Thinking As I Go Along…


By Sam Finley, EDN

Bet you didn’t see that one coming on Saturday, did you?  Oh, not that the Ducks would beat Nevada.  I think everyone thought it would be a mismatch, and most had Oregon scoring anywhere from 40 to 50 points.  But a 69-20 victory over the Wolf Pack?  No, that was a little more than I expected.

Oregon running backs coach Gary Campbell has developed a lot of great Ducks since 1983 (Photo Credit: Eric Evans)

Then again, while I thought Darron Thomas would have a better passing game than he did against LSU, I didn’t see him tying a school record with six touchdown passes in one game. That’s why I’ll go out on a limb and say he’ll have a chance to break that record this weekend.  Here’s my prediction:  Oregon 72, Missouri State 10.

Now that I’ve gotten my Saturday prediction out of the way, I have to say I’m still impressed by what I saw from another DT: De’Anthony Thomas.  Let me be clear: I knew he’d be a special player, and I wrote off his two fumbles against LSU as freshman growing pains.

That being said, his putting up around 200 yards of total offense so soon against anyone is a worthy feat.  There’s no question which running back will be getting the handoffs when LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner need a breather.  

Then again, maybe I shouldn’t be so shocked about De’Anthony’s big day. He is, after all, under the tutelage of running backs coach Gary Campbell.  He hasn’t really developed THAT many good backs since 1983. No, aside from Reuben Mayes,Derek Loville, Maurice Morris, Onterrio Smithp, Jonathan Stewart, and LaMichael James (just to name a handful), Campbell has been average at best.

In all seriousness, Gary Campbell has worked wonders as a long time member of the Oregon coaching staff, and is a classy guy to boot.  Hmmm, maybe I should do a profile piece for EDN on him in the near future?  I’ll have to take it up with the sports editor.  But he’s a nice guy who I know better than anyone else, so maybe I can make it happen.

Staying on the topic of Oregon assistants, and I don’t mean to shamelessly self-promote in my column, but you really should check out the fall issue of Eugene Magazine.  I have a short piece about Oregon wide receivers coach Scott Frost, and it’s all about his time at Nebraska and in the NFL, as well as what he likes about working at the U of O.

Moving onto other things, did anyone see Serena Williams’ tasteless behavior at the U.S. Open on Sunday?  That she tried to get away with a distractive shout before Sam Stosur had the chance to hit the ball is despicable by itself.  If she was a young tennis pro playing her first major event, it would be one thing.  Unfortunately, Serena has played long enough to know that kind of tact just doesn’t cut it.

However, continually berating the official after you’ve been (and correctly I might add) penalized a game point is way out of line.  I’m disappointed that the USTA only fined her $2,000 for the shenanigans, but I’m glad that Stosur won.  While Williams whined and moaned, Stosur kept her mouth shut and let her tennis racket do the talking.  Sometimes, good things happen to the right people in the end.

Oregon wide receivers coach Scott Frost is subject of a Eugene Magazine article written by yours truly. (Photo Credit: Eric Evans)

Speaking of the end, maybe it’s time if you’re a Dallas Cowboys’ fan (and thankfully, I’m not) to understand that Tony Romo is not going to hack it as a big-time quarterback.  I had a little chat with a buddy of mine after Dallas built a 24-10 lead against the New York Jets on Sunday night.  My exact words to him were to wait and see: the Cowboys were going to turnover the ball once or twice, and Romo was going to be the guilty culprit.

Moments after I made that statement, Romo fumbled the ball at the Jets’ one yard line.  If he holds on, the ‘Boys probably get at least a field goal and leave New Jersey with a win.  Instead, his botched ball gave the Jets new life, and they found a way to tie it up late.

Then, in the final minute, Tony Romo decided to make up for that mistake by throwing a ball in the same direction as Jets’ cornerback Darrelle Revis.  Everyone, including the ball boy knows that Revis might be the best DB in the NFL right now, and you don’t take that risk.  Why?  Because he’ll likely intercept your pass, and that’s exactly what happened.

It’s also why the Jets won 27-24 on a field goal shortly after Revis’ pick.  If I were a Cowboys’ fan, I’d be calling on owner Jerry Jones to get rid of him after all these choke jobs he’s pulled the last few years.  But again, I’m not, so I guess he’s Dallas’ problem.

My problem right now is I have a lot more to say, but not enough time to write it in.  Maybe that’s why the good folks at EDN let me do this on a weekly basis.  But check out my usual profile piece on Friday.  I, tenatively, have a fascinating piece about a certain member of the Oregon offensive line.  Should be a good read.

In the meantime, I’ll see you in the bleachers.

Sam Finley has been the EDN sports editor since June 2011.  You can e-mail your feedback to him at [email protected]


Sam Finley is a local sports writer and enthusiast. He is a feature writer for Eugene Magazine and a for hire freelance writer. Sam can be reached at [email protected]

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