16.Oct.2013 Marcus Mariota Could Win the Heisman/Ducks Could Play in Title Game — Do Beaver Fans Even Care Anymore?

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He’s #1 on many lists right now. Mannion is making some lists, too, but he’d have to maintain his current pace, and that isn’t likely with the better competition upcoming. Conversely, Mariota has a pretty easy path. UCLA and/or Stanford might keep him in check, but otherwise I don’t see much resistance.

This is not Beaver related except that the race might come down to the final week. Meaning, the only thing between Mariota and the Heisman (and possibly another National Championship appearance) might be the Beavs’ D.

It’s obviously too early to say, but it’s not too early to want to puke while thinking about it.

The bigger issue here is that the “gap” between OSU and Oregon is more like a giant canyon. What is more troubling is that Beaver fans are resigned to it. They used to get angry, jealous, etc. Now they mope dejectedly about Phil Knight, money, Disney, facilities, etc, and accept it. I remember as recently as the Dennis Dixon era, the majority of Beaver fans were convinced the Ducks ran a gimmick offense that would fade. Now they say things like “they’re on another level” and sound defeated. While it is true that the Ducks are on another level, it’s also kind of sad Beaver fans accept it. If you’re one of these people, I’d love to hear the thought process.

But yeah, since the 2008 Civil War I have heard Oregon penciled in as a automatic loss every year. Does nobody else stop to think this is unusual? It’s only 5 years, but where’s the end? Years pass by fast. 5 years will be 15 before you know it. Does Oregon State ever beat Oregon again?

There’s no conclusion to tonight’s observations. I just sense there’s an elephant in the room (i.e. I haven’t read anything in the mainstream about Beaver fans changing how they view/rationalize the Ducks). I’m just acknowledging the culmination, and subsequent paradigm shift, that might hit climax November 29th.

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  • Dwill03 Dwill03 says:
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    I don’t think I care if super Mario wins the Heilman. If he’s got the best stats, whatever. Good for him.

    It will be an absolutely horrendous day if the quacks win the title. I puke a little in mouth even uttering it.

  • Beavblazer Beavblazer says:
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    Oregon has become a destination program while OSU remains a place to go when you have something to prove to the destination programs that overlooked you. At some point, the school with guys who have a chip on their will overcome. I remember back in 98, OSU was still in their 28 year drought and Oregon needed a Civil War win for Roses. Nobody gave OSU a shot….but they won and kicked Oregon to a lower bowl. Victory never felt so sweet. It will happen again. (maybe not this year though)

  • Bill says:
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    I think people sound defeated because not only do they have to hear it from duck alums but more so from bandwagon fans and that is annoying as hell.

    • angry angry says:
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      Are the Duck alums still chiding? Seems there’s less of that now that (a) they have nothing to prove and (b) Beav fans have accepted the divide. The Duck fans my lady works with say the games are too boring to watch. I hear that a lot, actually.

      It would be poetic justice if the Ducks win the title in a year when ratings collapse and nobody cares. There are a lot of rumblings that ratings are down and networks are lying…

      • Bill says:
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        Really? They have become that spoiled already? Perennial winners in the SEC, BIG12, and BIG10 don’t seem to get tired of their teams winning. Ever.

  • MonkeyLuven MonkeyLuven says:
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    USC presented the same issues to the Beavs around the turn of the century. The Beavs knew what they were and changed fan’s perspective regarding how they matched up. We used to go tit-4-tat with the *ucks until they became the power that they are. Our players still know who they are and desire the utmost excellence every Civil War. I believe that even with our “Thomas the Tank” (I think I can, I think I can) defense, we have the best shot at beating them since the 2009 War of the Roses II.

    The question is, what will Riley bring to the table? Chip had him figured out and I believe played him on the “nice guy” card when seeking help for internal player problems. Helfrich presents a different challenge. He has to prove himself and that pride will cost him. Riley isn’t as predictable as everyone believes, and this could cause fits for Helfrich’s first CW.

    Odds are that I’m still mad as hell on Black Friday (especially if the *ucks wear black!), but I think we’ve got a good shot. I also believe that there’s a chance the *ucks lose before then. That pride runs deeper than their coach and without Kelly’s pathological focus, they’re bound to slip up. Plus I see Mariota going down a la 2007 Dixon. He’s a #1 Heisman now, but someone’s bound to knock his block off running out in the open so frequently.

