We're 10 weeks into the season, and it has come to my attention that our neighbors to the south have their hopes set on a National Championship.
What? That's right. The team that was projected to finish sixth(!) in the Pac-10 Media Poll(behind the Beavers) now has their eyes set on a National Championship.
They only have three opponents left in their way; the Wildcats of Arizona led by Willie Tuitama, the up-and-down UCLA Bruins and the mighty Beavers of Oregon State, led by injury-plagued Yvenson Bernard.
But how can you stop this Duck offense that's putting up 42.8 points a game?
It's simple. Stop #10, and stop #28.
Okay, maybe that's not so simple.
Dennis Dixon and Jonathan Stewart account for 3765 of Oregon's 4567 yards. That eighty-two percent. A B minus! Stop these two, and you've shut down eight tenths of their offensive production. But, as always, credit needs to be given to the big boys up front.
It sounds like a good plan until you try to do it. The fact is, nobody has stopped this tandem: including their own teammates. Injuries have been a big problem for the Ducks. Their leading receiver, Brian Paysinger, is out. Their #2 back, Jeremiah Johnson, is done. Cameron Colvin, another receiver, is done. They're so shallow at the receiver position that the 5-10, (on a good day) 172 pound freshman receiver Aaron Pflugrad is seeing considerable time at receiver. But then again, his dad is the receivers coach. But still, he's my favorite Duck.
Ranting aside, the Ducks are hard to stop. The Beavers might have one of the toughest run defenses in the country, but the Ducks will beat you with their speed and deception. It's oftentimes so hard to follow the ball that the camera-man will be filming the wrong player. Just think what it must be like for the defense.
I believe that if you take Dennis Dixon and Jonathan Stewart and put them into almost any program, they're pushing for a national title. Put these two on Stanford, and they're at the top of the Pac-10. Not only does Stanford not have a running game, their skilled receivers would add another large threat to opponent's defenses.
Put these two on Notre Dame, and Charlie Weis may still be coaching the Irish to a 1-8 season.
So what does this all mean? I don't know. December 1st could be a long day.
Update [2007-11-8 1:24:15 by Jake]: In now way did I intend this to be a "throwing in the towel" post. Simply put, the Ducks are a great team, and the Civil War is going to be a difficult game this year. The Ducks will likely be ranked No. 2 or No. 3 with a Heisman front runner leading the way, and anytime an unranked team with a struggling offense is matched up against a team like that, it is usually trouble. I'm assured that all of Beaver Nation wants these guys to pull an upset-- it's just going to take by far our best performance of te year. In no way am I trying to "throw in the towel" here.