Let’s be blunt: that Oregon-Boise finish was a fiasco


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You could not have scripted a worse opening night for Oregon football, first-year Ducks coach Chip Kelly, the Pacific 10 Conference, first-year commissioner Larry Scott, ESPN and sportsmanship.

Boise State and its fans didn’t come out smelling like the Rose Bowl, either.

The Pac-10 has complained for years about late-night games on the East Coast costing it valuable exposure. Well, Thursday night’s Oregon-Boise State game, which ended at about 1:30 in New York, wasn’t on late enough.


The game was ugly, an error-filled 19-8 win for Boise State, and the post-game was uglier, with Oregon tailback LeGarrette Blount sucker-punching Boise defensive end Byron Hout with a right cross on the field and then having to be literally dragged from the stadium to the team bus.

Horrible timing is everything. The game ended with Blount, who had vowed retribution for last year’s 37-32 loss in Eugene, chasing an incomplete pass near the Boise bench.

When the game ended, Blount was surrounded by Boise blue, with Hout rushing the Oregon player and tapping him on the shoulder pad--it didn’t appear Hout was saying ‘Hey, nice game.’

And Hout got decked, not that he had it coming, but...

Blount deserves a multi-game suspension and expulsion might even be warranted, but Hout should also have to sit at least one game for provocation.

You could also question why Blount, who finished with minus five yards rushing, was even in the game and in the area of the Boise bench when the final whistle sounded.

Remember, though, this was Chip Kelly’s debut as Oregon’s coach.

Bad as he acted, filing criminal charges against Blount would be a stretch. This was the heat of battle, he was provoked, and Boise State fans didn’t endear themselves by dropping what appeared to be F-bombs on Blount as he was being escorted off the field.


Plenty of blame to go around here. Blount apologized after the game, but it may not be enough to save his season. Now, it’s time to review the tape and dish the punishment. All the decision makers were in attendence: Pac-10 commissioner Scott, WAC commissioiner Karl Benson and first-year Oregon athletic director Mike Bellotti.

Pac-10 spokesman Jim Muldoon said Friday morning the conference and school would likely work in conjunction on the Blount case.

The irony here is Thursday’s game began with a ceremonial handshake of players to promote good sportsmanship.

If that was sportsmanship, wouldn’t you hate to see bad behavior?

--Chris Dufresne