Posted on: November 26, 2010 8:55 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Earlier on Friday we saw Auburn have to overcome a 24-point deficit on the road against Alabama. Now it seems there's another undefeated team with a comeback to mount in the second half tonight.
Though Oregon doesn't face quite the uphill battle Auburn did. The Ducks trail Arizona 19-14 at haltime in Autzen Stadium in a game that has seen its share of big plays, turnovers, questionable calls and even a safety. One of those questionable calls also led to an injury for Oregon's Heisman candidate LaMichael James.
James took a blow to the head and coughed up the football on a draw play in the second quarter. Arizona's Adam Hall lowered his shoulder into James' head and delivered a jarring blow, in which the helmets of both players collided. Well, the refs just saw two helmets hit each other and called a personal foul on Hall, even though it was his shoulder that made the initial contact.
Oregon would get a first down, but fumble the ball a few plays later, negating the bad call. Still, more importantly, James had to leave the game and though the Ducks never got the ball back in the half, he was last seen standing on the sideline without his helmet. His status for the rest of the game is unknown at this point.
Still, a five-point deficit isn't exactly anything that is going to intimidate the Ducks. Second half explosions have become a habit for Chip Kelly's team this season, and I wouldn't be shocked to see another one tonight. For now, though, you know there are more than a few people at Boise State and TCU hoping that Arizona can pull this off.
Posted on: October 13, 2010 11:16 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
James Rodgers' season-ending knee injury was not only painful to see, but also incredibly unfortunate for the Oregon State wide receiver. Still, if every cloud has a silver lining, this cloud's would be the fact that, if he wants to, Rodgers shouldn't have much trouble getting a medical waiver from the NCAA which would allow him to play next season. It would also mean that James was able to finish his college career alongside his brother Jacquizz Rodgers.
The key part of that whole equation, though, is if he wants to. James showed up at Oregon State's practice on Tuesday and he was non-commital as to what his plans for the future are.
"I've got a lot of time to think about that, so I'll just talk to coach Riley, get his input on everything and make my decision when the time comes.''
James should probably talk to his brother too, because according to Jacquizz, his big brother is definitely coming back to Corvallis next season. At least, that's what he said during his weekly segment on a local radio show.
Odds are that the effects of James' impending surgery, along with the months of rehab that will follow, will be the biggest factor in whether the elder Rodgers brother decides to enter the NFL draft or not. If things go well and the knee holds up, then odds are he'll go pro. If not, he'll return for another season.
While at practice Rodgers was also asked whether he was upset about the way he hurt his knee, being pulled to the ground by Adam Hall of Arizona after he'd already crossed the goal line. He said no, that Hall was only "playing to the whistle."
Posted on: October 10, 2010 1:44 am
Edited on: October 10, 2010 3:39 am
Posted by Adam Jacobi
1. This conference is Oregon's and nobody else's. The Oregon Ducks didn't look great tonight in their 43-23 win over Washington State -- and they weren't looking great even before Darron Thomas left, either -- but they must be thrilled with the way the rest of the conference shook down tonight. Stanford dispatched USC, and we'll talk about that in a second, and Oregon State knocked Arizona from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 29-27 win. The more the other nine teams of the Pac-10 beat each other up, the easier the Ducks' road to the conference crown becomes. Not like they've needed the help so far.
2. When it matters, USC can't make the stop. Last week, Jake Locker led the Washington Huskies on a last-minute drive against the USC defense, and Erik Folk hit a game-winning field goal to beat the Trojans, 32-31. This week, same scenario: the Trojans score a touchdown to take a 35-34 lead on Stanford with 1:12, and everybody in the stadium knows that's too much time to give Andrew Luck. Sure enough, Stanford drives, Stanford moves the chains over and over, and Luck gets the Cardinal in place with enough time to spare that before the game-winning field goal, Luck had the luxury of running a play where he could down the ball in the middle of the field. Nate Whitaker was true on his kick, and USC found itself on a losing streak. Clearly that can't continue if the Trojans want a better destination than the Emerald Bowl this season.
3. The end zone tackle has got to go. First of all, if you haven't seen the knee injury suffered by James Rodgers, don't. It's gross and heart-breaking. The fact that it came on a tackle in the end zone, two strides past the goal line, only worsens the circumstance. Obviously, Arizona safety Adam Hall was just playing defense and not giving up on the play, but his effort really should have stopped at the strip attempt he made at the goal line--not by dragging Rodgers down five yards in. If the NCAA wants an issue to take up in the offseason, declaring tackling in the end zone after the whistle unnecessary roughness would be a good place to start.
4. This conference might be Andrew Luck's and Jake Locker's now, but it'll be Ryan Katz's soon. Oregon State's sophomore quarterback Ryan Katz, a first-year starter, is not the best quarterback in the conference. He might get honorable mention. But from Week 1, he's been a surprisingly talented thrower, and he looked as good today against that normally decent Arizona pass defense as he has all season long. Katz had 393 yards and two scores through the air, and he did it without Rodgers for more than 30 minutes of play. As long as Oregon State keeps talented receivers around Katz, he's going to be putting up some huge numbers very soon.