36 minutes before kickoff: Can't tell if it's really raining hard or not, just looks like sprinkling. Same thing happened to Greg Barton and I as we were waiting patiently for the Beaverton-Southridge game to start Friday night. Game starts, skies open up. We lasted one half. Southridge, led by Jeron Mastrud, George Huntzicker and Marcus Matthews, beat Cal-bound Kevin Riley's Beaverton team 12-7. We'll see what the weather holds in store for us today.
33 minutes before kickoff: Travelling from Portland to Eugene on gamedays is an adventure in
patience. Stop and start from Salem on down...a bit of a drag. And as an award that was just
given out to a little kid attests, Mike Bellotti and the city of Eugene endorses reading. That's
26 minutes before kickoff: Washington comes off the field, and you can see a couple of the
Oregon coaches come up to Johnny DuRocher to shake his hand. Talk about an awkward situation...
for those expecting to see J.R. Hasty, he won't be playing today. He didn't even make the trip. I
think that redshirt is firmly on the frosh from Bellevue right now and it's not coming off.
19 minutes before kickoff: Some recruits on the sidelines - Trevor Carpine from Bellevue,
Jason Brace from Spanaway Lake, Pat Stoudamire from Centennial in Gresham, Oregon...also looks like
Shareece Wright from Colton, California is on his official visit, he's all decked out in UO gear.
8 minutes before kickoff: College football is a screwy game. Just watched the end of the
Wisconsin-Minnesota game. Gotta love a rivalry where the prize is an axe...
4 minutes before kickoff: Here comes the pick, will it be the only showing?
Doubtful...Stanback, Sa'au, Lobendahn and Benjamin are the captains.
3 minutes before kickoff: Here come the Dawgs...everything is open air when it comes to the
Autzen press box. Perfect for viewing, but best be prepared to bundle up.
1 minute before kickoff: It's the 'Go - (name your team)' chant. It's done now, I think all
the pre-game energy has been spent, it's time for the teams to play some football. UW wins toss,
kickoff: We'll see how well the Dawgs tackle after giving up 34 yard kickoff return. Finley
fumbles on first play! That's how you do it - tackle, THEN strip. Good first down play, but
Rankin is still hesitant to just put his head down and get upfield. Stanback takes his shot with
Chambers, but can't connect. The Ducks dodge an early bullet.
13:11/1st: The Ducks are Couging it early on. It's wet, but it's not THAT wet. Let's see
what the Dawgs can do with this gift.
12:15/1st: So far, Washington isn't doing themselves any favors, calling their first time
out of the half. If they end up losing this game close, it'll sting just that much more if they
don't at least get some points off this second UO turnover.
12:08/1st: A great strike to Anthony Russo right through the heart of Oregon's secondary for
6. Knudson's PAT gives the Dawgs an unexpected early bonus, especially since they will be getting
the ball to start the second half.
10:55/1st: The Ducks are going through UW's D like a hot knife, but C.J. Wallace comes up
with a sure tackle. Right now, it's hard to argue against Wallace when talking about UW's best
9:24/1st: Now that was the Oregon offense we all expected to see - well-run and efficient.
The Huskies had a chance to stop on a third-and-long, but couldn't come up with it. Okoebor comes
up limping after getting scored on, and the DB corps starts to get even thinner...if rain was in
the forecast, it's not happening right now, doesn't look like it's wet at all.
7:41/1st: After a promising first-down run, the Huskies bog down with a penalty. Right now
they are moving the ball when they aren't moving themselves backward. Great punt by Douglas and
even better coverage by Moss.
5:19/1st: Well done by Roy Lewis on an option play, forcing UO to punt. That's sticking to
your assignment and showing discipline. But the punt return? This could be an adventure. Guess
what! Wood does exactly what a good returner does, running up and fair catching it cleanly in a
crowd, will wonders never cease? Nice to see the Huskies playing the game, instead of giving it
5:10/1st: Tim Lappano uses up one of his bullets - a flea-flicker to Shackelford. It was
wide open and the Beverly Hills Boy can't come up with the catch. Considering his play up to this
point, that move was strictly 2004, and quite surprising.
4:17/1st: Will the Huskies be able to put together a drive that's penalty-free? That will
be something to look for during the game.
