Q: So why is it that the Ducks always seem to have a bye before playing the Huskies, as they do this year?
A: I’ve gotten this question in several different variations this week, meaning it’s a perception that apparenlty is held by at least a few people out there. Which is interesting since until this year, Oregon actually hasn’t had a bye before facing the Huskies since 1997 — you can check for yourself here looking at Oregon’s yearly results.
Oregon did face Portland State at home before facing UW in 2006, which maybe felt like a bye. But otherwise, it’s actually the Huskies that have had more byes before Oregon than the other way around the last decade. UW had byes before facing Oregon in 2000 and 2005, losing both games — maybe pointing out that it’s really not that big of an advantage to have a bye.
Oregon won that 1997 game after having a bye, and much was made of it at that time, which maybe has led to the perception of the Ducks often having a bye before facing the Huskies. That game knocked a UW team ranked No. 6 at the time out of the top spot in the Pac-10 and was part of three wins in four years by Oregon over UW that marked a turning point in the history of the rivalry.
Oregon also had byes before facing UW in 1991 and 1996, losing both games rather soundly — 29-7 in 1991 and 33-14 in 1996.
But since the formation of the Pac-10 in 1978, there have been just five in-season byes for either team before playing this rivalry — and the team with the bye is 1-4.
Q: I am curious about the ASU timeout that nullified the Erik Folk FG at the end of the half. Did anyone notice if the refs blew the whistle before the ball was snapped? I felt like we had 3 points taken away from us on that one.
A: That’s just the old freezing-the-kicker thing which has been around forever. Steve Sarkisian said after the game he had no issues with it, saying he thought the time out was called from the sideline. Those with long memories may remember that in the 2000 Stanford game, then-Cardinal coach Tyrone Willingham called at least two time outs, and I think all three, prior to John Anderson trying a kick in a similar situation, right before halftime. Anderson made that one.
Q: Does the league ever look at a player who drew an excessive number of personal fouls (like 3 for Vontaze Burfict in the first half) for a suspension or other actions?
A: I’ve never heard of anyone getting any additional punishment simply for drawing a lot of penalties in a game. Obviously, they look at things that happen in games and react if they feel necessary — the LeGarrette Blount situation is proof of that. But I’ve never heard of them taking action against a player simply for getting a lot of penalties in one game. In general, they try to let the on-field officials handle it. Burfict wasn’t thrown out so I wouldn’t think the conference would take any extra look into it. Burfict was removed from the game for a while, and I’m sure that was probably because of all the penalties he was getting — frankly, it was benefiting UW to have him out there as every time he did get whistled it was 15 yards for the Huskies. That’s exactly what Sarkisian said yesterday — the Huskies should just be happy to get the 15 yards and move on.
All for now.