Well, the time has finally come. Get your chairs ready, your popcorn popping, and make sure you have fresh batteries in your remote. Tonight is the biggest day in Oregon sports history, and you have the opportunity to watch history be made. Yes, we played in the 2011 National Championship Game against the Auburn Tigers, but with no disrespect to the Tigers, this moment seems much bigger.
This entire season, Ducks fans have been treated with significant play from the most outstanding football player ever to step foot in Autzen Stadium–Marcus Mariota. We have been gifted with perhaps the best home schedule in the history of Oregon football, with opponents like Michigan State, Stanford and Washington. Not to mention, fans have also gotten the chance to witness one of the strongest freshman classes Oregon has ever boasted, with players like Royce Freeman, Charles Nelson and Tyrell Crosby.The Ducks have overcome adversity; Pharoah Brown, Devon Allen and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu suffered season ending injuries. But with a loss to Arizona early on in the season, the Ducks gained the inspiration they needed to come together and wreak havoc against the daring teams that came their way. The Ducks have been playing superb football, and it is only fitting that Head Coach Mark Helfrich has his team vying for a National Championship tonight in Arlington, Texas.
Going up against Ohio State will certainly be no easy task. Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer, arguably one of the top coaches in College Football history, has his team ready and willing to compete against a hungry Duck team looking for a victory. With projected starting quarterback Braxton Miller injuring his shoulder before the season even started, and surprise backup quarterback, and Heisman contender J.T. Barrett going down late in the season with a broken ankle, many people did not give the Buckeyes any chance. Third string quarterback Cardale Jones, along with their running back Ezekiel Elliott have done a wonderful job leading the team past Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship game, and Alabama in the Sugar Bowl semifinal.
It only seems fitting that the Ducks, with all of their injuries, and the Buckeyes, with the massive injury to Barrett, face off for a National Championship. Many people wanted to see Oregon take on Alabama, but things happen for a reason, and this game is set to be one of the most intriguing in recent history. As an avid Ducks fan, and student here at the University of Oregon, I am thankful that I get to see my team compete for something that they have worked so hard for. I shed a tear for the outgoing seniors, and bask in the glory that is the promising future of this football program.
Good luck to both teams, but we at FishDuck.com want a National Championship back in the beautiful, yet rainy city of Eugene, Oregon.
Top Photo by John Sperry