Move over, Ohio State. As huge as that 2021 non-conference game was for the Ducks and the Pac-12, it does not reach the heights of this year’s epic Week 1 matchup against the defending National Champion Georgia Bulldogs in Atlanta.
Unless, of course, the Ducks get blown out; then Oregon fans can downplay the significance of this game. They can point to the Ducks having a first-year head coach going against his mentor, say that this was a home game for the Dawgs (the real “Dawgs”), and play up last year’s Ohio State win by saying, “Hey, you try winning in the horseshoe!“
In other words, make excuses.
But, that is not going to happen, so I digress. Just wanted to get the blood boiling with some of the readers today. Wake you up this fine Monday morning to prevent you from getting “A case of the Mondays.”
For many Oregon fans, not getting blown out seems to be the equivalent of a victory. And, sure, looking over last season’s schedule, Georgia beat everyone soundly, if not in a blow-out. But, for the most part, none of those teams could match Georgia’s talent. The team that did play them close was in their opening game — a sub-par Clemson team, in a game that ended with a score of 10-3 in a battle of two teams with Top-10 talent.
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The point being, when you pull the analytics, look who just happens to be a fellow Top-10 (disclaimer: some polls have the Ducks just outside the Top-10) team in talent along with the mighty Dawgs. It is that little ole’ team from “Orygun” with that silly little mascot. Well, folks, this is not 1982, or ’92, or ’02, or even ’12. This is 2022. And, for all the rightful criticism of Mario Cristobal, we all know the one thing he did well: Acquire talent.
And now Oregon has good coaching.
So, if a “bad” Clemson team could play the eventual champion to a score of 10-3, then a powerful team from out west with top-tier SEC-type talent who (with a bad coach) beat Ohio State in Columbus should be able to play Georgia toe-to-toe. (Sure, Georgia killed Alabama in the title game, but hey, it was just their day to shine, and they had just lost to Alabama in the SEC Championship.)
Come Saturday, let us not fear blow-out. Let’s prepare for a tough and evenly-fought game. And, who knows, maybe the Ducks even sneak one out down south.
Three Other Thoughts
- Quarterback: It has been discussed ad nauseum, but hey, it is only the most important position in football. If it’s even close, the Ducks would have to go with Bo Nix who has big game experience.
- Will Georgia Pass More? Per The Athletic (sorry, paywall), Georgia may indeed be more pass-heavy in 2022 — which seems to be dictated more by personnel than a change in offensive philosophy.
- Oregon Offense: After four years of sub-par offensive play that even made all-world quarterback Justin Herbert simply look good but not great, what will Oregon’s offense under OC Kenny Dillingham look like?
After months of anticipation, game week for Georgia is finally here. Many of us are suffering from paralysis by analysis. Well, in just a few short days, all our questions will be answered.
Top photo credit: Twitter
Natalie Liebhaber, the FishDuck.com Volunteer Editor for this article, works in the financial technology industry in SLC, Utah.
Darren Perkins is a sales professional and 1997 Oregon graduate. After finishing school, he escaped the rain and moved to sunny Southern California where he studied screenwriting for two years at UCLA. Darren grew up in Eugene and in 1980, at the tender age of five, he attended his first Oregon football game. His lasting memory from that experience was an enthusiastic Don Essig announcing to the crowd: “Reggie Ogburn, completes a pass to… Reggie Ogburn.” Captivated by such a thrilling play, Darren’s been hooked on Oregon football ever since. Currently living in Spokane, Darren enjoys flaunting his yellow and green superiority complex over friends and family in Cougar country.
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