Glenn Parker: Importance of Ducks’ Win Over Spartans
Friday, September 12, 2014
“I’m well-versed in the psyche,” he said Wednesday.
Which is why Parker, who called UO’s season-opening 62-13 rout of South Dakota and will work Saturday at Autzen Stadium when Wyoming (2-0) rolls through, believes the Ducks’ comeback victory against Michigan State should have lasting implications.
“What I’m impressed with more than anything was the resiliency,” Parker said. “It’s one thing to be a top team and blow people out. It’s another thing to be at home and blow someone out. But to be at home, where expectations are at the highest, to be down and in some ways it felt like the tide had turned and they were going to get blown, but to respond how they did? That showed me that the program has turned the corner in many ways.
“That might be a defining victory that we’re talking about not just at the end of this year but possibly two, three, four or five years down the road.”
If Parker, a former offensive linemen who lasted 12 seasons in the NFL with three different teams and played in five Super Bowls, had any qualms with Oregon, it was whether or not the Ducks were willing to or capable of abandoning the flash-and-dash and embracing the ground-and-pound.
He no longer has any such questions.
“What scared me about Oregon more than anything has been answered - the inability to get hard yards,” Parker said. “I’ve been saying for years - the program has become seduced by speed. They’d gotten away from the LeGarrette Blounts, the Jonathan Stewarts, those guys who were willing to get two or three hard yards and then break those bigger ones.
“But with Thomas Tyner and Royce Freeman, they give Oregon that weapon again. I saw that against Michigan State. There were times in the past when (a run) would have been bounced outside, but it wasn’t… They were willing to push the ball in the middle and get hard yardage, and that’s a surprise. It’s a pleasant surprise.
" As a football guy, I knew they needed it and they did it.”
Asked if there were additional concerns, Parker said nothing major. Sure, the depth of the offensive line is troubling, and who knows if the defense will continue to answer the challenge.
“That’s picking nits, though,” he said.
In the football analyst’s opinion, the program is in fine shape under Mark Helfrich. He wouldn’t say what the Ducks would have lost to the Spartans under Chip Kelly, but Parker did allow that in the past, Oregon doesn’t win that game.
“There’s no win like that in program history,” he said.