Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Which Oregon team will show up Saturday?

Which Oregon team is going to show up on Saturday? The one who annihilated Arizona State looking like one of the best teams in the country, or the team that lost in Pullman, and was embarrassed in Berkeley?

Washington vs Oregon is always your classic rival game. You can throw out the records, and previous stats because you have two teams that are going to be up for a game, and don't like each other very much.

This is going to be the first Oregon game I have missed since the late 1970's. I actually enjoy going to the game in Eugene because I have so many good, and life long friends who couldn't get into the UW, and had to go to school at Oregon...LOL...Just had to add that one in.

Autzen is a beautiful place to watch a game, the stadium remodel was just fantastic even though the increased size has taken away a little of the Pit like atmosphere that once prevailed. Husky fans get razzed coming, during, and going, so it is best to wear neutral colors until you get to your seats in the Husky section. Things have toned down a bit the last few years as the Oregon program has matured and gotten used to winning. The fans are starting to act like they have been there before, so the animosity has been cranked down a few levels.

One of the biggest quirks of the rivalry has been that the game has been played continuously in Eugene for the almost a decade. What exactly is that about, and how come Barbara Hedges never had the balls to complain about it? Oh ya, she wasn't born with balls. I really doubt you will ever see Todd Turner take that kind of crap, we just all saw the punishment he and LORO meted out to Gonzaga for snitching on them a few years ago. Anyway it is odd the way it worked out. After this season the arcane scheduling ends as the Pac Ten will move to a round robin schedule each year.

Oregon is a solid top twenty football team. Jonathan Stewart (when healthy), and Jeremiah Johnson offer a lot of speed and talent at RB, but at QB the Duck's haven't measured up to past teams as Dennis Dixon, and Brady Leaf have struggled at times this year. Dixon is currently the starter, but don't be surprised to see Bellotti insert Leaf.

Defensively the Duck's seem to have been slipping each week giving up a lot more points than usual. They had a lot of problems with Alex Brink at WSU who has been struggling all year, this bodes well for the Huskies. The talent is there, but like Washington, the Duck's have been slowed by a laundry list of injuries as the season enters it final phase. Oregon, like Washington is considering lifting the redshirts off some key players, especially at RB to alleviate depth concerns. QB Nathan Costa gave up his last week to play against PSU which was a curious call inserting the kid for a few plays late in the game.

Which Oregon team will show up Saturday? It is going to be a tough hard hitting one that needs to overcome making mistakes. Washington is going to give these guys a game, and like the previous four weeks is going to be in it during the 4th quarter where the game will ultimately be decided. I like Washington in this one, and it would be great if Johnny D gets a shot at his old team and puts one in the endzone for the win. Bonnell of course will start, but he is only one play away from sitting on the bench, the 7 interceptions in two games coupled by a lackluster performance last week will give willingham a short rope. Johnny D didn't make anything easier by coming in cold and moving the team down the field. While not as mobile he does set his feet better which makes him a more accurate passer. Mobility didn't seem to be a problem for him in the pocket. Sometimes mobility can be a problem when the QB doesn't set his feet to make the throw.

Defensively the Huskies need some pass rush. That has been the recipe for success all year against the Duck's. Get ahead early, make them throw, take away the running game. UW really needs to get off the ball this week and dominate the line of scrimmage. When the Duck's play from behind they make mistakes.

Puppy Chow

It looks like Montlake Jake still may see some action this year if needed according to Willingham. Don't bet on it, Ty is a smart guy that always likes to keep his cards close to the vest. Giving Oregon another contingency to prepare is smart football.

Jason Wells is most likely out this week giving Mesphin Forrester, and Chris Hemphill more playing time this week at Safety. Keeping Goldson out at CB makes us a much tougher team. Wells should be back for Stanford.

Jonathan Stewart is pretty banged up but should see action against the Dawgs.

While we all chuckled about Michael Braunstein early in the year the redshirt junior has done a pretty solid job this year. His kickoffs have been good, and he hasn't missed a PAT. After missing two FG's earlier in the season he has been perfect since. For some reason my spell checker wants to replace Braunstein with Braincell.

