The Business End of the Week Arrives for Ducks and Vols Alike
Last week, Oregon defeated New Mexico 72-0, and Tennessee defeated UT-Martin 50-0. That’s a combined 122-0. What do you say we combine teams and go to LA and whip the livin’ cheatin’ out of Southern Cal? We’d both like to do it for our own causes if you know what I’m talking about.
Oregon’s victory was the most lopsided game in Autzen Stadium history. The Ducks were up 59-0 at the half. In the end, Kenjon Barner had 225 all-purpose yards and 5 TDs and Cliff Harris returned 2 punts for TDs in the second quarter. New Mexico on the other hand committed 5 turnovers and gained a whopping 107 yards and 8 first downs.
So where’s all the angst coming from in Eugene?
The Oregon Factor, the Wilcox Factor, and the temperature/noise factor.
There’s this little thing I learned this week called The Oregon Factor. That’s where the Ducks go out and whip the tar out of some team, or have a great month, and they think everything is going to be perfect. And then it turns out that it isn’t.
Must keep the yellow and green up at night.
Or maybe they believe all that stuff about the Pac-10 being an inferior conference.
Let’s not forget, though, that the Ducks were clearly outplayed in their two major non-conference matchups last season, Boise State and Ohio State — and that was with since-banished quarterback Jeremiah Masoli. Is there anyone in this conference (other than Southern Cal) that the rest of the country ought to take seriously? – Darren Everson, WSJ.com
Then there’s The Wilcox Factor. Hey, that’s what the good folks from Oregon are calling it, not me.
Justin Wilcox, Tennessee’s new defensive coordinator was an all-conference DB at Oregon in the late ‘90s. His brother Josh was a TE there, too. And, his father, Dave, was a LB for the Ducks who also happens to be in the NFL Hall-of-Fame (he starred for the San Francisco 49’ers). So the Wilcox’s blood runs green. Of course, Justin was also the Boise State defensive coordinator for the two recent Duck tragedies against the Broncos: a 37-32 defeat in 2008 in Eugene, followed by the shocking 19-8 defeat at Boise where Oregon didn’t make a first down until the third quarter. Yikes!
So, understandably, these Factors could cause some real neuroses to reach epidemic levels up in the serene surroundings of Oregon.
Then, there is all the preparation that the Ducks are going through this week to try to replicate Neyland Stadium. What? Are they building a double-deck stadium and filling it with folks off the street (I don’t think the Eugene population is big enough)?
Nope. Coach Kelly is locking the players in the indoor practice facility and cranking up the heat to make it warm and humid, and also cranking up some fake crowd noise and adding the monotonous “Rocky Top” as a measure of water torture.
Hey, Chip: that’s cruel and unusual punishment, man. I’m talking about that song, not the heat and humidity.
But apparently it’s a bit of self-indulgence on the part of the Duck coach – he loves the song!
“Once two strangers climbed ol’ Rocky Top looking for a moonshine still. Those two strangers ain’t come down off Rocky Top, reckon they never will.”
That’s ‘cause their seats were up top of Section GG and they got lost – something the visiting Duck fans may get to experience.
Well, the Vols have their own neuroses to contend with this week. On Tuesday, practice apparently really sucked. “Not one of our better practices”, Dooley was quoted as saying. I’ve heard just enough from Coach Dooley in his few months he’s been with us to know that when he says something that understated about a negative, somebody got their hat turned backwards.
Then, Bryce Brown’s CEO, Arthur Brown, has indicated that he, Bryce’s father, is planning to hire an attorney and potentially sue Tennessee and coach Derek Dooley for denying a release for the running back from his scholarship. Good thing our coach has a law degree from UVa.
Hey Duck fans – aren’t you glad you didn’t sign this running back?
But bad practices and impending lawsuits are the least of what’s on Dooley’s mind this week.
Apparently, the Vol player’s shower habits are not up to snuff. A few staph infections have been noticed in the Vol locker room.
“We did a clinic yesterday on proper shower technique and soap and using a rag. We put some new rags in — y’all think I’m kidding, but I’m serious. We had, I told them, the worst shower discipline of any team I’ve ever been around. So we talked a little bit about application of soap to the rag and making sure you hit all your body. You know, you can neglect it trying to cut corners, and it shows in how you practice and elsewhere. I’m hoping we show some improvement in that.” – Derek Dooley
That’s what I call not leaving a single stone unturned by our Battle Captain as he rebuilds the Vols’ fortunes.
Thank God for the little things…