Notes from a very busy Saturday. And don't ask me to take another trip down Interstate 5 for a while, OK? We're just a little sick of that stretch of freeway after football season.
• Quarterback Derek Anderson and his line were the keys in Oregon State's 45-24 win over Oregon. And it was redemption. The entire offense had taken its share of heat for the Beavers' midseason lull Ñ but heroes are made in the Civil War, and these guys were worthy. The line accomplished one of the hardest things in football Ñ mixing airtight pass blocking and machinelike run blocking.
Anderson has made huge strides. The kid has always had an arm so strong it looked as if it belonged on the side of a box of baking soda. He showed in the Civil War that he has found some touch, deftly looping a few passes over defenders and into the arms of receivers. It was a prime-time show.
•ÊI'm not ready to give up on Jason Fife. The Oregon QB avoided maybe five sacks with his quick feet, and he has a terrific arm. My questions about the Ducks run more toward the coaching.
I do not understand some of the things that went on in Eugene this season. Oregon has never, ever, had penalty problems under Mike Bellotti. It's so out of character for the Ducks.
And they were always among the smarter teams in the country. That's why I was stunned when they hurried a punt with 13 seconds on the play clock late in the first half while trying to run out the game clock. It gave the Beavers time to take the lead at halftime. Sure, kids ought to know better, but that's a flat-out coaching mistake. You have to tell that punt team to either take a delay-of-game penalty or snap the ball when the play clock reaches :01. Period.
I think Bellotti has had some serious losses on his staff in the last couple of years and needs to make sure he has found adequate replacements.
•ÊEven with Peja Stojakovic, Mike Bibby and Scot Pollard out of the lineup and playing their fifth game in seven nights, the Sacramento Kings are the most fun team to watch in all of basketball. Their unselfishness is extraordinary. They stole a game from the Blazers on Saturday night, and the home team left whimpering about the officials Ñ an invalid claim with all the chances that Portland had to win.
•ÊRasheed Wallace says the truth will come out about that little magic carpet ride he took back from Seattle with Damon Stoudamire. At least I think that's what he was trying to say.
A few observations: First, NBA players, with their propensity to drive their expensive cars very fast, never should be turned loose on a three-hour stretch of freeway after a game. Not requiring them to be on the team bus was downright stupid. These guys are like children and must be monitored that way.
Second, there were three people in that car, and two were NBA players. Want to guess who's probably going to end up taking the rap for the dope?