2:58/1st: Greyson Gunheim really needs to clean it up when the QB is dead-meat and right in
front of him. Should have been a big sack for the Huskies, but a good QB like Clemens is going to
make you pay if you can't contain him.
1:42/1st: Bellotti calls out the kicking team on 4th and 1 and then brings them back...8
yards later, the Ducks have a first down courtesy of Terrence Whitehead. Hopoi comes up big on a
:23/1st: Clemens was just about to call his number on 3rd and goal, but wisely held up at
the last minute and found Jaison Williams open for a touchdown. The Huskies aren't playing poorly
on D, but they definitely need to make more momentum-killing plays. Right now, big MO is with the
13:24/2nd: And there it is, another 5-yarder against Washington. I think one astute
sportswriter called something similar, 'death by a thousand paper cuts'. Not easy to watch.
11:09/2nd: Another decent kick by Douglas. If the Huskies are going to lose this game, they
are going to make UO go the length of the field...Clemens has been absolutely money so far through
the air...12-15 for 141 yards and two scores. Will Baer be able to make some half-time
10:26/2nd: C.J. Wallace just got carted off, missed the play he got hurt on. Looks like a
foot injury, but nothing more right now. That's a crushing blow for UW if he can't make it back.
9:35/2nd: Ducks continue to pick UW apart. Not really much of a contest right now, Clemens
can pretty much do whatever he wants to.
8:27/2nd: Dawgs have UO in a third-and-long and Clemens comes up gold, hitting Demetrius
Williams for a score. This game could get out of hand if Stanback and crew can't find a way to
sustain a drive and not kill themselves with penalties.
6:10/2nd: Stanback has to recognize when the heat is on and act appropriately. Sack after
sack is just death to an offense searching for anything right now. Good thing Douglas bails them
out with a phenomenal 69-yard punt that puts Clemens and company at their own 1. If the Ducks go
99 here, stick a fork in the Dawgs. They will be done.
2:51/2nd: Interesting call here by Bellotti...just short...4th and 1 inside your own 30, do
you go? Up 14, Mike does the smart thing and punts. And the Huskies do the wrong thing and
illegally touch the snapper, or something to that effect. who knows, but when you're 1-4, don't
expect the refs to give you any benefit of the doubt.
1:42/2nd: Darin Harris just made Clemens look like Joe Montana...unbelievable. And the
irony is, he knew he had a play on it. And whatever progress Evan Benjamin made in terms of
handling his assignments in space seems to have gone away in just two quarters of work here. It
just amazes me the lack of football intuition this team has, especially on defense. Playmakers,
:33/2nd: Well, we can know safely assume Bellotti's hatred of UW is running deep, as he
elects to go for it on 4th and 2 well within his kicker's range and he's up by 2 touchdowns.
Clemens has already gone for over 300 yards in the half. Over/under on 550 for the game?
Halftime: Talk about a royal butchering of clock management by Bellotti! Unbelievable. Well, only down 14 and coming out with the ball, the Huskies definitely have life. BTW, Oregon is honoring their 1994 team by putting them in their Hall of Fame. What did the 1994 team do exactly? Did they win something? Well, they lost in the Rose Bowl. Oh, that's right - they beat Washington. If UW fans wanted proof-positive that Oregon is trying awfully hard to be like big brother, this 'induction' takes the cake. Honoring the team is cool, and doing it during the UW-UO game makes even more sense. But the 'Hall of Fame'? Wow, I think it pretty much speaks for itself.
14:43/3rd: Boy, if that pass wasn't vintage 2004 Stanback, I can't think of another one this
year. Didn't do a thing to look off the safety, just stood there like a statue and winged it. I
bet his eyes were closed when he threw it. Immediately puts the defense back in the hole. Let's
see if the UW D can hold Oregon the way the Ducks held Washington scoreless after their two miscues
in the first quarter...
12:39/3rd: Not only does Washington's defense have to stop Oregon's offense (something they
haven't done yet today), but they are doing it short-handed. C.J. Wallace is not in the game, and
that takes away a big enforcer for the Huskies. Big holding call on the Ducks. Will UW keep UO to
11:59/3rd: And again, Gunheim has Clemens dead in his sights, whiffs on him and Clemens
makes Washington pay with a touchdown throw. Sound familiar?
