Michael Slade's Blog
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I watched most of Saturday's 48-13 blowout down in Tempe. Speaking as a jaded, heart-broken-many-times lifelong Oregon Duck fan, I have to say that this year's team may be the best I have ever seen, rivaled only by the 1998 team. You'd think I'd say the 2001 team, which got jobbed out of a title game spot by the BCS and had to settle for #2 after shellacking Colorado in the Fiesta Bowl. And yes, that team had Joey Harrington, Maurice Morris and a two-year record of 21-3. But the 1998 team, with Reuben Droughns and Akili Smith, was 5-0 and ranked in the top 10 when it lost a 41-38 heartbreaker at UCLA, a game I saw, a game where Reuben D. BROKE his leg and kept playing. But I digress ...This 2006 Duck team is scary. Sophomore running back Jonathan Stewart ... is scary. He rambled for 85 yards on 11 carries, and also broke a 63-yarder to finish up 12-for-148. And that's with a bad ankle. Junior quarterback Dennis Dixon ... is scary. He runs, he passes. Sometimes their most dangerous formation is when he has no running backs behind him. The defense can't assume he's going to pass. He might be the best running back on the team. And then there's monster wide receiver Jason Williams, who went over 100 yards receiving for the third game this season. The Ducks, after piling up 501 yards against Oklahoma, piled up 574 against an overrated Sun Devil team. Oh yea, all of this was in 100-degree heat. This coming weekend the 4-0 Ducks travel to Berkeley to take on the equally scary Cal Golden Bears. After watching USC squeak by WSU on TV, it's possible that this Duck-Bear test could be for all the Pac-10 marbles. It should be interesting.

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