November 29, 2008
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Oregon 65, Oregon State 38. Hey kids, here's a swell plan for submarining your first Rose Bowl bid in over 40 years: Allow 51 points, 694 yards and 10 yards per snap to the opposing offense of your hated rival. Then throw them a couple interceptions they can return for touchdowns while you're at it. Voîla! You've blown your shot at the Rose Bowl.
The Beavers ranked 13th in the country and second in the Pac-10 to USC in total defense coming into tonight, and got gashed like they were Portland State or something. Oregon completed five passes of at least 30 yards and had two 100-yard rushers; Jeremiah Johnson ripped off 219 at 14.6 per carry, and Jeremiah Masoli averaged 16 yards per attempt -- not per completion (he averaged 25 per completion) but per attempt. If anything was going to knock the Beavers off-track, I would have guessed it would be the absence of Jacquizz Rodgers, not of every member of the defense. Just when everyone was actually beginning to believe in those scrappy kids and their sad little beards.
So welcome back, USC, to your annual date with the Rose Bowl, barring the most unlikely set of events yet in the now-long history of unlikely events at the top of the BCS. Ho hum. And the Trojans were so looking forward to New Year's in Tempe or New Orleans. Can't a monolithic juggernaut catch a break every now and then?