1. The Autzen Avalanche is real. Multiple reports from Saturday night’s game confirm that the home of the Ducks was absolutely rocking during the last 20 minutes against UCLA. It is a certainty that a PAC-12 title game in Eugene would present a big problem to whoever represents the south. The Ducks put up the final 28 points of the game in that final 20 minutes of play, reminding a national audience of the oft forgotten final third of Oregon’s much quoted mantra: “Fast. Hard. FINISH.”
2. Johnny Mundt is a touchdown grabbing walnut farmer. This is not something Mr. Musburger learned from Saturday, but rather something he learned for Saturday as he conveyed his newly acquired knowledge from high atop the broadcast booth. A tip of the hat to the four letter broadcast crew for focusing on positive traits of players involved in the contest rather than low-hanging, rotting fruit of recent local news headlines. There is little need to rub additional salt in a Ducks fan’s fresh wounds.
3. Oregon coaches allow their players to win games. No better picture of the 14 yard leash coaches entrust to their Ducks than the shocking fake punt from Oregon’s own 26 yard line on 4th and a mile. Coaches afterwards said it was middle linebacker Rodney Hardrick’s call on the field to take the direct snap if he saw certain indicators from the opposing coverage unit. Given the fact Oregon was already trailing in the game, a misread from Hardrick could have been a disaster for Oregon. Instead, his courage led to a stunning season highlight, not to mention a 66 yard gain while taking the ball to the UCLA 8 yard line.
4. Oregon’s defense will keep the Ducks in games they should be losing. Oregon fans, you need to savor this moment. Your days of watching this special secondary are limited to only a few more game days. For all of the talent that Oregon has seen in its secondary over the last few years, this crew is nothing short of truly elite. There are surefire NFL talents in Coach John Neal’s bunch, and we are more than likely to see the entire starting group go after this year.
5. It’s a two horse race to the Pac-12 Championship. Saturday left no doubt. Although Stanford has faltered of late, the BCS representative from the west coast is all but a lock between the expected pair of Oregon and Stanford. They are a combined 3-0 versus the leaders of the Pac-12 South so far this season with a number of key games yet to be played. Having said that, those three wins have all come in convincing fashion for both the Ducks and the Cardinal.