This game goes down on the ESPN network and it features University of Oregon Ducks taking on Auburn University Tigers in the 5th actual BCS National Championship Game to be played at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Auburn, 13-0, 8-0 SEC, Tigers have had a magical season in part to the play of Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Cam Newton as the team went undefeated on the year. Head coach Gene Chizik Tigers definitely had some scares along the way to reaching Glendale as Clemson took them into overtime and they had to rally to defeat the defending national champion Alabama while a lot of speculation surrounded Newton. The Tigers carried that over that momentum into the SEC Championship game where they routed South Carolina.
The Tigers put up some gaudy offensive numbers as they ranked 4th in the nation with 42 ppg, 5th in rushing at 287.2 ypg and 7th in total offense at 497.7 ypg. Newton was the reason for those numbers as the junior quarterback rushed for 1,409 yards and 20 touchdowns while throwing for 2,589 yards and 28 touchdowns with 6 interceptions.
Newton was definitely the showcase of the offense but did share the spotlight at times with running backs Michael Dyer, who rushed for 950 yards and 5 touchdowns and Onterio McCalebb, 763 yards and 9 touchdowns. When Newton looked to throw the ball he wide receivers more than capable of catching his passes like Darvin Adams who had 48 receptions for 909 yards and 7 touchdowns and Emory Blake’s 500 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Defensively the Tigers as whole is nothing all that spectacular but they do have an impact player in junior tackle Nick Fairley who has 21 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks on the season.
The Tigers have one national title to their credit but that came back in 1957.
Oregon, 12-0, 9-0 Pac-10, Ducks navigated through their season without much of a fight except for a game in mid November against California where they came out with a 15-13 win. The rest of the season second year head coach Chip Kelly watched as his team destroyed the competition, by winning the rest of their 11 games by double digits. The Ducks won it’s second straight Pac-10 title and became the first team in conference history to win nine league games.
Like Auburn, Oregon is too an offensive jugernaught as they led the nation in scoring with 49 ppg and total offense at 537.5 ypg while ranking 4th in rushing with 303.8 ypg.
It is Oregon’s team speed that presents the most problems for teams and it starts with Sunday bound badass LaMichael James. The sophomore running back is simply as good as it gets and finished as the nations leading rusher with 152.9 ypg and a total of 1,682 yards on the season with 21 touchdowns all the while sitting out the season opener. When James leaves the game his backup Kenjon Barner has kept the offensive going and has done so on limited carries. Barner has 80 carries and has gained 519 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Quarterback Darron Thomas has been impressive under center this season as both a passer where he has 2,518 yards and 28 touchdowns with 7 interceptions while rushing for 492 yards and 5 touchdowns. It’s easy to get lost on this offensive with such stars as James and Thomas, both from the state of Texas, but wide receiver Jeff Maehl is as dangerous and very reliable target downfield. Maehl has had a huge senior season, earning All-Pac-10 honors with 68 catches for 943 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The team has also excelled elsewhere with an offensive line that has only allowed 8 sacks on the season and has All-American returner Cliff Harris on special teams who has 4 punt returns for touchdowns on the season.
Defensively the Ducks are loaded with speed that has forced 35 forced turnovers and 31 sacks. The Ducks have a few impact players on this side of the ball and it begins in the middle with linebacker Casey Matthews team-high 73 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 3 interceptions and 3 fumble recoveries and Spencer Paysinger, 68 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 1 fumble recovery. The secondary is as good as it gets with Talmadge Jackson 2 interceptions, John Boyett 5 interceptions, Cliff Harris 5 interceptions. Defensive end Kenny Rowe is also a force on the line with his 12.5 tackles for loss and 6 sacks.
This is the first ever meeting between the two schools.
PICK: University of Oregon Ducks
This game goes down on the Versus network and it features University of Oregon Ducks taking on California Golden Bears at Memorial Stadium.
Head coach Chip Kelly owns the nation’s most productive offense and a pretty strong defense as well, which is a perfect 9-0 on the season. The first time that has happened in the 115 seasons the school has been competing in football. The Ducks have soared past the opposition with relative ease this year, with an 11-point win at Arizona State back in September being their smallest margin of victory.
