After watching the LSU Tigers dismantle the Oregon Ducks, I was convinced of two things. One is that LSU has a stout defense with a ton of team speed. Two is that Oregon was a little overrated. Going into the game I sort of knew these things, but last night confirmed them. Oregon lost a lot of talent from last season’s team which was a drive and a field goal away from winning the BCS National Championship. Sure they returned some key players on offense, but the holes on both sides of the ball were far too large to compete against an elite team like LSU.
I think the suspension of Cliff Harris may have had the greatest impact of all the penalties. This includes the Jordan Jefferson and Russell Shepherd suspensions. Not only is Harris one of the best DBs in the country, he maybe the best return man. Last night, Oregon’s special teams was dismal and it cost them. They lacked leadership on the defensive side of the ball, and that happens when a Cliff Harris is forced to sit out and when a Casey Matthews graduates.
Another major flaw to the 2011 Oregon Ducks is their offensive line. The only have 56 career starts combined on this year’s unit. Against a tough and quick Tiger front set, they stood no chance. The Ducks O-Line are not bruisers, they rely on lateral movement, quickness and timing. The later was off and they were exposed.
Oregon still has enough talent to win the Pac-12, but they aren’t even close to the team they were a year ago. Writers and Coaches alike should already know that when a team loses that much up front on both sides of the ball, its going to take some time to gel. There was no way Oregon should have been ranked even in the top 10. LSU deserves their ranking, and maybe they are a little underrated. Oregon has to work their way back up after being dismantled by the Bayou Bengals in Jerry’s World last night. Cool uniforms though.