USC can thank Oregon

By Marc Hudgens  |   Monday, December 01, 2008  |  Comments( 1 )

Oregon Ducks
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Oregon certainly didn’t go into Corvallis on Saturday with any other agenda other than to knock the rival Beavers around a bit in the state's Civil War. Of course, dethroning Oregon State from Pac-10 champion-elect in a 65-38 rout was just the glaze on top of the doughnut.

For that, USC should ship a big early Christmas present to Eugene this year. After all, unless UCLA pulls the upset of the year (as in 2006) and beats the Trojans, coach Pete Carroll’s men will yet again be the Pac-10 champs for the millionth time during his tenure. It boggles the mind that the mighty Trojans actually needed help winning the title (to wit: They didn’t control their own destiny for once).

This should make up for any perceived hostility between Carroll and Ducks coach Mike Bellotti stemming from the cursing incident from 2006’s Oregon-USC game.

For that matter, the Pac-10 officiating crew should receive something as well, as its poor excuse for refereeing was more than evident. The not-reviewable fumble-to-be for the Beavers was one major example that perhaps changed the momentum of the game.

Outside of that poor call, if you had to pick to another death-knell play, it was defensive back Walter Thurmond III’s 40-yard interception and return for a touchdowns with seconds to go in the half; that put the Ducks up 37-10. However, it clearly didn’t demoralize Oregon State, which stayed in the game until the final few ticks, but the 27-point lead was the buffer that allowed Oregon some breathing room in light of all the mistakes it was making. The Ducks committed 15 penalties for 129 yards, but it's anyone's guess how many more there really were because declined fouls don’t count. And there were quite a few of them.

Oregon is going to a top Pac-10 bowl, likely the Holiday when (not if) USC wins in Westwood. To do that with all the quarterback troubles they’ve had all year is quite impressive. It's even more impressive when you consider that Oregon is sitting in the second-place spot after being picked third in the conference during Media Days a few months ago. As ugly as this season looked at times, Oregon has met expectations and perhaps exceeded them.

For that, the Ducks deserve a big reward this year, whether it comes from Carroll or not.
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About Marc Hudgens

Marc Hudgens has been with RealFootball365 since 2007, covering college football, specifically Clemson and Oregon. He also writes for SouthernPigskin.com covering the ACC. He enjoys the acidic wit of Hunter S. Thompson, is a freelance graphic designer and has written several screenplays. He...
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