If You Could Change ONE-THING About Oregon Football History …

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My FishDuck Friends! We have another contribution from 30Duck to get the discussion going today, as it will make you groan, and reflect!  Charles Fischer


What if we here at FishDuck could change one instant, one play, in Duck football history?

“What if?” These words come out after a loss; winners don’t worry about what happened because they’re going home with the “W.” The rest is left for the loser to lament. This is why the pain of losing is so much more excruciating than is the joy of a win, and Duck fans know all too well the agony of defeat.

But, imagine if we could go back in time and set things right, at least as far as we’re concerned.

Do we go back to 1948, when Washington convinced then fellow PCC member Montana to join them in voting for Cal to go to the Rose Bowl instead of Oregon?

Or to 2001, when the BCS left out the “C” and put Nebraska in the championship game against Miami instead of Oregon?

Those offenses were committed off the field. We could also use our historical auto-correct for on-field events.

2007: Any Ducks fan knows what I’m talking about here just from the year. Oregon @ Arizona, 2nd quarter, Dennis Dixon goes back … and crumples to the ground. If he stays up? He goes on to become the first Duck to win the Heisman and lead the Ducks to the BCS national championship, and those aren’t just statements drenched in green and yellow sentiment.

2011: Oregon vs Auburn: “Dyer was down!” Let’s just stay with this play one second longer. Or maybe, Cliff Harris‘s interception, where he clearly has one foot in bounds, is ruled eligible?

Gary Breedlove

What if Vernon Adams had not been injured against Eastern Washington?

2012: Stanford at Oregon: In this game alone we could choose between Alejandro Maldonado making either the 42-yard field goal in the 3rd quarter or the 41-yard attempt to start the first round of OT. But there are two plays earlier in the game that would have rendered that choice immaterial: De’Anthony Thomas and the block that wasn’t or Zack Ertz and the catch that wasn’t, at least before the review said it was!

2015: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The best time was, the Rose Bowl against Jameis and Florida State, you know, “the game that really could have gone either way.” There is one thing we might want to change in this one; Devon Allen injuring his knee on the opening kick off, which leads to the worst of times—the National Championship game against Ohio State. With Pharaoh Brown already out we learn that Darren Carrington is ineligible after a failed drug test. Do we change either of those? Or, how about, either Charles Nelson or Dwayne Stanford hang onto passes?

2015: Vernon Adams. He was only here for a short time, but what an impact he made! Take the first game against EWU: do we use our power to erase the injury to his finger in the 4th quarter? Which injury of course impacted his throwing in the game against Michigan State; case in point, Byron Marshall wide open in the end zone. The touchdown would have put the Ducks up 35-31 with 1:24 left in the game. Or, do we wait until the Alamo Bowl?

2019: Yep, anything we might want to change about the opening game against Auburn? Or, do you want to get rid of a certain, 3rd & 16 against ASU?

This is the list of pivotal Duck football moments I came up with. Is one of these the one you’d most like to change, or is there another moment you would wind the clock back to and set Oregon on a new and better football trail?

Portland, Oregon
Top Photo by John Giustina

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For Football Season: FishDuck Back to Seven Days a Week!

I had to shut down the daily articles on July 20th because I could no longer work the extra 3 to 12 hours per week of certain managerial/editorial duties. (beyond the usual ones with FishDuck)

I’ve had a blast writing without those duties, and now, due to a new agreement with the writers, I can announce that we will have articles seven days a week again. I wish to thank the writers publicly for their graciousness in coming to a solution, as now I still do not have do those extra duties with our agreement, and meanwhile the writers are back having fun creating articles as I am.

Everybody is happy! So below is the new schedule through football season:

Monday: Mr. FishDuck
Tuesday: Darren Perkins
Wednesday: Joshua WhittedMr. FishDuck
Thursday: Coach Eric BolesAlex Heining
Friday: David Marsh
Saturday: Mr. FishDuck (GameDay Baby!)
Sunday: Jordan Ingram

A couple of writers could not join us as they have new projects in their lives, and cannot write for anyone at the moment–but perhaps we will see them back later.

