Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Breaking Down UCLA Matchup: The Offense

In this continuing series from Duck Sports Authority we bring you the head-to-head match-ups of the Oregon Ducks and UCLA Bruins. Today the focus is on offense.


UCLA: Kevin Prince (6-2, 223) will get the start at QB for the Bruins. The junior has played up and down all season long with good games followed by bad games. Prince has completed just over 58% of his passes going 99-169 with 1463 passing yards on the season in his nine games played this season. He has 8 touchdown passes and 7 interceptions on the season. Prince has been sacked 16 times in his 9 games for a loss of 99 yards. Prince is a mobile QB, though. Not including sacks, Prince has 79 carries for 523 yards this season for a nice 6.6 yards per carry.

The other quarterback with playing experience this season, Richard Brehaut, fractured his ankle in October and will not be available. There are no other quarterbacks on the UCLA roster that have playing experience.

Tom Corno
Darron Thomas leads the Ducks into the inaugural Pac-12 Championship Game at Autzen Stadium
Oregon: Darron Thomas has not been called on to pass as much this season as lost. Nonetheless, Thomas has a very solid passer efficiency rating largely due to his lack of interceptions and very good yards per attempt average. After twelve games Thomas is completing over 62% of his passes completing 174-280 for2274 yards, 27 touchdowns against just 5 interceptions. Thomas has not thrown an interception since the Washington State game, a span of 130 pass attempts. Thomas has also been adept at avoiding sacks having suffered just 9 sacks this season.

Thomas has also not carried the ball quite as often as last season. Not including sacks, Thomas has 36 carries on the season for 225 yards, a very good 6.3 yards per carry.

Behind Thomas, the Ducks have some experience with freshman Bryan Bennett having started against Colorado while Thomas recovered from a knee injury. Bennett has completed 24-45 for 361 yards and 6 touchdowns. Bennett has shown flashes with his speed having 23 carries for 200 yards this season.

EDGE: Oregon

UCLA gets a good running attack from their QB, but he is susceptible to turnovers, has been sacked frequently and has not been consistent this season. Darron Thomas, though his statistics are down, has managed his team well and is a very capable passer when needed.

Monday, November 28, 2011

So Began the Fall of Rome

Today's meeting was a farce. There was never an intention to "decide" anything as the decision had already been made. In fact, the voice we have raised only hastened Lariviere's exit... originally his contract was not to be renewed in June... and now that several THOUSAND people have voiced support, that date got moved up.

This was about politics. Dr. L. did not play the game the way the politicians wanted him to play so they took their ball and went home. They are gutless cowards who know NOTHING about how to be great... being great requires a little intestinal fortitude and these scared bastards have little if any fortitude of any kind. I have tried to keep my cyber columns away from politics, but this is a time to speak on something other than sports...

The sad part is that the excuses they give for their decision are, business wise, justifiable. That is the reason that the support has fallen on deaf ears. Look, we all love his "gumption;" his guts. Nonetheless, he did violate direct mandates. It is irrelevant that the violation of those mandates was the right thing to do; as an employee, he violated the wishes of his boss. If the CEO of a major corporation is given a mandate to not raise salaries by his Board of Directors, then chooses to give those raises anyway; he would be fired. But if he gave those raises to keep the best people in the fold, it was the right move... even if the right move costs you your own job, if it makes the company stronger, you make the move. After all, that is his fiduciary responsibility.

The University of Oregon is, after all, a research institution. How on earth is it to meet its mandate if the best of the best professors leave the university because the university does not value their contribution and worth enough to give them what they have earned and what they deserve?

Unfortunately, this decision was not brought on just by the State Board of Education, it was brought to us by other universities whose Presidents were either unable to devise a plan to fund pay raises without public funds or lacked the guts to do what is right. Institutions like Oregon State, Portland State, Western, Eastern, and Southern Oregon University refused to follow suit and instead went to the State Board to complain. Their professors had caught wind and voiced their displeasure that ALL of the universities should be able to get creative like Oregon had done.

Once again, jealousy and pettiness rules when it comes to political aspirations. When those other universities cried fowl, the State Board felt that they had no other choice; they were cornered.

Today, the State Board of Education proved only one thing; they have absolutely no concern for higher education. Their only concern is appeasing the masses. So began the fall of Rome.

More to come tomorrow with a full "story" as these were just some thoughts I had today.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Three Plays That Made the Difference: Civil War

In the final regular season game of 2011, the Ducks needed a victory in the Civil War to advance tot he Conference Championship Game. Rivalries are usually very closely contested. Between 1997-2006 the Ducks and Beavers had traded off home victories. OSU ended that streak with an overtime 38-31 victory over a depleted Ducks squad down to a 5th string quarterback. The Ducks, though, returned the favor the next year spoiling the Beavers bid for a Rose Bowl berth en route to a 65-38 win. 2009 was closer, but the Ducks again took a Rose Bowl berth away from the Beavers. Last season and this season saw the Beavers attempting to take something away from the Ducks for a change, but they were unable to do so. This year, the final score is closer than the game really turned out as the Ducks won 49-21, but make no mistake, the Ducks dominated this game from the beginning.


