Fiu’s Rose Bowl Stream-of-Consciousness Notes

    Pregame- It’s been a strange week in Los Angeles. It doesn’t quite feel like a typical Rose Bowl, and it doesn’t really feel like a playoff game. It feels

    January 1, 2015

    Pregame

    – It’s been a strange week in Los Angeles. It doesn’t quite feel like a typical Rose Bowl, and it doesn’t really feel like a playoff game. It feels like a big, big, big non-conference game, but the intensity should probably pick up as the game ramps up. 

    – Both teams were business-like – Florida State more so than Oregon – keeping this from feeling like a culmination or a reward, like most Rose Bowls are. This is a step. The Rose Bowl is a game and not like the final step in the journey. Both teams are thinking about Dallas as the goal rather than Pasadena. 

    – By far, and it’s not even close, Oregon fans are likely going to take over the stadium. FSU fans are 1) waiting for Dallas and/or 2) did this last year for the BCS championship. 

    – Yeah, it might not be a typical Rose Bowl, and it might not have the right feel, but it’s still the Rose Bowl. I’ve doing this for a bazillion years, and it’s still totally and completely cool to roll up on the stadium on New Year’s Day. 

    – But the people in New Orleans are having more fun. 

    – I’m expecting nothing less than a wild and crazy shootout. I don’t think either defense is going to have much of an answer for either offense, and I think both quarterbacks are going to go ballistic. Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but I’m hoping the two Heisman winners look the part. 

    – After being around the teams this week, I have no real read on what’s about to happen from an X and O standpoint – throw out everything you think we might know from the season. Florida State is happy to feel fresh again after a month off, but there’s a concern about the conditioning vs. the Oregon tempo. Oregon is ready to be more physical and act like the tough guy, but it’s going to do what it does offensively no matter what. 

    – I’m changing my final score now that I’m here. The conditions are perfect, it’s going to be a fast shootout, and the points and yards are going to be cranking up several notches. – Oregon 41, Florida State 38. 

    First Quarter

    – The Rose Bowl serving honey fried chicken and mac ‘n’ cheese. I’ve discovered a new meal between lunch and lunch. 

    – Some suburban white kid playing dress up throws a spear into the middle of the field. Oregon fans boo. 

    – Oregon goes three-and-out with Marcus Mariota air-mailing a wide-open target on third down. Tempo didn’t matter on the first drive. 

    – Florida State comes out with some tempo of its own. The Noles are going wide early and there are spaces for Dalvin Cook and Karlos Williams. They’re establishing the ground game early. 

    – The Seminoles are far more deliberate. They’re going to win the time of possession battle by ten minutes if they have their way. 

    – Roberto Aguayo field goal taken off the board … Oregon personal foul, hands to the face. The Oregon crowd taken totally out of the game early. 

    – Oregon’s pass rush to get to Jameis Winston, but until the Tarrodney Prevot forced fumble – recovered by FSU – it doesn’t seem to matter. 

    – Duck D holds. The secondary is dominating FSU receivers. 

    Florida State 3, Oregon 0

    – THERE’S Oregon’s tempo. The play-calling creativity has checked in, and now Oregon is playing and looking a half-step faster. Florida State is guessing. 

    – So far, Oregon can get wide on FSU. FSU can’t get wide on Oregon. 

    – A way-too-easy touchdown. Florida State is losing. Obviously, this is over. – I know, if you can go for two, you do it, and if you’re good enough, you do it. But there’s just something so … so … so … gimmicky about Oregon. Play football already. 

    Oregon 8, Florida State 3 

    – Florida State goes three-and-out. No emotion. There lumbering around in every way. 

    – Oregon going for it on 4th-and-5 on the FSU 23?! Seriously … play football already. You can’t fool the game. 

    – Winston has open receivers, but he’s missing them. He finally had time, and it was like he wasn’t sure what to do with it. 

    – FSU should just line up and start powering the ball. Use the thump of Cook to start wearing on the Oregon D. 

    – Oregon, if you’re sick of being called a finesse team. STOP BEING A FINESSE TEAM. 

    – Oregon D bending, bending, bending … 

    – FSU mixing it up well offensively. Methodical, and it’s working. 

    – UGH. Oregon comes up with a terrific stop after FSU inexplicably runs wide and deep on the one, and it gets nailed with a penalty. 

    – FSU, what are you doing?! Let Jameis barrel it in! Go for it on 4th-and-1! 

    FIRST QUARTER: Oregon 8, Florida State 3

    SECOND QUARTER – Florida State … it’s called a quarterback sneak with your huge quarterback. Look into it. 

    – Winston’s knee was down. No way they’re going to let this touchdown stand … 

    – Nope. Oregon holds. 

    – And here’s the new Oregon. It’s more versatile, and yeah, it really can power away when it has to. 

    – If this was ANYONE else but Florida State, you’d think this was about to be a devastating, heart-ripping drive after Oregon starting out on its own one. 

    – Marcus Mariota has tried two ill-advised throws so far across his body and into the middle of the field, and he’s gotten away with both of them. Eventually, Jalen Ramsey will never drop a sure interception like that again. 

    – This is going to change, but for it being a playoff, it isn’t very corporate quite yet. The Rose Bowl limits this, but it hasn’t been gwonked up by lots of signs and ads everywhere. 

    – With the sun shining on them, the Oregon fans really do look like human highlighters. 

    – I’m disappointed. I was hoping for the score to be 55-52 by now. 

    – I’m not going to lie. It would be really, really nice if the Rose Bowl provides a wandering masseuse to help the cause. 

