2019 Oregon Football Season Preview Told By Famous Duck Quotes

EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 13: Quarterback Justin Herbert #10 of the Oregon Ducks scrambles against defensive lineman Greg Gaines #99 of the Washington Huskies in the first half of the game at Autzen Stadium on October 13, 2018 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 13: Quarterback Justin Herbert #10 of the Oregon Ducks scrambles against defensive lineman Greg Gaines #99 of the Washington Huskies in the first half of the game at Autzen Stadium on October 13, 2018 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /

The greatest quotes in the history of the University of Oregon might just be the best way to organize all my hopes and dreams for the 2019 Oregon Football team.

I’ve already accumulated a bunch of 900+ word “articles” on this site that definitely toe the line between informative and straight up nonsense, so I figure I might as well pull another page straight from the Bill Simmons book of sports blogging and do a series of 2019 Oregon Football season previews based on famous quotes.

In this case, I’ve picked a handful of famous quotes connected to the University of Oregon, so you can look forward to this series being steeped in rich UO history with quotes from esteemed Ducks like Bill Bowerman, Chip Kelly, and Cliff Harris.

Without further ado, let’s take on the offense in part one:

“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” – Steve Prefontaine

I’ll start things off with the most famous—and most important—University of Oregon quote of all time. Steve Prefontaine was known to be just as quotable as he was willing to push himself beyond his limits, and his lasting myth will always be connected to this quote—that he may or may not have fully lived by himself.

Despite the complexity of his legacy, Pre’s words can certainly serve as a warning to our fearless fisherman, Justin Herbert. Duck fans all know that Herbie is seriously gifted, and the whole country knows it too. The crucial question of the 2019 season will be whether or not he can put turn all his physical gifts/unquestioned smarts/his offensive weapons into the kind of on-field results that will make him worthy of that Heisman trophy that we all know is his for the taking.

There is no doubt in my mind that Herbie has fought an uphill battle from the second he came into the program as a freshman. He has had three different head coaches in his time, shuffling through three different offensive schemes in the meantime. He has battled injuries, sub-par play calling, and a disease of drive-killing dropped balls that even the Dark Ages would refer to as plague-like.

Considering everything he has had to fight against on his road to hometown hero status, Justin has totally earned the praise.

While I run the risk of putting too much expectation on him, 2019 is absolutely Justin’s for the taking. Much like you all, I want to see him get over the hump and throw gamebreaking long bombs like Darron, lead gritty-as-hell comeback victories like Joey, and most importantly I want to see him seize his Heisman moments like Marcus.

This section’s quote might as well be “Carpe Diem” but I think it’s important that we all admit that we haven’t yet seen Herbie reach the peak of his abilities, and that we also get jazzed up to see him get there in 2019.

“We’re just a bunch of fat kids livin’ a dream.” – Jeff Kendall

When Jeff Freakin’ Kendall stepped into Jim Rome’s jungle, you bet he had a couple hot takes, and he definitely didn’t suck. Jeff spoke to a lot of different issues surrounding Oregon football circa. 2007 (Pre-Tucson) and while he was certainly passionate about his fellow offensive line being doubted, and the general east coast bias against the then Pac-10 Conference, he really just wanted to remind Jim Rome that he was just flat out happy to be in the position that he was in.

Judging by the general size and physicality that Cristobal has emphasized during his tenure at the top, it’s one thing to say that the Ducks are big on both sides of the ball, and it’s a whole other thing to clarify just how excited everyone should be about it.

More from Autzen Zoo

Our offensive line is at or near the top of every preseason hype list based on talent alone, but they’re immensely experienced and built with the kind of depth that can only instill confidence. Shane Lemieux, Jake Hanson, and Calvin Throckmorton are all sure to be starting as battle-proven seniors. They’ll be joined by Alex Forsyth and future top ten NFL Draft pick Penei Sewell, and that’ll round out an especially Grade-A block of beef that nobody in the country will want any beef with.

Not to mention they’ll all be backed up by 300+ lbs. seniors Dallas Warmack and Brady Aiello, that are sure to get their fair-share of time in the trenches. The last time I can recall this particular combination of depth and talent on the O-Line would be back in Kendall’s time, and that crew wasn’t nearly as hyped or respected nationally as this 2019 unit is.

For the first time since I can remember, the Oregon offensive line is considered to be one of the best in the nation, and the fact that they know it. They’re just a bunch of fat kids livin’ a dream, and that dream is to be every Husky/Tiger/Cougar’s worst nightmare.

“We’re gonna go drink some Dr. Pepper and mail our Christmas presents with UPS.” – Chip Kelly

After winning the Inaugural Pac-12 Championship Game over UCLA in 2011, the ever-glib Chip Kelly was interviewed during the trophy presentation. Being a man of astute situational awareness, Chipper proclaimed live on TV that the Ducks planned to celebrate by, “drink some Dr. Pepper and mail our Christmas presents with UPS.”

This quote is definitely random in or out of context, and it’s only made slightly random by the fact that the game’s two main sponsors were Dr. Pepper and UPS, and again only made marginally a bit less random by the fact that Chip later became a spokesperson for UPS in the name of efficiency (read: money). However, if there was anything the Oregon offense was lacking in 2018, it was a receiving core that possessed 23-flavor’s-worth of sweetness, and “What can brown do for you?”-esque reliability.

With Dillon Mitchell’s departure to the NFL, Herbie’s options in the passing game have certainly become unclear at a first glance, but I think there is a combination of youthful talent and veteran leadership bubbling up to the surface.

While Junior Jaylon Redd took a step forward last year, and is sure to take another one coming into 2019, I think the sweetest thing stepping into the slot this season is going to by four-star freshman Mycah Pittman.

Going back and watching some of Mycah’s Calabasas H.S. highlight film showed me that he has the lateral quickness of a young Josh Huff, and the straight up speed to beat a corner deep like good ol’ Sammie Parker.

Pittman also has specifically stated that his hands are a point of pride for him, and that’ll be a huge factor as a slot receiver that could be looking at bullet passes in tight spaces from an arm talent like Herbie. Mycah’s strong hands will be a must, and I’m even more stoked about what he’ll be able to do with the ball after he catches it.

Mycah brings in a much needed combination of sweet and safe, but the youthful electricity would be even better if it were complimented by a wise and seasoned mentor, like the one he has already found in grad-transfer Juwan Johnson. Johnson is nationally-renowned for delivering highlight reel plays while he was at Penn State, and luckily his most famous catches are ones that also show off his unquestioned reliability.

Juwan’s knack for snagging really tough balls out of the air one-handed may not be as necessary now that he has Herbie throwing to him as opposed to the admittedly less-accurate Trace McSorley. However, it never hurts to have the strength of a 6’4” 229 lb wideout, who also has the athleticism to go up and turn a regular 50/50 ball into something closer resembling 80/20 in our favor.

Whether new or old, the Ducks receiving corps stand to see an increase in Dr. Pepper-like sweetness, and efficiency that Chip Kelly AND the United Parcel Service would be proud of.

Whelp, that’s it for the offense.

What other famous Oregon quotes could be applied to the defense? The world may never know.

 I’m sure that part two will be coming soon, but your guess is as good as mine.

Go Ducks!