Friday, November 9, 2012

Soaring, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. After last week's tough road test in Southern California, the Ducks have another crucial Pac 12 contest tomorrow in Berkeley, as the Cal Bears try to spoil Oregon's dream season. Last week, the Duck's offense looked just as explosive than ever, as Mariota and the boys dropped 62 on the Trojan defense to lead them to a perfect 9-0 record. Kenjon Barner put himself in the Heisman spotlight, rushing for a career-high 321 yards and found the end zone five times. I may be a bit bias, but Barner's season stats are second to none as far as the Heisman race goes. With three regular season games left, Barner has already rushed for nearly 1300 yards and 19 touchdowns. What makes this most impressive, is the fact that he is putting up these kind of numbers while only playing in one full game so far this season. By the way, that full game was against a preseason #1 on the road. Although the speedy Oregon offense may be better than ever, their defense will have to step their game up from last week's performance. Before the USC game, the Duck D was stellar, but the secondary didn't quite show up to the party last week. True, SC does have two spectacular wide-outs in Robert Woods and Marqise Lee receiving the ball from a talented Matt Barkley, but I don't think they should be able to put a 50 spot on the scoreboard. To our credit, we did get the stops when it mattered most. Tomorrow shouldn't be to big of a task, but Cal always plays the Ducks close, so it won't be a total cakewalk. This is just another stop on Oregon's way to another Natty.
I know we're less than two weeks into the NBA season, but there have been some pretty big story lines thus far. Let's start with the struggling Lakers. Sitting at 1-4 on the season, the Lakers haven't been looking to sharp with the new addition of Dwight Howard. Although Howard himself is playing at a high level, it just doesn't seem to mesh very well. Their lone win on the season is against the Pistons, who aren't particularly the toughest competition out there. The good thing for them, is that they have plenty of time to adjust before it is too late. Another hot topic is the new back court of the Houston Rockets. Consisting of James Harden and Jeremy Lin, the Rockets have gone from cellar dwellers to contenders overnight. Harden is leading the league in scoring, averaging over 30 PPG while Lin is back at it again averaging 7 assists and 3 steals. It looks like the west is going to be loaded this year, and it's going to be a fun season to watch.

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