    • Numbers says:
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      “Thomas the Tank Defense”. I like it. But remember and never let bandwagon duck fans have you forget. Going into the 2008 Civil War we had won 3 of the last 4 and the Beavs were the only one with the Rosebowl on the line. That was the day where Banker showed us how worthlessly stubborn he would become vs spread schemes such that our 38 points wouldnt even bring us close to being in the game. That inability to adapt our defense in-game that game, was the turning of what continues to be this downward spiral, which will continue in my opinion until edRay/BDC/Riley/Banker adapts in an effective way to this different style of football.

  • Numbers says:
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    I have to admit,my absolute hate for the ducks is on a down year this year. It’s a result of fugly chip going away. I think my hate of ducks during the last 10 years was peaking when I had realized in September (was it 2009?) That Blount would play vs the Beavs in the civil war. Since chip and alot of the thuggery has disappeared (possibly cause EugenePD handles FBthugs differently now), I find myself on a relative down year. Previous spikes were 2000/2001, 1998, 1992, etc…

    I don’t know which I would puke more over, a faux duck national title or a faux duck Heisman. We need Mannion to win the Heisman for me to be able to stomach a faux duck national title.

  • dickassman says:
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    I think Johnny Football will get the Heisman and Alabama will win the title just like last year.

  • rsteve503 rsteve503 says:
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    If Mariota’s numbers stay good and UO goes to the title game, he seems like the Heisman winner. But if OSU gets carried to some hi level bowl game by Mannion, as could happen, seems like he could score high. The press likes Cinderella stories.

    Isnt Mannion doing more for his team than Mariota for his? UO is a system, not a passing game show like we are.

    Lots of the story yet to play out…

  • Timber2002 says:
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    Don’t ever pencil in the CW as a loss. In August 2007, I bought 8 tickets to the CW on ebay, Come early November the Dennis Dixon heisman campaign was in full steam, quacks were in the top 5, and I couldn’t take the thought of getting steamrolled at autzen. So I sold the tickets. Dammit I’ve regretted missing that game ever since.

  • bendbeaver bendbeaver says:
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    People may pencil in as a loss, but the Beavs gave the Ducks the game several times recently with mistakes. People go on and on about the defensive scheme needed to stop the Ducks, but it’s really about beating them with long scoring drives and making few mistakes. Beavs don’t win it this year, but they do next year (if no one goes pro).

    • Timber2002 says:
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      Sounds like you’ve penciled in a loss for this year. Against our only common opponent this year, Colorado, the Beavs looked better. Colorado had over 300 yards at halftime vs quacks. Despite what ESPN has been telling us, duck fans I know aren’t as high on this team as previous years. Mostly because they lost 3 good linebackers and their coach.

      • bendbeaver bendbeaver says:
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        Good catch and I thought about that after I hit submit. I’ll say Beavs have a 20% chance of winning. That number can go higher or lower depending on how things look these next few games.

  • BeavinTX says:
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    I think if you load up the box with defenders that can stay on their assignments and basically concede the pass, you get yourself into a shootout where Mariota has to pass 30-40 times. I’ll take Mannion over Mariota every day of the week.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    If Mariota wins, it indeed the distance between UO and OSU becomes significantly larger. The exposure for UO would be tremendous if/when Mariota wins. UO has the “DeathStar” football operations building which tops the facilities of most pro teams. Their recruiting will continue to benefit from all of this.

    This year’s UO squad has speed EVERYWHERE and now they’re throwing the ball downfield to spread people out even more. This will kill OSU, creating space for Mariota/Thomas/Marshall/Tyner to run amok. OSU does not play with the discpline to deal with this offense. Think BSU’s victory when Blount went crazy; BSU didn’t have speed everywhere, they were disciplined and tackled well.

    The best OSU can “hope” for is that Mannion is in the Heismann conversation even after the CW, and maybe that he gets invited to New York or wherever they’re doing it these days.

    I resent the Ducks less because Helfrich/Mariota are so much classier than Kelly/Masoli/Harris et al. For example Mariota was very diplomatic and complimentary when speaking about Mannion recently. The Ducks have actually become boring to watch and for a while I marveled at the play calling, misdirection, and ability to hide the ball.

    I am less upset about the distance between the two programs because BDC and Riley have no plans to do anything about it; they’ll plod along “hoping” for a CW victory at some point. BDC is happy, OSU has the “third most Pac victories in the last 10 years (or something like that).” I am becoming less interested in things I can’t influence, particularly when the NCAA context is so f**ked up.

    • bendbeaver bendbeaver says:
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      People sometimes think that for the Beavs to compete with the Ducks, they have to become the Ducks. That was a theme in here a couple years ago. Now, that’s kind of died down with Mannion’s huge yards with few interceptions, even though he still has cement shoes.

