An Analysis? FishDuck says it is pretty simple…

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I waited eleven days for THAT? Duck fans everywhere are very disappointed right now, because after the opening drive we had few moments to cheer. I was supposed to have a short game analysis last night, and my usual Tuesday analysis today?  The heck with it. The objective of this site is to keep learning and enjoying the game more, and unfortunately I realized last night that learning more about the game of football can also come back to bite you when you lose because now…I know better why we lost.  Ouch.

Editor/Writer of FishDuck.com Randy Morse

Randy Morse

Editor/Writer of FishDuck.com Randy Morse

I am curious as the reactions of many of you because the readers of this site are special. You don’t want fluff, and you are savvy readers as you wish to learn something as well as be entertained. We targeted older professional men originally three years ago, but now that group is the minority compared to all the women and young readers of this site. Thus I would like to hear the feelings and thoughts from all the age groups, genders, race and ethnic groups that come to FishDuck.com. Our unity today is our pain, as we are Oregon.

We got beat in the trenches this time, and it was against our best starters on the offensive and defensive line.  You read my Op-Ed after the Arizona game, where I reminded Oregon fans that you cannot score many points with a walk-on and an untested freshman at offensive tackle. This time we had trouble moving the ball due to superb play of the Buckeye defense. Yes…we shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times, but that is to be expected when considering the nerves in a National Championship game, as Ohio State players also made some mistakes that resulted in turnovers to Oregon.

Another third down blown...

John Giustina

Another third down blown…

I would hope that Armstead and Buckner understand that if they cannot defeat the blocks of the Buckeyes, that perhaps they need to learn more before going to the NFL. Our front seven on defense was blocked extremely well last night and I can do nothing but tip my hat to Ohio State, as the Buckeyes did a superb job with trap and counter blocking by pulling guards and H-Backs. There was a lot to admire about their offense, although the talent of Elliot and Jones are what made it special. (Of which is fantastic recruiting…a third string QB that good?  Holy Crap.)

Oh yes…people are already questioning the coaching at Oregon…geez. Coach Helfrich duplicated the BEST of Chip Kelly by also getting us to the National Championship game, and this recent game could have been closer, but we blew our opportunities.  The fact is…..Ohio State was darned good, and to beat them we had to play our best–and did not.  Coach Helfrich cannot make the blocks and defeat the crack-backs; only those on the field can and I thought we had a good game plan–but the Buckeyes often thwarted it.

OSU Coach Urban Meyer

John Giustina

OSU Coach Urban Meyer

Yep…some are questioning Mark’s decision to punt with six minutes to go, but perhaps he knew his opponent?  Perhaps Coach Helfrich knew that if the ball was turned over on downs that the opposing coach would run the score up on them? Sure enough, Meyer did that later, and this was after Helf and Chip opened up Oregon’s facilities and processes to him two years ago and treated him as an honored guest?  The guy is a jerk, as we know Coach Helfrich would have taken a knee at the end to prevent running it up. Please do not judge all Buckeyes that way, as I have wonderful friends who are Ohio State alumni and they would not condone those actions at the end of a National Championship that would embarrass a fellow coach and his faithful fans.

I am proud of our Head Coach and every one of the assistants; sometimes you get the bear…and sometimes the bear gets you. The Pac-12 Championship and the win over Florida State were simply epic as I and the new staff of the FishDuck.com Coaching Consultants from across the nation intend to study the entire season closely and share the nuggets with you in the offseason football analysis every Tuesday morning. We have so much more to learn and we’ll enjoy the journey as we go, and yes…we will be back in playoffs once again. Our talent at Oregon continues to rise and the Head Coach at Oregon has not let the program decline as it did at Washington and Michigan when legendary coaches left. Think about that. He is a young gun on the rise, and he is one of us.

Congratulate Ohio State fans as they have many classy fans that I hope to rub elbows with at future Rose Bowls. The OSU trolls that come to this site?  Ignore them as I will delete and blacklist them quickly. There are too many good Buckeye fans to have to endure the ‘culls that show up on occasion. I welcome fans of class from all colleges. (So let’s be gracious to them too!)

I know dear....it sucks.

John Giustina

I know dear….it sucks.

