What It Means to Be a Duck: Mike Bellotti and Oregons Greatest Players
But back to that first year. I remember specifically sitting in the University Inn, our dormitory, with Justin Peelle, Rashad Bauman, and Garrett Sabol, and Rashad and I were talking about winning a national championship. I came here to win a national championship. Feeley and I were competing to replace Akili Smith, and although A.
They told me I would get in there.
ABC Sports - Q&A with Oregon's Mike Bellotti
Bellotti has a history of playing a couple quarterbacks, so I figured that would be the case. The opener against Michigan State, he told me I was going to play, but A. Those first couple games, A. It was tough, because they told me coming out of camp that we would both play. It became really hard after about three or four games of not getting in there. Honestly, I did think about leaving Oregon.
We were facing a game against Arizona, and again the offense had some struggles in the first half. They came to me as we were going out there for the second half and told me I was up. My first pass was a deep comeback on our sideline, and then I threw a fade up the left sideline. I hit them both. I came off the bench the next week against Arizona State, as well.
We had 54 seconds to drive down and win the game.
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On the winning touchdown, we called a play called throwback, and Marshaun Tucker ran a post corner on the left side. We had won two in a row, on our way to going 27—3 over two-plus years. From then on, we believed we could win every game we played, no matter the circumstances. Now, in order to believe that you are going to win those close games, you have to have it happen a couple times. And for it to happen a couple times, sometimes the ball has to bounce your way.
We had to convert a fourth down earlier in the drive, and sometimes it just seemed like we got those breaks, and then we used those breaks to win and build confidence. That was the biggest thing: That was the difference between us and everyone else those years — we believed we were going to win the game no matter what happened. We opened with a win, and by that time the talk of a national championship for Oregon really seemed legitimate, at least among the players. But then we went and lost at Wisconsin.
But the confidence of that team just dug us out of too many holes that season. None bigger than at Arizona State the last week of October.
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That ASU game was a once-in-a-lifetime deal, it really was. We went to Washington State, and Jed Boice blocked a field goal at the end of the game to clinch a win for the Ducks. It was those types of breaks that we created. We were just such a confident team that we created those breaks. It was just one of those days for the offense that was truly once-in-a-lifetime. It felt like everything that left my hand was going to be a touchdown. Late in the game, one of our cornerbacks, Steve Smith, made a good play and broke up a pass to get the ball back so we could make what could have been a gamewinning drive.
I threw a ball down the middle to Justin Peelle, and one of the safeties tried to make a play on the ball instead of tackling Justin and missed them both, so he took off for about a or yard gain on a seam route which got us down the field quickly. Then on fourth and goal from about the 5- or 6-yard line we threw him a little stick route, and at that moment we found out just what it means to say football is a game of inches.
Arizona State got the ball back just needing to run out the clock for the win. In all my time trying to rally guys on the sideline, that was probably the most I had to wing it a little bit. There were a lot of times I was on the sideline thinking, God, we may lose this game, but I never told anybody or let on to anybody else that was what I was thinking.
But that day at Arizona State was probably the toughest time to fake it. And then they fumbled, and we recovered. The confidence came right back: It took one play, another pass to Justin, for us to score and force overtime, and at that point there was nothing they could do to stop us. Coincidentally, the corner Peelle beat on that play was the same guy Marshaun Tucker beat on the winning touchdown the year before. Hands down, that was one of the most satisfying wins of my career.
And then the Civil War in Corvallis that same season was hands down the worst moment of my college career. Archived from the original on February 4, The Eugene Register Guard. Archived from the original on December 5, Retrieved March 19, Archived from the original on June 1, Chico State Wildcats head football coaches.
While neither have been a true problem on their own, the fact the Ducks have had to turn to graduate transfers because they don't seem to have a capable player in house groomed for the job speaks volumes -- both about the recruiting and the coaching staff as well. Remember, this is the same Oregon that once had both Mariota and Johnny Manziel committed to it at the same time. When Chip Kelly was in charge, Oregon recruited well, but not on the level of an Alabama.
What Oregon lacked in five-star superpower, however, it made up for with an innovative coach that knew his scheme inside and out, and knew how to be successful with it and the quarterbacks he groomed for it. Oregon doesn't have that anymore, but if it knows what's good for it, it'll do everything in its power to find it. Which is why I believe Oregon needs to move on from Helfrich as soon as possible. Tom Herman is the grand prize for any program looking for a new coach this offseason, and with the LSU gig already open, Oregon should get its hat in on the Herman sweepstakes as quickly as possible.
With all the money this program has behind it in Phil Knight and Nike, it has as good a shot of luring Herman away from Houston as anybody, and Oregon owes it to itself to at least try. This is one of the most juvenile, basic signs I've ever seen, and I respect the hell out of whoever made it for not caring, because it made me giggle like a moron when I saw it on television. It's still Lamar Jackson , and nobody else is even close, even after a loss.
It's a strange feeling, honestly, because Lamar Jackson was amazing in Louisville 's first four games, but I have even more respect for him following the Cardinals loss to Clemson on Saturday night, because Jackson showed me something he hadn't had a chance to yet.
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See, when you're destroying everybody and just having fun, you don't get to show the world what you're really made of when facing adversity, but we had the chance to see it from Lamar on Saturday night. It was late in the first half when Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware had Jackson wrapped up in a pile on the field. And when I say he had Jackson wrapped up, what I really mean is Boulware had him in a rear-naked chokehold that would make an MMA fighter proud. And this was a mistake.
When you do something like this to an opponent, there are two possible outcomes. A lot of times, your opponent will become intimidated, and maybe cower a bit. Then there are the times when it ticks your opponent off, and they become possessed by an undying will to seek revenge upon you and your entire bloodline. Jackson chose Option B. He got angry, played angry, and dominated Clemson coming out of the locker room at halftime using that anger, and I freaking loved seeing it.
Now we know what we suspected all along: Lamar Jackson isn't just a talented dude having the time of his life when things are going well, he's an incredibly talented dude that isn't going to back down from anybody, and will compete until the bitter end. I have a love-hate relationship with kickers. It's not that I don't respect their ability as much as it's that I think football would be a lot more fun without them.
Once in a while, though, a kicker will show up, drill a yard field goal as time expires to beat Florida State , and then do this. The UNC kicker has no chill. Oh man, he's tomahawk-choppin' on the Noles' home turf. I may not think you're necessary, Nick Weiler , but you're forever all right with me.
Listen, nobody on Stanford 's offensive line had a good night against Washington on Friday.