Game Day: I've Moved On, Who's With Me?

It's been more than a week since the Ducks laid an egg, the Cardinal…well…didn't, and the national media neutered an Oregon program unquestionably still good. But I've seen and heard enough regarding one bad performance among nearly five years of elite results on the field, and I'm interested to see how Oregon's team and new head coach react to a game better-off forgotten.

I know, I know, Stanford's offensive line dominated Oregon's front-7. I also know, offensively the Ducks made a lot of mistakes. And yes, I even know that Mark Helfrich made a poor decision on a first-half fourth and goal, appeared to have been watching a different game during a halftime interview ("…the offense is playing good, the defense is playing good, we just need to keep doing what we're doing") and is under the gun from a fan base waiting anxiously to see how he bounces-back from the first defeat of his very short tenure. But enough is enough.

Nary has a game been won looking back at the loss that came before it. Steve Greatwood doesn't need to be fired. Nick Aliotti WAS prepared for a "jumbo package." And De'Anthony Thomas was smiling on the sidelines as a reaction to heckles from the crowd, not as a result of a lack of interest in the embarrassing results on the field. All topics hashed and rehashed on the message boards this week, and all topics I'd like to see on the first flight out of town. It's time to worry about what can be accomplished, opposed to what likely went the way of the dodo on the "Farm" more than a week ago.

Utah is a marginal team. That's not a knock on the Utes, but rather an answer to an equation constructed over nearly 2 seasons of Pac-12 football. They're not going to overwhelm you in any aspect of the game, but will give you a good effort, be fairly well coached, and – drum-roll please – beat you if you fail to put last week's debacle and the disappointment of it, behind you prior to kick-off.

Mark Helfrich is on the clock this week. Before the Stanford game, Helfrich had had a pretty easy go of it to that point. Lombardi he wasn't, but Lane Kiffin he wasn't either. He'd done a good job navigating the relatively smooth waters left in the wake of Chip Kelly's departure, but thanks to a back-alley-beat-down last week against the "Tree's" the Oregon native finds himself under the microscope for the first time in his infantile head coaching career. He's no longer living in Pleasantville. Things have officially gone wrong, and it's his job to rewrite the script of a movie so many of you were dying to see. Oregon may no longer get THE girl, win THE race, or ride off into THE sunset, but they can score a pretty darn attractive girl, win a race most would die to win, and ride towards a sunset in the wake of this season's best…whoever that may be.

I'm rooting for Helfrich, along with Thomas – who for whatever reason seems to have fallen out of the good graces of Oregon fanatics; Marcus Mariota , who's battling an injury whose seriousness we'll likely never know; and Nick Aliotti, Steve Greatwood, and the rest of the coaching staff who fans tend to flip on quicker than a 15-year-old Bieber fan at a Hunter Hayes concert. This is the same team ya'll fell in love with over the first two months of the year, and the same team that holds your college football


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