Let There Be Lyles - How Will The Oregon Football Soap Opera Be In 2011?

GLENDALE AZ - JANUARY 10: Oregon Ducks fans sit in the stands after the Ducks were defeated 22-19 by the Auburn Tigers in the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 10 2011 in Glendale Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

TwistNHook:  This.............could end poorly.  Last time up in Eugene, Cal came in seemingly superior to an Oregon team.  Then, Ed Dickson just scored another touchdown.  


Now, last year at home, a spirited Cal D held down that explosive green and gold offense (note:  does not describe the offense of every team that wears green and gold).   Can Cal recapture last year's almost magic?  Or will it be another blow out up north?

Oh and btw, Ed Dickson just scored another touchdown.  

 

LeonPowe:  Yeah I'm not feeling positive about this one. I think we can slow them down but will eventually lose 35-10

Berkelium97:  Even though Pendergast brilliantly schemed against Oregon and I know he could do it again, I do not have much confidence in this one.  The defense could probably hold them under 30, but I doubt the offense will score more than a couple touchdowns.  No matter who is under center, inexperienced players generally do not do well in the Autzen Zoo.  We'll have to keep an eye on how well Maynard keeps his composure under the aural assault from the fans and the physical assault from the Ducks' front seven.

OhioBear:  We have a target on our backs for this game.  Oregon will break out the whole fake injury flap again and vow to bury us for it.  The Ducks are probably also annoyed that they managed only 15 points against us last year.  On top of that motivation, it's a Thursday night on the road.  Autzen is tough enough on a Saturday afternoon, but I imagine it will be even more raucous at night.


Of course, there is the chance that Coach P has more defensive scheming up his sleeve.  And it's also possible that Coach P  found Oregon's kryptonite last year and will wave a pocket full of it in front of them
again this year.  But, I'm sorry to say, I doubt it.  Oregon wins big in this one, 39-14.  Which would be better than 42-3 anyway.

Fuck, while I was writing that reply Ed Dickson scored another touchdown and LaMichael James reeled off a 30-yard gain.

TwistNHook:  So, what are the weaknesses for this Ducks team?  Looks like they might have some problems at receiver:


Tuesday’s session — players still call it "7-on-7," even though linemen began participating in recent years — was particularly interesting for those wondering about the prospects this fall for the UO receiving corps, which lost two starters to graduation and figures to need some help from fresh faces in 2011. Junior quarterback Darron Thomas spent a considerable amount of time throwing passes to freshmen Devon Blackmon and De’Anthony Thomas, perhaps a prelude of what’s to come when the season begins.

At every other position where the Ducks suffered significant losses to graduation — both lines, and at linebacker — several veterans are assumed to be in line to pick up the slack. But even UO coach Chip Kelly has acknowledged that freshmen will have a chance to help at receiver.


So, keep an eye on Blackmon and Thomas this season.  If the Oregon offense is going to explode again, they are going to be a key part of that fireball. 


NorCalNick:  The other major question mark for Oregon is their front seven, where they are losing a number of high impact starters.  Granted, Oregon has been recruiting well and I wouldn't expect a major drop off - but I don't think they'll roll along without a hiccup either.


Frankly, if the Pac-12 were looking stronger as a whole this year I don't think Oregon would be a horrible candidate for a few games of regression.  People tend to overrate teams when they return flashy skill position players but lose important contributors in the trenches.  But every other team in the conference has as many, if not more question marks, and Chip Kelly has earned the benefit of the doubt.

TwistNHook:  Score predictions?

Berkelium97:  Cal shocks the college football world again by holding the Ducks to 15 points.  With time expiring, Giorgio Tavecchio becomes the hero by hitting a 33-yard field goal to give Cal a 16-15 win...or he would have if the refs did not mistakenly call it a miss.


If we're going to lose, might as well do it in as agonizing a way possible, right?  As Cal fans, we would have it no other way.

Kodiak:  With so many senior playmakers departing from the front 7, it's the Duck's secondary which is now the strength of the defense.  It surprises no one that Cliff Harris is re-instated for the 2nd half against LSU and the remainder of the season.  "He's shown great personal growth," says Chip Kelly.  Although they don't have anyone as disruptive as Kenny Rowe or Casey Matthews, their platoon system ensures plenty of solid, experienced depth.


On offense, their scheme will once again be a blitzkrieg - another year of experience for Darren Thomas and LMJ is a scary thing.  They might miss out on Maehl's clutch hands and steady play, however.  Thomas still shows a tendency to be inaccurate on vertical routes where he has to put some touch on the ball.  If he can make these over to top passes consistently, we're kind of screwed.

In an homage to the "Miracle at Memorial," this one is a fast-paced shoot-out.  But although it threatens to become the "Annihilation at Autzen," Tedford's creative use of formation and schemes keeps Oregon's defense off-balance all game.  It's a speed on speed, mano y mano chess match on both sides of the ball.


With time running down, the Bears defense forces a fourth and 4.  This time, DJ Holt is ready for Oregon's over/under zone flood into the flats, and stays with the underneath receiver.  Oregon's young wideout doesn't run the route as crisply as Maehl and allows DJ to undercut him and knock the ball away.


The Bears drive down and position themselves for a gamewinning field goal.  In a controversial 3rd down call, Coach Tedford centers the ball for Tavecchio.  The snap is good, the kick is...BLOCKED!  But, Brock Mansion scoops it up and scrambles his way into the endzone for a Bears walk-off touchdown.  Pandemonium ensues.

 

HydroTech:  I think it'll be interesting to see what defense Pendergast decides to play against Oregon.  Is he going to repeat with the Cover Zero?  If he does, I'm sure Oregon will have plenty of counters for it.  Or does he go with something else?  

I personally don't see this as a game that we are likely to win unless our offense and defense both play lights out, but it should be an interesting match-up once again.  I think Oregon will be highly motivated to prove that they can pound Cal's defense, and Cal will be itching to prove that last year wasn't just a fluke.  
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