DUCKFIGHTER ILLUSTRATED

<b>Inside this issue:</b><ul> <li>Boffo bash at Big House an instant classic</li> <li>Classy Carr and Wolverines gracious (Hail To The) Victors</li> <li>Chris Tormey enjoys return to Seattle</li> <li>Brilliant Ducks pick up where they left off</li> <li>Beavs Bust-A-Cap on Colonels</li></ul>


Dawg coaches "Coog it"
Race Bannon

Long time readers are aware that while other so called serious journalists dig deep for the unvarnished truth and pull no punches, this little magazine has been an oasis of homerism, a style of journalism started in ancient Greece. We break from that tradition for the following thought:

Rick – if you do not start sleeping in the office until those (not so) Special Teams are fixed, you might start longing for the days of the fair coverage you got in the Denver Post.

Enough said. We now return to our regularly scheduled attempt to make Husky fans laugh through the tears.

For the 4th time in the last 5 games, I might add, I come to you after a loss, with my mandate to be witty and clever, always a dicey proposition to begin with. Two blowouts and two nail-biting last second losses have left your faithful scribe on the verge of an extended stay at The Shady Oaks Home for Insane Fans.

It was truly a glorious day at venerable Michigan Stadium, welcoming their 700th straight crowd of NASCAR proportions. Two storied rivals squared off for the last regularly scheduled game in the foreseeable future. The Huskies hoped to even the deal at six wins apiece, while the Big Blue said, "Not in our Big House."

Michigan jumped out to an early 14-point lead on two big plays, and bottled up the Husky offense for a quarter and a half, inspiring visions of UCLA or OSU, or even, gasp, Miami. Then the Huskies showed that this was the first game of 2002, not the last game of 2001, an important difference. Kai Ellis and Jafar Williams were back to lead the defense, and Cody threw to NINE receivers, as the Huskies played their way back into the ballgame. They grabbed the lead on a highlight throw and catch that became a 51-yard TD to Charles Fredrick. They retook the lead as Rich Alexis, who ran hard all day, finally blasted down the brick wall he had been running into and scampered 59 yards down the sideline to set up what should've been the winning TD.

On Michigan's final drive of the ballgame, Washington called timeout so they could put in their newly crafted gadget scheme, hatched this summer while on the 12th hole of Pebble Beach.

Out of the timeout, the Huskies lined up in an impenetrable 6-4-2 defense. It appeared to work to perfection, as Navarre had nowhere to throw. Alas, the officials chose that moment to awake from their game long slumber, and noticed that they were not in College Station anymore, so that 12th man was not cool. No Dorothy, we aren't in Canada anymore.

A bitter loss for Washington, a great win for Michigan. College football at its finest, marred only by a blunder that will become a part of Husky lore. The players played their hearts out, and this talented squad is going to win many football games. The Huskies have to prepare as hard for the next five home games as they did for this game, and they will be ready for a stretch run that promises many more classic moments to come.

"All I want is sharks with fricken' laser beams on their heads, and to win a frickin' game, please." - Dr. Evil.
63,000 Fans Welcome Tormey Back To Town
Cougar Press Correspondent

Chris Tormey, former top assistant to the legendary Don James at Washington, was warmed at the sight of 63,000 fans at Matt Hassleback Field at Total Control Stadium. The town turned out big to welcome the Nevada coach, who was relieved that Oregon was finally off the schedule after playing them for 20 years in a row.

The handful of Cougar fans in attendance relived a nightmare, as Nate Burleson, son of the legendary Al Burleson, continued the family Cougar killing tradition. Nate was everywhere in the first half as the Wolfpack outplayed the alleged Pac 10 frontrunners, who were apparently slowed down by the press clippings in their pants. Nate's father, Al, returned an interception 88 yards against the Cougs, setting up the improbable Moon to Gaines last second win in the 75 Apple Cup.

There is a lot of work to do in the Palouse to prove this writer wrong on his 5th place prediction for the Cougs. They looked a lot like the same old Cougs, which was fitting as they were playing in the home of the same old Seahawks.

