Portland beats the Ducks 68-49 for fourth-straight victory
Dec. 21, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal
After going five minutes without scoring to start the second half, the Oregon Ducks got a pair of three-point shots from Jordan Loera to cut a 45-35 deficit to four points, and eventually cut the margin to 49-46.
But, that's as close as Oregon got to the host Portland Pilots, who powered through the end of the game for a 68-49 victory in non-conference women's basketball action Friday afternoon at the Chiles Center.
Sophomore Kari Luttinen scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Pilots, who improved to 5-7 with their fourth-straight victory.
"We're a young team, and we've just settled down in the last stretch of games," Portland coach Jim Sollars said. "We're taking better shots and are able to make a higher percentage of those better shots, and that's showing in our results."
Portland beat three teams from the Big Sky Conference entering the game and have added a Pac-12 team to their resume.
The Pilots play host to Portland State, Dec. 29.
Ariel Thomas scored 12 points to lead Oregon, which dropped to 2-9. The Ducks had a significant sign of optimism on their bench, though, as sophomore Ellizabeth Brenner, fresh from helping the volleyball team to the national championship match, was in street clothes and preparing to regoin the team.
Ducks get beaten by Texas in NCAA Tournament finale, 3-0
Dec. 15, 2012
The Longhorns, competing in their fourth semifinals in the last five years, finally broke through to capture the championship after some narrow misses. It is the Longhorns second NCAA title, and first since 1988. Texas also played in the 1995 and 2009 championship matches, losing to Nebraska and Penn State, respectively.
Texas (29-4) didn’t need too much luck against the Ducks in the title match. The Longhorns posted a .438 hitting percentage — a championship match three-set record — and out-blocked Oregon 15-1.
“They played awesome,” Oregon head coach Jim Moore said. “They played very, very well. Blocked great, passed great, and they deserve [it] — well earned victory for them.”
Texas junior outside hitter Bailey Webster set the tone for the Longhorns with the first kill of the match. She knocked down five kills in the first set en route to a .714 hitting percentage and a dominant Longhorns’ 25-11 victory.
Texas showed off its blocking ability, recording seven team blocks to Oregon’s zero in the first set, including five by freshman middle blocker Molly McCage. The Longhorns also out-hit the Ducks .400 to -.083, as Texas committed just one attack error to Oregon’s 12. Ducks’ senior outside hitter Alaina Bergsma – the AVCA National Player of the Year — did not register a kill in the first set, but did collect five errors in nine attempts.
Volleyball team beats host Nebraska to keep dream season alive
Dec. 9, 2012
OMAHA - The University of Oregon volleyball team celebrated like it had won a national title Saturday, which it took a huge step toward with a four-set win over Nebraska.
Saturday, sixth-ranked Oregon came back from getting blown out in the first set to beat No. 10 Nebraska 15-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-17 in the Omaha Regional final of the NCAA Tournament in front of 9,382 fans at CenturyLink Center.
With the win, the Ducks advanced to the Final Four for the first time in the program's history, and will play top-seeded Penn State Thursday at Louiville, Ky.
Thursday's winner will face the winner of No. 3 Texas vs. unseeded Michigan in the final Saturday night.
Oregon improved to 29-4 on the season. Penn State is 33-2.
"This was a good win for us, but it's also just a step along the way to where we ultimately want to go," Oregon head coach Jim Moore said.
Offensively for Oregon, Pac-12 Player of the Year Alaina Bergsma had a match-high 23 kills to lead the team for the 22nd time this season. That total was also the team's third-highest of the season in a non-five-set match (behind her 32 at WSU and Liz Brenner's 26 vs. BYU on Friday).
Alabama and Notre Dame would just make the BCS Title Game boring
Oct. 27, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
The University of Alabama football team has consistently gotten all the votes for No. 1 in the Associated Press poll and is No. 1 in the BCS Rankings, but that's almost completely because of the team's defense, and that it plays in the Southeastern Conference.
If you've been able to watch the Crimson Tide play via the massive amounts of television coverage available any day of the week, you might come to a cynical conclusion - they're boring.
Yes, defense wins games, but it's also boring to watch a slow-moving, 34-10 victory, or something like that - that's what begins to take hold of Oregon fans after dismantling team after team after team with an offense that can draw criticism for not scoring in less than two minutes on a drive - no matter where it starts.
Sure, the Ducks haven't played the heart of their schedule, but they've run away from all eight of their opponents from the opening kickoff other than the first half against Washington State, which they thumped in the third quarter.