  • Beavblazer Beavblazer says:
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    Maybe the run game is the Beavs Lagarret Blount. We’re sandbagging it now so Oregon doesn’t scout for it, and we’ll bring it out to dominate the Civil War. Riley genius.

    • BeavinTX says:
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      Chris Brown is going to go wild ala Matt Sieverson! Brilliant!

      • ObjCritic says:
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        THAT is “the new stuff” Riley is going to start inserting into game plans after the bye week, a run game!

        I would like to see Brown get a chance to go wild.

      • whiskeysoakednapkins says:
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        if Chris Brown is going to go wild, watch out for that left hook haymaker

  • Bill says:
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    The attitude you describe hearing reminds me of how people perceived USC teams in the mid 2000s. They were so dominant and almost everyone knew they were going to win the conference each year. They had everything going for them and every top player wanted to go there even if they were a backup for three years. After the 2004 season, when USC had Bush and Leinart and many other future NFL players, did anyone think that we would beat them 2 years later? And then again when USC came in ranked #1? Both USC teams went on to win the Rose Bowl. They still get the top players and have so many built in advantages over OSU but that huge gap perception is now gone.

    • angry angry says:
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      I never said the gap wouldn’t eventually close (I think this happens from a Duck collapse more than a Beaver rise). To me, that Beaver fans accept it now is a story, because it wasn’t like that just a few years ago. There’s a saying I like that “life is what happens between the facts”…well, Ducks win a ton of games, 5 straight CWs, etc. These are the facts. What happened between the facts is that Beaver fans changed.

  • Tlingit Cannon says:
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    I agree, as a Beaver Alum (01-05) it drives me crazy to see this “ho hum” bullshit about how the Ducks are better and it is so HARD to recruit to Corvallis. Has anyone actually seen the lovely shit hole called Eugene/Springfield?? That place is a dirty little town full of bums, strip malls and stoplights. They have a Target and a shitty mall that MUST be the difference maker right there…. THAT drives me nuts right there, the automatic put down of Corvallis in comparison to it’s Southernly neighbor. Eugene is not Bend, Ashland or even Portland for that matter, they both get rain and they are both in the Willamette Valley and they are not in LA, the Bay Area or SEA (where the city makes a difference in recruiting). Fans just take insults like that and move on. Our own beat writer Lindsey Schnell always gets defensive in saying “do you know how hard it is to recruit to Corvallis??” of gets upset when people say “Chris Brown is hitting the holes harder than Woods right now,” because getting competitive with the Ducks is not important anymore and will not be until the media starts calling for the Beavs to step it up. As much as Canzano drives me crazy sometimes, his article about the Beavs settling for mediocrity has got to come to end was spot on and painful to read. I remember the days of the home team winning the CW every year and it needs to come back to that!

    • helmsley says:
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      The can’t recruit to Corvallis mantra has always puzzled me.I think it’s one of those things that got started and repeated so often that people believe it. I haven’t lived there, only visited often and I’ve always been impressed but probably by things that football recruits wouldn’t give a damn about; river walks, Avery Park, a little bit funky but not scuzzy, (btw,there is no more Eugene/Springfield – those places have moved to asphalt acres of gaudy lights and traffic). I, too, wish OSU athletics could resist the copycat syndrome in terms of flash and incorporate it only as necessary on the way to a reputation built on solid perfomances and good, tough kids that play the game(s) well. I think they almost do that but need the final step.

    • ObjCritic says:
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      Eugene doesn’t attract recruits; the Nike/Phil Knight link, consequent national exposure, the new football operations center…these things attract teenagers. The fact that they become players in Nike’s marketing campaign is a positive to them, not a negative.

      • helmsley says:
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        Of course Eugene doesn’t attract recruits. But I never hear – wow -it’s easy to recruit to Eugene. They say it’s easy to recruit to U of O or the facilities, or whatever.

        Whereas, instead of saying it’s tough to recruit to Oregon State – The expression is, (a la Lindsay Schnell) – it’s hard to recruit to Corvallis as though Corvallis – the town itself – is an overriding negative.

  • SanDiegoBeav says:
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    Regarding the defeatist attitude and paradigm shift of Beaver Fans, I think it stems from the fact that we support a team without a personality. What does OSU stand for? UofO is obviously the trendy, flashy, Nike supported university. All college football fans in America could immediately associate UofO with those characteristics.

