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Entries in Chip Kelly (15)


Auburn Wins BCS National Championship

Picture of Gene Chizik and Nick Fairley

One Great Season

Better late than never.

Football fans didn't get the 60 minutes of excitement they were promised, but they still saw a thrilling final five minutes as Auburn won the BCS National Championship game over Oregon, 22-19, in Glendale, Ariz., Monday night. Auburn's Wes Byrum made a 19-yard field goal as time expired to provide the winning margin.

Auburn appeared to have scored the game-winning touchdown on a scamper up the middle by freshman running back Michael Dyer in the late seconds. But officials reviewed the play and ruled him down inside the 1-yard line. The Tigers then ran one play to kill some clock before trotting out Byrum for his heroic kick that sent Toomer's Corner into toilet-paper mode back home in ice-covered Alabama.

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Auburn-Oregon Preview: Finally, The Prediction

Logo BCS National Championship Game

One Great Season

The OGS editorial team was hoping to crank out 17 BCS National Championship Game preview breakdowns before tonight's kickoff. Please forgive us for only providing you with 15 pieces over the last two weeks.

Below are the links to all of them, as well as to some other recent stories related to Oregon and Auburn. And below that section will be one final preview ending in One Great Season's official prediction for tonight's title tilt. Lastly, don't forget to visit OGS after the game and througout the day Tuesday with post-game coverage and reaction.

Auburn-Oregon Previews:

+ The Quarterbacks
+ The Running Backs
+ The Receivers
+ The Offensive Lines
+ The Defensive Lines
+ The Linebackers
+ The Defensive Backs
+ Special Teams
+ The Coaches
+ Auburn Rush Offense vs. Oregon Rush Defense
+ Auburn Pass Offense vs. Oregon Pass Defense
+ Oregon Rush Offense vs. Auburn Rush Defense
+ Oregon Pass Offense vs. Auburn Pass Defense
+ Stats, Trends & Other Notes

+ NCG COACHES: No Sophomore Jinx For Kelly, Chizik

+ AMERICA'S TEAM: Is It Oregon?


+ COLLEGE STARS: Did Cam Newton Steal Terrelle Pryor's Season?

+ HEISMAN BROADCAST: Fowler, ESPN Navigate Newton's Bumpy Road

+ COMPARISON: Auburn Comeback Impressive, But Oregon Win More Telling

+ TIMELINE: The Cam Newton Saga

Some think the long layoff will hurt the Ducks more because their offense is reliant on sharpness, angles, technique and precision. I am not one of them. I'm more inclined to think Auburn's defensive anchor, tackle Nick Fairley, may have enjoyed himself at a postseason banquet or two or downed a few slices of holiday pie. He's Auburn's best chance to disrupt the Oregon offensive flow, and while he'll be the best defensive player on the field for either side, it wouldn't surprise me to see the Ducks come right out at an even more frenetic pace than usual to see what kind of conditioning they're up against. One of two things will happen: the Lombardi Award winner will tire early and the Ducks will be successful, or Fairley and his linemates will be game and Oregon will have to adjust.

So from a cardiovascular perspective, Oregon is more likely to wear the opponent down. But from a physical point-of-view, I give the edge to Auburn. The war of attrition is even.

If everyone stays healthy and the teams play their respective games, I think Oregon has the slightly better chance of winning. In addition to Fairley being the best defensive player in the game, Auburn quarterback Cam Newton will be the best offensive player of the game. Those kinds of superlatives are nice during awards season, but if your goal is a championship, you need the superior team, and that's where Oregon has the advantage. And back to individual players, Oregon will have the second-best defensive player in the game in Casey Matthews and the second-best offensive player, Heisman third-place finisher LaMichael James.

Newton will make big plays and James will make big plays. So if their achievements cancel each other out, what will be the difference? A Cliff Harris touchdown return, either via punt or interception. Oregon wins, 34-30, in a slightly lower-scoring game than everyone's expecting.


Auburn-Oregon Preview: The Coaches

Picture Of Chip Kelly

Welcome to the ninth of 17 — yep, 17 — BCS National Championship Game preview pieces here on OGS. Each day until Jan. 10, we'll take a comparative look at Auburn and Oregon. Today's ninth topic examines the head coaches.

One Great Season

Both head coaches in the BCS National Championship Game made immediate impacts on their programs as first-year leaders in 2009, but only one will be lucky enough to be college football's fourth coach to win a national championship in his second season in the BCS era.