Oregon rolled up six scores against their last two opponents in less than 20 minutes each. Ouch.
Kansas State has rolled through its schedule, too, averaging a 44-17 win through eight consecutive wins. Saturday, the Wildcast blew out Texas Tech, 55-24, outscoring the Red Raiders 42-14 in the second half.
Alabama? The Tide rolled past No 13 Mississippi State 38-7 by scoring on their first three possessions, then going into the fourth quarter ahead only 24-0. On the West Coast, scoring only 24 points in three quarters isn't raising anyone's pulse. But, Alabama at least scores regularly.
Notre Dame? Fighting Irish showed off their America's luckiest team again by surviving an sub-par effort from Oklahoma to secure a 30-13 win that wasn't nearly the victory the score showed. Notre Dame is a solid team, but shows off what might be the nation's lamest play-calling on a weekly basis and wins narrowly.
ND beat Stanford on its home turf in overtime when the Cardinal couldn't drum up a play call other than run to the right on three straight plays from the 1.
ND beat BYU on its home turf, narrowly, after Oregon State won impressively with its back-up quarterback at BYU the week before.
Saturday's game was only the third time the Irish had scored more than 20 points in a game.
Oregon gets passed over by Kansas State in latest BCS Rankings
Oct. 21, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
Oregon State took another step toward the BCS National Championship game Sunday by moving up to No. 7 in the rankings that ultimately decide which two teams play in the final game.
With a home win over Utah moving the team up one more spot, and plenty of season left, there's at least a pathway the team and its fans can take to reach that final game with the right losses by teams ahead of it.
And, currently, there's only six teams ahead of OSU, and they play one of them - Oregon - in four weeks.
Two of the teams ahead of them - Alabana and Florida - would play each other in the SEC championship game if they remain unbeaten, leaving LSU on the outside of that game with no real logic on its side to play in the big game.
Notre Dame has played just well enough to look like a team ready to lose real soon, leaving just Kansas State as the outside threat to the Beavers' run. IF OSU wins out, it would have at least an argument to play in the title game against the SEC winner, unless Kansas State wins out.
The Wildcats don't have a conference title game in the Big 12 and play their primary threat to being unbeaten in Texas Tech on Saturday.
That's the Beavers
Oregon might face the same threat in Kansas State despite being ranked No. 2 in every human poll. In the BCS computer rankings, they're No. 4 behind Alabana, Florida and Kansas State, primarily because of the weakness of its schedule - which originally included Kansas State before the Wildcats got out of that game.
The Ducks still have plenty of opportunity to make the computer happy in the coming month with a Nov. 3 game at USC and then the Civil War against an Oregon State team that might very well be unbeaten and in the Top 5 by then.
What a game the Civil War might be this year. Two unbeaten teams.
Second-ranked Oregon ready to show off what's wrong with the BCS Poll
Oct. 16, 2012
The Oregon football team gets a chance to turn its infrequent flier miles to frequent flier miles Thursday with a Pac-12 Conference game at Arizona State.
The Ducks have played five otheir six games - all wins, at home with just a road win at Arizona having been on the schedule.
Thursday, they play an ASU squad that's 5-1 overall, 3-0, and on the cusp of being ranked.
While the Sun Devils may appear a threat to the Ducks on paper, Oregon has rolled through its opponents this season, getting a mild scare only from Washington State, which it led just 23-19 at halftime. Oregon eventually won 51-26.
Thursday's game will be televised by ESPN.
Following Thursday's game, the Ducks have nine days off before a home game against Colorado, which preceeds a road trip to No. 6 USC that most of the nation views as a preview of the Pac-12 title game and biggest hurdle the team has to a spot in the national championship game.
After a 10-TD performance, and another two scores and 254 yards, Thomas Tyner has the community at Aloha High School looking directly at a second Class 6A state title in three years, something that would still be stunning for a school stuck at the bottom of the Metro League for decades.
The energy starts with Tyner, a senior running back already headed for the University of Oregon. Two weeks ago, Tyner ran for 10 touchdowns in an 84-63 win over Lakeridge. Then, Tyner's two scores and the team's solid defense beat Sunset 13-8 to improve the Apollos to 4-0 overall.
While Tyner's season has dazzled the state and prep fans across the Northwest, there's one number that's got a bit of intruigue in it - 42 - as in times Tyner carried the ball Friday night.
At 42 carries, that's more than 10 per quarter, which is something very few college and no professional coaches would dole out to a running back.