Suicide watch? Keep sharp objects away?  Nah. The loss to Auburn was tougher due to how close the game was, and frankly the injury to Dennis Dixon in 2007 truly made me sick to my stomach. The joke at that time was….my wonderful wife Lois was trying to coax me out out from under the kitchen table after that episode as I was locked in the fetal position the morning after.  This time?  Piece of cake.  Why? Because the future is bright and it is obvious to me that Helfrich is very skilled, and unlike the Tin Man….he has a heart.

We WILL win a National Championship with this staff…and FishDuck.com will continue to cover it like no other. Look for our big changes and improvements in the offseason.  We are an all-volunteer site with over 50 writers and editors and nearly 70 total volunteers.  Can you believe that?  We are here as fellow fans to share with YOU.

Tell me your thoughts and feelings….

Charles Fischer  (FishDuck)
Oregon Football Analyst for CFF Network/FishDuck.com
Eugene, Oregon

Top Photo by John Giustina

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Charles Fischer

Charles Fischer

Charles Fischer has been an intense fan of the Ducks for thirty years and has written reports on football boards for over a dozen years. Known as “FishDuck” on those boards, he is acknowledged for providing intense detail in his scrimmage reports and in his Xs and Os play analyses. He and his wife Lois, a daughter, Christine, and their dog (Abbie) reside in Eugene, Oregon, where he has been a financial advisor for 30 years serving clients in seven different states. He does not profess to be a coach or analyst, but simply a “hack” that enjoys sharing what he has learned and invites others to correct or add to this body of Oregon Football! See More...

  • Jon E

    Charles, those are the easy answers. But what Mark Helfrich does is so far from what Chip Kelly did that made Chip excellent. If you run the skycam film, you’ll see Helfrich’s spread backfields- 5 down linemen much of the time. OSU pinched their front 4 and spilled any inside zone runs to unblocked LBs. –Inside zone was shut down.

    The ducks rand a wide zone to the TE 2 times from what I remember. Chip Kelly made his living off of getting his speed to the edge with 1 and 2 TEs. The Ducks predominantly ran wide zone to the slot receiver, who routinely got destroyed. The RBs would take a wide aiming point and instead of forcing the issue North-South, would gain nothing or lose yards trying to take advantage of the slot WRs block (which was destroyed).

    So the game was put on Mariota, who was good in a very difficult situation.

    Defensively, the Ducks made no adjustments to the OSU offense. In the 3rd and 4th quarters, OSU ran 3 running plays- counter trap, zone, and power sweep. Each had a specific formation, so there was no disguise as to which was coming.

    But the Ducks made adjustments to those formations that put them in a bad position to shut down those plays- the biggest problem being that those adjustments hurt them in the first quarter and they did not change those adjustments after the half.

    Their Cover 4 defense is too typical of a college defense and too predictable. Not to mention that it was ineffective in stopping the run, which should be the #1 absolute of any defense.

    The Ducks have gone far from the roots that made them great. And the coaching philosophy as it has been this year seems to point in a direction even farther from those roots.

    I appreciate what you do with this site- I am not a Ducks fan- I am more a football fan- so I love the analysis.

    • Hey Jon,

      I am not going to complain; the coaches did the best they could with what they have. We do not have the overall talent of Ohio State, yet we do a ton of winning in Eugene. Pellum did not have great linebacking this year and the loss of Ifo would hurt any DCs game-planning.

      The three man rush worked great against Florida State and everyone loved Pellum….and now he’s a idiot? You can only play what you got, and for Oregon to end up as second in the Pac-12 in scoring defense behind only Stanford? That is pretty darn good.

      I personally would not be good in my first year at anything, and I believe Pellum did a great job for his first go-round.

      Some of our back-up WRs did not block well on the outside…and that is why they were back-ups. What we did this year with the recruiting disadvantages we have and THEN the injuries?

      We outperformed, and the coaches can only do so much.

      What many imply is that coaches should be replaced…why? Because we lost a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP? Wow…people need to wake up, as our talent is improving and the coaches will get better. Things look very good at the University of Oregon.

      Charles Fischer

      • Dennis Bolt

        Yes, losing the NCG is much better than winning most any other bowl game and we also did win the Rose Bowl, so we have a lot to be proud of. The Heisman added to NCG appearance and final #2 makes this best Oregon year of 120 played!

