January 6, 2011 |
A new year poses an old question: Who is going to stop Auburn quarterback Cam Newton? Kentucky couldn't do it. He rushed for 198 yards. South Carolina, in two losses against Newton, "held" him to 493 passing yards and 249 rushing. Louisiana State, which has a pretty decent defense, watched Newton cut loose for 217 rushing yards in October. A scandal didn't stop Newton, and neither did the Southeastern Conference, nor the NCAA. More than 100 Heisman Trophy voters left Newton off their ballots, yet he still received 82.2% of the first-place love in a runaway election.
December 31, 2009 |
Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti is happy to be back in a Rose Bowl his team is happy to be in. That wasn't entirely the case after the 1998 season, the conclusion to Aliotti's one-year stint with UCLA, when the Bruins became the first team in history to arrive in Pasadena kicking and screaming. "It was more like a consolation game," Aliotti recalled this week. You can thank the Bowl Championship Series for that. UCLA was knocked into the Rose Bowl after a gut-wrenching, 49-45 defeat at Miami cost Bob Toledo's team a trip to the Fiesta Bowl to play in the first BCS title game.
December 29, 2009 |
Friday's Rose Bowl shapes up as a clash of styles, with Oregon's free-wheeling offense, which averaged nearly 38 points a game, taking on Ohio State's stingy defense, which gave up an average of only 12 points. But there's an even bigger contrast between the teams' practice fields, which are just a few hundred yards apart at the Home Depot Center in Carson. While Buckeyes Coach Jim Tressel runs a tight ship, allowing few visitors to watch his team drill, Ducks Coach Chip Kelly invited nearly four dozen children from a local Boys & Girls Club to Oregon's workout on Monday.
September 24, 2000 |
Two years later, Nick Aliotti finally delivered. The man coached, coordinated and coaxed the kind of wrap-up-tackle defensive performance that can win a national title for a school. It came suddenly, it came Saturday, it came much too late for the 1998 UCLA Bruins but not a day too soon for the Oregon Ducks. Call it irony, justice, or a gift from the great Defensive Coordinator in the Sky, but sometimes life throws you a payback you can't begin to understand or explain.
October 5, 1999 |
Nick Aliotti sounds concerned about the attention, slightly vindicated because the UCLA defense still can't tackle, and less than slightly bothered about the way he was treated by his former boss. But mostly, he sounds like someone doing a bad job of downplaying the personal significance of a game. "I just think it's another big conference game and quite an opportunity for our team to prove they can bounce back from a tough loss," the Oregon defensive coordinator says.
February 20, 1999 |
Nick Aliotti acknowledged Friday that a lack of support from Coach Bob Toledo prompted him to leave as UCLA's defensive coordinator and accept a similar position at Oregon. "It obviously had an effect. I'd be lying if I said it didn't," Aliotti said in making his return to Oregon official. "You need to go to work every day and feel good about yourself and the people you're around. That situation was not there. I just didn't feel I had the support."