In the interest of fairness to the Cougar players, they were playing before the largest crowd by far in their careers. A little stage fright should be expected when you bring country kids into the big city. Mayor "One Term" Nickels gave the Cougars the key to the city, wrapping up the vote from the east side of the state, which is unlikely to help him when we remind Seattle voters of his heresy.
Well Oiled Machine Christens Renovated Autzen Arena
Mallard N. Moore

The Fighting Ducks of Oregon opened a new chapter in Duck History – "Now Celebrating Our Ninth Year!" - the same way they completed the last one, with a big win. Newly remodeled Autzen Arena, now the 8th biggest in the league, was all that was advertised, as were the Ducks.

Schoolyard legend Jason Fife ripped the Bulldog defense to shreds with a series of well executed passes to wide open receivers. Onterrio Smith was over 100 yards with his slashing, bruising running. The defense was not tested as much as one would like, because the MSU quarterback got a flat tire on the way to the game, and was ruled ineligible when a booster replaced his tire with a Cadillac El Dorado. Hey, it's the SEC.

The Ducks were crisp in all areas of execution. The special teams were an awesome sight of perfection. Coach Bellotti had everything managed to a "T." Even the officials gave us the calls, as a top-notch team like Oregon is not going to get jobbed like some lesser schools that they have passed by.

Editor's sidebar conversation:
Mallard?
Yes Race.
Would you like me to buy you the entire volume of Martha Stewart videos and force you to watch them all in one sitting?
No Race.
Then let's wrap it up!
Yes Race

And that is the story from Eugene.
Beavs Blast Eastern Kentucky, Swagger Returns
Beaver Wire Services

Dennis Erickson has put together another exciting edition of Beaverball, as they thrilled the Corvallis faithful with a rout of 1AA power, EKU.

The Swag-O-Meter was off the scale as the Beavers wracked up yards, points, and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. Stephen Jackson, picked here as a pre season all-league pick, needs to swag down a bit, especially when you fumble deep in your own end of the field.

Derrick Anderson needs to swag up, except when discussing a bad pass with Dennis, at which point he should swag down.

Lots of promise in the Beaver Dam, but not much to be told due to the level of opposition.
Preview Of Coming Attractions:
Race Bannon

Washington welcomes San Jose State to town on Saturday, and hopes to work out some aggression on the not to be overlooked Spartans. This game will be tougher than many think, but the Huskies don't need to get fat on cupcakes, they need to get better every day to prepare for the murderer's row finishing stretch.
Prediction: UW 45, SJSU 24

The Ducks will once again not get the test on their new secondary that they hoped for as they welcome a battered Fresno State to Autzen Stadium. They will once again cruise to an easy victory over the Raisinettes.
Prediction: UO 49, FSU 13

The Beavers head to Temple, the school, not the church, to face the Woodsey Owls, and will try to give a hoot not to pollute the Philly area with more flags for unseemly on field conduct. Beaver fans are now livid that I have yet to mention the numerous personal fouls committed by the thug like Ducks against MSU. Live with it.
Prediction: OSU 33, Temple 9

The Cougars get the week off and plan to enjoy their last week as conference favorite before the Buckeyes end the illusion and the Ducks assume their rightful place as conference kingpin.

DFI closing notes: Look for Colorado State to give UCLA all they can handle, coming off yet another win over Barney and his over rated Buffs . . . USC defeated Auburn last night in a barnburner. Could this be the year Carson Palmer puts it all together? You know what they say, the 8th year is the charm . . . The Arizona schools killed some pastry and look forward to more . . . Cal shocked the known universe by hanging 70 on a bewildered Bear team from Waco, Texas. Baylor hasn't been good since "The Streak" was a hit song . . . Stanford opens at Boston College without Chris Lewis. Buddy Ball might have to wait a week . . . Special Teams are a critical component of any football game, and one final rule to be aware of:
You only get 11 men on the field at a time . . .

Thank to all our readers and keep the faith, baby. What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger! – Race
Race Bannon can be reached at duckfighter@dawgman.com.

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