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B1G Dawg & Pussycat of the week: Oregon Ducks



Each week I will bring you the Dawg/Pussycat of the week from the Big 10. This could be a player, coach, or school who had an outstanding performance, a great recruiting week, or just an amazing week in general. Opposite of that will be the pussycat of the week. This will be the player, coach, or school who failed to get the job done from the prior week. The only rule is it must be an event that has happened inside the B1G (including the teams joining in 2024) from the previous week.


Awards for the week of October 23rd to October 29th, 2023

This week’s awards feature two teams that will become official members of the Big 10 in 2024. The one team went into their opponent's house and showed them who’s boss. In the win they showed their offense is for real and can put points up on anyone. The other team gets the award for having a defense that has more holes in it than a pasta strainer. The other team was 'most picked' to be in the college football playoff, instead, they have turned a promising season into an absolute disaster. Their defense is so bad their coach called in sick just so he didn’t have to watch them practice.


The Dawg of the week is the Oregon Ducks for dismantling the Utah Utes


The Oregon Ducks left Eugene and headed to Salt Lake City for a top -5 Matchup with the Utah Utes. Utah came into the game riding high after beating USC on the road just a week ago, but it didn’t take the Ducks long to kill that high.


Led by Heisman hopeful Bo Nix (+600) who was able to use his arm and feet to help his Ducks move to 7-1 and get the 35-6 win. In the game, Nix went 24/34 totaling 248 yards and 2 Touchdowns. Nix’s favorite target on the day was junior wide receiver Troy Franklin who caught 8 passes for 99 yards and 1 touchdown. Bucky Irving helped fuel the ground game with 83 yards on 14 carries and 1 TD but also had a fumble loss.


It didn’t take the Ducks long to get on the scoreboard and go up 7-0. On their 1st offensive series, Oregon moved the ball 75 yards in 6 plays and capped off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run by BO. On the next drive, Utah would get the ball down to the Oregon 25 but on a 4th and 1 Bryson Barnes would get stuffed and the Ures turned the ball over on downs. The very next play Nix would hand the ball off to Bucky Irving who would fumble, and the Utes would tune it into 3 points. At the end of the 1st quarter, Nix would hit Jordan James for an 18-yard TD this time capping off a 9-play 75-yard drive to put the Ducks up 14-3.


In the second quarter, Ducks free safety Tysheem Johnson intercepted a pass to give his team excellent field position. It would take the Ducks 5 plays to go the 30 yards to find the endzone. This would put the Ducks up 21-3, Utah would kick another field goal to end the 2nd quarter to make it 21-6.


Down 21-6 and needing points to stay in the game Utah started the 3rd quarter the worse way with a 3 and out. On the ensuing drive, Oregon would score another touchdown, which made the game 28-6 and put the game out of reach for Utah. Oregon would find the endzone one more time on a Traeshon Holden 5-yard run to put the Ducks up 35-6.




In the win, the Ducks showed the country they're not dead yet in the chase for the Pac-12 Championship and a trip to the College football playoffs.


 


The Pussycat of the Week is the USC defense led by Alex Grinch


The Trojans were coming off a loss at home to Utah where their defense gave up 482 yards and were looking for a bounce-back game. Unfortunately, they didn’t get it, yes, they got the win but were just a two-point conversion away from taking their 3rd straight loss.


USC fans after the game were left to ask themselves how is Alex Grinch still employed? and is Lincoln Riley the right man to lead them into the Big 10? Grinch’s defense has been so bad that not even a code breaker from the navy with his undercover ability and an army of scouts to steal the opposing team’s signs could fix it.



Their defense was again the problem giving up 527 total yards to an average Cal team. The 'Big Play' has killed USC all year and this game was no different giving up a 43- and 61-yard touchdown runs to Jaydn Ott. In a game where Cal turned the ball over 4 times, (3 fumbles and 1 interception) there should have been no reason this game was close.



Freshman QB Fernando Mendoza was able to move the ball in the air going 25-39, for 292 yards and 2 Touchdowns, with 1 Interception. Jaydn Ott led the Cal rushing attack with 153 yards on 21 carries, with 3 touchdowns and no fumbles. In the game USC's defense gave up 527 total yards with 292 coming in the air and 235 on the ground.


This USC team was one of the favorites not only to win the Pac-12 but to compete for a national championship at the start of the season. We haven’t hit Halloween yet and the season is already over for USC fans after being beaten by rival ND 48-20 and Utah 34-32. Defense has always been a problem that has plagued head coach Lincoln Riley's teams, for the reason they never play it. After 9 games USC's defense is ranked 9th in the Pac-12, teams are averaging 420.9 total yards per game with 248.8 coming in the air, 172.1 on the ground, and 32.6 points per game.



Alex Grinch better fix this defense fast with their next 2 games coming against the top two offenses in the PAC-12. Because if he doesn’t and both teams put up the numbers most think, Grinch will go from coaching defensive lines to standing in the unemployment line.




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