October 25, 2011 |
Oregon is without its starting quarterback and tailback — and it doesn't seem to matter much. Against Colorado, freshman quarterback Bryan Bennett threw for a pair of touchdowns while stepping in for Darron Thomas , who sat out because of an injured knee. Junior Kenjon Barner rushed for a pair of touchdowns in place of LaMichael James , who missed his second game because of an elbow injury. That left Colorado Coach Jon Embree with his mouth agape following his team's 45-2 loss to the Ducks.
October 22, 2011 |
How 'bout them Cowboys?! No, not the NFL kind from Dallas. We're talking about the Big 12 Conference kind from Stillwater, Okla. The Oklahoma State Cowboys, ranked sixth, ran their road winning streak to nine and ended Missouri's home winning streak at 10 with a 45-24 win at Columbia, Mo. on Saturday. These Cowboys are 7-0 for only the third time in school history, 4-0 in the Big 12 Conference, and on track for one of the most bedlam in all its Bedlam rivalry games with No. 3 Oklahoma.
October 11, 2011 |
Tim Kish was in Los Angeles recruiting in his role as Arizona's defensive coordinator when school officials contacted him about taking over as interim head coach after Mike Stoops was fired Monday. Kish immediately headed back to Tucson, arriving about midnight. On the way, he said he thought about Stoops, their 7 1/2 seasons together, and started jotting down notes. Even back home, he didn't sleep much. "There were a lot of things running through my mind," Kish said Tuesday during the weekly Pacific 12 Conference football coaches' conference call.
September 25, 2011 |
Losing stinks. It smells like a gym bag, looks like Mike Stoops' contorted face during a home wipeout to Oregon and tastes like salad dressing on ice cream. And when an instant-replay crew steps in and robs you, the way one did in the Carrier Dome miscarriage case: Board of Toledo v. Syracuse and the Big East? Well, that's cause for Toledo Coach Tim Beckman to stay up until 2 a.m. to pen an open letter to society. It wasn't enough that the Big East admitted it butchered a call that helped Syracuse win in overtime.
September 4, 2011 |
Look at the bright side: At least the Pac-12 still has Stanford and the Southeastern Conference has Vanderbilt. While America's power conferences worked politely, but carnivorously, behind the scenes to kill off competitors and reconfigure college football, their schools mostly sputtered and spit. The SEC won the ultimate showdown, with Louisiana State soundly defeating Oregon on a Dallas-area field that was supposed be a neutral but leaned more toward the Mississippi River than the Willamette.
August 28, 2011 |
Chip Kelly said "We'll be back," in response to: A: Losing last season's national championship game to Auburn. B: Oregon being put on major NCAA probation in connection with Willie Lyles. The answer is "A" because "B" hasn't happened, and might never happen. That said, it drizzled overcast news all winter, spring and summer in Eugene. It was a constant, persistent patter, the kind of soak that seeps into artificial turf seams. Last season's last-second loss to Auburn was supposed to be the start of something big, and might still be, yet there is no getting over the uncertainty of it all. Getting investigated is all part of becoming part of the big-time program.
August 5, 2011 |
The last thing Lance Mitchell wants to see is more of Oregon's "blur" offense. The safety from rival Oregon State got his fill in a lopsided defeat last fall, his defense unable to stop the Ducks and their no-huddle, hurry-up attack. The offense that could run plays at a breathless one-every-15-seconds clip. The offense that led the nation in yards and scoring. "They go constantly," Mitchell said. "It wears you down. " And it could be an emerging trend as college teams across the Pac-12 Conference — and the nation — open summer training camps.
January 14, 2011 |
It's hard to duck the obvious these days. Oregon is the current 500-pound gorilla in the Pac-10. For the moment, the power in major sports has headed northwest. Pete Carroll was cutting edge, and we didn't even see it. Those of us in egocentric, population-centric, movie-star-centric Southern California need to call a trend a trend. The Pac-10 currently does not revolve around us, as we have assumed and demanded forever. Yes, this too shall pass, ideally with the quickness of Coach Chip Kelly's spread offense.
January 10, 2011 |
Reporting from Glendale, Ariz. Dramatic comebacks were Auburn's calling card this season. The Tigers overcame double-digit deficits four times as they won the Southeastern Conference title. But Auburn saved its best for last. Facing possible overtime against second-ranked Oregon, the top-ranked Tigers drove down the field and Wes Byrum kicked a game-winning field goal as time expired for a 22-19 victory in the Bowl Championship Series national championship game Monday night at University of Phoenix Stadium.
January 7, 2011 |
The film from the Nov. 13 Georgia game alone could make an opposing quarterback call in sick against Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley. Fairley flagrantly speared poor Aaron Murray in the back, once ground his facemask into the quarterback's chin and then, as a capper, charged late with his helmet into Murray's kneecap. Fairley drew blood and nearly caused a riot. The only thing he didn't do was get suspended. "He's a monster," Oregon tailback Kenjon Barner acknowledged Friday, three days before Oregon faces Auburn for the Bowl Championship Series title.