    – 4th-and-6 from the Florida State 11. Oregon, what are you doing? If you’re going to be Oregon, then own it and go for it. 

    – Of course, Oregon does the right thing and hits the field goal. It should be up 14-3 right now. 

    – 19 plays, 88-yard drive for Oregon. That’s getting it done. 

    Oregon 11, Florida State 3

    – Oregon is keeping Florida State alive. Oregon, you didn’t get the memo that you have to actually kill AND bury this Seminole team. 

    – Fine, I’ll say it. I sort of want to see what TCU would do against either of these two. 

    – Watching from up high in the pressbox, Winston is far better than Mariota at throwing the NFL tight window passes. 

    – UGH … this game is so ragged. Neither team has been sharp outside of the one Oregon touchdown drive. 

    – Nick O’Leary gets tackled on a third down pass play in the end zone, but the officials don’t seem to really care. 

    – Roberto Agyuao is Roberto Aguayo. 

    Oregon 11, Florida State 6

    – Just like I didn’t want this Twix bar, and I didn’t want that third piece of honey fried chicken, I don’t want this Twizzler sitting in front of me in the pressbox. I’m going to take it out of its wrapper, and if it gets eaten, it’s its own fault. 

    – There it is. I was waiting for an NFL pass from Mariota, and he just threw a beauty of a back shoulder fade to Keanan Lowe. It helped that Lowe was nailed for offensive pass interference, but it was still a fantastic throw. 

    – FINALLY, someone in this game realizes that it’s okay to run the ball between the tackles on the goal line. 

    – Oregon kicks the extra point. It’s apparently not feeling particularly saucy. 

    Oregon 18, Florida State 6

    – No pass rush on Jameis means a way-too-easy march down the field. 

    – Karlos Williams with a slippery touchdown run for a score. Florida State’s O line manhandled the Oregon defense that’s not a finesse defense. 

    Oregon 18, Florida State 13

    – I went to hit the bathroom and was gone for 1:39. I’m assuming Oregon scored 74 points during that span. 

    – Instead, Mariota throws a pick. 

    – It’s really interesting – there’s just no emotion from this Florida State team. Even keel is the nice way to put it, but there’s no real high when something big happens. 

    – To go totally cliché, this first half is like two boxers still trying to feel each other out. Oregon hasn’t been able to find a groove, and Florida State has missed way too many chances. 

    Oregon 18, Florida State 13

    THIRD QUARTER

    – Talking to the other media types at halftime – in between earing hot dogs – the thoughts were the same. Florida State needs to start running and keep running. 

    – And it comes out throwing with Jameis throwing an NFL strike for a 20-yard gain. 

    – The sun is starting to set and the Oregon cheerleaders have put on jackets. The world is a sadder place because of it. 

    – Oregon is generating absolutely no pass rush whatsoever. The FSU O line is owning this game. 

    – The one thing that can kill Florida State is a bad turnover. There’s a bad turnover. 

    – Oregon is going to come out HUMMING. The offense is about to set the dial to 11. 

    – Did the coaching staff light a fire under the Ducks? The Oregon O is showing and playing with the emotion that was lacking on both sides throughout the first half. 

    – There doesn’t seem to be a penalty the officials don’t want to call. 

    – Finesse this. Oregon’s offensive line decided it was time to take over, and Royce Freeman powered in for a score. 

    Oregon 25, Florida State 13 

    – Neither one of these teams is screaming out to be my national champion. 

    – You can tell that with a little tweaking and the right quarterback coach, yeah, Jameis Winston will be a superstar NFL quarterback. 

    – Winston gets more time, and boom. Florida State 18-yard touchdown pass to Travis Rudolph. Oregon has to come up with something funky to start pressuring No. 5. 

    Oregon 25, Florida State 20 

    – It’s almost as if now Oregon has to score every time, because its offense doesn’t seem to have an answer anymore. 

    – And that doesn’t appear to be a problem. FSU DB slips, no safety help, a 56-yard Darren Carrington touchdown. The shootout is firing up now. 32 won’t be nearly enough. 

    Oregon 32, Florida State 20 

    – The difference in this game will be the turnovers. Florida State is giving them away on two good drives, and Oregon appears ready to pounce again after Dalvin Cook put it on the ground. 

    – Two plays, 43 yards, 21 seconds later, and boom. Florida State looks like a defeated team with hands on hips and heads down. 

    – The Oregon coaching staff is finding massive holes in the secondary, and Mariota is hitting his throws. FSU is giving the Ducks too many easy chances to take the momentum. 

    Oregon 39, Florida State 20 

    – There’s no more rhythm or pacing to the Florida State offense. It’s off its game now. 

    – The best way to describe Florida State’s body language right now? Lollygaggers. 

    – Jimbo Fisher had said throughout the week that this just isn’t the same type of team as last year. It’s more business-like, which is a good thing, but Oregon right now is playing jacked up. 

    – But it comes down to blocking and tackling, and FSU’s O line is still blocking better than Oregon is tackling. 

    – FSU tackle-turned-center Cameron Erving is KILLING the Oregon interior. 

    – Rashad Greene having a very, very quiet game. 

    – Welcome to the Fart Fumble. Winston goes Three Stooges, loses ball, Tony Washington returns it for a touchdown. Book tickets to Dallas, Oregon. 

    – Blocked extra point. No wonder Oregon always goes for two. 

    – Oregon is going to put more than 60 points on the board. 

    Oregon 45, Florida State 20 

    – Florida State is just trying to make it harder on itself. 

    – Another turnover. Florida State is doing everything right except for keeping the ball. 

    Oregon 45, Florida State 20

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