Pity Ducks: Oregon and their top-flight Cheerleaders are coming, but the game is not anti-climactic, since the Ducks’ starting QB is injured, while UCLA’s Starting QB is back
From a certain loss, to an epic battle.
That’s what happens when you lose or gain a QB, the most important player on any team. The Ducks had won 4 straight, on the strength of the legs of their nimble Quarterback, Jeremiah Masoli, and were expected to give the struggling Bruin D fits all day. In addition, the Bruins’ Offense has been floundering under the leadership of back-up QB Kevin Craft. But what a difference a week makes. Now Masoli is injured and may not be on the field on Saturday, while the Bruins’ Kevin Prince has been cleared to play by Doctors, and named the Starter by the Coaches. The pointspread just went from 6.5 to 3.5.
For the people who thought Craft would remain the Starter when Prince returned, it looks like you are incorrect. For those of us who have been eagerly awaiting Prince’s return to health, it looks like we get our wish. And to make matters even more pleasant, Richard Brehaut has been elevated over Craft as well, up to #2 on the depth chart.
Don’t expect miracles from Prince, who will understandably be rusty, but a rusty Prince is better than a well-oiled pauper. The play-calling should improve from the conservative gameplan of the last two games, reflecting the staff’s confidence in Prince’s ability to heave the ball downfield, and that fact alone is enough to stimulate Bruin fans.
With Masoli out, the Bruins’ D will still have their work cut out for them. Even though Oregon is also without their star Tailback (who got suspended for going nuts in Boise), the Ducks’ misdirection scheme will confound UCLA’s defenders, even more than KSU’s Offense did. The Bruins admitted after that game that they didn’t always know where the ball was going, or even who had the ball at any given moment. Oregon is the best at deception, and even though the back-up QB is not exceptionably mobile, the confusion factor will still allow the Ducks to put lots of points on the board. And that is especially true if the Bruins don’t improve on their lackluster effort last week in Palo Alto. Hopefully, a healthier unit will come together and be solid against the Ducks.
One thing is for sure: There will be plenty to see when the Ducks (and their Cheerleaders) take the field on Saturday, and if the Bruins can come out on top on the field (like they will on the sidelines), then the Bruins will be 4-1, and on the verge of a halfway-decent season.