Saturday, October 3, 2009

Good Luck Ducks, Week 5: Don't Coug It

It's been 24 hours of LaGarrette Blount talk here in the great state of Oregon. I've even seen "the punch" about 20 times on TV in the past day or so. Did I just travel back in time to 4 weeks ago? No? Okay, then I'm still not going to talk about it. I don't really agree with what's going on, but I don't feel like I should weigh in and discuss how I would have dealt with the situation. And it's even worse listening to guys with mics and callers to talk shows tell everyone how things should be. You're not in charge of a major college football program and neither am I, so let's just leave that decision-making to those who are accountable for it. And for what it's worth, it seems that Oregon coach Chip Kelly is a very no-nonsense kind of guy who will take all of the blame should this whole situation get even uglier as time goes on.

Oregon plays Washington State this week at Autzen Stadium for their 4th consecutive home game. The Cougars are a struggling program to put things mildly and come in as a 35 point underdog. The fact that they managed to score a touchdown on USC is being widely regarded as a major achievement, so it's clear what the expectations are for tonight. Historically, these types of games have been known as "trap games", where a team coming off a season-defining win end up choking against a much lesser opponent. Oregon's last loss to WSU was during 2006, where the 5-1 Ducks were coming off of an impressive home win over UCLA only to lose to the Cougars by 1 point. Washington State has created their own history of Couging It [not for kids], something the Ducks can hopefully avoid tonight. I'm not that concerned about the game, because I don't think this team is going to be susceptible to "trap games". This team has gone through so much adversity and disappointment right off the bat. I just can't see them taking anything for granted.

Before I talk about Tight End Tim Day, let's have a moment of silence for the end of Walter Thurmond III's Oregon Ducks career. He suffered the "trifecta" of knee injuries on last week's opening kickoff: a torn ACL, MCL and PCL. Yikes.

My apologies for the quality on this one. Tim Day played in the middle portion of whatever we're calling this decade, but the video quality of the only videos I could find of him look like they're straight out of 1983. In any case, Day was a quality pass-catching tight end in a long line of quality pass-catching tight ends at UO. Justin Peele, Blake Spence, Josh Wilcox, Dante Rosario, George Wrighster... all of these were NFL TEs coming out of Oregon in my era alone, and I'm sure I'm missing several just off the top of my head.

Game time is 6:15 PDT. It's being broadcast by the Oregon Sports Network (locally on Comcast SportsNet) and is probably available on some satellite/cable college football packages.

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