Cirminiello Fiesta Thoughts: In A Flash ...
Posted Jan 4, 2013

Rich Cirminiello's Final Thoughts after Oregon's win over Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl.

Richard Cirminiello

This game turned for good in the final minute or so of the first half. Kansas State stalled deep in Oregon territory, missed a field goal and allowed the Ducks to travel the length of the field in the blink of an eye. Momentum gone. Upset hopes gone.

Chip Kelly might be the only head coach in the history of college football to declare for the NFL at the conclusion of a bowl game. If Kelly's career aspirations were a distraction to his team, it didn't matter enough to impact the final outcome.

Oregon CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu is a poor man's Honey Badger, sans a lot of the issues under the helmet. The sophomore is a ball magnet, with the instincts and fire in his belly to become a household—albeit difficult to pronounce—name in 2013.

Would have been nice to see a matchup between the Quack Attack and one of the nation's top two defenses, either Notre Dame or Alabama. Nah, it wasn't vintage Ducks on offense this evening, but it's always enjoyable seeing how that speed translates against physical opponents. The 2014 season cannot come soon enough.

The Nick Aliotti-led Oregon D is vastly underrated. Always has been. Probably always will be. It won't make many headlines tomorrow, but a well-rested, rehabbed unit did a terrific job of containing Collin Klein and a Kansas State offense that began the Fiesta Bowl averaging more than 40 points a game.

Few players in America maximize their touches better than Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas. He got his hands on the ball less than 10 times. Kansas State agrees that it felt a lot closer to 20. Thomas is pure magic in space, and was not overused or worn down by the coaching staff this season.

One-dimensional offenses rarely succeed in bowl games. Too much time for the other team to prepare. Unless Collin Klein suddenly became a more competent passer, this was going to be a very tall order in Glendale for the Wildcats.