Duck fans beg for "Four more years!" from Kelly; may get four more days

Duck fans beg for "Four more years!" from Kelly; may get four more days
January 4, 2013, 6:30 am
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By DWIGHT JAYNES
Follow @dwightjaynes

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- In what could very well turn out to be Coach Chip Kelly's final game at Oregon, Duck fans gave it their best shot to change his mind about accepting an offer to coach in the National Football League.

"We want Chip!" they chanted during the post-game awards presentation. And later it was a political-convention-like plea: "Four more years!"

He said he heard it. But nobody knows if he'll heed it. As quickly as NFL teams move on new coaching hires, Kelly may not last four more days at Oregon.

"I think it just really for me reaffirms what this place is all about," Kelly said. "It's a special place with special people. They accepted me six years ago when I was at New Hampshire. Not many people knew about me. Gave me an opportunity to come here. Means a lot."

Asked about the NFL, Kelly said he'd be speaking to his agent, David Dunn.

"I'll talk to Dave tomorrow," Kelly said. "He was great. I've always said I'll always listen. That's what I'll do.

"It's an honor that someone would say they wanted to talk to me about maybe moving on to coach in the National Football League. But it's because of what those guys (his players) do.

"But I'll listen and we'll see."

Kelly's Ducks certainly listened to their head coaching leading up to this game, which ended in a 35-17 victory. As they've done so often for their coach, they won the day. And won it in convincing fashion. And as has become the custom in big games, the defense stepped up and contributed every bit as much as the team's touted offense.

"It's magical," said defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti. "These kids are just magical."

Collin Klein, the Heisman Trophy finalist who quarterbacks KSU, hit 17 of 32 passes, with two interceptions, for 151 yards. He rushed for an average of just 2.3 yards per carry.

"Well, I mean, they just made a lot of great plays, moved around, really flew to the football, executed better than we did," Klein said of the Ducks. "You know, it's hard. But like everyone said, they're a good football team. We just didn't execute."

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said, "Obviously, we lost to a really fine football team. They're a very, very talented team. We were beaten by a better team."

KSU fell behind right from the opening kickoff, which turned out to be a 94-yard touchdown return by De'Anthony Thomas. And the Wildcats never seemed to find enough sense of urgency to catch up after that.

The 'Cats were able to move the ball up the field, but painfully slow at times and without big plays. And in this game, that wasn't good enough.

Marcus Mariota was named the offensive player of the game and the Duck quarterback hit 12 of 24 passes for two touchdowns and ran the ball for another score -- 228 yards of total offense, including Oregon's longest play from scrimmage a 32-yard run.

Michael Clay was the defensive player of the game after nine tackles, eight of them unassisted, a quarterback sack, two third-down stops and a five-yard tackle for loss on a third-and-goal from the three.

NOTES -- It was a big-time effort from Oregon in the second-biggest showcase bowl behind the championship game. The game drew a massive crowd of 70,242 and a good portion came dressed in Kansas State purple. ... The Ducks finished with a 12-1 record. ...At some point late tonight or Friday you are going to find on this site a video interview with just about everyone you ever wanted to hear from after this game -- and more. And you better not miss any of them.