Gene Chizik and Chip Kelly are off to impressive starts at Auburn and Oregon, respectively. Bob Stoops, Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer each won national titles as second-year head coaches.

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Auburn-Oregon Preview: The Quarterbacks

Picture Of Darron Thomas, Cam Newton

Welcome to the first of 17 — yep, 17 — BCS National Championship Game preview pieces here on OGS. Each day until Jan. 10, we'll take a comparative look at Auburn and Oregon. Today's first topic is the quarterback position.

One Great Season

Auburn has the undisputed best player in the country. Cam Newton was a true dual-threat superstar throughout the season and there's no reason to think he won't dazzle once more in the BCS National Championship Game.

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No Sophomore Jinx For Kelly, Chizik

Picture of Chip Kelly, Gene Chizik

One Great Season

Remember when I wrote this?

Me too, and regardless of which team wins the BCS Championship in Glendale, Ariz., next month, a second-year head coach will hoist the crystal Coaches' Trophy for the fourth time in 11 seasons. That's actually pretty impressive.

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Is Oregon America's Team?

Picture Of Chip Kelly

One Great Season

As far as college football fans go, there are SEC supporters, and there is the rest of America. The following was written with the majority in mind.

Oregon is the only team that can derail the SEC's dominance in the national championship. Teams from the South have won the last four titles, and while some objective experts have opined this year the SEC is down a tad — by its standards, at least — Auburn and Alabama still seem like strong candidates to stretch the league's streak to five in a row.

I agree with many other experts who say that despite its imperfect record, Alabama is sitting quite pretty. I really think the Tide will slow down Cam Newton enough to beat Auburn when the Tigers visit Tuscaloosa for a post-Thanksgiving Day slugfest on Nov. 26.

The winner of that matchup should advance to the SEC championship game, handle an

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Sophomore Jinx? Not At Oregon

Picture Of Chip Kelly

One Great Season

I think we all agree that nobody can stop high-flying Oregon, right?

I wouldn't put it past the ornery Lane Kiffin to cook up some trouble for UO on when the Ducks take their act to USC on Saturday. The Trojans certainly will be a difficult out, but the visitors should get it done in a shootout and head into November still unbeaten and ranked No. 1.

And for those who pay attention to historical trends, let's take a look at some recent accomplishments by second-year people in the great sport of college football.

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OGS Spotlight Game Of The Week: Stanford At Oregon

Picture Of Oregon Fans

One Great Season

For those who might not follow PAC-10 football all too closely, it's important to note that Stanford can follow a very simple formula to win at Oregon Saturday night.

The Cardinal can neutralize the Ducks' defensive speed by, not running around them or away from them, but running right at them. Maintaining possession and keeping the ball away from Oregon's big-play, quick-strike offense will be critical, especially at hostile Autzen Stadium in Eugene.

Stanford's offense hasn't only avoided a drop-off since the departure of 2009 Heisman Trophy finalist Toby Gerhart. It's gotten better. Much better.

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Rob Moseley: A Q&A With Oregon Football Writer

Picture Of Rob Moseley

One Great Season

Today's Q&A is with Rob Moseley, who covers the No. 4 Oregon Ducks for the Eugene Register-Guard. You can follow him on Twitter at @DuckFootball.

One Great Season: The season's first month is in the books. Surprises? Disappointments?
Rob Moseley: You've got to be impressed with what Boise State's doing. They've beaten a

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No. 11: Oregon Ducks

LaMichael James

The One Great Season College Football Countdown continues Friday. We'll be counting down the preseason Top 25 teams in 2010. Today's No. 11 is Oregon.

One Great Season

It's funny how, in the year of the quarterback in the PAC 10, one team without a star at the position seems the consensus pick to win the league.

Oregon lost Jeremiah Masoli after a pair of off-field incidents led to his dismissal. The dual-threat quarterback is now at Mississipi (get it?), but the cupboard in Eugene is hardly bare.

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Ducks Embarrass Trojans, 47-20

Jeremiah Masoli

One Great Season

EUGENE, Oregon -- Jeremiah Masoli is no doctor, but he seemed to dress up as one on national TV in Oregon's Halloween blowout of visiting USC at Autzen Stadium last night.

With surgical precision, the Ducks quarterback (pictured, right, scoring a first-quarter touchdown) carved up the Trojans defense for 386 total yards and a pair of touchdowns as the home team took control of the PAC 10 race and handed USC its biggest loss of the Pete Carroll era, 47-20.

