We’ve got our S14 NCAA National Title game coming up here folks — it’s none other than the Western Conference’s regular season champion in Oregon Ducks, going up against the Eastern Conference’s regular season champion, Louisiana State Tigers!
Oregon finished the regular season tied with Texas with identical 11-3 marks, but Oregon possessed home field advantage on the strength of their 2-0 head-to-head record. This would prove to be very critical. After a tight game through the first three quarters, Oregon asserted their strength and authority in the fourth quarter with 10 unanswered points to walk off with a 27-17 victory.
Louisiana State did not have to worry about any regular season tiebreakers as they were able to take advantage of a significantly weakened Eastern Conference, finishing with a nice 10-4 regular season mark [which would be the program’s best in a LONG time] — their closest competitor finished three games back. Who was that? None there than the Miami Hurricanes. In a strange move, Miami trotted their untested freshman quarterback for the Conference Championship game and LSU ate Miami alive, dominating in a 15-0 defensive victory.
Oregon [11-3] by the Numbers
|Pts (Cnf/Lea)||Yds (Cnf/Lea)||Rush (Cnf/Lea)||Pass (Cnf/Lea)|
|Offense||24.1 (2/3)||326.7 (3/6)||139.9 (2/4)||186.8 (3/4)|
|Defense||15.1 (2/2)||309.1 (2/3)||132.6 (2/2)||176.6 (3/5)|
Led by @oilmandan, Oregon has been on the up-and-up with a rapid rebuild following their latest title back in S11. Last season, they qualified for the postseason only to get whipped silly by the University of Texas, who was a team on a mission. This year, the Ducks greatly benefitted from the transfer of quarterback T. Renomitsu, who threw for a NCAA-high 21 touchdowns and had the second-lowest interceptions of all NCAA starting quarterbacks. Running back Danton Howlson ran for 1,832 yards and 18 touchdowns (which would have led the NCAA in just about any other year but this one) and also had a kick return touchdown. No receiver topped 1,000 yards but four had 300+ yards and three others had at least 150 yards on the season.
On the other side of the ball… Oregon’s got quite a nice defense. Cornerback H. Renomitsu led the NCAA in interceptions and linebacker V. Van Boom & safety L. Mac led the NCAA in sacks. This is a well-rounded team that makes plays on defense which complements their offense taking care of the ball very well. The Ducks’ kicker B. Brucie was perfect on all of his extra point attempts and converted 13/20 field goals to go along with the most punts, punt yards and the second-best punting average.