Week 2 - Fresno State at Oregon

Trip Start Sep 01, 2012
Trip End Nov 26, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Oregon
Saturday, September 8, 2012

This game was actually a deviation from the original plan.  Jason was planning on going to the Oregon State - Wisconsin game, but Trent talked us into this one.  The main advantage was that rather than Jason heading to Corvallis with a few other guys the day after getting back from Ireland, the whole family could go to Eugene and stay at Trent's in-laws' house on an acreage for the weekend (which was a much easier sell to Janell).  Plus Wisconsin was already on the docket for later, and Oregon is currently ranked #4.  In hindsight, it would have been pretty cool to see Oregon State knock off Wisconsin, but the Oregon weekend was very fun.  It was also the second straight weekend of the tour that Trent was at the game, too.

Now for the ratings.

Stadium - Autzen Stadium has a reputation for being very loud.  This game wasn't the one to showcase that reputation.  It wasn't very close most of the time, but there were a few tense moments in the 3rd quarter after some Oregon turnovers perked the crowd up.  I've been in louder stadiums (Beaver Stadium in State College, for example), but none the size of Autzen.  It was pretty impressive, and I could see needing earplugs for a game against USC.  Rating: 7 of 10.

Tailgating - We got a sweet tailgating spot near the soccer stadium thanks to Kevin and Dee, Trent's in-laws.  And the spread put on by Trent and Dee was fantastic!  The frame of reference for tailgating is Penn State for Jason and Florida State for Janell, so all tailgating will be compared to those to schools in the mid-90's.  Oregon gets pretty good marks.  Rating: 7 of 10.

The Game - Not much was expected from a game against Fresno State, but it was actually a bit closer than expected, at least through 3 quarters.  Several Ducks turnovers gave Fresno State some hope.  But, the juggernaut that is the Oregon offense was no match for the Bulldogs.  Oregon simply has too many weapons, and the game wasn't within reach the whole 4th quarter.  Rating: 4 of 10.

The Band - This is a tough one to rate.  From a pure show standpoint, it was absolutely, positively the worst show I've ever seen put on by a Division I college marching band.  They simply ran to their spots (not marched, ran), played the cheers for about 10 minutes, and then ran off.  Their uniforms-by-Nike consisted of a baseball hat, a golf shirt, and black pants.  They looked like an alumni band.  The only reason they don't get a 1 rating is because school hasn't started at U of O, yet, and their first day of practice was Wednesday.  I assume they would get a better rating later in the year, but this was a poor effort, especially compared to the Notre Dame band last week.  Rating: 2 of 10.

Fans - For the most part, the fans were very knowledgeable and respectful as individuals.  There was one jerk in our section that yelled at the refs and players the whole game, but he was definitely the exception and not the rule.  There were some Fresno State fans hanging out with Trent's brother-in-law, and they said that the Oregon fans were all very nice to them.  One interesting thing was that the Oregon fans expect to score a touchdown on every drive.  I remember three occurrences when Fresno State pinned them within the 20-yard-line, and I heard Oregon fans say something like they "would just have to go 85 yards" instead of 60 or 70.  The one thing that was a bit distasteful is that as a group there was a LOT of booing when the refs made a call that went against Oregon.  That being said, there was one very strange play where the Oregon quarterback was called out-of-bounds at the 3-yard-line.  Oregon quickly ran another play and scored a touchdown.  However, after the touchdown the refs decided to review the out-of-bounds call on the previous play to see if Oregon had really scored a touchdown instead of stepping out-of-bounds.  The call on the field stood, which not only didn't give Oregon a touchdown on the replay, but also took away the touchdown for the following play.  I would have booed, too.  (Luckily, they scored anyway.)   Rating: 8 of 10.

Best Player - If this award had been given in the first half, it clearly would have gone to De'Anthony Thomas with his 2 touchdowns and electric running style.  However, as the game wore on, it became more and more clear that Kenjon Barner was the player of the game.  The final stat-line of 222 yards from scrimmage and 3 touchdowns pretty much says it all.

Overall Rating - This definitely get a boost due to the hospitality of the Knodes and the Rollings and the great tailgating atmosphere.  A stronger opponent would have made for a better game, which would have boosted the rating, too.  Overall, it was a great weekend.  Rating: 7 of 10
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