This column following every Oregon football game is designed to highlight some of the aspects of the game that go unseen to those not on the field for the game. I shoot the photography for the football games, and see things that the analysts on TV and fans in the seats just don’t have the angle to see. Here are some of the things you might have missed…
The Grass Was a Bit of an Issue:
There were plenty of divots and bumps on the grass (yes, they use grass and not turf) at University of Phoenix Stadium prior to kickoff, but the field really began to fall apart midway through the second half.
I’m sure none of the players would use it as an excuse – it didn’t have any impact on the game – because both teams had to deal with it. But that’s one of the issues with using a grass field. With turf, you don’t have bumps. This grass was in rough shape.
4 More Years, Chip!
Fans at the game began chanting towards the end of the game, and finished with a resounding and moving “Four More Years!” chant during the post game ceremony. What was missed was a group of players surrounding the stage joining in the chant as well once the fans finished. It was quite inspiring to hear the players who love and respect their coach chant for “Four More Years!”
Lyerla Was Most Effective as a Blocker:
Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla had a strong couple of catches in a crucial TD drive before half time. Some fans have been frustrated with Lyerla not being targeted enough, and that his talents might be under-utilized. This is the guy who was voted “Most Athletic” by his peers.
But what a lot of fans don’t see is just how important he is as a blocker. Lyerla was responsible for several key blocks last night for the Ducks. And even though the season is over, watch for Lyerla as a blocker next season.
Theses were three of the aspects to Oregon’s 35-17 Fiesta Bowl victory over Kansas State that you may have missed during the game. There were issues with the field, inspirational chants by the players and a stud tight end who can both block and catch.