DUCKFIGHTER ILLUSTRATED

<b>IN THIS ISSUE:</b><ul> <li>Rain falls on Dawgs in the Sun<br> <li>Snow lands in Seattle<br> <li>Ducks have Wake in Seattle<br> <li>Sooners roll Tide<br> <li>Beavers go for broke and succeed in going broke<br> <li>Power out in Northwest, on in LA<br> <li>Sweater vest wins National Title</ul>


Mouthy Dawgs Shut Up by Boilers
Race Bannon – Rio de Janeiro

It did not take long for our local heroes to revert to the disturbing form that identified this less-than-satisfying season for the Washington Huskies. Even having the generous Purdue squad spot a 17-point lead wasn't enough to bring victory home to Montlake. Instead, we are left with yet another desultory performance in the Sun Bowl. The moral of our story? Do not finish third.

This magazine showed a distinct lack of respect for the Sun Bowl opponent, but did not think the players would follow suit. The Boilers were hungry for revenge over the Rose Bowl loss and some unseemly pre-game taunting by the Husky squad. No excuses, the beer and bourbon boys blistered the hides of the Huskies. Most disturbing was the way the Dawgs were whipped on both lines. And the lack of a running game. And the passive zones that allowed long third down conversions. And the personal fouls. And . . . I think you get the idea.

A major tweak was announced immediately following the game. Phil Snow, late of the UCLA staff, has joined the Husky brain trust as co defensive coordinator and secondary coach. He replaces recruiting legend Bobby Hauck, now the head coach at Montana. Snow is here to restore the roar and bring back the oppressive defensive pressure that has been missing in action for nearly a decade now.

It looks like a long off-season for the Purple and Gold and the restless natives who passionately support this team. Turnarounds are common these days in college football, and this, too, can be turned around with hard work and maturity and a humbleness that says our play will do our talking for us. This year's national champion was 7-5 last year. This year's conference champion was 6-6 last year.

Speaking of this year's national champion, we will see you in August at the Big Horseshoe! In the meantime, let's get to work.
Husky fans attend Wake for Ducks in Seattle
Mallard N. Moore

The Oregon Ducks completed their free fall with a face plant in the Seattle Bowl in front of a stadium full of Demon Deacon supporters. Abandoning their late season strategy of jumping to an early lead only to be blown out in the 2nd half, the Ducks decided to be blown out from the opening bell.

Jason Fife will have to look forward to better times, and those times are coming. Jason's next appearance will be in the spring game where he will face the Duck secondary. That should do wonders for his confidence. He will be in a fierce battle with recruiting ranking legend Kellen Clemens to regain his status as the Schoolyard Legend, and to be the whipping boy for Mike Bellotti.

Bellotti made it clear in his post game press conference that he has had it up to here with poor players messing with his genius coaching. The Ducks are considering supplying titles to condos instead of free rent in an effort to upgrade recruiting to the status of their legendary coach, now working on three losing conference seasons in eight years.

Wake Forest was not known for their passing acumen coming in to the game, but could not resist bombing the bombed out Duck D before grinding them into the field turf at Chuck Knox Field with their running game. To be fair, there was some rain in the area during the game.

Oregon still faces a return trip to Seattle to play the Huskies next fall, unless Moos can work his magic once again. Duck players will not soon forget the love and affection shown them by the locals. The male stripper in the locker room may have been a touch too much.

Coach Bellotti now turns his attention to the Husky recruiting list as the Ducks fill their needs with stud athletes. No word yet on whether the Ducks will keep the Husky pass defense they installed mid season this year. There is word that the Ducks play a difficult non-league schedule next year, raising concern over being eligible for a return trip to the Seattle Bowl.
Price leads Sooners to win
FireMikePrice.com – Tuscaloosa

‘Bama fans got a preview of their new coach and it was not pretty. The stumbling bumbling Cougars melted in the glare of the superior Oklahoma squad as Mike Stoops led the legendary Sooners to their first ever Rose Bowl win. Price/Doba was over matched at every turn, and the relentless Sooner defense folded, stapled and mutilated Jason Gesser.

The game turned on a typical Price blunder late in the first half. A long field goal attempt failed, giving OU great field position that they parlayed into the last 10 points of the half. This is exactly the kind of big game decision-making Tide fans can look forward to over the next two years before Price is run out of town on a rail.

That should keep the Alabamans as happy as a hunting dog with a nasal condition.

It was a shame the way that the egotistical Price overshadowed the extremely rare appearance in Pasadena and ruined it for the players and fans. But as long as Mike got what he wanted who are we to complain?

The Cougs now look ahead to the Bill Doba era. No, really. The stock price of Cougar Gold cheese has to be skyrocketing by now.
Buckeyes stun Canes
Race Bannon

In a game that was shocking to all but yours truly, who predicted the outcome with uncanny brilliance; The Ohio State University Buckeyes are the 2002 National Champions.

The Fiesta Bowl and Sun Devil Stadium were once again the house of horrors for a heavily favored Miami team. Ken Dorsey brought back memories of Vinny Testeverde with his turnover-laden performance in the face of a fierce Buckeye pass rush. It was a fitting bookend defeat to Kenny's career, matching his meltdown at Husky Stadium in the face of a fierce pass rush. Yes, we use to have one. Sometimes.

Despite having a coach who wears a sweater vest, the Buckeyes were tough, physical, and fast. They played a rugged defense and just enough offense. Quarterback Chris Cringle is completely unimpressive, except for his record. When you do it 14 times, you have a winner and a leader on your hands. Taking multiple hits from the Cane defense did not stop Cringle from making the plays. We may have to learn his name someday. He may be anxious to face the Husky defense. Frosh sensation Maurice "Jug" Clarett got the game winning TD, showing his amazing power as a runner.

It was an overtime classic, pure drama and a great game. The Canes can hold their heads high as they reached 35 games in their remarkable winning streak. The Huskies did their part to protect a 39-game streak in September of 2000. Miami isn't going anywhere. Time for a new streak.
Odds and Ends: Troy "Cubby" Wadsworth reports from Miami that USC is the bee's knees and all is well in Trojan land after a dominating destruction of Iowa in the Orange Bowl. USC is primed to return to dominance in the flaccid Pac 10 conference............UCLA got the only other league win in a bowl, but as alert reader Whiskey Dawg points out, they were playing a co-ed team........the Northwest was shut out and blown out in all 4 bowls........Looks like the LA area has finally figured out how to get that northwest power down to the Southland......Protect our dams!.......Oregon State got blasted by Pittsburgh.......the Big East and the Big Ten were the big conference winners.......the Pac 10 was the big loser, although the SEC gave them a battle for the basement.......look for an increase in the SEC salary cap........although with legends Mike Price and Rich Brooks joining the SEC as coaches the upswing should be seen soon.........Hey, how about those Husky Ballers?.......Coach Ro got his first league win in an exciting match up with USC at venerable Hec Ed.......I just might start using my tickets now that football is done..........Footballers – don't tell me – show me!

Happy New Year to all our readers, and thanks for reading! Don't miss our Recruiting Spectacular and Season In Review Spectacular coming soon to a email spam near you! – Race
Race Bannon can be reached at duckfighter@dawgman.com

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