      • Jon E

        I would not say Pellum needs to go after one year, I would only say that in THIS game, the fact that Oregon was EXPOSED because it is his first year. The Oregon defense was feisty and played exceptionally hard, but were consistently out-flanked and beaten in one-on-one situations. That and the Ducks’ tackling were my keys to defensive failures.

        My conclusion about the future decline of Oregon is based on the fact that the offense is not the one Chip Kelly was successful with. Scheme is only a small factor, but it reflects the philosophy and attitude of the coaching staff.

        I believe the combination of tempo and power running (like what Ohio State was committed to) was what made Chip Kelly’s Oregon so difficult to play. Your website points out multiple excellent and sound schemes that frankly we saw very little of in the NCG.

        Should the program re-dedicate to the fundamental philosophy that put Oregon at the Apex of the sport, the future is bright, and the dominance should continue. If they don’t re-commit, I fear a downward trend as teams fear the Ducks less.

        • Jon E

          Although when all is said and done, the Ducks are #2 in the country with who they have and what they do, so congratulations on an exceptional season. I do love to watch your beloved Ducks.

        • Cary S

          I wonder if the offensive scheme changes were more a result of having MM at qb. In years past the QB passing was merely to keep a defense honest. This year the pass was a greater weapon. I think good coaching evolves to the talent of the players.

        • P.u. Bea-Mullet

          I’m really not buying that our D failings can be attributed to a first year coach, particularly given Pellum’s years in our system, and the fact that he was the LB coach and that the primary weakness of our D this year (and last) was our often atrocious LB play. Pellum needs to do a better job, and fast.

          Either that, or we scrap this 3-4 experiment which seems to be entirely reliant on having talented ILBs (Like Kiko, and M Clay, or Paysinger and Mathews) to work.

          How often do we really get talent at ILB? Not very often. The 3-4 is working to our recruiting weaknesses, and I for one am tired of watching studs like DeFo and Arik Armstead eaten up by double teams while the LBs either drop back in coverage or shoot the wrong gaps.

      • oregon111

        CF: good points, but…

        the 4-3 defense puts a hat on hat – and the center must block the MLB ,

        the 3-4 D lets 6 offensive linemen (including TE) double team the front 3

        see the difference?

        I agree, let see what Pellum can do over the summer and into next fall — and then replace him if he cannot scheme against the run

      • duckboy

        “Pellum did not have great linebacking this year” – Who recruited and coached these LB’s? why play a 3-4 with LBs that are not great?

        “our talent is improving”
        Oregon Rivals class rank last 10 years
        2005 = 28
        2006 = 49
        2007 = 11
        2008 = 19
        Chip Kelly
        2009 = 32
        2010 = 13
        2011 = 9
        2012 = 16
        Helfrich
        2013 = 22
        2014 = 26
        2015 = 19 (in progress)
        I see a drop in slight drop in oregon’s talent quality coming up really…

        Here is the OSU ranks over the same time
        2005 = 12
        2006 = 12
        2007 = 15
        2008 = 4
        2009 = 3
        2010 = 25
        2011 = 11
        2012 = 4
        2013 = 2
        2014 = 3
        2015 = 7

        “and the coaches will get better” – they need to get better to keep the same results given the recruiting decline.

        My overall point is, sure give Helfrich and Pellum more time. Do you REALLY think they will get us to win the national championship game? Or do we need to change the game and get a next level coach and team in to actually finish the job? refer to the Ohio State recruiting ranks. Or are we ok just getting to/winning the rose bowl or equivalent every year?

        I have lowered my expectation for the ducks to probably winning double digit games every year but never winning the big one until we get a proven coach and staff who has won it all in at Oregon.

        Last question… why don’t we reach out to Will Muschamp when he is available? he is the level of D coordinator we need to get in.

        Final point – I can’t see Chip Kelly losing this game, can anyone else in this chain?

