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5 Thoughts - Oregon Is Back To Being Oregon
Oregon RB LaMichael James
Oregon RB LaMichael James
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 26, 2011


5 Thoughts - Oregon Is Back To Being Oregon. Everything is working again.


CFN Analysis 

5 Thoughts, Sept. 26

 
Past Thoughts  2010 5 Thoughts | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3

- Fiutak: The bias against Boise State
- Cirminiello: Oregon is back to being Oregon 
- Zemek: The incredible flopping punter
- Sallee: Florida is the class of the East
- Fiutak: Non-conference games are overrated    

By Rich Cirminiello

Save for a LeGarrette Blount right cross to the chin of Boise State’s Byron Hout, it feels like 2009 all over again in Eugene.

Two years ago, Oregon began the season with a highly-visible loss in Idaho to immediately alter expectations. However, the Ducks, then under rookie head coach Chip Kelly, rallied for a 10-1 regular season finish to win the Pac-10 championship. This year’s edition, Kelly’s third, appears capable of following a similar trajectory that once again winds up in Pasadena.

Barring a strange turns of events, Oregon’s hopes for a second straight National Championship Game evaporated when the final gun sounded in Arlington, Tex. three weeks ago. However, the Ducks remain among the most potent attacks in the country, scoring at least 56 points in each of the last three games. This past weekend’s rout of Arizona in Tucson was validation that the program is poised to make a run at a third conference championship in-a-row. LaMichael James is back to hanging up 200-yard games on the ground.

Quarterback Darron Thomas is providing much more help through the air than he did a year ago. And the retooled line is doing just fine with center Hroniss Grasu and right tackle Nick Cody in the lineup for the first time. Yeah, the defense is going to miss linebackers Casey Matthews and Spencer Paysinger, but coordinator Nick Aliotti has a knack for molding opportunistic units as the season progresses. Kiko Alonso and Dewitt Stuckey may not be as instinctive as their predecessors just yet, but they’ve done pretty credible impersonations over the last couple of weeks.

Oregon is back, steadily approaching where it was at this time last year. Sure, there’s a blemish, but that loss at Cowboys Stadium is getting smaller and smaller in the rear view mirror with each passing week. The Ducks are once again among the nation’s elite programs, boasting a point-a-minute offense that’s in perpetual motion, and an attacking D that’s evolving on a continual basis. With the showdown at Stanford still seven weeks away, Oregon is gearing up to go on an extended and impressive roll between now and the Nov. 12 trip to the Farm.

- Fiutak: The bias against Boise State
- Cirminiello: Oregon is back to being Oregon 
- Zemek: The incredible flopping punter
- Sallee: Florida is the class of the East
- Fiutak: Non-conference games are overrated    


 

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