What can I say? Even though they came up a FG short, I couldn't be prouder of the Ducks right now. They represented the state of Oregon and the Pac-10 very well on the nation's biggest stage. The way their defense battled in the second half to make stops and keep Auburn from pulling away while their own offense struggled to find any rhythm kept Thomas, James, and Co. always within striking distance. The way the Duck D made the break their O needed to have a chance to tie the game by stripping Newton of the ball at midfield, and the way the offense capitalized by scoring the TD and 2-pt conversion that finished the job... And even though Dyer's big run on Auburn's game winning drive was a back breaker for the Ducks and gave the officials a chance to blow the game with a bad call, they did not. The video replay showed very clearly that the officials made the right call by ruling that Dyer's knee never hit the ground. (They also made the right call by overturning what would have been the game winning TD, but that proved to be a moot point, since Auburn was still in prime position to win the game with a chip shot FG.)
All in all, a very exciting game that finished the way we would like all national championship games to finish. Too bad someone had to lose , but that's the nature of sports. The good news is that Darron Thomas and LaMichael James have both promised to return for their junior season next year, so we may have a chance to see the Duck offense become even better.
I agree that the refs got those last two calls right, but they robbed Oregon of a spectacular interception in the first half. The Aubbies scored a TD after that. So, it is very possible that a blown call contributed to Oregon's loss.
But I agree 100% Peter: Oregon has nothing to be ashamed of. Your questionable defense held the Aubbies to less points than my vaunted BAMA defense did. That says a lot! I was amazed at how Oregon converted huge first downs late in the game when the pressure was on. That team played with the confidence and poise of their coach.
It was also very clear which team was the classiest. I applaud Oregon for keeping their composure with all the cheap shots they were receiving all night long. Let's also remember that Oregon was playing in front of a crowd that was 70% Barner fans.
I still would have let Auburn score with 2 minutes left. That was their only chance at that point. You don't see it happen very often, and in the heat of the battle it's tough to think about such things. But I think it would have been an effective strategy.
But hey Peter, you are right to be proud. Your Ducks played an awesome game and made it exciting to watch. With Chip Kelly there, you should be good for quite a while.