September 4, 2009
The Mourning After: Sloppy Play and Sucker Punches
In what was suppose to be a rite of passage, turned into one of the uglier nights in recent memory. The beginning of the college football season is suppose the greatest time of the year. It's like Christmas three months early. Only one problem though about this Christmas, Scrooge showed up.
I didn't know what to expect from the North Carolina State-South Carolina game, but I didn't expect a 7-3 slopfest. NC State fumbled on their first possession, which lead to a South Carolina touchdown. That would be the only scoring in the game besides a late field goal by NC State. This game made the 1-0 Phillies-Giants game from Tuesday seem exciting. But there was a payoff, the Boise State-Oregon game.
The Broncos-Ducks game was suppose to be an offensive bonanza. Just the opposite happened. The game from the beginning featured fumbles, turnovers, and field goals. But the end of the Boise St.-Oregon game is what everyone will be talking about for a long time.
After the game ended, Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount suckered punched Boise St. defensive lineman Byron Hout. After that Blount hit one of his own teammates, tried to go after Boise St. fans in the stadium and had to be pulled to the locker room by a group of people that included police officers, security personnel, and an Oregon coach. And this was the first game featuring a pregame hand shake between the two teams.
Blount was the player who before the game stated that "Boise St. was owed an ass-whupin" in return for last year's Oregon loss to Boise St. He also talked about how he had to control his emotions during the game. Obviously, Blount failed to control those emotions.
Now the Boise St. player(Byron Hout) is not without blame. He taped Blount on the shoulder and reminded Blount that he didn't back up his words. Hout should and will probably suspended himself. Boise St. coach Chris Petersen said that he would take care of Hout himself. Either way though Blount's actions were deplorable.
Blount should at least be suspended a couple of games if not kicked out of the school completely. He embarrassed himself, his school, and college football. Emotions get to the best of us, I understand that. But your emotions shouldn't get to you to a point where you are throwing haymakers. Oregon has to do something with Blount.
The most disturbing part of the game was the lack of leadership that Oregon showed.
Chip Kelly replaced longtime Oregon coach Mike Belotti in the offseason after Bellotti accepted the schools Athletic Director's role. Kelly gave Oregon fans new hope for their team. Kelly is suppose to be an spread offense guru along the lines with Urban Meyer. And the offensive display in the game showed by Oregon was just pathetic.
Oregon failed to make a first down until midway through the third quarter. Oregon couldn't run the ball, pass the ball, or even block. They came into the game completely unprepared. And their effort was just putrid.
Kelly was also disrespected several times on the sideline during the game. Players scoffed in his face. Another player yelled at him Bellotti undermined Kelly's authority by going to the sidelines and in front of Kelly's entire team, offered advice. I guess their is a difference between being a head coach and a person sitting in a box calling plays.
Kelly still has time to cut his teeth and learn how to become a head coach. But if Oregon shows up like that unprepared against USC, Cal, or Oregon State, then he won't last long in Eugene.
In the end, Blount has to go. Oregon can't afford to have all of this negative attention brought down upon them by Blount. And Hout should also be suspended for provoking Blount.
This was not the way I wanted the college football season to start. And I don't think it's the way the rest of the nation wanted it to start either.