1st Quarter, 14:38
The Beavers opened the game with a 15 yard penalty. After a nice 14 yard gain on 1st & 25, Sean Mannion dropped back to pass and threw a very early interception to Michael Clay. Mannion, a freshman with a strong arm, was attempting to make a play early, but made a mistake misreading coverage and threw over the middle to a spot occupied by four Duck defenders. 
The Ducks won the toss and deferred. After the interception, the Ducks marched in for an early touchdown. The Ducks had successfully changed the possession game to their favor. Though it would be the second quarter before they scored again, this play set a defensive tone and let the Beavers know that it was going to be a long day and they were really going to have to work for every inch on this day.


2nd Quarter, 11:58

During the first quarter, the Ducks dominated the Beavers statistically, but were unable to turn defensive stops into touchdowns after the first drive. The Ducks had held the Beavers to 49 yards on 19 plays, just 2.6 yards per play. The Ducks led just 7-0, though, and strange things happen in rivalry games.

After a short run on first down, Sean Mannion dropped back to pass, without much pressure, Mannion was able to wait for Jovan Stevenson coming across from the right to left side. Taking advantage of broken coverage by the Ducks, Stevenson burst up the left side of the field for a 58 yard touchdown. Suddenly, the game was tied and Beaver Believers thought that the impossible had become a realistic opportunity to ruin their hated in-state rivals season just as the Ducks had done in 2008 and 2009.


2nd Quarter, 8:30
After the Beavers had tied it up, the Ducks looked to be in for a dogfight. But the Ducks took over at their own 21 and methodically marched down the field. After a brilliant third down run of 19 yards by De'Anthony Thomas took the ball inside the Beavers 20 yard line, Darron Thomas made a play fake to De'Anthony on the next play and threw a soft pass over the middle to David Paulson for the go-ahead touchdown. It was a lead the Ducks would never relinquish again. Oregon would go on to a 42-7 lead early in the fourth quarter before they would substitute liberally with everyone who was not red-shirting this season.

There were many other very important plays in the game, but these three stand out as important not only because of what they did for the outcome of the game, but because of what they will make others game plan for in the next two games.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Breaking Down Civil War Match-Ups: Defense

In the second part of our look at the Oregon-OSU match-ups, today Duck Sports Authority brings you the defensive side of the ball.


OSU: The Beavers start two freshman at the defensive end position. Scott Crichton (6-3, 258), a redshirt freshman, will vie for top freshman defensive player in the conference. On the other side is Dylan Wynn (6-2, 240) is a true freshman from long time powerhouse De La Salle High School in California. Crichton has been a terror during his freshman season leading the conference with 5 fumble recoveries. In addition, Crichton has notched 62 tackles with 13.5 tackles for loss and 6 sacks. He ranks second in the Pac-12 in tackles for loss. On the opposite side, Wynn has come on strong late in the season having made six career starts including three straight starts. For the year Wynn has 40 tackles with 4.5 tackles for loss and 1 sack. Where Crichton leads the conference in forced fumbles, Wynn leads with 5 recovered fumbles.

Backing up the two freshmen are a couple of junior college transfers Rusty Fernando (6-3, 232) who has made his impact with 14 tackles including 3.5 sacks. Rudolf Fifita (6-3, 263) has seen some action and has 5 tackles this season.

Oregon: Oregon had seen a very steady group this season with Dion Jordan making a huge defensive impact all year; until being injured against USC and missing most of the game. For the season Jordan has 36 tackles with 10 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. Should Jordan not be able to go Saturday, senior Brandon Hanna has been a more than capable back-up. Hanna...

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DSA Tailgate-CIVIL WAR Edition

Okay... after another round of turkey, it is time to plan for Saturday... game time is 12:30... so the tailgate starts at 8:30... for our specialty this time... Salmon Chowder should be excellent and a good day for something warm...

Last time out we had a HUGE turn-out with some NEWBIES... it was a blast... many different people were there... cannot name them all, but Brian Jackson's mom stopped by to say hello along with R2FireDuck's son-in-law who happens to play for the New Orleans Saints... had fronstythesnowman (DSA handle) out all the way from North Carolina where he is stationed...

MANY others showed up and we had a great time...

Okay all, THIS is the time of year where tailgating should be good...this game is HUGE and we need as many DSA'ers out in force as possible... do not worry about any of our disagreements on the boards because this is a place to get together and discuss the positives... there is ALWAYS good discussion and lots of food and beverages!
This time out we will be having something new as a specialty food... salmon choder... it will be made with fresh salmon... for those that do not like seafood... there will be regular tailgate fare as well!

