Doan Fiesta Thought: Duck D Got It Done
Posted Jan 4, 2013

Bart Doan's Final Thoughts after Oregon's win over Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl.

By Bart Doan
Follow me @Bart_cfn

Remember when Oregon was supposed to be too distracted by rumors of Chip Kelly leaving? Somebody forgot to tell the players. Or the coaches. Or really anyone for that matter.

Oregon did what you have to do against Kansas State, and that was get ahead. KSU is built to bully, not to be finesse. And Collin Klein, while a great college player and an even better story, is not built to sling the ball around the yard upwards of 30 times.

It was a game befitting of one that should have been in contention for a soon to be hallowed "playoff" spot, though personally I don't jive with the non-conference champs allowed in ruling. For every game tonight, you have one like last night in the Sugar Bowl that lays the theory a bit more to waste.

Back to Oregon, though. It was really the Duck D that got it done. Forcing obvious passing situations and using that early cushion was a big deal. When it was 15-7 and KSU was driving deep in Oregon territory, the wheels could have come off had it gone 15-14 and visions of just inexplicably not being able to put the game away on offense starts to creep back in Duck heads.

Eventually though, the Duck offense got going against a good, physical defense that really hadn't shown a ton of bend aside from their one loss. Marcus Mariota was dynamic, always breaking that one tackle that made a seven yard gain a 15 yard gain. Kenjon Barner gave a good NFL audition, showing power between the tackles on one of the Big 12's most physical defenses, and when the Ducks needed to make a field goal to put it away, this time, they'd go in.
If this truly was the end for the Chip Kelly era...and announcing NFL interviews before entering a bowl game after the flirtation leading to necking last year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it seems it was a good send-off for him. Whether his offense works in the NFL is yet to be seen, but it slipped out earlier this year that so impressed by the pace and management of the Oregon offense, Bill Belichick of all people made the sojourn to Eugene to learn parts of it. Methinks there is professional respect for the Ducks' coach.

Makes you wonder, in part, why more FCS coaches aren't given a shot. Jim Tressel and Chip Kelly have been spectacular hires, and recently, Ball State hiring Pete Lembo was a total home run. Who knows what the issue is, but guys like Kelly keep proving that could be a gold mine for some of the best minds in the college game.