Thursday night’s game against Arizona State was supposed to be the first true road test for No. 2 Oregon. Any questions leading up to the game about how the Ducks would respond — redshirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota in particular — were answered about two minutes in. A Kenjon Barner fumble on the Ducks’ first offensive possession was recovered by the Sun Devils, and Taylor Kelly threw a 28-yard touchdown to receiver Kevin Ozier seven seconds later to give ASU a 7-0 lead.
That was about the only thing that went right for ASU. Barner responded with a 71-yard touchdown run on Oregon’s next possession. After that, it was all Oregon all the way to halftime (which metaphorically signaled the end of the game). The entire second half was essentially garbage time and the Ducks went on to beat ASU 43-21.
It’s tough not to be impressed with Oregon, especially on defense. Say what you will about the Ducks’ schedule, but it’s not like Alabama has played anyone worthy of being called a quality win either. The Tide’s best win so far is the season-opener against Michigan, and the Wolverines haven’t exactly lived up to the preseason hype.
But Alabama’s a good football team. So is Oregon, and the two programs have a lot more in common than you might think. Nick Saban and Chip Kelly may run different schemes, but they have instilled a similar identity in their respective programs that’s proven successful over the past few years. That, and they have great players.
Does that mean those two will meet in the BCS championship at year’s end? Not necessarily; there’s a whole second half of a football season left to be played. The good news is that contenders like Oregon, Alabama, Kansas State, Florida and even Notre Dame all have key games remaining on their schedules. We’ll find out over the next six weeks who’s for real and who isn’t.
If Oregon keeps playing the rest of the season like it did tonight, though, there’s no reason to think the Ducks won’t be seriously in the BCS championship conversation once again. And they’ll deserve to be there.
Less than two weeks after leaving the Pac-12, Casey Hughes has landed in the Big Ten.
Jan. 10, Hughes announced on Twitter that he had decided to transfer from Utah. Over the weekend, the defensive back confirmed that he will be transferring into the Michigan football program.
Hughes joins Jim Harbaugh‘s squad as a graduate transfer, which will allow him to use his final season of eligibility with the Wolverines this year.
Hughes started 11 games in 2017 for the Utes, missing two others because of injury. After taking a redshirt as a true freshman in 2014, the North Las Vegas native played in 18 the next two seasons. He didn’t start any of those contests.
After a brief sabbatical, Lindsey Scott is back in the SEC.
Scott confirmed on his personal Twitter account Monday evening that he has committed to continuing his collegiate playing career at Missouri. Per his social media missive, the quarterback opted for Mizzou over FBS programs like Kansas and UT-San Antonio.
A three-star member of the LSU’s 2016 recruiting class, Scott was rated as the No. 26 dual-threat quarterback in the country and No. 54 player at any position in the state of Louisiana. He took a redshirt his true freshman season.
In August of last year, Scott decided to transfer from the Tigers. He spent the 2017 season at Last Chance U, otherwise known as East Mississippi Community College.
After a brief junior-college pit stop, Keenan Forbes is back at a Power Five program.
Washington State confirmed over the weekend that Forbes has been added to the football program’s 2018 signing class. The offensive lineman has already enrolled in classes at the university and is expected to take part in spring practice in a couple of months.
Counting 2018, Forbes will have three seasons of eligibility at his disposal.
A three-star member of Iowa State’s 2016 recruiting class, the Florida high schooler chose ISU over his other finalist, Temple. After redshirting as a true freshman, Forbes opted to transfer from the Cyclones.
Forbes spent the 2017 season at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas.
It appears Urban Meyer‘s coaching staff at Ohio State will (for now) remain intact after all.
Over the weekend, reports surfaced that Ryan Day was considering leaving his job as Ohio State’s quarterbacks coach to join former OSU assistant and newly-minted NFL head coach Mike Vrabel as the offensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans. A day later, one report has Day eschewing the NFL opportunity and remaining with Meyer and the Buckeyes.
Day just completed his first season with the Buckeyes, serving as both co-coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He has been a solo coordinator twice in his coaching career — at Temple in 2012 and then in 2013-14 at Boston College.
Prior to coming to OSU, Day was the quarterbacks coach for the San Francisco 49ers in 2016 and spent the 2015 season in the same job with the Philadelphia Eagles. Those were his first two stints at the NFL level.
Given that OSU will be breaking in a new quarterback in 2018, keeping Day on the staff is a significant win for Meyer’s program.