Number one has to be that you have to be prepared for something to go wrong. Way wrong. Chip Kelly could not have anticipated anything like that.
Now we will get to find out if he can handle the head coaching position, because what happened is not nearly as important as what happens next.
Anyone can look good when things are going well; it's when they don't that leadership matters. Despite a disastrous performance, Kelly isn't on the hot seat yet. Key word yet. He could be in short order, but he could also prove to be the guy. The first key is that Kelly needs to deal with the non-technical issue that gave the term "Bl(o)unt force truma" a whole new meaning before the Athletic Director, the University President, the Pac-10 Commissioner, or the NCAA deals with it for him.
At the same time, the offensive guru has to fix the problems with the offensive line, or it won't matter who is at QB or RB. (Someone might want to explain to Chad is Pathetic in Portland that neither Masoli nor anyone else on the Duck roster will throw accurately when being hit as he throws after being forced off the play called.)
There is a lesson in that for teams with freshmen starting, players starting at new positions, and other players who have never started at the college level on the o-line, and fans of those teams.
The Duck defense isn't and wasn't that bad; but you leave any defense out there that long and you lose. The bigger issue will be how long TJ Ward, the Ducks' best defender is out with an injured ankle. Interestingly, trying to see if there was any update this morning discovered that both the Register-Guard and U of O athletic websites seem to be very slow to respond this morning. There seems to be quite a bit of traffic directed to those web sites this morning.
Boise State and coach Chris Peterson have some things to work on too; there were too many missed opportunities, and missed points, to feel comfortable heading into Fresno two weeks from tonight, to play Pat Hill's Bulldogs, in another one of those less than friendly destinations, where the Broncos' BCS hopes, and maybe the Bulldogs' too, if they handle next Saturday's trip to Wisconsin successfully. That Friday night fight is another game to set the recorder for.
The Ducks can rightly point to turnover on the offensive line contributing to some (many?) of their problems; what explains all the snap problems the Broncos suffered, with a returning center and QB?
Anyone feel comfortable with the Boise St. kicking game?
With the conference-wide impact of getting a second team into the BCS possibly at stake, it will be worth keeping tabs on the progress in Boise.
An ending like last night can also divert attention from other matters that could wind up mattering. I thought it was interesting that when South Carolina, an SEC team traveled to North Carolina State, an ACC team, in the earlier ESPN game, SEC officials were used, in order to try to level the playing field. In Boise, WAC officials were used. Ones that had a few moments of their own. (There is a difference between defensive holding and pass interference, despite evidence to the contrary last night.)
And regardless of one's affiliation, I'm still trying to figure out how a pass that went off a Boise reciever, and though the Duck defender was on the ground when he caught it, still caught it, and yet, though the ball never hit the ground or went out of bounds, was somehow an incompletion.
Wonder if it will be a Pac-10 crew or a Big Sky crew Saturday monring?
But the most important thing- It's a great day to be a Beaver!