We will be in our usual new spot at the Serbu Youth Center Directly across Centennial Blvd (MLK) from Autzen. We will have the flag up and the Banner attached... but we are also in spaces 222 & 223.

Let me give some easy to find directions to our spot.

There are TWO Entrances for the Serbu Parking... ours is the WESTERN most entrance. After you go in this entrance you should see a long field to your left... go down the road until you see a bunch of spaces to the LEFT, we are at the farthest end on the left hand side.

Below are the details!

What: DSA Tailgate - CIVIL WAR Edition
When: Nov. 26, 2011
Time: ~ 8:30AM local time tailgating lots open; I will be there!
Where: John Serbu Youth Campus, 2727 MLK Blvd
Spaces: 222 and 223
Donations: Donations may be made at the game with cash or through
PayPal: To pay with paypal you can use my email address:
Email Address:
Cell Phone: 503-807-9543
Twitter: ScottReed_DSA

COMMENTS: Remember that we will have the following amenities:

*-TV with cable to watch games during tailgate
*-Food: Burgers, Hot Dogs, Brats
*-Beverages: Beer, Sodas, Blended Drinks (thanks to the generator, we can use a blender and have fun with drinks!)
*-Burgers are hand made this year and should be VERY good!

AND... if there is a reason to celebrate after the game... I will probably have some brandy...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Head-to-Head OSU-Oregon: Offense

In the final week of regular season conference play, the Ducks head into the Civil War with a berth in the Pac-12 Championship game on the line; another "big" game for the Ducks.

After a frenetic comeback attempt against USC fell short, the Ducks find themselves at 9-2 overall this season and 7-1 in conference play. Oregon State, meanwhile, has been struggling most of the season, but are coming off of an emotional senior day victory over Washington that brings their record to 3-8 overall and 3-5 in conference play.

In this continuing series from Duck Sports Authority we bring you the head-to-head match-ups of the Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers. Today the focus is on offense.


OSU: Oregon State began the season with Ryan Katz returning at the quarterback position, but it became quickly apparent that Katz was no longer in their long term plans as the Beavers moved to the future with redshirt freshman Sean Mannion. Mannion is taller than Katz and has a very strong arm. He is, however, very young and has made many mistakes as would be expected of a freshman starter in the Pac-12 conference. Nonetheless, Mannion is fourth in the Pac-12 and 16th in the nation in total passing yards this season. Mannion has completed 278-429 passes for 3029 yards and 13 touchdowns. Mannion leads the conference and is tied for worst in the nation...

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Morning Quarterback: Week 12

A Look Back at Saturday around the Pac-12


Offense:   Another week, another slow start for the offense. In reality, though, BOTH offenses started slowly. After three possessions each, the Ducks had 21 total yards while USC had 8 total yards. The difference in this game is that is simply took the Oregon offense a little longer to get into rhythm; in fact a lot longer as they really didn’t get fully into gear until somewhere in the third quarter. The Ducks offense still put up more rushing yards against the Trojans than anyone had all season, but it was not quite enough.

Darron Thomas almost led an incredible comeback win after trailing by 24 points in the third quarter

Defense: For the first time in quite some time, the defense seemed to regress. To be fair, the defense was missing three starters with Anthony Gildon not playing at all and Dion Jordan and Dewitt Stuckey missing most of the game with undisclosed injuries. The defense did an adequate job against the Trojans running game holding them below their season average in total yards and yards per carry.

Unfortunately, the loss of Jordan and Stuckey really affected the Ducks ability to get pressure on Barkley as Barkely did not face any heat the entire game. He was sacked once and did throw an interception on a tipped ball. Nonetheless, Barkley sat back and completed over 76% of his passes for 9.5 yards per attempt. When a quarterback has the time to do those things, it is very difficult to win the game.

Coaching: For the first time this season, I will say Chip was outcoached. This team, as admitted by Josh Huff after the game, was looking ahead after the Friday night upset of Oklahoma State and was clearly not focused early in the game. There were some questionable time management issues as well as a couple of play calls that seemed odd. To give credit where it is due, though, Kelly did get the team to respond to the adversity; just a little too late. With maybe another minute on the clock, the Ducks could have scored and won the game.

Around the rest of the conference:

Arizona State: Twitter rumors have started that Dennis Erickson will be spending his last season as Arizona State’s coach. That is as it should be because this team has collapsed. After dismantling USC earlier in the season, Arizona State looked like a lock to win the South division. Now they have lost 4 of their last 5 games and must beat Cal this weekend and cheer for USC to beat UCLA to get into the Conference Championship game.

Arizona: The Wildcats pulled off the Territorial Cup win against their rival ASU Sin Devils and have one game left to this lost season. Louisiana Lafayette is a respectable FCS team and will pose some problems for Arizona, but the win over the Sun Devils will ease the pain of the season this has become.

