Quick Quacks

<center>Déjà vu - twice</center> <br><br> Step into the way-back machine with me as we set the controls to November 22, 2003 and the Civil War game. Oregon's first drive went four and out. Starting on the Oregon 42, the Beavers marched down the field using a crossing route to James Newsom for 26, a halfback pass to Steven Jackson for 17, then a dive play to Jackson for 14 and found themselves on the Duck 2-yard line, first-and-goal, and doing a lot of woofin'

Oregon's Cameron Colvin (80) catches a pass for a touchdown in front of Washington's Sam Cunningham (5) during the first quarter Saturday, Oct. 30, 2004, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

On the next play, Jerry Matson shot the gap between the center and the left guard, meeting Jackson 4 yards deep in the backfield, tattooing him to the turf on the 6. Though Jackson did score on a sweep to the right on the next play to give the Beavers their first touchdown, Jackson was never again a factor in the game. Later in the game, Matson went on to register two additional Richter scale type hits on Oregon State kick return man Harvey Whiten overshadowed the turning point his play on Jackson represented.

Last Saturday, with 21 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Washington was first and goal on the Oregon 1-yard line after driving from the Duck twenty-seven on the strength of three completions by Casey Paus to Craig Chambers. This time Matson shot the guard/tackle gap on the right side, stuffing running back Shelton Sampson for a 4-yard loss. On the next play from scrimmage, as Casey Paus dropped back to pass, linebacker Ramone Reed stepped in front of receiver Bobby Whithorne's route and intercepted the pass to end the Husky threat and put an exclamation mark on another game turning play.

Replay (par duex)

In each of the past two games, game officials missed a major call in the second half. Two weeks ago, down on the Farm, Stanford was trailing the Ducks by three with 10 seconds left in the game and no time outs remaining. After catching a pass from T.C. Ostrander, as he was being run out of bounds by the defense, Stanford receiver Greg Camarillo, thinking time had expired, attempted to lateral to a teammate to keep the play alive. Oregon safety J.D. Nelson caught the ball in the air and then dropped it to the ground, also thinking the play was dead. As the ball had never left the field of play, the clock should have been allowed to continue to run, but instead was blown dead by the back judge with one second left on the clock, enough time to attempt a 49-yard field goal for the tie. Falling just short of the crossbar, Oregon held on for the 16-13 win.

Last Saturday with 6:52 left in the game and Oregon leading 17 – 6, Husky quarterback Casey Paus attempted a pass into the right flat for receiver Bobby Whithorne. Duck safety J.D. Nelson went high above the intended receiver and caught the ball, landing on his back with both feet clearly in bounds. Immediately, the field judge indicated Nelson was out of bounds. From his position on the field it is possible the Whithorne screened the official from seeing the play clearly, but that does not explain why the line judge, running down the sideline toward the play also indicated Nelson was out of bounds. For two officials to completely miss this call is inexcusable. I understand officiating sports is a tough job, I spent many years with a whistle around my neck – but at this level of competition you hope for better judgment than demonstrated in these two instances. Fortunately, neither incorrect call was a pivotal event in the outcome of the game – but the point remains… get the call right. And that includes the fumble at the Arizona 1-yard line…

Skating Away...

Saturday's game against the Huskies had the Oregon receiver corps slipping and sliding all over the field, much like visiting receivers used to do when they came into Autzen back in the days of Omni Turf – a two tone green skating rink with yard markers that the Ducks used to establish a sensational home field advantage up until the expansion. Rain was a possible culprit Saturday, though a review of the game tapes didn't indicate it was a consistent issue, and the Field Turf surface generally remains a decent surface when wet … more likely, the "Not Ice Capades" was a result of the anxiety in found in players who haven't seen a lot of game experience suddenly finding themselves the center of attention. Memorial Stadium is a surface known as "Momentum Turf" (great marketing, don't ya think?)… hopefully the skates aren't part of the equipment list making the trip to the Bay Area this weekend.

Before leaving the subject entirely, it is worth noting freshman receiver Calvin Colvin had no difficulty with his footing, and figured prominently in the success of the offense, a solid indication of his athleticism and maturity.

A favor to ask???

I know football schedules are formalized years in advance, only rarely does a last minute change such as this season's shuffling of the Nevada game to schedule the trip to Norman take place. Nevertheless, if at all possible, can we please not EVER AGAIN start the season a week later than everybody else and not have a bye week? Contrary to the season of 2002, which except for the final result may have stretched a bit too long… September 1 (Wisconsin) through December 1 (Civil War delayed for ABC-TV)… and further still to the January 1 Fiesta Bowl, this current season has gone by much too quickly. One home game remaining… it's just not right.

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