    What image does OSU bring to mind for most fans? I’ve been a fan for 20 years and I currently can’t answer that question myself. I used to see the school as a hard working, blue collar, no BS school that favored substance over style. I used to picture OSU as the anti UofO and I think most fans embraced that image. Rather than continuing that vision, it feels to me like we are now trying to copy UofO. We had Nike (copy) design our multiple uniforms (copy), with multiple helmets (copy), and a disastrous logo that doesn’t resonate with fans. Don’t even get me started on the chainsaw crap and please tell me we don’t ever end up with the plaid endzones that some fans are begging for. I feel like OSU is currently a school, as Riley would say, without an identity.

    Rather than becoming the anti-Oregon, we are trying to copy them, and this furthers the little brother image. We can’t beat Oregon at their own game (flashy uniforms, money, etc.), but the school is trying just that, and coming up short, thus causing the defeatist attitude.

    • angry angry says:
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      It’s true, we have no personality…Beaver fans don’t know if they should be nice, jerks, flashy, etc. So they wind up just being boring, apathetic, pseudo nice guys with all kinds of resentment. It has to be the most bizarre fan base out there.

      The new uniforms aren’t helping image, btw. The Beaver is a step up from the rat, but in terms of a cohesive identity it’s another notch in the belt o’ epic failures.

  • wannabeav says:
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    Angry: first, glad to see the fire back with now this, the third discussion topic this week.

    Second: as to your indictment, consider me guilty. I agree with a lot of what has been said above, including your own comments, but I have reconciled myself to the fact that Oregon has an appreciably better football program. At this point in time, I should say, and I’ve re-calibrated my expectations accordingly. As someone said up above, the OSU/UO duality has
    reverted to the mid 1990’s dynamic. When OSU does break this streak (and if Mannion returns next year may be the best shot in quite a while, what with the game in Corvallis) it will feel like it did in 1998. Or, as I imagine it felt like because I never attended an OSU fb game until 1999. We can talk about speed, the comparative value of the communities (though having EUG as an airport is the most important distinction; heck, even our team flies out of there); coaching attitude (theirs or ours) but in the end the great differentiator is the scope of our football facilties. Let’s take the most recent example, Michigan agreeing to home and homes with Utah and now today UCLA, but we only get a visit there. That’s why the plan for the redevelopment of the north end as a stage setter for the remodel of the west side is so important. I’m willing to contribute to that (as part of the 7,000 Beaver nation army) but as I told the fund-raiser who contacted me, the first step in becoming competitive with Oregon is avoiding pratfalls like Sac State and E. WA. Those games simply suck the oxygen out of Beaver nation, sap fan/donor enthusiasm, hurt recruiting, and make the climb to parity with Oregon that much more difficult. As for the Heisman/National Championship proposition, I would hope for neither, but if I had the ability to “allow” one or the other, I say give them the title. I like the Terry Baker singularity.

    • whiskeysoakednapkins says:
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      ha ha ha ha ha. the fighting oregon lady gaga’s will don highlighter pink this weekend. good for them. They’ll probably beat the boogs by 80 cause they’ll be laughing during the entire game at the dick garb. Seriously I am just waiting for them to come out wearing lingerie and stripper heels

      • Beavblazer Beavblazer says:
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        They’re good at making days for others, about them. For instance, they wear special camouflage uniforms on military appreciation day (aka, the duck spring game) and now they’ll raise awareness for breast cancer by getting people to talk about their uniforms. Every other team just wears pink gloves, or pink socks, etc, but that’s not good enough for Oregon. They have to out-do everybody by making sure people are recognizing them while they recognize others. Most narcissistic team in football.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    “What is more troubling is that Beaver fans are resigned to it.”

    Angry and others – do you think the players accept it too? Do you think they go into Autzen understanding they belong on the same field and can win? Or do you think they “hope” for an upset? Do you think they trust Banker and what he tells them?

    This team KNOWS it can throw the ball. Hell, if they allow no sacks and have no TO’s, they too are capable of scoring at a respectably rapid pace. The 28 points at WSU occurred in less than 6 minutes didn’t it? Sure that was dependent on WSU turnovers and the short field, but the fact is they executed when they had the opportunity, and they created some of those opportunities. That sequence was exactly what you want; defense forcing turnovers, short field, turning TO’s into TDs.

    But I have to wonder, if the players understand and trust they could beat the Ducks. Not just before the game when they run on to the field in a frenzy, but late in the 2nd quarter, midway through the third. Everywhere they hear UO is a top 2 team, that OSU can’t stop spread/option offenses, that UO has dominated the last several CWs.