California: The Golden bears put up a valiant effort against Stanford and actually led 13-7 in the second quarter, but were not able to pull off the upset in the Big Game. California is bowl eligible and will face a reeling Arizona State team for bowl positioning.

Colorado: Colorado’s introduction to the Pac-12 is mercifully almost over. Tyler Hansen tried to play Joe Namath and guarantee a win against UCLA over the weekend. Instead the Buffaloes gave UCLA their most productive game of the season in points and got crushed 45-6. All that is left for Colorado is the hope that they can ruin Utah’s dream of making it to the first Pac-12 Championship Game.

Oregon State: The Beavers responded well to their adversity and dismantled a Washington team that has fallen off of the cliff at the end of the season. Oregon State is left hoping to pull off a major upset against Oregon to knock the Ducks out of Rose Bowl contention. Odds-makers do not like their chances.

Stanford: The game against Oregon seems to have caused a little hangover for the Cardinal as they struggled to put away an average Cal tea,. It was a rivalry game, though, and those can go in any direction. Luck had a good game, but nothing spectacular. Next up for the Cardinal is Notre Dame and a faint hope of a Conference Championship game if the Beavers can pull off a monumental upset.

USC: It looks like the rest helped Robert Woods. He is still not 100%, but the emergence of Marquise Lee has lessened the burden on Woods’ damaged shoulder. The Trojans dominated early and then held on for dear life as Oregon mounted a furious comeback attempt that fell short. Matt Barkley showed why he is likely to be the second pick int eh dfraft next season; maybe even the second overall pick. Barkley played his best game of the year just when the Trojans needed it.

UCLA: The Bruins still have two paths to the Conference Championship game; which is amazing. The most direct path? Beat USC. In the very likely event that UCLA loses that game, they would then need Colorado to upset Utah. They are crossing their fingers in Westwood and hoping that their former assistant coach (Embree) can pull off an upset of Utah.

Utah: The Utes now have a very realistic shot at representing the South division in the Pac-12 Championship Game. If UCLA loses, as expected Saturday, and Arizona State loses, Utah will play the North winner on the road for the right to go to the Rose Bowl. The Utes need some help, but given how poorly the Sun Devils have played of late, that is a very real possibility.

Washington: After opening the season with rave reviews and a quarterback that was as hot as anyone in the country, the wheels seem to have fallen off of the Washington train. The Huskies are also bowl eligible but have a very much improved Washington State squad coming up in the annual Apple Cup. Keith Price came on in relief of Nick Montana Saturday, so I would expect the Huskies to pull out all the stops to get a 7th win in that game.

Washington State: The Cougars have improved this season, but still have just 4 wins to show for all of their hard work. They almost destroyed Utah’s dream on Saturday. Unfortunately, 4 interceptions by their third string quarterback who had played so well against Arizona State did the Cougars in against Utah. They still outgained Utah and took them to the edge before losing in overtime. Now they shoot for state bragging rights.

PAC-12 Schedule for Week 13:

Colorado at Utah 12:30 PM
Oregon State at Oregon12:30 PM
LA-Lafayette at Arizona 1:00 PM
Washington State at Washington 4:30 PM
Notre Dame at Stanford 5:00 PM
UCLA at USC 7:00 PM
Cal at Arizona State 7:15 PM

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Three Plays That Made the Difference: USC

A week after upsetting the Stanford Cardinal on the road, teh Ducks returned to the friendly confines of Autzen Stadium. Maybe it was too friendly as the visiting Trojans jumped out to a 24 point lead in the third quarter before holding off a furious comeback attempt in a 38-35 victory over the Ducks. Three plays really stand out that made the difference in the outcome of this game


1st Quarter, 7:00
For the first three possessions of the game, the Ducks and Trojans had traded off two punts and a fumble on each side. Through those first three possessions the Ducks had out-gained USC 21 yards to just 8 yards. But on that third possession, Jackson Rice had only gotten off just a 22 yard punt giving the Trojans exceptional field position at their own 41. Immeidately, Matt Barkley went down field to Marquise Le, Troy Hill was not in good position for defending the pass and was not able to stop Lee once he had the ball in his hands. The result was a 59 yard touchdown on the first play of the possession.


2nd Quarter, 0:44

Trailing 21-7, the Ducks were marching down the field on the final possession of the first half. A score late would provide momentum for the second half as the Ducks would have the ball to open the third quarter. On a 3rd-and-1 play from the USC 9-yard line, LaMichael James took the hand-off and went up the middle. Finding no room, he attempted a spin move to gain the extra yard he needed for a first down. as he was moving forward, his el;bow brace was hit from behind and he lost control of the football fumbling it to the Trojans. Instead of going into the half with momentum and only trailing by 7 points after being outplayed in the first half, the Ducks went to halftime trailing by 14 with seemingly no wind in their sails.


