Blog Entry

BCS Championship Bowl Grade: Oregon

Posted on: January 11, 2011 2:33 am
Posted by Chip Patterson


We knew that the Oregon offensive line would be undersized against Auburn's front four, but we did not realize how badly they would lose the battle in the trenches on offense. Oregon played against some teams with big defensive lineman, but none were as skilled and powerful as Nick Fairley and the rest of the Auburn defensive line. Auburn was able to get penetration into Oregon's backfield all night long, and it crushed Darron Thomas' ability to read the field and let his options develop. Thomas did pull over several impressive plays in tough situations, including his 4th down completion to D.J. Davis to keep the game-tying drive alive.

But in the end, Oregon is a team that averages more yards rushing than anyone else in the nation. On Monday night, they were held to just 75 team rushing yards. Auburn forced the Ducks to throw the ball, and it made them uncomfortable to stray from their usual gameplan. It is impressive that Thomas was able to adjust to keep the Ducks in, but those two trips inside the ten yard line will leave a lot of "What if's" for the Oregon offense. GRADE: D+


The Oregon defense played almost as well as they could have in order to win the game. If their primary task was to stop Cam Newton, they did a pretty good job by only holding him to 64 yards rushing on 22 carries. They just didn't have much help from their offense, who continued to give the ball right back to Auburn after very little rest for the Ducks. Six of Oregon's eight second half drives were done in less than 2:30, giving the undersized defense little time to rest before heading back out to face true freshman Michael Dyer. The defense held strong and even was able to create the turnover they needed in order to tie the game, but the Ducks struggled to bring down Dyer as he gobbled up all 143 yards on his way to Offensive MVP. It is hard to ask for more from a defensive unit, but it was still not enough to secure the win for Oregon. GRADE: C


Credit Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Alliotti for preparing this defense for Cam Newton's many weapons. Unfortunately, they were not ready for Auburn's many weapons. Auburn's "bad" defense was grossly underrated, and Oregon was not able to make any in-game adjustments to counter the penetration that Nick Fairley & Co. were getting into the Oregon backfield. Without being able to establish their run on the ground, Oregon was forced to drift away from the script and try new ways to move the ball. Chip Kelly made some gutsy calls to fake punts and convert a couple of fourth downs, but not having a "go-to" play for those "…and Goal" situations has got to be scary for Oregon fans. The Ducks have rarely this season HAD TO HAVE a score like they on Monday. My guess is from now on they'll have that play dialed up. GRADE: D

Final Grade 

Oregon is going to remember for a long time the two trips inside the 10 yard line that only produced 3 points. Combined with the two interceptions and six costly penalties, there were a lot of mistakes made on Oregon's end. Having said that, it is awfully impressive that it still took a field goal as time expired for Auburn to beat them. As many mistakes as the Ducks had, they still found ways to come up with big stops and clutch conversions to hang in the game. The one thing that Oregon will have going for them moving forward is a roster full of young talent. Darron Thomas, LaMichael James, and Kenjon Barner will all be back next year, and you can bet they will be hungry to get back to this game next year after losing the way they did. GRADE: B-

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 7:56 am

BCS Championship Bowl Grade: Oregon

Regular repairs i simply uncovered all of this web-site, is going to be going to take a note of it all to visit just by robotically.

Since: Oct 25, 2010
Posted on: January 23, 2011 3:53 pm

BCS Championship Bowl Grade: Oregon

Killer: It is fixed only if your team loses.

Since: Jul 28, 2008
Posted on: January 13, 2011 7:07 am

BCS Championship Bowl Grade: Oregon

Even though Darren Thomas wasn't stellar like expected I would grade their offense abit higher....I mean...they converted a 2 point conversion and still managed to tie the game when it mattered...minus that safety, I thought their offense was at least a B- if we are gonna hand out scores.

Since: Nov 5, 2008
Posted on: January 11, 2011 6:09 pm

BCS Championship Bowl Grade: Oregon

How in the hell do you justify a C for the defense? They held Auburn to 22 points!

How do you get a B- from two D's and a C? Each side of the ball deserved at least a B-, if not more!

Since: Dec 30, 2007
Posted on: January 11, 2011 3:18 pm

BCS Championship Bowl Grade: Oregon

How do you average out 2 D's and a C to a B-?  There must be some extra credit
or a hell of a curve! 

This game was a roller coaster of an event and well worth
staying up for the grand climax.  I say this having bet Oregon +3 and the reality
of routing for them all game and seeing a winning position vanish in a few fleeting
seconds after stopping Auburn on the goal line only to give up 2 on the touch back
and a quick TD on the ensuing drive after the free kick. (doesn't Oregon have the
weakest kicking game ever, or was it just a bad day for them?)  Well, after that
turn around our hopes were teased by a futile attempt to score in the deep red zone
where a bad coach's decision resulted in no points when 3 were to be had. (Does
Oregon have so little confidence in their place kicker that they went for the first
half 2pt conversion? I could not believe my eyes!)  But what ecstasy when they
scored that last TD on that ever so improbable last drive!  Now I'm suddenly converted
into an Auburn fan hoping they'd miss the 2pt conversion and go slowly into the
night with a respectable 2pt loss and a win for me.  How that conversion worked, I
still cannot figure it out.  And now I'm thinking instead of my two point W, we are
going to OT and a likely loss based on how the game was unfolding up to that point.
But it looked like OT was not in the offing as Auburn had just enough time to cut
through Oregon to get into field goal range and make the game a push.  But on a
play that seemed to be designed to center the ball better between the hash marks,
they runner takes off for what seemed like a winning TD.  But no, there is a booth
review! and sure enough the runner was brought down on the half yard line.  The
kicker is run out and I'm suddenly satisfied that with the kick the game will be a
push, but now Auburn has timeouts in the bag and the commentators are speculating
how they could try for the TD and even if it fails, call a time out for the 3pt kick.
Well, my face dropped as the Auburn offense comes out on the field to run a play
just as it seemed the commentators speculated.  I was heart broken, but alas,
needlessly, as they were just using this last play to drain 8 of the ten seconds that
remained on the clock to avoid the need for a kickoff after a successful field goal.
All is history, and a roller coaster game for me and my $25.00 at risk. What a game!

Since: Jan 21, 2007
Posted on: January 11, 2011 9:49 am

BCS Championship Bowl Grade: Oregon

I will hopefully Chip Patterson in the future will not become a teacher, after seeing these grades especially the final grade, I can see a student will have no problem passing his class. Talking about grading on the curve! B-minus? What game were you watching?

Since: Nov 4, 2009
Posted on: January 11, 2011 6:44 am

BCS Championship Bowl Grade: Oregon

Too many questionable calls. Game was just weird to watch, why does everything have to be fixed;.

Since: Jan 11, 2011
Posted on: January 11, 2011 5:40 am

BCS Championship Bowl Grade: Oregon

Chip, how does a D+ and a C and a D result in a B- ???

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: January 11, 2011 5:16 am

BCS Championship Bowl Grade: Oregon

Please explain to me how a D+, a C, and a D = B-?

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or