Things rarely work out so well for all parties in agreements, but this time it has and truly….everyone wins!

Our 33 rules at FishDuck can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) keep it clean, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!

FishDuck members….we got your back.  No Trolls Allowed!

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Question. So if the Ducks beat Auburn after 2010 season for the ‘Ship, can / does Mullins still fire Helfrich after the disastrous 2016 season or can he not and are we still in mediocrity with Helfrich / Pellum etc?

Mike West

I’ll take the sack fumble TD in our first Natty.

Make the proper call, and we win that game. Reward Cliff Harris his legit interception, and we win running away.

We should have at least one crystal football in our trophy case.


2007, ’10, ’12. Take your pick. Oregon would have / should have won national championships each / any / all of those seasons for all the reasons mentioned.

Especially in ’10 vs Auburn for so many more, any one of which would have meant national championship.
Chip’s famous stubbornness
DT’s first interception. Herbert would have overthrown it in the stands. Barner just short / tall enough. Such bad luck.
Tuinei not making it into the end zone.
Followed by Barner on 4th down not following Asper wide around the right for a walk-in TD.
Chip trying to ‘read’ and not block elite NT Fairly up the middle 3rd and goal.
Somehow Cam’s fumble is ‘not’
Somehow Cliffy’s interception is ‘not’

Stanford ’12 was the same type of game, in which any player / coach / ref mistake going the other way changes the game / history

’14 FSU game maybe the most fun, but I don’t think Oregon wins it that year, even ‘if’. If you get back injured / ineligible players, then you have to give OSU back their first 2 QB’s also, etc. Pellum couldn’t make in game adjustments and unfortunately Meyer was going to / did out-coach him. (bringing the trap play out after half-time)

The good thing happening now is the way Mario and Co. are recruiting now, Oregon could / should have the elite depth as never before to withstand injuries which have derailed prior possible championship seasons.

If college football is played again and is somewhat the same….


2011 CK lets the kicker try a short field goal in place of one of those unsuccessful goal-line running plays in the natty. Maybe the outcome of the game would have been the same, but I would have liked to see the attempt.


Auburn x 2. The Natty roll over and run play, and last year’s opening loss in Texas where coaching could have preserved the win with which the Ducks likely would have reached the CFP. Aarhh@#!$

Unfortunately….too many moments. While the Dennis Dixon injury was so devastating at the time, what we forget is all the other injuries on that team that made it much less competitive at the end of the season than began. Injuries at LB and RB…whew.

Still…the next morning my wife had to coax me out from under the kitchen table, as I was in a fetal position…moaning and sobbing about what was lost when Dixon went down…


Dennis Dixon getting injured, end of story. Well ok, maybe any of those other scenarios!


That blocks haunts many of us, probably nobody more than DAT. He was a offensive force, but blocking wasn’t in his wheelhouse on that day. From halfway up the stadium it was so obvious, but in the moment, DAT just didn’t see it.

Jon Joseph

Great take, thanks.

Champ game vs Ohio State. Don’t go for it on 4th down, kick the FG. Same game, the missed roughing the passer call against Bosa. Same game, the inability to shore up the right side of the D and give help to an overwhelmed young LB

Game versus Auburn. Throw the damn ball. Auburn could not stop the Ducks passing game. The O line which was generally stymied when run blocking was stellar in pass blocking. Mahle was open all game long. Chip’s hard headed play calling was senseless. Use the passing game to open up the run game.

These are the 2 games that most influenced Oregon’s and the entire conference’s, national image. The Auburn game, especially the way in which NA’s D showed up, should have been won. Ohio State? Tough ask when 17 guys who started for OH ST went on to the NFL.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Give us two major receivers back, (Devon Allen and Carrington) and one experienced linebacker back from injury and we win that ‘Natty versus the Buckeyes.

But that is the difference of challengers and those who are true “Blue-Bloods,” and that is depth.

EXACTLY! Looks like the Big 10 may give it a go beginning on Thanksgiving weekend?

Jon Joseph

After beating Auburn, why not?


I could pick any of those, but the ones with the most impact on the ENTIRE body of work are Big Play VA and Dixon.