‘Bama and Buckeyes Beware: These Ducks Are Headed South

Oregon Coach Mark Helfrich at Rose Bowl presser, photo by John Sperry

This one was over early. The sun hadn’t begun to set over the San Gabriel Mountains by the time the lights had gone out on Jimbo Fisher and Jameis Winston, whose Florida State team suffered a humiliating 59-20 thumping at the hands of Mark Helfrich’s fired-up Oregon Ducks squad.

Ducks star receiver Devon Allen was injured on the opening kickoff.

Craig Strobeck

Ducks star receiver Devon Allen was injured on the opening kickoff.

After losing world-class sprinter and outstanding wide receiver Devon Allen to a leg injury on the opening kickoff, the Ducks proceeded to simply dominate every aspect of this, the first-ever college football playoff game.

Here are a few stats:

The Ducks gained 639 yards, a Rose Bowl record. Their 41 points scored in the second half was also a Rose Bowl record, as was their astonishing 59 point total, scored against a team that had won 29 in a row.

The two quarterbacks were statistically close. Oregon’s Marcus Mariota finished with 338 yards through the air on 26 of 36 passing, a 9.4 yards per throw average, while the Seminoles’ Winston gained 348 throwing yards (29/45), a 7.7 yard average. Ducks’ receiver Darren Carrington had a huge game, snagging seven passes for a whopping 165 yards.

Aloha's Thomas Tyner was the Ducks leading rusher in the Rose Bowl.

Shortleff

Aloha’s Thomas Tyner was the Ducks leading rusher in the Rose Bowl.

On the ground, Oregon’s Thomas Tyner made me look like a genius after I predicted he would step up in this game, gaining 124 yards on 13 carries, an impressive 9.5 yards per carry average.

Then there was the Ducks’ ball-hawking defense, who came away with five turnovers (four fumbles and an interception), time after time snuffing out any hope the Seminoles might have had of getting back in this one.

Watching this game had to be a sobering experience for Alabama and Ohio State fans. Clearly Oregon is peaking at the right time. Their blur offense is breathtaking (literally for opposing defenses). And their D has shown it’s anything but the collective panty-waisted sissy fans in the SEC have made them out to be.

So now it’s on to the National Championship game on January 12. Whether Oregon faces ‘Bama or the Buckeyes, the Ducks from Eugene are looking every bit like the best team in college football right now.

Top photo by John Sperry

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Randy Morse

Randy Morse

Randy Morse (Editor and Writer) is a native Oregonian, a South Eugene High and U of O grad (where he played soccer for the Ducks, waaay back in ’70-‘71). After his doctoral work at the University of Alberta he launched a writing & publishing career – that plus his love of mountaineering has taken him all over the world. An award-winning artist, musician, broadcaster, and author, he’s written 8 books – his writing on media & democracy earned him the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting’s 2014 Dalton Camp Award. He swears he taught LaMarcus Aldridge his patented fade-way jump shot, and is adamant that if he hadn’t left the country (and was a foot taller) he would be the owner of a prosperous chain of fast food outlets and a member of the NBA Hall of Fame by now. If there is a more rabid Ducks fan in the known universe, this would come as a major surprise to Morse’s long-suffering family. He resides in the tiny alpine village of Kaslo, British Columbia.

  • Kiwimommy

    One of the greatest days of my life. I have to admit I was worried it would be a dog fight to the end. I have watched a lot of trash talking from around the country and even in our own league. I came to the conclusion over the last couple of years that it is the big storied programs that have the most issues with Oregon, the most hate. It is like old monied families and their attitudes toward the nuveau riche, hating the attitude, the upstarts. It is these people that love to take pot-shots at idiotic topics such as Phil Knight or the uniform choices. I am sure they preferred the old days when they had all the money and no one else in their leagues were any competition at all, the Oklahomas, Alabamas, USCs. But these are new days and Oregon, TCU, Baylor, Kansas State, Michigan State and many more now have a say on the final day. The resentment from the old powerhouses is palpable and Oregon’s statement today was profound and left no doubts that they are the real deal! Some will never stop with the hating. But every school has their sugar daddies and most teams around the country are wearing Nike uniforms. But those Oregon uniforms actually bring in recruits so I can understand why the hate.
    But please note that post game Florida players left the field without even a handshake but most of all listen to the coaches and players. Every time FSU opens its mouth, no credit to Oregon at all. They lost the game as if Oregon had nothing to do with it. Yet Oregon, gracious in their win, every time they spoke, praised FSU, credited FSU for forcing Oregon to have to execute an ALL TEAM plan. You would have thought listening to Oregon that they had barely squeaked by the best team in the nation, while listening to Jimbo you would have thought they were playing a Pop Warner team and they had a 3-stooges night. Not one ounce of credit to Oregon, not one word of praise for Mariota. Bad Karma Jimbo and FSU Bad Karma!
    Even as an Oregon Fan for life, they amazed me tonight, they increased my confidence that I don’t think it will matter whether it is Alabama or Ohio State, Oregon will Win the Day!

    • imabiyer

      Kiwi — from what I saw on ESPN — I thought FSU gave credit to Oregon and praised Mariota in particular. I also saw the whole thing about FSU players leaving the field after Kirk Herbstreit mentioned it. A friend of mine who had a friend at the game told her that the FSU players were asked to leave the field quickly so that the awards ceremony could get started and people could switch to the Sugar Bowl; so not sure if them leaving the field was really totally their fault. I can confirm that the stars of the FSU team like Winston and Rashad Green among many others still stayed on the field to congratulate the Oregon team. I guess me being in Corvallis (but a Ducks fan) — I’d never thought I’d say this — but I think you’re being a tad bit hypersensitive. Even a sore winner if there is such a thing? What do you want FSU to do? Grovel in front of us and say we are the BOMB and the greatest team ever? Those guys are ultra-competitive and had a terrible game (partly because of us — but not all because of us). I’ve watched alot of their games and I’ve never seen them play that bad before in the last 2 years. I DO expect them to be men and concede that they lost to us and congratulate us — that’s pretty much it. Now its time to take OSU to task and bring it (the Natty) home!

  • Polaris Silvertree

    First of all, congratulations to Oregon! FSU fell apart in the 3rd quarter and then as if that wasn’t enough the Ducks proceed to run them over — again and again and again…
    What are you talking about FSU not giving credit to Oregon? Did you not watch the postgame interviews — seems like FSU was pretty gracious? That said, I thought it was bad form for FSU players to leave the field without handshaking (though I think given how they imploded like they never had in 2+ years — I can see a sense of utter dejection on their part). Still, there were also a number of FSU players (include Jameis) who did stay to congratulate the Oregon players. Please — stop the narrative — they are people just like you.
    And finally, congratulations to Oregon (again)! Definitely the better team (by a lot) won!

  • nunya biznatch

    sure do miss the video analyses! Isn’t there a source that will let you legally use them if you give them credit?