Kostecka: No natty? The Ducks got what they deserved this season

Oregon junior running back De'Anthony Thomas (6) cracks a smile as he is acknowledged by the Oregon fan section while the game draws to a close. The No. 5 Oregon Ducks play the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Ariz. on Nov. 23, 2013. (Michael Arellano/Emerald)

Oregon junior running back De'Anthony Thomas (6) cracks a smile as he is acknowledged by the Oregon fan section while the game draws to a close. The No. 5 Oregon Ducks play the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Ariz. on Nov. 23, 2013. (Michael Arellano/Emerald)

Posted by Ryan Kostecka on Thursday, Dec. 5 at 6:00 pm.

Christmas came early for De’Anthony Thomas.

A week after Thomas stated that the Rose Bowl “feels like whatever,” he will get what he wants when he plays in a sub-par bowl, something he’s never done while wearing green and yellow.

Instead of continuing to “win the day,” Oregon’s high-profile players pouted like 5-year-old children who didn’t get ice cream for dessert after their national championship run was ruined.

What happened to Oregon? When did the players’ egos get so big that the Rose Bowl is not good enough?

Supposed team leaders Josh Huff and Thomas spoke to the media prior to Oregon’s game against Arizona and summarized that the Rose Bowl is a “consolation prize” for the Ducks.

Huff said, “I don’t want to play in a Rose Bowl unless I’m playing for a national championship,” while Thomas added “It’s not a big deal at all – we already won a Rose Bowl, so it feels like whatever.”

The Ducks prided themselves in winning the day, treating every opponent with respect and focusing on what they can control and the game in front of them.

All of that went out the window when Thomas and Huff decided to open their mouths.

Oregon played like they didn’t want to go to the Rose Bowl when they traveled to Tucson to face Arizona. Watching the game in the stands, it was obvious there was no heart, no emotion and no sense of urgency in a team playing for a chance to go to the Pac-12 Championship and the Rose Bowl (Marcus Mariota’s tackle after his second interception showed the most heart in Saturday’s game.)

While no Ducks will admit it, the stuff your leaders say generally reflect the mindset of the team. If your leaders are willing to run through a wall for a win, the team is likely to follow. If your leaders speak garbage, it’s a general sense that most of the players are feeling/thinking the same thing.

This isn’t the first time Oregon players have “spoken out” either.

Thomas said before the Stanford game that the Ducks will score “at least 40 points” and we all know how that turned out. He also proclaimed himself physically ready to play after his ankle injury. But mentally, he was far from ready.

Freshman running back Thomas Tyner even got in on the action early in the year when he was quoted as saying, “I think this season we’ll have a really good chance at the national championship.”

It’s one thing if you can back up the smack talk, but for players like Huff, Thomas and Tyner, their play hasn’t always backed up their talk. While all three have had very good statistical seasons, mistakes have overshadowed positive play. Each have been guilty of dropped balls and fumbles at costly times during games that helped lead to both losses.

Oregon needs to look deep within themselves and re-examine what’s important. “Win the day” is not something you just say. It’s something you do, something you live. Somewhere along the line the Ducks forgot that.

Follow Ryan Kostecka on Twitter @Ryan_Kostecka

  • Jonathan Riley

    Didn’t this get it’s day in court already? People have moved on, no news here.

  • Doug

    I agree with ever single word you say. My only addition is a feel that it’s just as much if not more the coaches fault for allowing 21 year olds to speak for everyone and for becoming complacent

  • Steve Snowden

    Pretty big words for a freshman reporter Kostecka. Can you back up your own smack talk? Pretty easy to pick on kids when you know they can’t respond to you! Just saying…

    • Luke Bogash

      Is any of it untrue? Get your feelings hurt?

      • Chef Kody

        Yes, Thomas never said WILL score 40 he said they SHOULD score 40. So that’s untrue.

  • Palms

    Sounds like someone is hoping to become the next Canzano

    • ZnarkDuck

      Canzano is right a lot of the time, if not most… If you can’t handle the fire (*truth) go be a beav/fuskie fan.

  • Hal Lynch

    Mostly correct. But targeting on players rather than coaches was not fair to players considering they are kids. Playing with no heart was also not justified. I saw they all played hard just not in right mood. I have to say the failed high expectation season was mostly to do with coaches. Now I am a lot more appreciated with Chip’s philosophy than his play calls.

  • DC

    While this article is about a week or so late you make good points. I would agree with you that their comments are a reflection of the team. I would however, go a step further and state that it is a bigger reflection of the leadership at the top. In my humble opinion, it would have sent a very strong message to the rest of the team to bench those players for the Arizona game….You don’t have any interest in playing in one of the most prestigious and tradition-laced college football games? That’s fine, sit on the bench and watch your teammates fight to represent their school and each other in a Rose Bowl. One of the biggest criticisms we as Duck fans face is our lack of a winning tradition. A collection of Rose Bowl championships is a great start to establishing the history we currently lack.

  • thepar

    When you get cocky and RUN your mouth,you get your words SHOVED down your throats!! VShut up and do what you came here to do PLAY FOOTBALL!! Chip would not had allowed the players to run their mouths!!

    • The Babysitter

      Hey, I realize you’re very young, but your logic is so flawed mention must be made. According to what you’re saying, Chip ‘allowed’ his players to steal laptops, smoke the evil weed on I-5 while speeding, and everything else that happened to go wrong under his tenure.

      • thepar

        Maybe should try to understand,what i said! You really dont have a clue do you! I know why you have no brain!

        • subpar

          I know you are but what am I???


        • Chef Kody

          You need a new catch phrase young blood!

  • B Positive

    “mistakes have overshadowed positive play”

    And here’s the difference in personality types.

    Since all three players had very good statistical season, people who would reach this conclusion are losers.

  • ZnarkDuck

    From a life-long Duck homer, the kid is right – the Ducks didn’t go out and get the W’s they wanted, they thought they would just come because they are the Ducks. WRONG. If you want it, go get it Ducklings!!!!

  • JPorter

    Wow, this is the writing coming out of the daily emerald these days?

  • Chef Kody

    No Thomas didn’t, he said they SHOULD score 40, Do your research young blood!