If you're like me, you spent much of tonight parked in front of the TV and got to watch some pretty lousy football, honestly. But didn't matter to me, I was a happy dude. The play will get progressively better, we all know that, as the offenses get in sync...but we didn't get to see a lot of points this evening. What we did see was a couple of games chosen to be examples of the "Respect Weekend", according to the NCAA in which sportsmanship would be on display...uh, maybe not.
In the "jewel" of the evening, the #16 Oregon Ducks faced the #14 Boise State Broncos in Boise. Boise controlled the trenches all game and was generally dominant despite the relatively-close score, but that's not the story. The story was what happened after the clock read 0:00.
LaGarrette Blount is a talented back, but has never had the best attitude at Oregon. It got him thrown out of camp this year...but that didn't seem to be much of a big deal after that and was pretty much chalked up to normal "chippiness" that happens in camps all over the nation in the late summer. But what we saw tonight was a different story...and his inability to keep himself in check is officially a big problem for Oregon and first year coach, Kelly.
Who knows how this will be handled, but LaGarrette has left his team mates and coach in an awful position. He punched an opposing lineman in the chin, got into a shoving match with his own teammates, and then, the cherry atop the sundae of rage, tried to go into the crowd a la Ron Artest as he exited the field. A band of police, security, a coach an offensive lineman and other teammates wrangled the hot-headed Senior RB toward the locker room...The question is now how the Ducks' team and coaches will handle this story...because this will be what's talked about the next seven days as our Boilers prepare to head to Eugene.
Aside from this lapse of self-control, the Ducks looked overmatched and poorly coached in my opinion. Heading into this one, I discussed that we knew little about Oregon since so much had changed since last season. The turnover in their offensive line seemed obvious for much of the game as the Ducks didn't have a first down until the third quarter. Their QB ended the game at just over 51% passing, throwing for 120 yards, 1 interception and 0 TD. Oregon's talented backfield ended the game with 31 yards rushing.
J got to listen to Oregon's own radio team on XM radio and they were befuddled at the lack of offense for much of the game...I think much of the national media was. One thing we all know now is that this team is very beatable.
IU Controls EKU
Indiana opened its new* stadium this evening against the always-tough, formerly Danny Hope-coached EKU Colonels...and allowed this D-1AA opponent to stay alive in the game until the very last play.
IU looked extremely slow at nearly every position and IU fans who were thinking the Hoosiers might surprise some people need to re-think that idea. This is still a very bad, very lethargic IU team that seems to reflect the even-keel nature of their coach...and the pistol offense experiment that Coach Lynch thought would create "downhill running opportunities" produced 73 yards rushing...but Ben Chappell did have 326 yards passing. That said, he looked pretty inaccurate at times and his 1:2 Int:TD ratio shows that his yardage was inconsequential.
The Hoosiers are in for a long season.
*new is defined by IU AD Fred Glass in a recent IU commercial as a stadium built in 1960 with new seats/facilities in one endzone.