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Civil War Predictions, Players of the Week
Monday, December 6, 11:30 p.m. PT

I swear, July and August lasted a decade while September until December went by in a week. A dozen games are in the books (a dozen wins, by the way) and the regular season is over. Which also means the Duck Feed predictions are complete for 2010.

Not a bad year as it turns out. Your resident picker stumbled a bit  down the stretch, but ended on a winning note and raised the bar slightly from last season. So, without further delay, to the picks:

1. Ducks are good for one trick play in the game.
Correct. I'm not sure there are any real tricks left that haven't been turned on a football field, but you know what I mean. Michael Clay's 64-yard dash on a fake punt qualifies. It was a bold (or replace with the adjective of your choice) call, executed to perfection. The initial hole at the line of scrimmage was big enough for my 4-year old daughter to run through for the first down - before being ruled ineligible for being 4 years old - but it was Clay's effort down field in making would-be tacklers look silly that made it such a monster play.

2. The Ducks will have two or more interceptions.
Correct. The number ended up being four, equaling a season-high. Oregon's turnover margin, once tops in the land this season, hasn't been as lopsided in recent games, but going up against a first-year quarterback who had struggled when consistently pressured made this an attractive call.

3. Three TDs for Darron Thomas.
Incorrect. Thomas was efficient, tossing a pair of touchdowns against no interceptions, but only ran the ball (officially) once. I was expecting a bigger point total from the Ducks in this one, but a couple of early fumbles likely took additional points off the board.

4. Oregon records a season-high for road points
Incorrect. See above. My only experience at Reser Stadium prior to Saturday featured 65 points by the Ducks in 2008, which obviously tainted my outlook.

5. LaMichael James is the game's leading rusher.
Correct. That might have seemed like a given, considering James leads the NCAA in rushing. But Oregon State's top back isn't too shabby. James bested fellow Texan Jacquizz Rogers 134-87 in rushing yards, but Rogers carried the ball six fewer times. Thankfully, I wasn't coordinating the Beaver offense because I would have run Quizz or flipped it to him in the flat on every down until he couldn't stand up.

Weekly mark: 3-2 (.600) • Season mark: 36-25 (.590)

OREGON PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
The game has been played, the film has been studied, and the Oregon coaching staff has determined the team's top performers for the regular season finale. Following is a list of last week's game ball winners:

Offense: Kenjon Barner (133 rushing yards, 8.9 yards per carry, 2 TDs)
Defense: Casey Matthews (sack, 2 tackles for loss)
Special Teams: Michael Clay (64-yard rush on fake punt, also had an interception on defense)

 

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