Rose Bowl – Ducks All Access
Just becoming a better football player.
But now, less than one week after his team checked off a PAC-12 title with a 49-31 win over the UCLA Bruins, Clanton along with the entire Oregon football team will get their chance at helping the Ducks shake the Rose Bowl monkey off their backs by winning the Granddaddy of all bowl games for the first time since 1917.
You would think with that kind of pressure, the Ducks offensive lineman would be feeling the strain. But he’s not.
NWSportsBeat.com sat down with the big man.
“There really isn’t any stress, but we are working hard to prepare just like we have all season,” said Clanton, ” I know that a lot of people might think that we’re feeling pressure, but we’re just focused on what coach (Chip) Kelly preaches, which is just “win the day.”
“If we can conquer each day leading up to the game, everything else will play out.”
But things haven’t played out very well for Oregon in recent post season appearances, losing to Big 10 opponent–Ohio State, 26-17, the last time the Ducks rung in the New Year in Pasadena in 2010, followed by a loss to Auburn in the 2011 BCS National Championship Game.
Now they must face this season’s Big 10 champions and losers of last year’s Tournament of Roses, the No. 10 Wisconsin Badgers in the 98th edition of the Rose Bowl on January 2.
Wisconsin enters this year’s contest boasting the sixth best defense in the country, holding teams to just under 300 yards, while surrendering just 17 points per game.
But more of a concern for the Ducks offensive front, is the fact that the Badgers have also registered 23 sacks, 59 tackles for loss and forced 16 fumbles in 13 games.
Still, Clanton, along with freshman center Hroniss Grasu, and the rest of a strong Ducks offensive line that averages around the 300-pound mark, have won the battled in the trenches for much of the 2011 season, allowing just 10 sacks, while giving their quarterbacks enough time to survey the field, with just five hurries all season.
And Clanton feels pretty good about that trend continuing.
“I think we have a really talented team, but so is Wisconsin, you can’t take anything away from them,” he said. “
But if we communicate well, and get all our calls right, I really think are going to come away with the win.”
“It’s going to be a really tough game, and we can’t wait to go knocking heads.”
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