As I started getting psyched up for a return to the first few rows of section 7 to root on my Ducks against the next round of underwhelming competition, one thought hit the corner of my brain.
While the plodding pace of the second half (which incidentally earned Marcus Mariota & Co. an uncommon win in the time of possession battle) was boring and led to many leaving Autzen early, it was a really cool thing for me to see.
That’s right, I liked the final score of 57-34. And I’m going to take a position against one of my favorite football players and say I hope they keep taking the foot off the gas pedal.
When Oregon play Fresno I hope they run the score up …
— LaMichael James (@LaMichaelJames) September 7, 2012
I hope that by the middle of the third quarter against the Fresno State Bulldogs, Dustin Haines is handing the ball off to Ayele Forde to a hole opened up by Andre Yruretagoyena. Not because I care entirely about not disgracing the opponent, but because I think it showcases just how deadly efficient this offense has become.
50 points in less than 23 minutes of game time? That’s insane. The Ducks looked like they were playing a new sport they invented, running through, not over, an FBS opponent the way no one does. Bruce Feldman got some pretty awesome quotes from a former SEC defensive mind this week. Adam Jude added an interesting graphic.
And in case you didn’t remember, 12 of Mah-Ree-Oh-Tah’s first 13 intended targets caught his passes en route to a shimmering 18 of 22 and a 203.4 passer rating.
Oh, and Chip Kelly wants it faster.
“I would hate to think that the finished product we put on the field was Sept. 1 and that was the best we ever played,” Kelly told the Emerald last week.
So, beleaguered Duck fans who thought the second half was boring (which it was), and that it hurt our national perspective (which … we’ll see), realize that all of that boring football just puts a piece of punctuation on insane numbers.
In a way, last Saturday’s game reminded me of an old Blazers column by John Canzano that ended up being absolutely false. He said Jamal Crawford and Raymond Felton were a dazzling duo in a preseason game against the Utah Jazz, and their play with Nicolas Batum would run people out of the Rose Garden. He said last year’s team was going to make people hate visiting the Blazers.
I was at the game, and that is very much how that team seemed at the time, as much as it ended up disappointing the Rose City faithful.
“Through one game, this Blazers bunch doesn’t play dirty or won’t embarrass itself with a lack of discipline,” Canzano wrote; I started shivering as it continued, “It just knocks you down, smiles, then helps you up. Then, repeats that until you don’t want to get up anymore.”
That’s how I see this Duck team: faster, smarter, and yes, deadly efficient. And if a first-team offense can continue to win games in the first quarter and a first-team defense can scare the opponent away from taking chances, it won’t matter one bit what that final score ends up.