Oregon Ducks Football: What Happened to Thunder Green and Lighting Yellow?


As the Oregon Ducks lined up for their 4th down in the second overtime period against Washington State, down 7 points, my pizza was getting cold. This time, I gave in, gave up all hope, and began to enjoy my pizza. I didn’t bother to watch the final play. I looked up to see a swarm of Wazzu players celebrating; I couldn’t help but laugh. All of a sudden, it felt like 2004 again. Eugene was silent. Silence is the biggest indicator of a major problem.

After watching USC’s season take a massive hit as the Trojans lost to Washington at home, followed by learning that their coach, Steve Sarkisian would be taking a leave of absence, I felt that Oregon would not be at that kind of low point. How wrong I was.

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I was very impressed by the job that Cougars coach Mike Leach and his staff did last week. I quickly fell in love with quarterback Luke Falk‘s throws. He will soon be one of the conference’s elite quarterbacks. Regardless of the result, the Cougars showed something that the Ducks did not: Grit. Oregon showed no fight. Head coach Mark Helfrich said that he thought the “effort was there.” His own players disagreed, with defensive back Tyree Robinson suggesting that the Cougars “maybe wanted it more.”

I loved how Leach boasted about his program, downplayed Oregon’s fanciness, and followed it up with a well-earned victory in Eugene. Oregon’s latest loss has many believing they won’t even make a bowl game. Yet, in all actuality, this could still be a 10 win season. Sadly, that’s a longshot. Vernon Adams Jr. is the only option at QB. I repeatedly endorsed Jeff Lockie and his abilities, only to be proven wrong again and again. Taylor Alie has some strengths, but the lack of trust from coaches in regards to his passing abilities makes him far too predictable.

Remember when Oregon would sport some sort of green and yellow every weekend? Those were the Oregon teams that were known to play with the energy and fight that the Cougars showed on Saturday. It’s turned into a uniform show. Each game this season has featured a flashy uniform combination, or a new addition to the uniform closet. When will the madness end?

There’s half a season of football that remains to be played, and Oregon’ season is in doubt. This team hasn’t earned the right to wear green and yellow yet. Their only green and yellow uniform combination came against Utah, a 42 point loss at home; an unfortunate discredit to a uniform historically iconized by the Ducks’ statement win over a previously undefeated Florida State team in the 2015 Rose Bowl game. The current Ducks are at crossroads with two options: One of roads has never been traveled, and it features lots of flashiness but uncertainty. The other road is quite familiar; it’s green and yellow.

Figure out the rest.

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