Yes, the Ducks played pretty well. Yes, they tied the game up late in the fourth quarter. Yes they "contained" Newton quite well. Yes they still could have still won. Yes they only lost on a last second field goal by Auburn. And yes, the season is one to be proud of.
It just came down to two things:
- Oregon made a few little mistakes like getting caught for a safety (2 pts. to Auburn) and deciding to not kick a field goal and go for a TD on 4th down (didn't make it and essentially gave up 3 pts.). That's 5 points right there. Had they kicked the field goal and not given up the safety, that probably would have won them the game had other things gone the same. Throw in a couple tournovers on drives that were looking promising for at least a field goal and...well, you have enough mistakes to cost you.
- The game flow went the way of Auburn, not Oregon. Auburn did pretty much bottle up the Oregon running and kick return game, they played decent enough pass defense to keep the Ducks from scoring too much and the Auburn offense had 2-3 really long, really good drives that they paid of with TDs....including one to end the game. Hey, if Oregon stops 'em on that drive, they could have maybe scored to win or forced overtime...but they didn't.
Oh well. I'm over the shock of it, and still not feeling great about being THAT CLOSE to winning the big one only to come away short. But, I'm feeling a lot better.