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Oregon Ducks Football: Good Cop/Bad Cop with the 7 Toughest Matchups in 2012

Oregon Ducks Football: Good Cop/Bad Cop with the 7 Toughest Matchups in 2012

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Published by FishDuck
Originally posted on FishDuck.com:
http://fishduck.com/2012/04/oregon-ducks-football-good-copbad-cop-with-the-7-toughest-matchups-in-2012/
Originally posted on FishDuck.com:
http://fishduck.com/2012/04/oregon-ducks-football-good-copbad-cop-with-the-7-toughest-matchups-in-2012/

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Published by: FishDuck on Apr 21, 2012
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OriginallypostedonFishDuck.com:http://fishduck.com/2012/04/oregon-ducks-football-good-copbad-cop-with-the-7-toughest-matchups-in-2012/OregonDucksFootball:GoodCop/BadCopwiththe7ToughestMatchupsin2012ReportedbyJoshWhiteonApril20,2012inFishWrap,FishWrapArchive|0CommentsThelinebetweenateamachievinga12-2dreamseasonandan8-5“rebuildingyear”isprobablymuchnarrowerthanmanyofuswouldliketoadmit.IftheOregonDucksarefortunateenoughtowina4thconsecutivePac-10/12conferencecrowninfootballthiscomingyear,therearesuretobesomeclosecallsalongtheway.Arizonain’09,Calin’10,USC,andeventheRoseBowllastseason.Theclosecallscansometimessurfaceasmaybeashankedfieldgoalatthewhistle,adrive-killingincompletepassorturnover,orperhapsanactual“bad”calloroverturneddecisionfromareferee.Althoughnofootballgameisdecidedbyasingleplay,looknofurtherthanthepost-seasonfateoftheDuckstheprevioustwoseasonstofindthetypeofplaysinquestionthatcanswingacontesttotheadvantageofoneside.Forexample:WouldtheDuckshavebeenNationalChampionsifMichaelDyerwasinsteadruleddownintheBCSNationalChampionshipGameinsteadofrumbling39yardstoputtheteamintogame-winningfieldgoalrange?Ortheopposite–HowmanymoreofyououttheremightstillbequestioningChipKelly’soffensive“system”orabilitytowinbiggamesifthefumbleforcedbyTerranceMitchellintheRoseBowlhadrolledoutofboundsinsteadofstickingtotheturflikeithadbeenglued?WhatifRussellWilson&co.hadbeengivenanotherplayattheend?Thetruthisthatmany,manyteamsandtheirfanswillpointtoaplayorseriesofplayshereortherethatjiltedtheirseasoninonedirectionoranother.PriortotheRoseBowl,Wisconsinfansandplayersclaimedtheyhadonlyloston“twoluckyHailMary’s”againstMichiganStateandOhioState.Weretheyimplyingthelossesshouldbedevaluedbecausetheywereclose?ManyOregonfanssimilarlydiscreditedtheUSClossbecausetheDuckscouldhaveforcedOThadMaldenado’sbesteffortnothookedafewfeetleft.SomewouldsayIamanextremeOregonDucks“homer,”becausebeforeeachgameforwellovertwodecadesnowIhavefoundawayeverysingleSaturdaytoconvincemyselfthattheDuckswillwin;thatsomehowtheotherteamreallydoesn’tstandachance.Ireadallthestoriescomeoutonlinetheweekbeforethegame,examineallofthestatsandstorylines,andinmymindalwaysdecipheraclearadvantageinsomewayfortheDucks.Whileduringmylifetimeof30years,Ihavebeencorrect(224-138-2)moreoftenthannot,andcertainlyatabetterclipinrecentyears,haveIbeenrightallofthetime?Ofcoursenot!Butthisisapartofwhatmakesthegameoffootballandsportsingeneralsoentertaining.Despitebeingsupremelyconfidentintheabilitiesof“my”team,Iamasritualisticasaprobaseballplayerongamedays.Ihavealuckyshirt,socks
 