Masoli passed for 222 yards and a score and ran for 164 more yards and another touchdown as Oregon outscored Southern Cal 23-3 in the second half and improved to 7-1 overall and 5-0 in the conference. The Ducks piled up 613 yards of total offense, including 391 rushing yards.

Redshirt freshman LaMichael James, who took over at running back for LeGarrette Blount after the Boise debacle, picked up 183 yards and a touchdown against a USC defense that was ranked fifth best against the run, allowing only 80 yards a game.

Masoli and James have been leading an offense that's probably playing better than anyone in the country, and Oregon's defense has been no slouch either. The Ducks Saturday night played aggressively and held the high-flying USC offense to 327 total yards.

"It was a real mess for us tonight," Pete Carroll told reporters after the game. "Oregon did everything that they wanted to do."

The Trojans fell to 6-2 overall and 3-2 in the PAC 10, beginning the month of November in fourth place in the conference they've ruled for so long.

On Wednesday, the Ducks concluded practice by running their two-minute offense. On just their second play during the drill, Masoli hit one of his receivers on a 60-yard catch-and-run play that resulted in a go-ahead touchdown. A few minutes later when Masoli spoke to reporters, he seemed more calm and confident than any player I've seen this year, answering questions thoroughly and sincerely and even sprinkled in a smile or two. It showed on Saturday night during a nationally televised game at Oregon's notoriously raucous stadium, on Halloween, against the seven-time defending PAC 10 champions.

"I was as relaxed as I've ever been in my career," Masoli told the Associated Press after the game. "Even me and LaMike (broke) a couple jokes every so often. It feels great."

The Ducks did seem to benefit from that two-minute workout, not because they they were at any point in a hurry and in desperate need of a late-game score, but because coach Chip Kelly and his offensive assistants dialed up a perfect quick-strike game plan that produced six scoring drives requiring no more than 3:02 for each.

Many felt prior to the game that a USC win would have given the one-loss Trojans much-needed BCS cred in a year when an unbeaten Texas appears headed to a championship-game clash with the winner of the SEC.

Those same observers probably weren't thinking the Ducks, ranked 10th in last week's BCS standings, were capable of dominating one of the sport's elite teams this decade. Oregon has won its share of big games in recent years, but hasn't been able to keep its foot on the gas and finish the season with sustained success. Or in the case of 2007, when quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Dennis Dixon led the Ducks to a defeat of USC but later went down with a season-ending injury.

But now that Oregon seems to be playing lights-out and is focused, healthy, well-coached and recovered from the season-opening fiasco at Boise State, the Ducks should without question be in that title-game conversation. If I had a vote, I'd have no problem at all ranking them ahead of the Broncos, and I'd say confidently that if the teams met again today Oregon would handle Boise State.


Friday Notebook: Wet Footballs, Dez Bryant & Top Coaches

Matt Barkley

One Great Season

EUGENE, Oregon -- After deleting some vulgar comments left below the video I posted of Oregon coach Chip Kelly welcoming USC quarterback Matt Barkley to Autzen Stadium, I noticed a couple of funny comments that did not need to be deleted:

666TheScarecro666 said, "Barkley's gonna piss his pants on Saturday."

MJaxsun25 said, "Barkley has been running his mouth and showing his ignorance. Everyone in College Football knows that Autzen Stadium is the loudest stadium in the Country. It set the record. 127.2 decibels. Bring it Barkley."

Jeremiah Masoli

Other notes for a Friday:

+ I can't remember a weather forecast having the kind of an impact on a game that Saturday's probably will here in Eugene. Most reports I've heard indicate rain during the morning and early afternoon, but the wet weather should move on by kickoff at 5 p.m. PT. And while one would think a wet game would slow down USC's athletes, I think it would actually do more harm to Oregon, whose smaller quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, could have trouble gripping and throwing a damp football. So if the rain passes, the Ducks' chances are improved.

+ I hope Virginia Tech's coaching staff can restore running back Ryan Williams' confidence. The talented freshman has surpassed all expectations filling in as the No. 1 back for the Hokies this year, but his late fumble last night led to North Carolina's game-winning field goal as time expired. Williams has a bright future ahead, and I hope he runs for 200 yards on Nov. 5 at East Carolina.

Dez Bryant

+ Dez Bryant did not violate any rules with his association with Deion Sanders, but because the NCAA has so many rules, Bryant thought he broke one of them, so he lied to cover a up a dinner he had at the former football star's home. Can you blame him?

