Welcome To The Pac 12
The University of Oregon “Fighting” Ducks welcomed the hopeless Colorado Buffalo’s to Pac-12 conference. You wanted in, well this is what you get, a 45-2 drubbing in a blowout fashion. Oregon showed the entire country that your football team is as only as good as your weakest link.
The Ducks Started the game without their Heisman candidate, LaMichael James. Follow that by sitting out your under rated QB Darron Thomas, who led the ducks in a national title run last year, you should struggle.
Many would even venture to say the Ducks can’t win a single game without our elite RB, LaMichael James. Well let me tell you a little something about the “Backup” RB at Oregon.
1370 yards rushing on 220 carries averaging 6.22 yards per carry with 15 TD’s over the last three seasons. Doing this all while backing up the nations elite rusher, L. James. I would even argue that Kenyon Barner is even a stronger runner, with better NFL upside than James. James is extremely fast, quick and smart with the football. Barner is not far behind him, in that very same skill set.
Combine that with no Darron Thomas, the season must be over! Okay, well First ask me what D. T. has accomplished in his 2 year career.
D.T. is a 61.4% completion percentage passer with 47 TD’s, 4108 yards, and completed 314 passes during his 20 start career. Add in 7 TD’s rushing on a 5.23% average and you have an extremely dynamic, athletic QB that has elevated his team to the next level.
Bryan Bennett, a redshirt freshman, got the start against Colorado Buffaloes last Saturday. Bennett received some important playing time against ASU, the previous game, when Thomas went down after a lineman landed firmly on his knees.
Vaulted into the spotlight, B.B. performed exceptionally well despite being a redshirt and not having much playing time. Managing the game and showing his speed, he led the ducks to an important win over the Sun Devils.
Almost immediately I saw a huge upside in the running game. Bennett is extremely fast and has the arm to throw deep. Like any other freshman QB, accuracy can improve along with audibles at the line of scrimmage. In his first start, all he accomplished was a 29-0 demolishing of the Colorado Buffaloes by the end of the first quarter.
If Oregon didn’t throttle back and play 5th string RB’s and 3rd string QB’s, this game would have been 101-2.
How did Colorado get 2 points, Great question and I was asked that many times over the weekend. The Troubled Cliff Harris received a punt at the five yard line and mysteriously ran backwards into the end zone getting tackled.
Cliff Harris was an elite punt returner last year for the Ducks setting school records. C.H. in the offseason was pulled over and cited by Oregon police leading to a suspension to start the season at LSU. C.H. was also involved in another incident this last week and has been suspended from the team once again.
Cliff was missed extremely in the LSU loss, as the red zone secondary got exposed multiple times. Let’s not also mention the fumble on the punt return attempt inside the five yard line that led to an immediate 7 points.
I could make a strong argument that Oregons’ Cliff Harris’s dumb personal decisions has directly hurt this team and possibly a second national title run.
The Buffalo’s have a long way to go to compete in the newly expanded conference. Not only do they need to improve at starting positions, they need to add depth at every position across the board.
I can only see the Colorado job as a 5 year project just to compete with the elite in this conference.
Oregon plays the Washington State Cougars this Saturday at home in Autzen at high noon.
I am still not decided who Duck Fans enjoy beating more, Cougars or Huskies.