The toughest gig in college football this year: Whichever defensive coordinator happened to be tasked on any given week with slowing down Oregon's warp-speed offense, which began the season as the nation's highest-scoring offense after the first weekend of games and never relinquished the title. The final tally after Saturday's 37-20 rout over rival Oregon State: Ten games with at least 42 points, six games with at least 50 and only one game – a 15-13 escape from Cal in Berkeley – that was remotely in doubt in the fourth quarter. The Ducks will go into next month's BCS Championship showdown with Auburn averaging 49.3 points every time they take the field, the best number in the nation and the fourth-best number of the last decade.
The second-toughest gig, though, had to be Oregon mascot. The Duck was tasked this season with answering every Oregon score with a round of pushups that corresponded to the number on the scoreboard. For the opening-day, 72-0 incineration of New Mexico, the poor undergrad in the cartoon suit wound up doing 506 pushups in a single afternoon. For the season, he/she routinely turned in more than 200 as the scores mounted.
[Blooper rewind: Mascot falls off dugout]
The Duck's final tally for the season: 2,757 pushups, or just shy of 230 per game, often in quick succession as the Ducks turned on the jets for one of their patented second-half ambushes. Now you know why he's such a formidable foe. Another year or two of this, and he's actually going to look like that buffed up Darth Vader Duck the school unveiled to widespread derision a couple years back. Fitness is one thing, but a few tortilla chips can help keep that crucial potbelly up to par.
[List: America's favorite mascots]
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.
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