IMAGES: Dez Bryant Gallery

By all means, punish him, but the NCAA got this wrong like it so often does. If part of its mission is to help its student-athletes, suspend him for two or three games, but not for one full year. It continues to amaze me how out of touch the rich, old, white men in suits are when it comes to doling out discipline. Bryant will get the last laugh, however, when he gets drafted among the top 12 picks in next spring's draft. All the NCAA ensured was that it lost some star power for about eight games this season, including Saturday's huge, nationally televised game against Texas in Stillwater.

+ I've reached out to some friends, fellow writers and athletic department people, asking them to rank their top 10 coaches. I'll have a full story on this next week, but you might be surprised to learn that Les Miles and Jim Tressel aren't getting a whole lot of love.

+ Another story I'll push out next week is a Q&A I had on the phone yesterday with Florida strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti. He said it's not Brandon Spikes who rules the weight room in Gainesville. I'll tell you who does in a few days.


Do You Believe Chip Kelly?

One Great Season

EUGENE, Oregon -- Chip Kelly says what all coaches say, except unlike most, you actually believe some of the words that come out of his mouth.

Heading into this weekend's heavyweight Halloween tilt with No. 4 USC, Kelly says his 10th-ranked Oregon Ducks are preparing for just another Saturday at the office. But in this case, the office is raucous Autzen Stadium, on Halloween, with ESPN GameDay starting the day and a national television audience concluding it, where the winner will have the inside track to a PAC 10 crown and some serious BCS cred.

"We don't put any more stock into this game as we did the Washington game," said Kelly.

Just once I'd love to hear a coach give reporters what they want, something like, "Oh yeah, this game is huge. We better win this m*****f*****." They never reveal their hands, but we pencilnecks still ask the questions, knowing exactly what the responses will be.


Chip Kelly Welcomes Matt Barkley To Oregon

Columbia River

One Great Season

EUGENE, Oregon -- College football observers outside of Southern California grew sick of Matt Barkley before he took his first collegiate snap.

There was so much preseason talk about whether he'd steal away the starting quarterback job after Aaron Corp went down with a knee injury in August. Pete Carroll fell ga-ga and ESPN followed suit, giving USC's next Golden Boy plenty of air time that irked many.

Barkley then gave Trojan haters even more reason to leave anonymous comments in the blogosphere by demonstrating more than confidence after USC thrashed San Jose State in the season opener.

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When asked by a Los Angeles Times reporter if there was anything difficult about his first college game, a 56-3 cakewalk, he smiled and said, "The run up the tunnel at halftime. That was brutal."

The training wheels came off between that game and USC's next one seven days later, a visit to Columbus to play perennial power Ohio State in front of its 105,000 scarlet-sweatered loyals.


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Sports By Brooks wrote prior to that game that "the atmosphere will be nuts. I probably don't even know how it will be. But that won't faze him."

Barkley also once said his team could win "in Alaska in the snow. That's how confident I am in this offense. There can be 500,000 rooting against me."

And this week he's already wondered about the crowd at notoriously raucous Autzen Stadium, where No. 10 Oregon will entertain USC in a heavyweight Halloween showdown that will give the winner the inside track to the PAC 10 championship and a bowlful of BCS cred.

"The energy is going to be awesome and it's going to be a cool atmosphere, especially on Halloween night," Barkley said. "Who knows what their uniforms will be? Probably something crazy as usual."

Barkley then shoved his youthful curiosity aside, and got back to being, well, Barkley.

"I feed off that energy, I feed off that noise," he said. "I love it."

And of course, that's what I asked Oregon coach Chip Kelly about today, and here was his brief reply:


Blount Drama

One Great Season

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- It seems every on-air football personality at ESPN agrees unanimously how despicable LeGarrette Blount's behavior was after Oregon's loss at Boise State.

YOUR THOUGHTS: Blount's Punishment Fair?

While some, like Desmond Howard, make sure to point out that Boise's Byron Hout provoked him, San Francisco Chronicle writer Vittorio Tafur takes his argument a step further.

Tafur wrote, and I fully agree, that while Blount should indeed be suspended, the running back also is being penalized for getting in such a clean shot to Hout's chin, and did so in the moments after a nationally televised game. Had Blount not connected so crisply and/or had it been done in front of merely a regional TV audience, the season-long punishment would have been less severe.

Tafur continued that coach Chip Kelly's swift and severe ruling certainly keeps the spotlight off a poor coaching performance in Oregon's season-opening loss to the Broncos. Read the rest of the piece here.