Kenny James is a good bet to play this week. He still is having a problem with the sprained ankle and is day to day at this point. More on that around Thursday.

There will be no TV for the Stanford game. FSN could not work out a deal with the Big 12 to get that one on. Still it has been a good year on TV for the Dawgs.


prrbrr said...

HIE, reread my last comment and decided it came out more negative versus what I was trying to say and that was to praise the ASU coaches for some timely adjustments. That said, we are two very similar teams playing this week, with a little more talent and depth for the guys in green. To parody your title, which Husky team will show up Saturday. Both teams are banged up so the MVP of the game might be which teams trainers are able to work more miracles. For some reason, this Dawg team plays to the competition and better on the road. Since we are 14 pt underdogs, I think we will be in a CAL/USC type game. I like our defense to shut down their running game, so far the only RB who really hurt us was Bernard although Lynch and Peterson had good games too. But the key is to stop the run first, including Dixon. This game would have even more similarities if IS were healthy. I think CB will play fine, but if he goes down JD is more than capable. The OL must step up and give our QBs time. Getting a few turnovers would help also, we are overdue. B4 the season started,I thought with good luck we could finish 9-3, but also thought we could maybe steal one from Ore, ASU, or WSU, and might lose one we shouldn't have from UCLA, OSU and AZ. If we follow our formula and keep it close, the kids might actually finally pull one out in the closing seconds, what a boost of confidence for the future. The eternal optimist in me says this is the week the Dawgs finally put it all together and we come out with an upset which propels us to the Vegas Bowl. GO DAWGS

hairofthedawg said...

While you have a good point about the title, I don't think there's any question which Husky team will show up. These guys want the post season and imho, have busted their butts trying to get there. Like most of you, I think, I've struggled maintaining a positive attitude and I can't imagine what it's like for the team to do the same, but at the end of the games...there they are!

Not to wish any ill will toward Carl, but just desserts would be served if JD had to step up and win it. I think I'd laugh out loud if that happened.

I hadn't seen the line, but 14 pts seems like a damn good bet to me!

This team is hard to predict...I just cross my fingers and enjoy the games. It's been a fun, if frustrating season.

Health Insurance Expert said...

I predict they are going to show up and the game will be won by either team on the last play of the game. Oregon isn't as good as USC, Cal, or possibly Oregon St at this point. Of course ASU isn't better than the above mentioned and we really never got going against them except for the 4th quarter.

Your right, this team is a tough one to read, but I think they need someting good to happen right away, that usually fires them up.

I am predicting victory of course. We are very, very due, and probably a lot hungrier than Oregon.


As to my beloved OREGON DUCKS, here is a short analysis.

On offense they have the true 'spread'. When it's going good, it's a juggernaut like no other offense. However, Cal pointed out that if a team can play a tight zone, run gap blitz effectively and keep the QB on the run, the spread falls apart. Also, the RB's don't run downhill, they run from a stop. I prefer the pro style USC offense for it's balance and ability to control a game. Since UW is no Cal, I'm expecting 500 yards and 32+ points this weekend.

Defensively, the OREGON DUCKS have so many injuries to first & second players that they have had to use third string offense players to convert to defense. As a result, we can't stop teams from running between the tackles. We have great speed so the challabge is to force teams to run wide. We also start 2 freshman (due to injury) as DB's. HOWEVER, as UW is so banged up at QB, I wonder if they can take serious advantage of the situation.

Prediction: Oregon 35, Washington 17.

I'll be back after the game.

Health Insurance Expert said...

Awesome analysis Blazer on the Duck's offense. I have to agree, after the ASU game I didn't think they would lose this year. Injuries certainly have slowed down the Duck's.

Have to agree that the Washington running game is a big question mark right now due to depth, and health. Bonnell can move, but he also gets banged up when he does run. If Durocher goes in the rush is off. As for Rankin, he doesn't hit the hole so the advantage is negated. If James is healthy we are a different team between the tackles. Look for more Johnie Kirton on short yardage situations.

I will save my exact predictions for Friday as usual, but I am predicting the Dawgs win out and go to a bowl. I fell this one will go down to the last play.