Did you really expect anything less than complete domination in Oregon’s 70-14 blowout over the Colorado Buffaloes (1-7, 1-4) this past weekend? I mean, the Ducks (8-0, 5-0) have been making their opponents look like JV teams all season. The Oregon Ducks football team has outscored opponents by 272 points in their eight games. That’s 34.0 PPG!
But what’s to stop the Ducks from getting complacent? Why bother getting up for a beat down? Because Oregon “Wins The Day.” It’s that simple. Oregon head coach Chip Kelly has emphasized the Win the Day motto so much that it has become engrained in the mindset of Oregon’s players and coaches.
When you enter as a 47.5-point favorite, up against a team many didn’t expect to win a single game, you need some form of motivation to keep you enthused.
It’s more than just the game against Colorado. As I mentioned earlier, Oregon has a margin of victory of 34.0 per game. The Ducks have played subs in every single game of the season, where it would be easy to simply step back and let teams run ramped over the twos and threes. And at times, teams have.
Oregon has been known as a “second-half team” over the past half decade, but the first half of the season didn’t match that sentiment. Oregon has outscored 42-14 in the second half of their first two games. Big second halves against Tennessee Tech, Arizona and Washington State brought that perception back quickly.
The reason I mentioned the second half performances is because the Win The Day mantra isn’t just for the stars of the team, but rather every single player. You can’t take a play day, play or second off. When you let your guard down, you’ll pay for it.
As recent history has taught us, you can never overlook an opponent. In 2004, Oregon fell to a terrible Indiana Hoosiers team that went on to win two total games. In 2007, there were the infamous Michigan vs Appalachian State game and the USC vs Stanford games, and most recently Oregon State falling to Sacramento State last season.
Win The Day means win everything you do. Win the weight room. Win film study. Win every aspect of everything you do. So far, that’s exactly what Oregon has done.
But, no longer is the time of running over teams and needing the extra Win the Day mindset. It is a given. Oregon will take on a ranked USC team week, before playing Cal, Stanford and Oregon State. There is no safe game remaining. But if you ask coach Kelly, there’s never a safe game, ever. Not even Colorado.
So while hearing over and over again from players and coaches about how they’re not looking ahead, only focused on their next opponent, believe it. Nobody prepares like the Ducks.
In order to go undefeated, play in the national championship, and bring home that crystal trophy, you have to Win the Day. Always.