Consider this your open thread for tonight's action. Not sure how many people will be watching the early games, but we expect there to be a pretty full crowd for the late nightcap.
First though, Eating the Enemy returns! Here's a recipe you can cook and enjoy while sitting back and watching tonight's action.
Terrapin, a la Maryland Recipe
- Put terrapin in kettle, cover with boiling salted water, add 2 slices each carrot and onion, and 1 stalk celery.
- Cook till meat is tender.
- Remove from water, cool, draw out nails from feet, cut under shell close to upper shell and remove.
- Empty upper shell, remove and discard gall bladder, sand bags and thick intestines.
- Liver, small intestines are used with meat.
- Add terrapin meat to 3/4 cup white stock, 2 tablespoons wine; cook slowly until liquor is reduced half.
- Add liver separated in pieces, 2 yolks of eggs, 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening, salt, pepper, and red pepper to taste, 1 tablespoon flour mixed with 1/2 cup cream, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
- Make hot and just before serving add 1 tablespoon sherry wine.
- Turn into hot dish and garnish with toast points.
After the jump, we have some brief reading you can do to brush up on Oregon-Boise State.
Games to watch: Oregon at Boise State, 10:15 PM EST, 7:15 PM PST, ESPN
Throughout 2009, we'll be tracking the games that matter the most to Cal fans, i.e. the opponents of Cal. All college football games are of course important and dear to us (except for South Carolina-North Carolina State, that game can go straight to hell), but we'll be competing with nine of our opponents for the Pac-10 crown, and there's a good chance our two big OOC opponents will be worth watching, in case we decide to go to bed.
This one came a little too quickly though, so I'll just give you the thoughts around the college football blogosphere about this game.
- Smart Football has a fantastic post on Doc Saturday that breaks down the offensive strategies of Chip Kelly and Chris Petersen to the letter. It's not possible to transcribe just one part of it. Go over there, read it, and come back.
- Dr. Saturday himself breaks down what happened in Autzen last year: "Boise put up 37 points in Eugene by scoring on seven of eight possessions in the second and third quarters, while Oregon flopped around like a dead fish in every phase. But that run came after the Ducks lost quarterback Jeremiah Masoli -- himself a first-time starter replacing Nate Costa, who went down in the preseason, and Justin Roper, who was injured the previous week at Purdue -- and ill-advisedly turned to true freshman Chris Harper, who served up two interceptions on just three attempts and was relegated to receiver for the rest of the season before deciding to transfer; another freshman, Derron Thomas, entered the game and lit the Broncos up for three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. And it was before the Ducks found their offensive rhythm with Masoli at the helm over the second half of the season, when they won six of their last seven while averaging almost 500 yards and 43 points per game."
- In an interview with Addicted to Quack, One Bronco Nation Under God (Boise State SBN blog) talks about what Oregon can do to slow down Kellen Moore, Boise State's QB: "I think that the TCU game showed the first chink in Moore's armor, and it really had nothing to do with Moore. If I were to defend him, I would do it similar to how TCU did - collapse the pocket and get people at his feet. When Moore sets to throw, he is deadly. When he is uncomfortable in the pocket, he is less deadly. The important part is to collapse the pocket, not just to get pressure. He knows how to escape pressure, like a squirrel knows where to bury nuts. It's innate. If he has nowhere to go and has to make plays off his back foot or under duress, he can be fallible."
- Likewise, in their interview on the BSU site, AtQ talks about the strongest and weakest units on their team: "Secondary is the weakest. BSU fans know how it faltered last year, and it was a constant source of frustration, even though two second round draft picks were in the unit. Replacing those players will be key to the success of the defense. In a lot of ways, however, I think that Duck fans are a bit optimistic, because we will have a healthy Walter Thurmond, as well as a new Rover, which may hurt our run defense a bit, but will hopefully help our pass defense
- Our strongest unit is our linebackers. The unit goes 8 deep, and it is absolutely oozing with talent and experience. The unit is led by Casey Matthews (brother of now NFL linebacker Clay Matthews), who added 15 pounds over the offseason (moving him up to 235) while increasing his speed. His counterpart, Spencer Paysinger, dropped his 40 time from 4.62 to 4.57, while adding 18 pounds. The group is rounded out by Eddie Pleasant, who is the fastest linebacker on the team (4.72 electronic 40), while being the strongest as well. This is one of the strongest, fastest, most versatile groups of linebackers Oregon has ever put on the field. I am incredibly excited to see what these guys do on the defensive side of the ball. We're hoping their improvement will take a lot of pressure off the secondary, especially in coverage of tight ends and running backs."
Feel free to let loose in the comments section with predictions before we get ready. If anything, I lean Boise, but only slightly. This one, I'm just sitting back and enjoying. If you are truly a degenerate tonight, I like Utah State +20.5 a lot. Enjoy this, the rest of you!