All times Pacific
Final Thoughts--EL--As I said below, if Pryor can pass well, it opens everything up for Ohio St. And he played a phenomenal game. His coming out party. I'm sure both Ohio St. and Oregon will be in the top 5 to start next season. Still can't believe Oregon attempted a 45 yard FG on 4th and 1--one of only 2 terrible calls Chip Kelly made all year.
5:20--LS--Sad as it may be for me, Pryor has played a phenomenal game, as has all of Ohio State. Congratulations, while I weep.
5:10--EL--I love Chip Kelly, but that was the exact wrong time to be conservative. 4th & 1 with your accurate but limited range kicker forced to try from 45? Terrible call.
5:08--LS--Good play, but seriously, those kickoff return reverses are dangerous plays.
5:05--LS--No doubt, that was brilliant football played by Ohio State. Go Ducks, they have plenty of time.
5:04--EL--Give Ohio St. all the credit--that was a world class drive against an Oregon defense that is playing very well.
4:55--LS--The offense sure is sputtering; this is considerably scarier than it should be.
4:33--LS--See Erik's pregame Note 4, below.
4:30--LS--Wow! James is such a brilliant runner, so much tougher than he looks.
4:27--EL--Next to "bend but don't break" in the dictionary is a picture of the Oregon defense.
4:26--LS--Pryor's starting to stare down Sanzenbacher. That's a good sign for the Duck defense.
4:21--LS--Lookin' sharp in those berets, OSU band
4:16--EL--What a love about that drive is not the awesome 4th down conversion (OK, I do), but bringing in Blount on the 1 and then faking it to him. Great play call. Give Ohio St. credit though--they are making Oregon work very hard to get their running yards. Give Oregon credit for being willing to shove it down their throats.
4:15--LS--The lead...finally.... A really nice drive, overall, and Erik's note on halftime adjustments is exactly right.
Halftime Update--EL--Not a huge deal with that last FG, but it hurts a little. Oregon was driving, tipped pass and pick. Down 16-10. Oregon has done an excellent job all year making halftime adjustments and dominating the 3rd quarter. They will need to do so again, particularly on offense. A bit concerned that Pryor is passing so well, though Oregon has gotten excellent pressure on him. I still feel very good about this game--Oregon gets the ball in the second half and I expect a good 2nd half from them.
3:47--LS--Some hot marimba work in this halftime show!
3:45--LS--Tough half. OSU is playing really strong, though that final Pryor pass was definitely grounding. Second half is Oregon's though, no doubt about it.
3:25--LS--Lucky to be 13-10, but that should have been a pick. A minute is enough for a TD. No fumble; no way.
3:10--EL--10-10. It doesn't take long for the Ducks to come back. Huge 4th & 9 conversion. Awesome pounding TD run for LaGarette Blount. Glad to see him have the shot to do it. Boom!
3:00--LS--Those are the exact kind of contain defenses we need to see. Make Pryor work for it.
2:49--Lyrad Simool--A good goal line stop, though, and now we're in the red zone...hook 'em Ducks!
2:46--Ohio St. offensive game plan also going very well. As I said earlier, if Pryor passes effectively, Oregon will have trouble stopping them. Indeed, that has been the case through one quarter. I kind of feel lucky to only be down 10-0.
2:40--Ohio St. clearly doing a great job. Again, it's very early and Oregon can score quickly, but the Ohio St. defensive game plan is working quite well. The Oregon offensive line is young and Ohio St. might be able to overwhelm them. If that's the case, things will be very difficult for Oregon.
This is the open thread for the Oregon-Ohio St. Rose Bowl. Perhaps Trend and/or Lyrad would like to join in. For casual readers, I am an Oregon alum and Trend is an Ohio St. partisan. Meaning that it's Civil War here!
A few notes to begin:
1. It's interesting--the nation believes in Oregon but Ohio St. fans are completely dismissive of the Ducks. The latter is interesting because Ohio St. can never win a big game and because it's reflective of their belief in football played as if it was 1954. That the country believes in Oregon I also find a bit strange because they are not the traditional power that the Buckeyes are.
2. The key of the game is the Oregon offense versus the Ohio St. defense. Neither team has faced an opponent like this. Ohio St. fans call Oregon's offense a gimmick. That's a perjorative, but whatever, we win with it. It's also in many ways a very traditional offense that just looks funny. Can Ohio St. maintain the discipline against the zone read for the entire game? No one else has except Boise St., which is a lifetime ago. On the other hand, Ohio St. does have a great defense, though against the "offenses" of the Big 10, I'm not sure what that means.
3. I think equally important is the play of Terrelle Pryor. That's the biggest wildcard. If Pryor can throw decently, it makes things much tougher for Oregon. Ohio St. fans have slammed on Oregon's defense by saying the Ducks give up a lot of yards, but that's the equivalent of relying on batting average to say who is the best hitter in baseball. Oregon gives up a lot of yards because the offense scores in 4 plays half the time. The defense is on the field the entire game. So we need a different set of statistics to judge Oregon. Oregon's defense is entirely decent and carried the team early on.
4. The other wild card are Oregon turnovers. Sometimes Masoli gets a little careless. Fumbles could be huge. But if Oregon falls behind 10-0 or something like that, the game is far from over. Oregon can score very quickly. Of course, falling behind to Ohio St. is not like falling behind to Arizona or Oregon St., but this team has come back before and I feel Ohio St. needs a 3 TD lead to feel comfortable.
5. Final score--Oregon 30, Ohio St. 24
Updates to continue throughout the game.
Friday, January 01, 2010
All times Pacific