No Tyner, No Surprise

Helmet 10, USC,12,KC

Kevin Cline

Now that we are officially one game into the season, I can breathe a sigh of relief and satisfaction at finally having watched an Oregon Duck football game again.  As expected, there were very few surprises about Saturday’s game.  And, given the predicted outcome, here are five things that did not, in fact, surprise me:

Mark Helfrich kept it under wraps

Helfrich coaching Lyerla

Kevin Cline

Colt gets an earful from Coach Helfrich

Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said repeatedly that we would not see much difference between him and former coach Chip Kelly.  That appeared to be true in more ways than one on Saturday.  We can’t really take much away from a game against a team the caliber of Nicholls.  Coach Helfrich did not seem to be quite as aggressive as Kelly in his 4th-down play calling.

Keeping the playbook under wraps is how Helfrich is most like Kelly.  Not surprisingly, the play calling was fairly mundane for the duration of the game, with Oregon not needing to go big to beat the Colonels.  So, we still have yet to see how Mark Helfrich will really coach a game of football.  This Saturday should give us a better feel for that — this game is on the road, three time zones away, and will be played in a very different, game-changing climate.

Bralon Addison wants to win

Bralon Addison takes it to the house

Gary Breedlove

Bralon Addison takes it to the house

Bralon Addison showed just how badly he wants it, Saturday.  Addison caught two balls for 42 yards and a flashy touchdown.  The touchdown wasn’t Addison’s best highlight, though.  De’Anthony Thomas and Marcus Mariota both scored touchdowns that were sprung off blocks courtesy of Mr. Addison.  Bralon was number one on my list of breakout players for the 2013 season, so I am not surprised at the heart he puts in to every down.  With him and Huff, the sky really is the limit.

Still on the lookout for a Tyner sighting

Thomas Tyner has yet to make his much-anticipated debut for Oregon.  I was absolutely not surprised that he did not participate in Saturday’s game.  Oregon has way too many running backs on the roster to put Tyner at risk unnecessarily, given his ramping back up to speed from a minor lower leg injury.  Word is that we will get to see a little of what Tyner has to offer this Saturday against Virginia.  It obviously bodes well for Tyner — and the Ducks — if Oregon opts to not redshirt the freshman.

Backup QBs looked good

Jake Rodrigues showing his fleet feet

Gary Breedlove

Jake Rodrigues showing his fleet feet

Jeff Lockie got it done with his feet, rushing for an eight-yard touchdown and throwing 1-3 for eight yards.  Jeff Rodrigues got it done through the air and with his feet.  Rodrigues went 2-2 for 30 yards, and ran for a touchdown, highlighting another 28 yards on the ground.  Lockie entered the game as the second-string quarterback, but I suspect the competition is still far from over.  I was very pleased to see both QBs play so well, even if it was against Nicholls.

 

DAT says “shut up”

DAT dragging tacklers

Kevin Cline

DAT dragging tacklers

DAT has something to say to the people who doubt that he is a true running back . . . “shut up!”  Granted this wasn’t Stanford the Ducks were playing against, but Thomas looked every bit the go-to back.  He took a lot of his snaps right back up the middle – opting to bang it, rather than trying to outrun pursuit to the corner.  On one of the runs he actually carried would-be tacklers for a first down.  I have long been under the impression that DAT is strong – and much more durable than critics give him credit for.  I was not surprised to see him make that statement.  If this trend continues, his stock in the 2014 NFL draft will continue to rise.I love watching every game Oregon plays, but I hope this Saturday will shed a little more light on what direction Mark Helfrich will take the team.  I would love to hear your thoughts on anything I might have missed during Saturdays game.  Any predictions for the Virginia game? Go Ducks!!

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Sam Arney

Sam Arney

Sam was born and raised in Cottage Grove, Oregon and he has been a die hard Duck fan his entire life. Sam studied at the University of Oregon before moving to San Diego for 5 years. After moving back to Oregon, Sam decided to follow his passion for writing and started writing for various sports sites. To him, nothing is better than being in Autzen Stadium with 59,000 fans screaming their heads off!

  • Sam’s mentor

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  • Bad-Eyes McBane

    First comment! (Can people still call it and be cool?)

    Good notes on the game! I was impressed with the Ducks’ (even if it was Nicholls St.) O, but a little concerned with the D. Sure we kept them to 3 points, and that’s great, but it seemed like we couldn’t get them off the field. Their running QB gave us fits and that concerns me going forward.
    P.S. LOVED seeing the Colt RB package again! I was afraid we’d lose it with BB leaving.
    P.P.S. What are your thoughts on the Mitchell expulsion? Seems like this new rule just gives the refs a new way to screw up.

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    • Sam Arney

      As far as the new rule goes, I guess they have to enforce things like that to make the game safer for the players. The thing that bothers me is that there are no changes to the way players are allowed run the ball, specifically QB’s. If a defensive player is going for the QB while he is scrambling and dives as low as he can possibly get without sliding on the ground, that means he has to commit his forward motion and body weight to that direction long before the actual tackle. Once a defensive player commits on a low diving tackle, there is no turning back. Then the QB decides to slide and all of sudden his head is 3 inches off the turf and the diving defensive player makes head to head contact as a result of the QB sliding. That is what I saw happen to Mitchell. You can actually see him turn his body a little before hitting the QB to try and avoid the contact but at that point it was too late. I also think that the officials should look at every case differently, because they are different. It is not hard to tell when a player is being malicious in his hits, or if the player accidentally made illegal contact because of how fast the game develops. To make a long story short (too late), what I am saying is if players are getting ejected from games because other players are lowering there heads or sliding at the last second when they run, then they need to enforce some rules on how players are allowed to run the ball, it is not only up to defensive players to keep the game safe. That is all…for now.