  • bone says:
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    What are your thoughts about Helfrich, angry? Do you think there will be a decline with him similar to what you think will happen at Stanford with the transition to Harbaugh to Shaw? I think there will be. It won’t be a huge drop off because of the PK influence on the program. I’m not sold on Helfrich yet, when does it become his program and not an extension of Chip’s?

    • angry angry says:
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      I did think that, but like Shaw, he proved me wrong the first year. I think both guys are living off (a) past recruiting classes and (b) mindsets instilled by the former coach. So the players they inherit are trained to think a certain way, and the coach just tries not to get in the way. That’s how I see it. We’ll know in 2 more years if this guy is actually good. Right now all I can say is he hasn’t rocked the boat, and that’s worth something.

      Shaw is pretty much running his own show at this point, so anything they do is all his.

      • Numbers says:
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        Shaw has certainly started down that path of decline that we predicted for him. That loss at Utah is squarely on Shaw gifting them the game on the final two plays with stupid play calling.

      • Numbers says:
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        And my opinion on Helfrich is he will continue with success until his opponents adapt or innovate to beat that system, then he will need to adapt or will be fired.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    This sounds favorable for Mannion + Cooks et al:

    http://www.oregonlive.com/collegefootball/index.ssf/2013/10/five_questions_about_the_cal_b.html

  • Quatre Quatre says:
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    Helfrich is from my hometown, family is friends with my own. Intelligent guy and capable, but I never saw him as an innovator. He’ll maintain the systems in place and that may be all that necessary.

    • Jack says:
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      I have to ask. Is the Coos Bay Helfrich clan related to the Springfield Helfrich clan that runs the river guide business?

  • scotty says:
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    Money and marketing wins.

    Cheating doesn’t hurt, either.

    Welcome to sad reality.

  • SalemBeav says:
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    Was it any less of a daunting task in 08 to take on USC. Before the season all you heard from sportscasters was that ” this USC team is the best ever in the history of football”. Who knows what the Beavers will look like in Dec. The Beavers of August could not have beaten WSU. I didn’t watch the game, but the Fiesta beavers almost lost to EWU. The 2013 Beavers did lose, but they could do the same. But if they don’t, what do I do? I don’t buy season tickets, I don’t support the student fund, I don’t have large funds to withhold and I don’t have any connection to Riley et al. I could start a blog and carp about it, but that has been done. I hope for a blow out every game, but that doesn’t happen, so I could become a Duck fan ( not possible ) and back a program that wins games. I am a Beaver fan and I have to take what I get as I “personally” have no control. Well I do have some control, I could quit as a Beaver fan and get into the sport of curling. Every year I do hold out hope that the Beavers will knock that smirk off every bandwagon duck face. And if I absolutely felt they had no chance, I wouldn’t watch the game.

  • wannabeav says:
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    OT: it’s nice to know that other teams besides OSU mis-handle time-outs; like NC’s coach failing to call time on a 3rd and 1 that if converted (it wasn’t, delay of game was called) would have given NC a damn good chance to ice the game vs. Miami. Maybe this isn’t off topic: it’s exactly things like this that add up and serially constitute the gap between UO and OSU.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    Interesting comments from former OSU QBs on Mannion’s season thus far. Hard to believe Derek Anderson is going into his 10th NFL season, Moore his 7th:

    http://portlandtribune.com/pt/12-sports/197939-qb-greats-weigh-in-on-rising-star-mannion

    This comment at the end of this “Kerry says” prediction of OSU @ CAL is symptomatic of the expectations at OSU:

    “A win would make them bowl-eligible for the eight time in 11 seasons and would improve Riley’s record at OSU to 87-68 — 79-54 since he returned for his second tour of duty in 2003. Not bad for a school that went 28 years without a winning season not so long ago.”

    http://portlandtribune.com/pt/12-sports/197795-kerry-says-cal-game-no-breather-for-osu-but-beavers-should-prevail

  • ObjCritic says:
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    The way Willamette ran the fly sweep was too complicated, so OSU simplified it:

    “Intrigued, Riley dispatched offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf and offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh to Salem to learn some fly sweep concepts.

    “It was unbelievable,” Cavanaugh said. “That was a big part of their offense and they ran it out of a variety of ways.

    “They had red light, green light, yellow light, basically where that ball could break at certain times as the sweeper came around. That was a little too complex. So we tried to keep it simple.””

    http://www.gazettetimes.com/sports/beavers-sports/football/osu-football-finding-success-on-the-fly/article_227b44ea-36bd-11e3-b886-001a4bcf887a.html

    I always suspected they were inspired by BSU, but learned it from Willamette.

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