined to clinch a berth for the national title game led by the rising star Thomas, who prevailed on the ravishing stage in his career and considerably magnified the Ducks national title hopes.

The repetition of onslaughts began by the second half, and fans screamed in the stands energized for witnessing the Ducks execute unstoppable running plays. Throughout much of a hellacious, high-scoring night, Oregon wore down the Cardinal and eventually their opponents became baffled and fatigued with the routine sprints to the line of scrimmage and relentless rush attacks to counterbalance a hard-driven defense, emphasized heavily by Stanford’s coach Jim Harbaugh.

“I’m proud of my guys, very proud of them, and we’ll keep our heads up, and we’ll come back next week,” said Harbaugh. “Wasn’t our day today.”

Five games into the season, and Oregon is unbeaten in reality. It all happened overwhelmingly on a night the Ducks trailed 21-3 in the first-half, but slowly strategized a blueprint and rode a gigantic comeback by pounding the Cardinal and dissolving national title hopes, and maybe even a conference title. It was simply dynamic on a specific play that shifted the momentum, a drive embodied in the beginning of a conceivable comeback for the Ducks.

All cred that the Ducks are the finest program in the nation for its athleticism, high-powered offense and posture, is fittingly worth acknowledging at a point when Oregon is unbeaten and compelling, belittling and trouncing opponents with a violent rush attack and the growth of Thomas. The Ducks, as we refer to as the powerhouse of the Pac-10, already comprises of a championship-caliber offense, but the demise of its defense will dictate whether Oregon contends for a national title. If you weren’t around to witness a dazzling game, the Ducks rallied back from a large deficit by holding Stanford scoreless in the second-half.

“We knew we weren’t going to blow them out.” Oregon coach Chip Kelly told reporters. “It’s going to be a battle every week in our league.”

And though the Ducks have enough offensive weapons to win possibly every battle and finish the season undefeated, the University of Nike and Donald Duck are vulnerable faltering in the national title game with the lack of defense. No reason to worry too much. By realizing that Kelly is supreme at motivating his players and grooming a core of star athletes, he’ll make adjustments in time to introduce a well-balanced team. It’s a program of assaulters that were dismissed in some ways, but has the ingredients to be regarded as conference winners.

As he waited for this moment, Thomas out-shined a former high school rival Andrew Luck in a peerless showdown. Alongside his counterpart, James, he maneuvered an equated offense on a game-changing play and connected with Jeff Maehl for a 29-yard touchdown across the middle in a route Stanford’s defenders allowed the speedy receiver to sprint down the middle uncovered.

As much as we adore the Ducks, the sophomore running back James is a legitimate Heisman candidate and has redeemed his image after serving a suspension in the season-opener. Of course, if there was any redemption, it was his blistering quickness. So far, he has rushed for 712 yards and seven touchdowns in his first four games. But on this particular night, Thomas made a strong case and threw for 238 yards, ran for 117 yards and accounted for four touchdowns Saturday.

The ultimate irony is that the Ducks are running a high-powered offense with a double-threat. Already, this season alone, the Ducks scored at least 42 points in each of their first five games. Still, it would be beneficial for defensive coordinator Nick Allotti to channel and inspire mental toughness on defense.

It appears he can manufacture methodical adjustments, but in the second half the Ducks held the Cardinal to 66 yards after allowing 111 in the first. The Ducks applied the pressure in the second half and began harassing Luck and forced the projected top quarterback in next year’s NFL draft into two interceptions.

After all, as the intensity became a factor, Oregon safety Javes Lewis hit receiver Chris Owusu, who fumbled and that allowed Ducks linebacker Eddie Pleasant to retrieve the ball and return it 51 yards to the Stanford 3. When the defense delivered on a huge stop, Oregon had already tied it 31 all. But the next play following the fumble, of course, James ran it into the end zone for the second of three touchdowns.

“I give a lot of credit to our defensive coaches,” Kelly told reporters. “They made great adjustments at halftime, and our players came out and played hard.”

The Ducks certainly believed.

“Every team is going to have adversity,” James said. “I think what matters is how you overcome adversity.”


The Ducks may have plenty worth celebrating. They may hoist the crystal ball. It makes absolute sense.