4th Quarter, 0:19

After a very fortuitous fumble from Marc Tyler allowed the Ducks to continue their frenetic comeback attempt, the Ducks proceeded to march the ball from their own 14-yard line 68 yards to the USC 18-yard line. Victory was close to their grasp. After an incomplete pass on first down, with three timeouts left, Darron Thomas dropped back to pass and threw a quick out to Lavasier Tuinei that resulted in a 2 yard loss. With the length of time the play took and the Ducks choice to not take an immediate, quick timeout, by the time the next play was run there were only 7 seconds left on the clock. Without enough time to take a shot at the end-zone, the Ducks attempted a 37 yard field goal that was ultimately missed. But it is the second down play that haunts this series as a shot to the end-zone, with the Trojans on their heels might have made the difference in this game. Instead, the difference was a 2-yard loss that sapped most of the time from the clock.

In the end, though the Ducks could not complete a miracle comeback, this was a great college football game worth every penny and every ounce of energy the fans put into their cheers. It's too bad that the rest of the nation thinks that a 9-6 game ought to be replayed. If you ask me, this game is the game that should be replayed. All the drama and more entertainment. SEC defenses may be the best on the land and they may be able to beat most teams around the country in a one game situation, but the USC-Oregon game is what college football should be about.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Head-to-Head USC-Oregon: Defense

In the second part of our look at the Oregon-USC match-ups, today Duck Sports Authority brings you the defensive side of the ball.


USC: USC runs a base 4-3 defense and their defensive ends fit the typical mold with Wes Horton (6-5, 265) on one side and Nick Perry (6-3, 250) on the other. Perry has been a force coming off the edge with 47 tackles on the season to go along with 11.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. On the other side, Horton has also played very well making 15 tackles with 3.5 tackles for loss and 3 sacks this season. The Trojans have a very good...

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Head-to-Head USC-Oregon: Offense

Another week, another "big game" for the Ducks. After dismantling the previously 3rd ranked Stanford Cardinal on the road last week, the Ducks return home for their third high profile match-up in a row. On tap this week, the USC Trojans. USC comes into the game on a roll winning five of their last six games with the only loss a triple overtime thriller to the aforementioned Stanford team. USC comes in 8-2 overall and 5-2 in Pac-12 play. The Ducks are looking to clinch a berth in the first ever Pac-12 Conference Championship Game. Oregon is now 9-1 on the season and 7-0 in conference play.

In this continuing series from Duck Sports Authority we bring you the head-to-head match-ups of the Oregon Ducks and Southern California Trojans. Today the focus is on offense.


USC: Is there ever a break for Pac-12 defenses? After facing the premier quarterback in college football last weekend, the Ducks now get another projected top 10 pick in Matt Barkley. Barkley is just another in the long line of very good Pac-12 quarterbacks the Ducks have faced this season. Like Luck, Barkley...
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Monday Morning Quarterback: Week 11

A Look Back at Saturday around the Pac-12


Offense:   The offense started slowly taking over a quarter to get into the positive yardage. Even with the slow start, the Ducks were able to capitalize on an early Stangord miscue and take an 8-0 lead despite having -1 total yards after scoring. From there, though, the Ducks dominated putting up 388 yards on the final 3 quarters. Had they put up that pace in the first quarter, the game may have been out of reach much earlier. The 388 yards in three quarters would equate to 517 yards total offense. LaMichael James looks to be back to 100% as he made a really nice 58 yard run.

More refreshing was to see Josh Huff display strength and speed on his 59 yard catch and run for a touchdown. De'Anthony Thomas obviously made his mark again with his screen pass touchdown on 4th and 7. Other than a major mental error (that he got away with) Darron Thomas played  his best game since returning from the knee injury suffered against Arizona State.

Defense:The Duck defense just gets better and better each week. The insertion of Wade Keliikipi into the starting lineup has made a huge impact on this team. Not only does this defense have great speed, they are starting to match-up well in the size department as well. Dominating Stanford's power attack is not an easy task and the Ducks did so with ease it seemed. If I didn't know better, I would think that there was an SEC defense out there last week.

Coaching: Any questions? Chip had this team ready and had a lot of impressive adjustments throughout the game that really showed why he is the best coach in the now Pac-12. It doesn't hurt that he has great athletes; but he recruited them as well. And, the nickname is now permanent. 4th and 7? And you throw a screen pass? Big Balls Chip is just starting to hit his stride as a coach. 31-5 as a head coach, only Nick Saban has a better winning percentage at an AQ school.

Around the rest of the conference:

Arizona State: At the beginning of the season, Arizona State was the South division darling; especially after thumping USC. Now, after consecutive losses to UCLA and Washington State, it may turn out that Dennis Erickson gets the boot before Rick Neuheisel. ASU is fading fast and yet STILL can win the South Division.