Despite failing to score in the first quarter for the first time this season, Oregon blasted visiting Washington last weekend, 53-16. It was the seventh straight win for the Ducks over the Huskies, and no game during that stretch was closer than 20 points.
Oregon’s high-powered offense, which averages a national-best 54 points and 567.2 total yards per game, utilizes a punishing rushing attack of 305.4 ypg to do the bulk of its damage. Sophomore running back LaMichael James is one of a handful of players still in the Heisman Trophy race, as he has rushed for 1,331 yards and 17 TDs. His 6.8 ypc average leads the team, but he isn’t alone in terms of that kind of production as a total of eight different players average in excess of five yards per carry.
When the Ducks decide to put the ball in the air, it is the job of quarterback Darron Thomas to find the open man, and he has done so roughly 62 percent of the time this year for an average of 230 ypg. He has thrown 22 touchdowns passes against only six INTs, and Jeff Maehl is the team’s leading receiver with 54 grabs for 746 yards and 10 scores.
The Oregon defense is just yielding 17 points and 329.0 total yards per contest. The effort against the run has been good, with foes turning in just 126.6 ypg, and pressure on the quarterback has come in waves as the Ducks have logged 26 sacks. Kenny Rowe has six himself. Oregon has logged 28 takeaways this season, and Cliff Harris has five INTs and Casey Matthews and John Boyett have three apiece.
As for California, it opened the season at 2-2, but has won three of its last five to climb a game above .500 (5-4), and even its Pac-10 mark (3-3) in the process. The most recent outing took place last weekend at Washington State, and the Golden Bears claimed a 20-13 win.
Cal is a perfect 4-0 at home this season, beating up on the likes of UC Davis, Colorado, UCLA and Arizona State by a combined score of 189-34. Going back a bit further, the Golden Bears have won 37 of their last 43 home games.
Jeff Tedford is just three wins away from becoming Cal’s all-time winningest coach, and the Bears are hoping to secure their ninth straight winning season to set a new school record.
Cal junior running back Shane Vereen has been an offensive force this season, rushing for 886 yards and scoring 15 total touchdowns, 12 rushing, three receiving. Vereen’s 90 points have him tied for 10th on the school’s single-season scoring list at the moment, and he is third in the Pac-10 and tied for seventh nationally with 10 ppg.
In last week’s seven-point win at Washington State, junior quarterback Brock Mansion started in place of the injured Kevin Riley and completed 12-of-24 passes for 174 yards. He did not throw a touchdowns pass and was picked off twice. Fortunately for the Bears, Vereen was able to find some running room, toting the ball 25 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Wideout Marvin Jones had just four catches in the game, but turned them into 101 yards to raise his team-leading totals in each category to 42 receptions and 675 receiving yards for the year. He needs just two more grabs to establish his new single-season career high.
The California defense leads the Pac-10 and is among the national leaders in total defense of 299.6 ypg, pass defense 179.7 ypg and sacks 3 pg.
California owns a 39-31-2 advantage in the all-time series with Oregon. Oregon has lost the last three times it has visited Berkeley, last winning there in 2001.
PICK: University of Oregon Ducks
This game goes down on the ABC network and it features the Stanford University Cardinal taking on the University of Oregon Ducks in Eugene.
Head coach Chip Kelly has his Ducks entering this matchup undefeated (4-0) and 1-0 in the Pac-10. Oregon has defeated Stanford by an average of 26 points over the past four meetings in Eugene. Oregon leads the nation in averaging 57 points while ranking third in the nation with rushing at 321.8. Most of those yards can be accounted by ALL-SGE-NCAA Football team member sophomore LaMichael James, 455 4 touchdowns, who is my eyes the best running back in the country. James is averaging 7.8 yards per carry but doesn’t have to shoulder the load by himself as he has the sophomore quarterback Darron Thomas, 822 yards 10 touchdowns 3 INTs, who can take off some of the slack. Thomas though only has completed 54.7 percent of his throws. Senior wide receiver Jeff Maehl, 254 yards 3 touchdowns, is Thomas favorite target down field.
The Ducks defense ranks third in the nation with 11 points allowed per game and already has shutout two teams this year. The Ducks are a takeaway machine on the defensive side already with 9 interceptions and 9 fumble recoveries to go with 11 sacks. Sophomore safety John Boyett leads the team with 25 tackles and senior linebacker Casey Matthews,16 tackles one sack 2 INTs and 3 fumble recoveries, has come big at major points this season.
Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh brings his team into Eugene undefeated as well with a win in conference play too. Stanford is seeking its first 5-0 start to a season since 1951. Harbaugh has my Heisman Trophy prediction in junior quarterback Andrew Luck, 912 yards 11 touchdowns 2 INTs, under center who was just sacked for the first time last week against Notre Dame, their first win in South Bend since 1992. Luck has completed 62.7 percent of his throws with senior wide receiver Doug Baldwin, 222 yards 3 touchdowns, as his favorite target. Sophomore Stepfan Taylor, 265 yards one touchdown, and sophomore Tyler Gaffney, 152 yards 3 touchdowns, lead the rushing attack. Stanford is averaging 48 ppg with over 200 yards both on the ground and through the air.
The Stanford defense is holding opponetts to just 13 ppg and 256 yards of total offense. Junior linebacker Chase Thomas, 19 tackles 4 tackles for loss 3.5 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries, is the playmaker on the defensive side.
Stanford leads Oregon in a series that dates back to 1900, 44-28-1 which includes last years win 51-42 at Stanford Stadium.
PICK: Stanford University Cardinal
What the hell is going on in Eugene Oregon? If you haven’t been following the off season of the University of Oregon Ducks this all might be new to you. Since the Ducks appeared in the Rose Bowl against Ohio State a lot has happened making the Oregon program look out of control.
The Ducks star quarterback Jeremiah Masoli and little-used wideout Garrett Embry have been implicated in a laptop theft. Embry has since been dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules. Masoli and Embry are being investigated by police for stealing two laptops and a guitar from a fraternity house.
Then head coach Chip Kelly’s placekicker Rob Beard was hospitalized in critical condition after he took a beating on the streets of Eugene. At one point, Beard stepped in to help his friend, Mike Bowlin, a fellow placekicker involved in the fight. Beard wound up on the ground, getting kicked by several people until he was unconscious. Beard has now been charged with assaulting a 19-year-old woman during the fight the Eugene police announced. Bowlin has since left the football team and withdrew from the university.
Sophomore defensive end Matt Simms took it upon himself days later to stand up for his teammates. Simms was arrested and cited with a misdemeanor assault charge for allegedly retaliating against a man he thought had been involved in Beard’s beating. Simms then was dismissed from the team after the arrested.
But that’s not the end to Kelly problems as his team continues to spiral out of control with the arrest of ALL-SGE-NCAA Team member LaMichael James. He was arrested and charged with menacing, assault, and strangulation of his girlfriend. Police said during the altercation James strangled and assaulted Ducks cheerleader Courtney Eckhart.
Just a day later Ducks linebacker Kiko Alonso was cited for DUI. Alonso, had 15 tackles in 11 games playing primarily backup to starter Casey Matthews. The very next night, senior wide receiver Jamere Holland had something to say to all his Facebook friends.
Holland wrote “how the fuck you kick kinko off the team,,,on some weak shit, niggas always faded he slipped up but iveslipn up, and I’m still here, that shit weak buff cuh could have done damage for the ducks, that shit is weak, weak ass fuck, quote me” been
Holland later on updated his status on Facebook and wrote “I wish I could block whites as friends and only have blacks LOL, cause apparently I’m misunderstood.”
Kelly now has dismissed Holland from the football team for a violation of team rules and apparently changeling Kelly with his first expletive post. Holland seemed to believe Alonso had been kicked off the team but that has not happened as of yet.
So if your counting at home that four arrests for the Ducks football team in just a months time. Three players have been kicked off the team and a fourth leaving on his own. Two players futures still to be determined and the star quarterback under investigation for theft.
What the hell is going on with the Oregon Ducks football team? Does coach Kelly have control of this team?
- 19-year-old linebacker Josh Kaddu, was issued a citation for minor in possession of alcohol after he attempted to open the door of a car that did not belong to him.
- Sophomore kicker Rob Beard pleaded guilty to a charge of physical harassment.
- Sophomore linebacker Kiko Alonso was suspended for the entire 2010 football season after he pleaded not guilty for his DUII charge.
