It’s been talked about quite a bit in recent years, and critics have always found a way to disregard Oregon’s accomplishments. Sure, as far as overall team success is concerned, the Ducks have been one of the most successful college football programs in the nation since 2009, but their inability to win a national championship has led to skepticism. Some claim that Oregon’s style of football, which includes speed and misdirection, is not good enough to compete against bigger and more physical teams.
Others have said that the Ducks are more worried about making a fashion statement than winning a big game. Despite the criticism, Oregon has always found a way to remain competitive, and even though the Ducks have come up short in the last few years, this could be the season in which Oregon makes believers out of everyone.
The Ducks walked into the Rose Bowl yesterday afternoon and looked at the Florida State Seminoles, who are the defending national champions, right in their eyes and accepted their challenge. If there was any doubt about Oregon’s heart and championship desire, it quickly vanished as the hard-hitting Ducks came soaring from every direction. While Oregon’s flashy offense has received much praise and attention, it was its defense that boastfully displayed physicality and toughness, which showed the country that this team was far from “soft.”
Although the Ducks scored 59 points and accumulated 641 total yards of offense, which are both Rose Bowl records, Oregon’s so called “soft” defense was the major difference in the game. Despite the absence of Oregon’s All-American cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, the Ducks tenaciously covered Florida State’s receivers and the pass rush combination of Tony Washington, Derrick Malone and DeForest Buckner made life difficult for Jameis Winston. In the end, Oregon forced four fumbles and an interception and capitalized by scoring 34 points off turnovers which ultimately led to a convincing 59-20 triumph over the Seminoles.
While the stats may tell some of the story, Oregon Ducks’ head coach Mark Helfrich looked at the victory from a different perspective. ”Well, we just tried to out-team them,” he said after the game.
That’s been Oregon’s motto all season long. The sense of togetherness and brotherhood has kept these highflying Ducks on the same page, despite being decimated by injuries. It’s not over yet, however, since Oregon still has one more game left on the schedule. The Ducks haven’t played in the national championship game since 2011, but on January 12th that will change. Oregon is back and it’s ready.
Top Photo by Craig Strobeck
My name is Omar Garibay and I am a journalism student at the University of Oregon. I was born and raised in Salem, Oregon and I have dreamed of living in Los Angeles since I was 14-years-old. My dream career would be to work for ESPN LA, The Los Angeles Times or as a beat writer for the Los Angeles Lakers or Dodgers. Twitter: @omargaribay8
New 2024 FishDuck Publishing Schedule….
During the off-season the FishDuck.com publishing schedule will consist of articles on Mondays and Tuesdays. Do keep checking as new articles could be published during the week when a writer has something to say.
In mid-August of 2024, we will go back to the seven-days-a-week of articles during the football season as we did in the football season of 2023.
The Our Beloved Ducks Forum (OBD) is where we we discuss the article above and many more topics, as it is so much easier in a message board format over there. At the free OBD forum we will be posting Oregon Sports article links, the daily Press Releases from the Athletic Department and the news coming out every day.
Our 33 rules at the free OBD Forum can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) do not tell anyone what to think, feel or write, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!
OBD Forum members….we got your back. No Trolls Allowed!