Arizona:  After playing well for a couple of weeks, Arizona decided to give a welcome gift to the lowly Colorado Buffaloes. Colorado had scored just 33 combined points in its previous three games, yet scored 48 against the Wildcats and put up 500 yards of offense.

California: In a season of ups and downs, Cal used a dominating defensive performance against Oregon State to become bowl eligible. Iso Sofele passed 1000 yards for the season with a career best 190 yard performance.

Colorado: Colorado had a great offensive and defensive performance to natch their first conference victory. How the heck did anyone give this team 500 yards of total offense? Oh, that's right, it was the worst defensive team in the conference that Colorado beat. Rodney Stewart at full strength did not hurt as he rushed for 181 yards.

Oregon State: What has been the worst season in a long time in Corvallis got worse as the Beavers got drubbed by an inconsistent Cal team. OSU could muster little offensive threat and almost no running game. That probably will not change over the last two weeks of the season. This could be a 10 loss season for the Beavers. While fans and coaches will say different, there is not a lot of hope for a great season next year either.

Stanford:The game against Oregon was not as much of a shootout as many expected, but Stanford's lack of speed was exposed. Andrew Luck is still the best quarterback in college football, but without the smoke and mirrors it became obvious that he had no real weapons to rely on down field. All it took was a team with enough depth to withstand the jumbo formations.
USC: Not getting caught in a trap game, USC dominated Washington from the very beginning. Washington went in beat up and demoralized after putting too much energy into one game that they lost. The only downside for USC is that Robert Woods looked gimpy and was not playing well. He has gotten progressively more dinged up as the season has gone along and it looked to have caught up with him last Saturday. Time will tell if he can recover for Oregon.

UCLA: Rick Neuheisel may have saved his job for another season with his mediocre performance this season, but the Bruins had the South Division in their hands; and then laid an egg against Utah. The Utes have a good defense, but UCLA didn't even look like they were trying.

Utah: Somehow, someway, Utah may have a shot at a Pac-12 South title. With no real passing game, the Utes are surviving on defense and a running game. They have a legitimate opportunity to win their final two games, but getting the South division title would take Arizona State losing their final two games one of which is against the worst defense in the conference, Arizona. A long shot at best, but the Utes have a shot at a 5-4 conference record still.

Washington: Reality sets in for the Huskies as they have suffered two blowout losses in a row to Oregon and USC. They are still quite a ways away from contending for a Pac-12 title. Sarkisian has brought them a long way in a short time, but they were so far behind that it is going to be a longer process. The Dawgs do gt to lick their wounds this week with a trip to Oregon State.

Washington State: Washington State coach Paul Wulff is another who has saved his job. Though the team is not great this season, they are certainly improved. With Washington improving and the North division being extremely tough and competitive, the Cougars are still a long way from contending, but they have become respectable again... and that is a step in the right direction.

PAC-12 Schedule for Week 11:

Washington at Oregon State, 12:30 PM
Utah at Washington State, 2:00 PM
Colorado at UCLA, 4:30 PM
USC at Oregon 5:00 PM
Arizona at Arizona State, 6:30 PM
Cal at Stanford, 7:15 PM

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

DSA Tailgate-USC Edition

Okay all, THIS is the time of year where tailgating should be good... our two biggest home games coming up... this one a 5PM start... so the tailgating will be at the PERFECT time of day for a real great time.

Any of you that were at the two tailgates last year where jambalaya was served do NOT want to miss this game! That's right ladies and gentlemen, it IS jambalaya time... for this game do not worry about bringing anything but an appetite... for those that do not like the spicy nature of the jambalaya, I will still have burgers and dogs...

But this will be the best tailgate of the year... EVERYONE (yes you tank!) needs to be here for this one...

We will be in our usual new spot at the Serbu Youth Center Directly across Centennial Blvd (MLK) from Autzen. We will have the flag up and the Banner attached... but we are also in spaces 222 & 223.

Let me give some easy to find directions to our spot.

There are TWO Entrances for the Serbu Parking... ours is the WESTERN most entrance. After you go in this entrance you should see a long field to your left... go down the road until you see a bunch of spaces to the LEFT, we are at the farthest end on the left hand side.

Below are the details!

What: DSA Tailgate - USC Edition
When: Nov. 19, 2011
Time: ~ 1:00PM local time tailgating lots open; I will be there!
Where: John Serbu Youth Campus, 2727 MLK Blvd
Spaces: 222 and 223
Donations: Donations may be made at the game with cash or through  
PayPal: To pay with paypal you can use my email address:
Email Address:
Cell Phone: 503-807-9543
Twitter: ScottReed_DSA

COMMENTS: Remember that we will have the following amenities:

*-TV with cable to watch games during tailgate
*-Food: Burgers, Hot Dogs, Brats
*-Beverages: Beer, Sodas, Blended Drinks (thanks to the generator, we can use a blender and have fun with drinks!)
*-Burgers are hand made this year and should be VERY good!

