Craig Strobeck Thoughts from Oregon’s game against UCLA last Saturday: Saturday’s Win Was Much Bigger than People Realize The Ducks had 21 points going in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game.  Since Oregon beat Cal 15-13 in 2010, the following have been the results of games when the Ducks had 21 points or fewer to start the fourth quarter: L, 22-19 vs. Auburn, 1/10/11 L, 40-27 vs. LSU, 9/3/11 L, 38-35 vs. USC, 11/19/11 L, 17-14 vs. Stanford, 11/17/12 In case you are keeping track, not only is that four straight losses with 21 or fewer to start the fourth quarter, that is every loss for Oregon since the start of the 2010 season.  In previous seasons, the greatest point of vulnerability for the Ducks was close, low-scoring games against ranked teams.  In fact, prior to Saturday’s win, Oregon had not defeated a ranked opponent when scoring 21 points or fewer entering the fourth quarter, since a win over another LA school on the final Saturday of October six years ago, when t


Craig Strobeck 1.  The Autzen Avalanche is real.  Multiple reports from Saturday night’s game confirm that the home of the Ducks was absolutely rocking during the last 20 minutes against UCLA.  It is a certainty that a PAC-12 title game in Eugene would present a big problem to whoever represents the south.  The Ducks put up the final 28 points of the game in that final 20 minutes of play, reminding a national audience of the oft forgotten final third of Oregon’s much quoted mantra: “Fast. Hard. FINISH.” 2.  Johnny Mundt is a touchdown grabbing walnut farmer.  This is not something Mr. Musburger learned from Saturday, but rather something he learned for Saturday as he conveyed his newly acquired knowledge from high atop the broadcast booth.  A tip of the hat to the four letter broadcast crew for focusing on positive traits of players involved in the contest rather than low-hanging, rotting fruit of recent local news headlines.  There is little need to rub additional sal

Kevin Cline If you re expecting UCLA Head Coach Jim Mora to be happy about being tied with Oregon at halftime, forget it! Coach Jim Mora following Saturday s 42-14 loss to Oregon at Autzen Stadium This was a very disappointing loss, Mora declared.   We didn t come up here to play close.  We didn t come up here to lose.  We came up here to win and we didn t get it done.  When asked if this game gave him any indication of whether the Bruins are close or far away from playing on the level he expects, Mora replied, That s a very good question.  I d have to say both.  We showed we can play with them, but they have consistency and we re not there yet. Mora s frustration was obvious and profound.  He clearly has a vision of his team competing and winning at the highest level.  He praised his team and his coaching staff for their work effort.  Responding to a question about QB Brett Hundley s performance, Mora said that Hundley works his butt off and plays well, but that he needs to

Kevin Cline Great teams make good teams look average.  After last night, there’s no doubt that Oregon is a great football team.  The Ducks beat the UCLA Bruins, 42-14, in a game that showed the nation they’re more than just an offensive juggernaut.  After Saturday night, those left questioning Oregon’s championship credentials are few. With all due respect to Coach Helfrich, the “faceless opponent” mantra didn’t hold much water this week, at least not among fans and analysts across the country.  With College GameDay in town and the primetime slot on ESPN, everyone was anxious to see how Oregon would respond after being placed behind Florida State in the initial BCS rankings.  The Ducks certainly played like they had something to prove. The game started inauspiciously with a Keanon Lowe fumble on the opening drive that gave UCLA a short field that led to a Bruins touchdown.  After a 3-and-out, Oregon did what no one in the stadium expected ran a fake punt.  Rodney H

This Saturday at 4 pm, UCLA comes to town, licking their wounds after being manhandled by Stanford, and, as they say, there s nothing more dangerous than a wounded bear.  On paper it would seem that the Ducks are way over-matched on the lines, with the DBs and that UCLA should win the war of the trenches. But that s on paper. I mean, let s consider that the Bruin s O-line averages 308 pounds to the Ducks D line, which averages only 285 pounds, but has two that can reach the 300 mark (Wade Keliikipi and Ricky Havili-Heimuli both go just over 3 bills).  On the other side of the ball, Oregon s O-line averages 293 pounds to UCLA s  300 pound average weight with their three interior defenders. Taken together, it all seems like the Ducks should suffer their first loss of the year. Again, that s on paper. Now consider this, UCLA beat Utah by only a touchdown and, had it not been for six interceptions, the Utes could very well have come away with the victory.  Yes, these are the sam

Kevin Cline ESPN College GameDay will be on hand for the 8th time in Eugene Saturday, to showcase a matchup of two top Pac-12 contenders in 3rd-ranked Oregon and 12th-ranked UCLA.  On paper, there are many reasons to believe this will be a compelling game. The game sets up as a showdown in several interesting ways for the two programs, including: – Serving as a potential preview of the Pac-12 Championship Game. – Featuring two of the premier offenses in the country, led by two of the most productive dual-threat quarterbacks. Can Oregon s defense contain UCLA? – Showcasing two of the most effective pass rushes in the country. – Spotlighting a matchup of coaching in first-year head coach Mark Helfrich vs NFL veteran Jim Mora. All of that being said, the consensus among the experts see a Ducks blowout victory.  The latest Las Vegas betting lines show Oregon as a massive 23.5 favorite. Why? A big factor could be the perceived health of both teams. The Bruins have suffered a number