Monday, October 24, 2011

Grading the Ducks: Oregon at Colorado

Beating Colorado was never the issue. The only question was by how much and how well. The Ducks needed a game where they got out of Boulder without falling between a rock and a hard place: no injuries, good focus, using their deep and continuing to develop as a team. A 45-2 win accomplished all of those goals.

Chip Kelly's team was lightning efficient, striking for four quick touchdowns on their first four possessions. Bryan Bennett never blinked. He took to the opening assignment like it was another week at Crespi High, prepared for the situation, in command, with adept feet and vision and a passing arm that found its rhythm as the game went on. Misfiring early on a couple of long throws, before walk-on Dustin Haines took over Bennett tossed pretty strikes to David Paulson, for a 31-yard touchdown, and a 31-yard catch-and-run to Lavasier Tuinei that hit LT in stride running down to the one, falling short of the end zone by one skinny buttcheek, laying out over a defender with maximum effort.

Photo left: this Bleacher Report file photo from 2009 illustrates what great defense should look like, and the Webfoots displayed plenty of the same kind of swarming intensity in Colorado. Can they dial it up again for Washington State?

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