Monday, November 14, 2011


Three Plays That Made the Difference: Stanford

In a game that was billed as the most important game of the 2011 Pac-12 season, there were literally dozens of plays that were critical to the outcome, I have looked at 3 plays that were momentum changers which turned the tide in favor of the Ducks. Without these plays, the outcome could have been drastically different.


1st Quarter, 9:00

The Ducks and Stanford had traded punts. Stanford had been buried deep and was forced to punt a second time to the Ducks. With excellent field position at their own 47 yard line, the Ducks ran the ball on the first two plays of the series and netted zero yards. On 3rd and 10, Darron Thomas dropped back to pass, with heavy pressure from Matt Masifilo, Darron Thomas looked to make a play, while falling down he heaved the ball almost straight up. The ball was intercepted and ran back to the Oregon 30 yard line and it looked like Stanford was in prime position to strike first. As the players ambled towards the line, the referees announced that the play had been blown dead before the attempted pass; there was no interception. With that ruling, on came Jackson Rice to punt the ball away.

This play was more critical that words can convey. Had the play stood and been Stanford ball at the 30, it is difficult to know what could have happened. Nonetheless, a huge momentum swing was avoided.  


1st Quarter, 6:48

On the very next series, Stanford went to work running the ball and gained 17 yards on their first two rushes. Then the Cardinal slowed down. After a short gain on first down and incomplete pass on second down, Andrew Luck dropped back to pass. Finding no one open early, Luck slid in the pocket to his right and threw a ball to the outside. Dewitt Stuckey, making his biggest play as a Duck, stepped in front of the intended receiver for an interception that he returned 30 yards to the Stanford 20 yard line. Five plays later, the Ducks would score the first touchdown of the night.

The Ducks lead 8-0 in the game despite have (-)1 total yards. The defense, though, had set a tone and the offense would soon respond.


1st Quarter, 12:10

After giving up the score, the Cardinal took the following kick, marched down the field and scored a touchdown of their own. Feeling confident as the Ducks had not yet done much offensively against them, Stanford was down 8-6 when they kicked off. After a couple of short gains and a penalty got the ball out to the Oregon  42 yard line, Darron Thomas threw an incomplete pass on first down. On 2nd and 10, Thomas gave the ball to LaMichael James on an inside zone read, three yards up field, James made a cut to the left inside a great set of blocks and took it in for a 58-yard touchdown.

The play was made possible when the defensive end to the right side of the Ducks formation stayed home for a possible Darron Thomas keep and was not in position to make a play on James, from there, the offensive line did the rest and sprang James for a very important touchdown. The illusion that Stanford’s defense was going to contain the Ducks running game was now over and the Ducks never looked back en route to their 53-30 victory.

Friday, November 11, 2011

In the second part of our look at the Oregon-Stanford match-ups, today Duck Sports Authority brings you the defensive side of the ball.


Stanford: Stanford runs out of a base 3-4 defense. The defensive ends in their scheme are senior Matt Masifilo (6'3", 280) and Ben Gardner (6'4", 273) a redshirt sophomore. Gardner is the more active of the two with 23 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He has also recovered
a fumble and blocked a kick this season. Masifilo is counted on to hold his ground and allow linebackers to make plays. On the season Masifilo has 18 tackles 3 tackles for loss and ½ sack. The two primary back-ups, Josh Mauro (6'6", 269) and Henry Anderson (6'6", 275) have played in every
game, but have minimal contributions thus far with Anderson recording 5 tackles and Mauro with 3 tackles and a sack.

Oregon: The Ducks counter with Dion Jordan and Terrell Turner as the starting defensive ends. Jordan has really come on strong this season and after another strong performance against Washington now has 34 total tackles including 9.5 tackles for loss and 4 sacks. The line is led by senior Terrell Turner. A stalwart on the defensive line during...

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Breaking Down Stanford Matchup: The Offense

In what has become the "norm" for Oregon, there is yet another "game of the year" on tap for the Ducks. This week, that game is Stanford. The difference, though, is that this game was circled on fans and media's calendar as the "game of the year" in the Pac-12 Conference ever since the schedule was announced. Stanford is coming off of another victory having taken care of the Beavers last week. Oregon, meanwhile, comes into this game on the heels of it's best defensive effort of the season in a victory over Washington late Saturday night. The Ducks are now 8-1 overall and 6-0 in the Pac-12 Conference. Stanford carries a 9-0 overall and 7-0 record in the Pac-12.

In this continuing series from Duck Sports Authority we bring you the head-to-head match-ups of the Oregon Ducks and Stanford Cardinal. Today the focus is on offense.