- LaMichael James has been sentence to 10 days in jail and a 24 month probation. He was suspended for the Ducks 2010 season opener.
- Jeremiah Masoli will be suspended for the entire 2010 season after the second-team All-Pac-10 quarterback pleaded guilty to burglary in the second degree, and was sentenced to 12 months of probation.
“The Granddaddy of Them All” adds its 96th edition this New Year’s Day, as Ohio State Buckeyes from the Big Ten face the Pac-10 Oregon Ducks in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The Rose Bowl is the oldest bowl game, beginning in 1902 and played continuously since 1916. This year’s combatants both come in with stellar 10-2 records.
Jim Tressel’s Buckeyes captured the Big Ten title for the fifth straight season, distancing themselves down the stretch with five straight victories to close out the regular season. OSU’s bowl resume consists of an 18-22 postseason record. The team will be participating in its fifth straight BCS bowl game and is making its first trip to the Rose Bowl since 1997. The Buckeyes are 6-7 all-time in 13 previous Rose Bowl appearances.
The Buckeyes have relied heavily on the run this season and the results are a gaudy 198.9 yards per game, on 4.7 yards per carry. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor leads the team in rushing with 707 yards and 7 scores. Tailbacks Brandon Saine has 694 yards, 4 touchdowns and Dan Herron has 558 yards, 7 touchdowns. The passing attack has taken a backseat in Columbus this season as Pryor has completed 55.8 percent of his passes this season for only 1,828 yards with 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Sophomore DeVier Posey is the top target with 52 receptions for 727 yards and 7 touchdowns.
The Buckeyes ranked fifth among the nation in total defense at 262.5 ypg. The Buckeyes were lead by linebackers Ross Homan 96 tackles and 2 sacks and Brian Rolle 91 tackles. Kurt Coleman amassed 64 tackles and 5 interceptions in the secondary. The ends where maned by Cameron Heyward 5.5 sacks and Thaddeus Gibson 4 sacks.
Chip Kelly has pushed all the right buttons in his first season at the helm at Oregon. The Ducks opened the year with a deflating loss at Boise State, but regrouped to win seven straight after that to regain their swagger. A shootout loss at Stanford put the Pac-10 title in jeopardy, but Oregon responded with three straight wins and clinched the conference title with a 37-33 win over rival Oregon State in the regular-season finale. Oregon is making its first appearance in the Rose Bowl since 1995 and will be making its fifth trip to the event all-time, with a 1-3 record thus far.
The Ducks uses one of the nation’s most prolific ground games to wear the opposition down and it has worked to near perfection. Oregon ranks sixth nationally rushing the football, averaging 236.1 yards per game on an impressive 5.5 yards per carry.
The team lost starting tailback LaGarrette Blount for most of the season after Blount was suspended after one hittin quittin a Boise State player. It was OK for the Ducks as red shirt freshman and ALL-SGE-NCAA Football member LaMichael James took over the slack and rushed for 1,476 yards and 14 touchdowns, on 6.9 yards per carry after the third game of the season. The other devastating weapon on offense for Oregon is dual-threat quarterback Jeremiah Masoli. The junior signal-caller rushed for 659 yards and 12 touchdowns while throwing 2,066 yards and another 15 scores. Wideout Jeff Maehl had 686 yards and 6 touchdowns, but tight end Ed Dixon did a lot of damage with his yards after catch and blocking while finishing with 42 receptions for 551 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Oregon is giving up just 329.4 yards of total offense per game, while limiting opponets to 23 ppg with 32 sacks and 24 takeaways on the year. Freshman safety John Boyett has made an immediate impression on this team with 78 tackles and 2 interceptions. Safety Javes Lewis has 77 tackles, 2 interceptions while corner Talmadge Jackson has 4 interceptions. Linebacker Casey Matthews has 72 tackles, 2.5 sacks, Spencer Paysinger 72 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and Eddie Pleasant 50 tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks while defensive end Kenny Rowe has 8.5 sacks with 11 tackles for loss.
The series between these two teams has been dominated by Ohio State, which has won all seven prior matchups. However, these two schools have met just twice in the last 41 years (1983 and 1987). The first-ever meeting took place in the 1958 Rose Bowl.
PICK: University of Oregon Ducks