10:44/3rd: Say what you will about Isaiah Stanback: he's a decent passer and can make plays
with his feet. Overall a somewhat capable quarterback. But he doesn't have that 'x' factor, that
thing that turns potential into plays. He just doesn't have it. Not sure why, but it's not there.
Will he find it? Or is it something you can find, just by having enough experience? I don't
know, but if he doesn't find it soon, UW is going to be on the long end of a nasty-looking losing
9:57/3rd: I see Roy Lewis doing a lot of talking. I don't see him making many plays. And I
haven't seen UW's DL get manhandled this badly since, well...Cal. At least the Huskies are making
them earn their yards, and Wallace is back in the game.
8:45/3rd: Oregon tacks on three more, making it 31-7. Well, if UW holds UO off the
scoreboard for the next 23-plus minutes (doubtful), and can score anything at all, is it considered
an improvement from last year's 31-6 effort? Right now I would have to say no.
5:29/3rd: The the Ducks continue to knock on the Dawgs' door. Why not, it's been available
all day long.
5:00/3rd: 'Snoop' Stewart applies the death blow, a nifty run around end for paydirt while
the UW defensive backs couldn't shed a block to save their lives. Shades of Cal all over again, in
many respects...two weeks to prepare, and all Washington has done is regress in almost every
category. Pretty disappointing. And Willingham continues to give Stanback a vote of confidence.
In truth, Isaiah isn't really part of UW's problem today, but he certainly isn't supplying any
3:19/3rd: It stands to reason that Douglas once again bails the Huskies offense out, he's
been doing it all day. Both lines are getting fairly well drummed by the Ducks at this point, it's
a jailbreak everytime Stanback goes back to pass...the fog is starting to roll into Eugene.
:36/3rd: Is Stanback learning? He made the most of that opportunity with his feet, he needs
to keep doing that. Rankin, on the other hand...everytime his shoulders go from square down the
field to side to side, it's instant trouble. And during the break between quarters, it's another showing of 'The Pick'! Didn't see that one coming...
14:55/4th: Finally, the receivers are starting to step up and help their beleagured leader.
They need to keep doing that. Lappano is starting to roll his QB out a little more, a wise move.
He needs to have the option to run or pass a lot more, in my opinion.
11:41/4th: What's this, a sustained drive? If only this had happened three quarters ago...
11:01/4th: They just announced the attendance - 58,267 - 4th largest UO home game ever. I
feel bad for Oregon's fans. They came en masse and saw a snoozer.
10:08/4th: Dawgs hit paydirt with Stanback to Rob Lewis after a Phinisee PI in the end zone.
Did I hear that right, a nine-minute, 52-second drive, the longest in school history in terms of
time. How they can go from perpetual three-and-outs to a nearly ten-minute drive is beyond me, and
I'm sure it's got the coaches scratching their heads as well.
8:10/4th: Bellotti is emptying his bench. In is Dennis Dixon, In is Jeremiah Johnson, in is
a whole new offensive line. The Dawg D stops this motley crew, that's a plus.
5:17/4th: Probably no PI in the end zone, but the way the UO fans are going after it, you'd
think the game was tied! Pretty interesting things heard on the sidelines, all of it pointed at
4:50/4th: Ty Eriks puts it home for another UW touchdown, way too late but still a welcome
sight. Duck fans are so beside themselves, I'm sure they feel like the P-10 has conspired against
them (even though they won convincingly). I can see the Register-Guard's headline for Sunday's
paper: 'WE WUZ ROBBED!'
3:47/4th: Matt Fountaine gets planted on a Johnson backside run. Tyrone, get the number-one
guys that are still healthy out of there. It's serving little purpose at this point.
1:16/4th: Clemens is back in (Padding his stats? What other purpose would it serve?) and leads the Ducks to another score. Bellotti wins this showdown, hands down.
1:13/4th: Willingham throws Johnny DuRocher out to the hungry Duck fans that have been waiting all day to give the former UO player a Eugene rendition of the Bronx Cheer. Two completed passes later and the deal is done.
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