Stanford: As many people may have heard, Stanford has a pretty good quarterback. Considered the consensus number one draft pick in the 2012 NFL draft (assuming he declares), junior Andrew Luck leads the Cardinal offense. The Ducks have faced quite a few very good quarterbacks this
season, but none compares to Andrew Luck. Luck is very athletic for his size and has pinpoint accuracy on most of his throws. This season, Luck has completed 194-272 passes (71.3% completion) for 2424 yards and 26 touchdowns against 5 interceptions. He has been sacked just 4 times this season and also has 25 carries for 147 yards as well as 1 reception for 13 yards. Luck's backup, Brett Nottingham,  has thrown just 8 passes this season.

Oregon: After being injured against Arizona State, Darron Thomas has worked his way back into his role as the leader of the offense. After playing for a half against Washington State in which there was an "injury slash performance" problem, Thomas found a little better groove ...

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Perspective During a Difficult Week

I am not going to delve too deep into the scandal that has rocked a once proud program. But I do have my opinions and feel the need to share them with the readers.

It's interesting that two weeks ago I wrote an article about Knowing When To Fold. That was right after the Colorado Oregon game and I felt at the time that Joe Paterno should retire at the end of this season. Wow, what a shocker the way his career ended, though.

I cannot say that I disagree with the ruling of the Board of Trustees at Penn State University. After all, I have to believe that they have more information than any of us, the interested onlookers. The problem, though, is I doubt very sincerely that they have any more information than has been reported. If, in fact, this is the case and the Board of Trustees does not have all the facts, are they not acting in the same selfish manner so many have accused the athletics department staff? Are they not firing people as a reaction to public sentiment and outrage? Is this not simply to "save face" for the university? Of course it is. Why else would they make a decision so swiftly before all the facts are gathered.

As an example, we know for a fact that Athletic Director Tim Curley told the Second Mile organization that an internal investigation had been performed regarding the 2002 incident. Curley told Jack Raykovitz, CEO of Second Mile that "an internal Penn State investigation had found no corroboration for an allegation of inappropriate contact by Mr. Sandusky with a youth in a university locker room shower."

What evidence is there that Joe Paterno did not actually ask several people what the outcome of his report was? And, if he did ask, would it not be  reasonable to believe that he would get the same stale line that Second Mile's CEO received? Joe Paterno did not witness the shower incident, he merely heard an account from another person. He reported the RUMOR to his boss who was supposed to investigate. From there, we do not know what Paterno did or did not do, we all merely have an opinion based on conjecture. Maybe the Board of Trustees has more information than we do... but, then again, maybe they simply bowed to public pressure.

The more important question, in my mind, is not what actions a person who had no first hand knowledge of the crime performed, but what actions did the actual witness perform? Upon seeing a 10 year old boy being molested in the shower by an old man, the coach simply finished putting his videotapes (or sneakers depending on the version of the story that you may have heard)  then went home and called his dad. Huh? A 27 year old man sees a 10 year old boy being raped and he is unsure what to do? Wow. Yet, there is McQueary, the most crucial figure in the case, the man who witnessed a rape, waiting to go home and talk to his dad, then deciding the next day to talk to Coach Paterno. A 27 year old man who witnessed a 10 year old boy getting raped never called the police, and there he is, standing tall with a job. How in the world can this be true?

From the mountaintops, I hear those who feel righteous enough to say "Well, if it was me, I would have..." and you can fill in the blanks. But the truth is, people walk by crimes being committed every day in cities all across the United States; and they ignore the crime. "It's not my problem" is their line du jour.

"Oh, but this is different, this crime is serious," they tell themselves. Women are raped in Central Park, screaming for help to no avail... and people convince themselves what they would do if confronted by the situation. The truth is, they are probably wrong. Dateline NBC does a special which shows just how little people really do to help others in need. But no one wants to admit that they would act that way. It's our dirty little secret. We all say we would do something, but evidence suggests that we would do very little. People say what they need to in order to believe themselves to be "good" people.

In reality, few of us know what we would do in a similar situation. What I know is this, Mike McQueary was just as action-less as Joe Paterno; and McQueary still has a job. Personally, I find McQueary more culpable in this mess as he had first hand knowledge and did nothing.

Many have said this will tarnish all of Paterno's legacy. Not for me. The difference, I admire college football coaches and players for what they are: coaches and players. Their accomplishments on the field are not diminished by their actions, or inactions, off the field. OJ Simpson was a great football player. His fluid movements on the field are not jaded in my mind because of his later life.

While Joe Parterno may have made a horrible decision to not do more follow up on an accusation made by a young assistant coach, that in no way diminishes what he did as a football coach. After all, Penn State still has not received sanctions for any major violations in the football program. How many other programs can say that?

Further, I cannot hold myself in judgment on another human being. I am not the person who feels it my right to impose morality on another human being. Morality is not for the masses to determine; morality is an individual choice within the parameters of legality. As long as an American is acting within the laws of the land, his choice of morality and ethics are not my domain.

As the Greatest Book Ever Written says: "Judge not, lest ye be judged." And "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

As I am not without sin, I guess I will leave the casting of stones to others.
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