Ducks Baffle Midwestern Rubes
Mallard N. Moore
The Michigan Wolverines might have thought that they knew what they were getting into as they traveled to newly remodeled Autzen Arena, but they found out the hard way that a stadium half the size of the Big House can be twice as loud.
Many thought the 42-14 pounding administered by the Washington Huskies last fall had erased the magic of Autzen, but it was back in a big way on Saturday. (Once again, I apologize Duck fans; it's that whole losing the bet to Race thing again.)
The wily Mike Bellotti, ably assisted by Andy Ludwig, came up with a special script to open the game as the Ducks put together a 17 play nine minute drive that led to 6 points for Michigan. What a brainstorm. That's right – after being robbed of a touchdown on a Clarence Clemmons sneak by the ever alert Gordon Reese, the Ducks had a field goal blocked and returned for a TD by the visitors. Reese and his crew had to join the entertainers union after spending so much time on television Saturday. The blown calls were fairly distributed between the two teams.
While some wondered if disaster would strike after such a shocking turnaround, the Ducks merely took the ball again and ran out the first quarter. The Michigan offense had effectively been iced, and would not thaw out until the fourth quarter, proving that the best defense can be a good offense.
The UM defenders spent the afternoon chasing the speedy Ducks around a series of tricky formations and good old fashioned smash mouth football. It was like old times for the Duck O. By jumping to a 21-6 lead, the Ducks effectively took Chris Perry out of the game before he ever got in it. Michigan ended up with MINUS 3 yards rushing.
John Navarre showed he is no Andrew Walter, Carson Palmer, or Cody Pickett, as predicted here, but he did lead the proud Wolverines back to the cusp of victory, as the Duck secondary finally reverted to form. Only a blocked punt for a TD by UO in the fourth quarter prevented a tragedy at Autzen.
Dan Fouts the legendary Duck QB and now broadcaster spent the second half ripping decisions by Bellotti on the broadcast. He now appears on milk cartons, as his whereabouts are presently unknown. Iron Mike is back in control and don't you forget it.
Speaking of the Duck secondary, Little Stevie "Wonder" Moore returned a punt for a TD and had several big plays as he helped the often maligned secondary hang on enough to get the W.
It was a total team victory for the Ducks who hope to show that last year's 7-6 record was a fluke, not Saturday's big win over a top 3 opponent. The only problem facing the Ducks now is the full depth chart of three deep stars that might scare away recruits this year. Playing time could be years away at UO, according to sources inside Coach Bellotti's office.
Rich Alexis leads Huskies to victory
Half-empty Husky Stadium erupted for the first time this season as Rich Alexis laid the big lumber on an unsuspecting Vandal defender to spring Reggie Williams for a first down and ignite the anticipated rout of the Pride of the Palouse, the Idaho Vandals.
The Husky running game is showing signs of life, so naturally fans are now concerned about the passing attack. Both Alexis and James were over 5 yards per carry against the stout Vandal rushing defense.
Isaiah Stanback once again had Husky fans dreaming of a future return to Husky Ball as he teamed with Shelton Sampson to preview the awesome offense that will be available when they get the reins.
This just in: KJR's Steve Sandmeyer found out that he would not be named head coach of the Huskies.
Idaho is NOT on next year's schedule, but the AD office assured anxious fans that they will return in 2005. The half-empty, funereal stadium stands as a legacy to the Athletic Department, and their commitment to an exciting football program.
Northwest Cup Opener: Clash of the Titans at Autzen
The prestigious, much sought after, cause of great jealousy and angst Northwest Championship gets underway in a big way this Saturday at newly remodeled and revamped with a new batch of mystique and aura Autzen Arena.
That was a long sentence.
The Washington State Cougars come calling fresh off a disappointing near loss to New Mexico. The Cougs remain the only team to lose to Notre Dame this season. We now turn to our respective team experts to preview this exciting match-up:
Point – Counterpoint - A Jane You Ignorant Slut Production, all rights still reserved
Mallard N. Moore and Rob Bobertson
Mallard: After three straight trips to Pullman, two of them wins, the Ducks welcome the Cougs to Autzen. The way the Cougs struggled to run against New Mexico bodes ill for facing the mighty D line of the Ducks. Like it did with Michigan's Navarre, WSU's fortunes will rise and fall with Matt Kegel, and I do not think he has what it takes to win at Autzen.
Rob: The Huskies suck. In fact, I'll go post that on your message board, since it's not a violation of my work release probation.
Mallard: The Coug defense may have their speed used against them as Ludwig and Bellotti come up with another Academy Award winning script of misdirection and straight ahead plays that will keep the Cougs off balance all day.
Rob: The Huskies suck and will lose the Apple Cup.
Mallard: The Ducks will win a surprisingly low scoring game – 24-19
Rob: The Huskies suck *hic*. Cougs win 16-14
Race: I break the tie
UO – 32, WSU – 25
Stanford at UW
I don't like the feel of this one. I sense a Stanford upset that won't really be an upset. The Huskies have not convinced me yet that they understand the importance of the task at hand. Improvement has been noted, but is it enough? Buddy Ball is bouncing back as the Cards come in off a big win at BYU. The Cards bring a power running game with them and could use it to control the clock. If they can pressure Cody, the Dawgs are in trouble.
Trees – 19, Dawgs – 17
Around the World: - USC is at Cal in another game that looks to me to be closer than many will think . . . SC will win though . . . Cal is coming off a big win at Illinois . . . The Beavers survived a good Boise State team with the help of some home cooking by yet another lousy Pac 10 officiating crew . . . Missouri is now 4-0 . . . ASU laid an egg in Iowa as Walter and company were shut down by the Hawkeyes . . . Arizona gave up another 59 points as "Team Together" fights for Macovic's job . . . Please keep him away from Canlis Restaurant and you know who . . . The Beavs get ASU next at Reser in a Pac 10 elimination game . . . UCLA gave up a record day to the Sooners punt return man as they got waxed in Norman . . . help is on the way for the Bruins as the Huskies arrive in two weeks. When was the last time the Bruins didn't play the Huskies well? . . . Kansas State finally choked on their regular diet of pre season pastry as Marshall, no cupcake, surprised them at Manhattan . . . Break up the MAC as the cradle of coaches has become the giant killers. Northern Illinois beat the ‘Bama TideCougs to go with a win over Maryland, while Toledo beat Pitt, but Kent State still struggles to replace Don James . . . Look for KSU coach Bill Snyder to look to DIII for competition . . . Colorado got hammered by Florida State as their secondary got torched yet again . . . Notre Dame scored 16 points!!! And lost yet again . . . Olympia High remained undefeated . . . Jonathon Stewart from Timberline attended the game at Husky Stadium.
As always, thanks for reading and bring on the Pac 10 play! – Race
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