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The Glaring Mismatch

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. This is likely the last you'll see of me until tomorrow. Enjoy the holiday, and Go Beavers!

"I have never, ever thought time of possession was a valuable stat," said Bellotti. "I've said, the only thing that matters is points, and the more points the better."

Looks like it's hurting you, bro. But back to that in a second.

Back in August, UO athletic department blogger Andy McNamara wrote this on his blog:

As if they aren't a motivated group enough already, Oregon's veteran secondary is in search of a nickname or handle to give them an added spark this season. A while back I solicited suggestions, which I presented to Patrick Chung after yesterday's lone practice. After consulting with Jairus Byrd and Walter Thurmond III, the leader of the triumvirate narrowed the list down to the following choices:

  • D-Boyz
  • The Flock
  • Autzen Air Control
  • The Fog
I'll put a poll up shortly on the front page of, but in the meantime feel free to comment on the choices.


The poll went up. Fans voted. The D-Boyz were born. Songs were written. (To hear the song, jump after the break below.)

And then the games started.

Oregon's defensive backfield may be sexy, but their numbers aren't. The Ducks have the worst passing defense in the Pac-10. That's right-- worse than 0-11 Washington, and every other team in the conference. Even measly Washington State gives up 70 less passing yards per game. However, they may only have themselves to blame.

The Ducks want you to think that they aren't as bad as their numbers suggest-- they blame their quick strike offense for their defensive woes. Yet they haven't done anything to fix it. Seems like some communication between the offensive and defensive coaching staffs could fix the problem, but that's just us. Oregonian beat writer John Hunt wrote the following in the newspaper:

The Oregon defense can be excused for being tired -- and for being tired of answering for numbers that don't tell the whole story. If everybody looked at yards per play instead of yards per game, the Ducks would look very strong.

If Saturday's Civil War comes down to the wire, Oregon's defense may be a bit tired.
- - -

Good point, John. The Oregon offense, which scores more points than anyone else in the conference, only spends 25 minutes per game on the field-- three minutes less than any other team in the conference, and seven minutes less than Oregon State, who spends 32 minutes and 21 seconds on the field per game. The Beavers lead the conference in time of possession, and they have the second best defense in the Pac-10. If Oregon's offense is on the field for three minutes less than any other team in the conference, that means their defense spends three more minutes than any other Pac-10 team on the field per game. Funny how that works.

If that means anything, it's that the Beavers should have an even bigger advantage in Saturday's Civil War when they have the ball. The Oregon State offense is used to wearing down opponent defenses, and Oregon's hurry-up offense should only hurt the Duck defense more.

Hunt adds:

No defensive unit in the nation has played more snaps than Oregon's.

Take Georgia. The Bulldogs have played 12 games -- one more than the Ducks. Their defense has played 182 fewer snaps than Oregon's.

Take Oregon State, the Ducks next opponent in the Nov. 29 Civil War in Corvallis. The Beavers have played 10 games but their defense has been on the field for 253 fewer snaps (864 to 611) than Oregon's.

Oregon State's passing offense, led by Lyle Moevao and Sean Canfield, ranks first in the conference. The Beavers possess a trio of wide receivers unlike anything the Ducks have seen before. In other words, the best is yet to come, D-Boyz.

The Oregon secondary has been getting worn down as games go on. Even though the Ducks have the worst overall pass defense in the Pac-10, they're the sixth best secondary in the first quarter. By the second quarter, they're ranked ninth. And in the second half, they're dead last.

Oregon State should be able to take advantage of this obvious flaw. And if the game is close down the stretch, it will be interesting to see who has still has the best legs when the game is decided in the fourth quarter.

Accept the blame, Ducks. It's your own fault. It's not good to inflict pain on yourself.