Ducks Not Only Lost a Game, They Lost Respect
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I told you so.
I told my readers several weeks go not to put their trust in the Oregon Ducks because they or Stanford always disappoint. The stats proved that out; the higher-ranked team almost always loses to the other.
The last few years, Oregon has been that team. So if you're shocked that the Ducks lost to Stanford, you haven't been paying attention.
Oregon is a very good team, but when it comes to playing more physical teams, they get their lunch eaten.
The formula to beating Oregon is to run the the football down their throats and play good defense. That formula has worked for not only Stanford the last two years, but for LSU and Auburn, who also defeated them.
The Ducks' offense works for the most part in the Pac 12, but put them against a team that plays smash-mouth football, and they fall apart. Its offense is keyed by having a mega-mobile quarterback as the first run option. Rumors were circulating before the game that Marcus Mariota had a tweaked knee, and there might have been something to it. How often did you see him take off? He's usually good for 10-15 carries a game. Last night, he was credited with only six, and a few of those were sacks.
But a national championship team shouldn't have to depend on only one player. Tweak or not, this played right into the Cardinal strategy of having him beat them with his arm. He had his chances -- like the underthrown bomb to Josh Huff that would've put them inside the 10 -- but hit on only one.
And don't get too carried away with Stanford either. They only threw the ball 10 teams last night, which wouldn't work in defeating an Alabama or a Florida State. Having said that, no team in the Pac-12 adjusts its offensive game plan as much as the Cardinal. Kevin Hogan is an efficient passer, but he'd have to be seriously on his game to prevail over the Tide or the Noles.
The loss for Oregon not only severely damages their national championship hopes again, but it makes them now almost irrelevant. They are now Boise State.
Boise State was America's Team. They would make their way up to the Top Five, be a game or two away from going to the BCS Championship game and then lose to, say, a Nevada.
Do you even hear about Boise State any more? No, because no one takes them seriously. They know when their big moment comes, they puke on themselves.
Same thing with Oregon. If you can't beat the big boys, no one will take your seriously. And now, Oregon's 15 minutes is over.