,andhatcomboreservedforthebiggestgames.Despitebeinginsulated,andmaybebestofall,distractedbyallofthisexcessivepreparation,Istillgointoeachcontestasaballofnervousenergy.Whilewatchingeachoftheupcominggamesthisnextseason,IalreadyknowthatIwillberestless,anxious,andwilllikelyfeelthepulsethumpinginmyneckuntilIseeDustinHaineshandingofftoKennyBassettinthefinalminutesofablowoutwin.Thesimplewaytodescribethefeelingisfear:thebasicfearoffailure.“Weexpecttowin,but,holy___!Whatifwelose?!?”Callitthedualityoffan.Forthemostpart,WEarenotouttheretryingtomaketacklesorcatchtouchdownpassesonthefield,butasfanswestillfeelatypeofownershipoftheoutcomeofthegamesweputsomucheffortintoattendingonSaturdaysduringthefall.Evenifwehaven’tsuitedupin20yearsorneverevenplayedthegameatall,thoseyoungmenonthefieldarefightingonourbehalf.Noteamwinseverygame,butnobodyeverwantstoloseone,either.Similartoavice/addictionlikegambling,itjustfeelsawholelotbetterwhenyouwin.Totryandbestshowcasethesortofdualityoffeelingsonemighthavegoingintoeachgame,belowIhavedonemybesttobuckmyhomer-ishways,andhavealookattheschedulewhennotviewedthroughRose-Bowl-champion-colored-glasses.Below,Itakeastabatanargumentforand,ahem,againsttheDucksineachofthese7bigupcominggamesselected.WilltheDucksrunthetablein2012?Icanseeithappening.Sure,whynot?Ofcourse,it’seasytosaysoinApril,whoknowswhatmayoccurfivemonths,fiveweeks,orevenfivedaysfromnowthatcouldcastadarkcloudoverthesky-highexpectationsof2012.Unfortunatelyformostofthese7games,wemostlikelywillnothavethepleasureofseeingtoomanyHainestoBassettexchanges.BuckleupforaridealongthroughthetoughestmatchupsOregonwilllikelyfacenextseasonwithGOODCOP/BADCOP!Saturday,September1st–OregonDucksvsArkansasStateRedWolvesGOODCOP:Thefirstgameoftheseasonisalwaysimportantnomatterwhoyouplay.MichaelDyerreactsafterhearingArkansasSthastoplayatOregonnextyear.Thisyear?TheDucksgetacrackatArkansasSt,coachedbyformerAuburnOffensivecoordinatorandnotedspreadguruGusMalzahn.RBMichael“Mywristwasdown”DyertransferredfromAuburnandwouldhavebeenplayinginthisgameagainsttheDucks,excepthepurposely(IMO)hadaruninwiththelawwhileorganizingillegaldrugsalestoavoidthegameinAutzen.DespiteDyer’sabsence–canyousay,payback?TheDucksmighthavethree(ormore)playerseclipsethe100yardmarkontheground.Stayforthe4thquarter,andyoucanfindmebreathingeasyinthestandsasDustinHaineshandsofftoBassettovertheleftsidefor3yards.TheDuckswinthisoneeasy,andtheDucksetsanewrecordforpush-ups.Itwon’tmakeupfortheAuburngame,butinasense,itwillbelikebeatingupAuburn’slittlebrother.
 
BADCOP:Malzahnhascomeoutandsaidhewantstobuild“theBoiseStateofthesouth.”Hisoffenseissouser-friendlyandcatchy,theRedWolveshavemasteredtheplaybookbyspring.Theypluga6’6″250lb.defensiveendwith4.5speedinatquarterbackwhocanalsothrow70yards.Hecontinuestofumbleandthrowpicksthatrepeatedlyarereversedbytherefs.TheDucksdefenselosessomekeyplayerstoinjury,andthebackupsstruggletoplaytogetherandgetstops.DustinHaineshastocomeinbecauseeveryoneelseisinjured,andtheoffensebecomesonedimensional.However,downcloselateinthegame,Hainestakesmattersintohisownhandsandkeepsitonnearlyeveryplay,slashingandbreakingtackles.Hisfinalstatlinepassingis8-18for84yardswith1td1int,andadds18carriesfor60yards,onefumble,and3touchdownsrushing.Nothingpretty,buttheDucksstillgetthewin.Saturday,September22nd–OregonDucksvsArizonaWildcatsGOODCOP:Welcometotheworldoffootball“out-west,”Rich-Rod!ThecrazyrunningQBstuffyoudidatWestVirginiaandMichiganshouldfitrightinhere.However,noNickFolesshouldmeannoproblemsinthisonefortheDucks.Thejourneymancoachmayhaveafewoldtricksuphissleevethatshouldperhapsproducemorepoints,butthisishisfirstyearcomparedtoOregonbeinginyearsixofthespread,andthiswillbethe4thyearunderChipKelly.TheadvantageinrecruitingdepthisjusttoomuchtoovercomefortheWildcats.Lastseason,NickFolespassedfor398yardsand3touchdownson57attemptsinTucson.LuckilyforOregon,LaMichaelJamescounteredwithaschool-record288yardsrushing,andasateamtheDuckspoundedawayfor415yardsontheground.Granted,thesetwoplayershavemovedon,butmuchoftheArizonadefensehasnot.Oregon’spasscoverageshouldbeanimprovedunit,andNickFoleswasaspecialplayerwhohadoneofthebestgamesofhiscareer.RichRodwasovercomewithemotionafternoticingtheawaygameinAutzenonthescheduleExpectOregontoagainrunwild,whetherornotJamesisheretakingthecarries.Arizonawillhaveanewlookandnewwaysofgettingtheballdownthefieldonoffense,buttheendresultswillstillfavortheDucks.Theremaynotbeanymorehilarioussidelinetempertantrumsorchantsof“GetoffthefieldStoops!”beingyelledbyfansthisyear,butnodoubttheAutzenfaithfulwillbereadytobringthenoiseforthenewguy.BADCOP:Arizonahasbeenatthecuspofbreakingthroughforyearsnow,andtheirnewcoachwillfinallytakethemtothatnextlevel.ThegamesagainstOregonhavebeenintenseandhardfoughtthelastseveralyears,andthe‘Cat’saredue.Theplayersarerefreshedandrefocusedwithouthavingtoweartheleadstraight-jacketthatwasMikeStoops.RichRodhitsthegroundrunningandtheteamimprovesquicklyasagroup.Oregonisvictimizedbyturnoversandsquanderssomekeypossessionsandopportunities.Arizonaisabletocapitalize,andtheyscorejustenoughtoholdonfortheclosewin.Thegameislookedatasamonumentalupset,andanearlymilestoneforthebeleaguered1styearcoach,andArizonaisthrustintothenationalspotlight.Onlyforashorttimethough,astheyfadelateintheseasonasusual.Saturday,September29th–OregonDucks@WashingtonState(inSeattle)GOODCOP:AnotherhighprofileretreadcoachtakesoveraPac-12foethathasbeennippingatOregon’sheelsthelastfewyears.UnlikethesituationatArizona,

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