After reading about those 42 carries, it's again intruiguing to wonder if the University of Oregon got in touch with Aloha coach Chris Casey and asked if they had another back who could use some extra work to showcase their skills to the college world?
The U of O, as we know, is all about making things happen in the football world, and that requires healthy players. If Tyner gets the ball 42 times a game and gets worn out before he even gets to Eugene, how's he going to wind up on the cover of Sports Illustrated?
Tyner's 10 TDs, those UO reps could be casually pointing out, were against a defense that gave up 49 points the previous week and 59 points in its next game. Was Tyner the lone player in the Aloha backfield who could've scored more than a couple touchdowns?
And 42 carries. Westview, Aloha's opponent Friday, has given up four or five touchdowns in three of its four games this season.Even if the game is tight like the Sunset game, those same reps could be pointing out a team doesn't win any playoff games in September.
There's likely to be plenty of attention focused on Tyner for the rest of the season, but one misstep and his season, and maybe career, goes onto physical therapy.Forty-two carries is likely to be his career high, and I'd wager a few bacon cheeseburgers at any local restaurant he doesn't get 30 carries in any game - even against Jesuit - until, perhaps, the state final. That's when you know he's gotten the attention of the Ducks, not so much for what he's done on the playing field, but for what the Ducks don't want him doing anymore - getting hurt.
Oregon pounds Washington 52-21 in once-great rivalry game
Oct. 6, 2012
The expected happened Saturday as the second-ranked Ducks beat No. 23 Washington 52-21 in a Pac-12 college football game at Autzen Stadium.
Marcus Mariota threw for 198 yards and four touchdowns as the Ducks (6-0, 3-0) won their ninth-straight game since losing to USC last year, and ninth straight in their series with the Huskies (3-2, 1-1), who were coming off an upset of No. 8 Stanford, which had beaten USC earlier in the season.
Colt Lyerla caught two of the touchdown passes and Kenjon Barner ran for 122 yards for Oregon.
The Ducks play at USC on Nov. 3, a game that will likely be a preview of the Pac-12 title game.
Oregon State continued its drive to be a factor in the Pac-12 title game with a 19-6 win over Washington State, keeping the Beavers unbeaten.
It’s a weird time of the sports year in Portland. The Blazers have five games left and nothing really to play for, so much so it looks like they’re shutting down some key guys. The Beavers and Ducks just opened up spring practice, but there’s nothing really to follow there. Sure the diehards want to see how some of the new signees that manage to get there early do, or who’s going to fill in at any positions vacated by guys leaving for the draft or graduating. In reality, there are no scores, and there’s no news to really follow, and so much can and will change between now and when the season opens that people really only follow it to have something to follow.
College baseball is underway, and the WHL playoffs are underway, but the fanbases for these are much more limited. And then of course there are the Timbers, but they don’t have the built in excitement of an inaugural season to carry the interest of the casual fan. Couple that with their struggles this year, and even the excitement of early season soccer and the Army’s antics aren’t enough to maintain interest or make it enjoyable to be a Portland sports fan.
But never fear, the Sportsland, Oregon crew can find sports stories from across the country to make things interesting. From the NBA playoff picture developing, to the NHL playoffs providing their usual excitement and even more fights than ever, there’s plenty to follow in the world of sports. And of course, don’t forget early season baseball. All that and more on this week’s episode of Sportsland, Oregon.
A Rose Bowl win ends years of frustration for Ducks fans
Jan. 2, 2012
In the first part of this week's episode, it's all Rose Bowl all the time for the Sportsland, Oregon. Los and Derek get togethIer after the game to break down the Ducks' first Rose Bowl victory in 95 years and the first Bowl victory of Chip Kelly's career.
They talk about all the big stars of the game, from De'Anthony Thomas and LaMichael James in the backfield to Kiko Alonso and Lavasier Tuinei as unexpected heroes. Then they discuss the rest of the major bowls and predict the National Championship, all before debating the merits of Andrew Luck as a Number 1 pick and a sure thing.
In Part 2 of their marathon Rose Bowl podcast, Los and Derek make their NFL playoff predictions. With all of the potent offenses in this season's playoffs, it's tough to choose just two that will make the big game, let alone one that will win it.
Finally, Derek provides his send-off and valedictions to the Oregon Ducks' 2011 Football season.
All that, plus the usual segments, including What Plucks My Duck and What Makes Your Beaver Eager, all from Blitz Pearl in Northwest Portland.