Football Talk



Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

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11 Responses

  1. Avatar gregiank says:

    Not sure about that, but it did seem pretty clear they couldn’t run up the middle however many times they tried. Yet they kept trying. The TV yakkers didn’t mention it, but if O had kicked an easy field goal instead of trying for TD on 4th and 1 then they would have the lead at the end. If they had taken the points, and the resulting momentum, the rest of the game plays a bit differently.

    The downside to a high tempo offense is that is you can’t maintain possession your D gets worn out since they are on the field so much.Report

    • Avatar Will says:

      I remember a few regular season games when Oregon consistently got stuffed through the first two or three quarters and suddenly exploded in the fourth. I think that had something to do with their ridiculously up-tempo offensive system, which would eventually wear down defenses. I didn’t see that in the BCS championship, which is why I think it’s possible that Auburn was just better conditioned than any regular season opponent.Report

  2. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    I was thinking that while both teams might have lost their edge over the long break, that hurt Oregon’s timing more than it affected Auburn’s size and strength. But you make a good point too.Report

    • Avatar Will says:

      Yeah, that’s a good point. Oregon’s linemen and backs seem to rely on speed and timing more that raw power, and I could definitely see a long layoff eroding that level of coordination.Report

  3. Avatar Scott says:


    You sound like James H making excuses for Oregon.Report

    • Avatar James Hanley says:


      I make no excuses for Oregon. The Ducks led twice and had the game tied with under two minutes to go. That needs no excuses. The long run that set up the game-winning field goal came off a guy that had effectively been tackled. That is to say, he was not actually down, and so the run was perfectly legit and the refs made the right call, so I’m not complaining. But it wasn’t a play where they managed to break through Oregon’s defense for a big gain.

      Oregon also contained Cam Newton, turning him into a one dimensional player (he could fall forward for a three yard gain very effectively). By controlling his running they made a gamble that his passing would not be that effective, and for the most part it wasn’t.

      Where the game was lost was in the strength of Auburn’s defensive front, which was for-real, no-jokes, no-excuses, outstanding; and in Oregon’s incomprehensible decision to keep trying to run straight through it between the tackles. That was an especially bad mistake when they were snapping from the one–without that safety, again the game is different, and Oregon has the lead (although obviously not enough of one) on Auburn’s last possession. When Oregon used screen passes or went downfield, they were very successful–they just didn’t do it enough (which might have opened up that ferocious D-line a little more).

      Face it, the game turned into a slugfest between two defenses that both kept the offenses off-balance and well below their scoring averages. But as well as Oregon’s defense played, Auburn’s defense did it just enough better to earn the win.Report

  4. Avatar James Hanley says:

    Will, as an Oregon fan, I also wonder if that is true, but I can say that they did not in fact use their true blur offense. I kept wondering if they were waiting until later in the game to speed up, but they never did. But perhaps they didn’t bother because they also figured Auburn would have had time to prepare and condition for that?

    And this is a fine place for me to pay up on my wager with MFarmer. Kudos to him for predicting the winner. I was wrong. And kudos to SEC for their fifth straight BCS title.Report

  5. Avatar BSK says:

    There is also the fact that the major bowl games, with their gazillion commercials, have extra TV timeouts and longer breaks in general. This also worked against Oregon.Report

    • Avatar James Hanley says:

      Very true. As well as annoying the s**t out of me.Report

      • Avatar BSK says:

        Heh. Well, what else is new in these big games. Why the hell do they always play them on Mondays or Tuesdays, when so many people can’t truly enjoy them with work looming the next day? Why did Cam Newton get a slap on the wrist for his violations*? Why is the Bowl Game named after a snack chip? $$$$$

        * FWIW, I don’t think Cam Newton really deserved a punishment, and not just because I have major issues with the NCAA cartel; I do think it’s reasonable to give him the benefit of the doubt when there is no evidence of his involvement in the scam. But when the NCAA just got done taking Reggie Bush’s Heisman away and forcing USC to vacate all their wins with him for the EXACT SAME VIOLATION, it’s pretty clear they wanted big-name-Auburn in the bowl instead of TCU or Boise State. Why? $$$$$Report

        • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

          Why is the Bowl Game named after a snack chip?

          Snack chip? I thought they were coming clean about steroid use and calling it the Testosterone Bowl.Report