Eleven years after Mississippi State took a 36-13 loss in Autzen Stadium, a new SEC foe finally decided to make the long journey west in hopes of exposing what some think is an overrated Oregon football team. The Tennessee Volunteers – and what seemed like half their state – arrived in Eugene with a “shock the world” mentality, rallying Friday night at the campus bars by singing Tennessee fight songs and driving their personalized tailgating truck to the Autzen parking lot.
One Tennessee fan in particular, truly believed the Oregon Ducks are “a bunch of Pac-12 rejects” who do not belong in the upper echelon of college football. He goes on to not only rip on the Ducks football program but the city of Eugene as well, claiming “it rains 300 days a year” here and it is “basically home to a bunch of guys who like to play hacky sack and smoke hookah pipes.” He went on to post three more similar videos trashing left and right the Ducks and Eugene.
With the kick off, Tennessee acted the part of a prototypical SEC team’s physicality and play. They dominated the line on both sides of the ball and went up 7-0, after forcing rare consecutive threes-and-out on a potent Oregon offense. This was shaping up to be the first competitive contest in Autzen since the Stanford game back in November of last year. Within the blink of an eye, this all changed with Oregon scoring 38 straight points before halftime, and adding 21 more in the second half. After a slow start, Marcus Mariota threw for a career-high 456 yards showing the non-believers what the Oregon Ducks could do on a national stage, while propelling himself to the front of the Heisman trophy race.
The Tennessee vlogger who tore the Ducks apart in multiple videos, was humbled by the massacre he witnessed. After the game he posted a new video titled “A thorn in my pride” apologizing to the fans and the state as a whole, and praising the Ducks football program.
So far, Oregon has lived up to their hype with three games that could be considered laughers. Slowly, they are beginning to gain respect from the rest of the country and hopefully after January 6th everyone will consider the Ducks a national powerhouse.