        • Tim Tyler

          I think I am hearing too much of “If the defense would have done this and if the defense would have done that”. Also, it is way too early to throw Pellum under the bus. It is one season. I have to say that the Defense played exceptionally well beginning about the Civil War game and they played better and better throughout the Pac 12 Champ game to the Rose Bowl and they didn’t play badly in the NCG if you factor how much they were on the field. They gave the offense 4 opportunities to score. They went 0 for 2 and then 1 TD and 1 FG off of turnovers if I am not mistaken. The offense stalled on key 3rd down situations and could not sustain drives. Credit Ohio State for a brilliant defensive scheme. The defense were on the field too long and Elliott and Jones and the huge offensive line wore them down. Hats off to Ohio State and Go Ducks next season! I am very proud of our Ducks and what they accomplished this year! Wow, it was an incredible run!!

    • duckboy

      Here Here Jon E….

      biggest problem was not stopping the run first. it would have been better to have the 3rd string QB beat us than the running game IMO. you knew they were going to run and he proved he was raw all during the game.

      your point about the cover 4 is another good one. I dont have status but I swear the ducks gave up a lot of 3rd and 10+ conversions this year. The best example and a huge play in my opinion was the 3 and 10ish on the 3 when we dropped 8 after getting pressure the previous down. they got 26 yds on a pass when we dropped 8 anyway and had no rush. j

      the lack of D adjustment in 2nd half was troubling.
      Why die wondering if we had actually tried something different to stop their running. We lost anyway and did it in a painful and slow way. how many opportunities do you get at this game to at least not take a risk?

  • troysyx

    Fantastic article. Yes, it hurts, very bad. I think the reason it hurts this much is because i dont think there has been (or possibly could be) anyone that deserved a national championship more than Marcus Mariota.

    • Sad Panda

      Couldn’t agree more. For a guy that is so selfless and cares so much about his team, you know a national championship meant more to him than the Heisman. I really wanted to see him get it.

  • Dfb

    The Dline actually did ok, but the linebackers, especially the inside guys,disappeared again. DP did a pretty good job as coordinator his first year but the inside linebackers has been the weakest unit for a long time. The consistently get beat in gaps, if they get in the right gaps to begin with. The difference between OSU’s inside LB’s and ours is stunning.
    The injuries at receiver finally bit us and Marcus wasn’t very sharp but the reality was Oregon’s lack of strength in the trenches will likely always be their Achilles heel in these games. They seem to be able to recruit to a top ten 10 level but not championship winning level.

    • oregon111

      you are partially correct:

      inside LBs were “ghosts” during the game – save for Mattingly’s int,

      Ducks STILL recruit about 20th in the nation – so they are fairly successful considering how far behind the 8 ball they are in terms of talent

  • Mr.scott.johnston

    I thought Oregon didn’t adjust on the offensive side. I would have liked to see a little more backfield motion with Marshall to try and move the defense a little. The base plays were not as successful this game and that adjustment never took place. I also understand that you should run what you do best and maybe Ohio State was just better on the night. Those 3rd down drops in the first half hurt quite a lot. It felt like they need to get Ohio State down early to force them to change their game plan. Instead it was Oregon that was forced to adjust and the passing game has never been as developed as the running game unfortunately.

    On defense the 3 man rush was not working and would have liked to see some more blitz packages on 3rd down. Jones is very difficult to stop with his size on scrambles, but the ducks had no adjustment for the counter play, which must have been run for over 10ypc.

    Either way I appreciate the site and have been a long time reader and hope to continue getting an insightful look into how the Ducks play football.

    • Devin Reynolds

      Oregon didn’t have time. OSU had unlimited practice. Oregon had 20 hours as if it were a regular season game. This means that OSU had all the time in the world to learn Oregon’s defense and Oregon didn’t have time to introduce new material. Since all of this was in accordance with NCAA rules, it was basically legalized cheating.

      • jrgdds

        Technically Ohio State was allowed unlimited time to practice. Meyer did not use it.

        1. Meyer rested the team after a very physical game with Alabama.

        2. Meyer had the players approach their preparation for the game in typical business fashion like any regular season game.

        Don’t believe it? That information is widely available. Columbus Post Dispatch Sports is a good place to start.

  • gcashwell

    OSU didn’t run up the score. It was obvious Oregon was still playing to win because they were calling timeouts. OSU and Oregon both finished out the game. If Oregon wanted OSU to take a knee, they shouldn’t have used their timeouts.

    • JS

      Took one time out at 2:35. At least be accurate!

    • jrgdds

      You are right. Final or not. Ohio State was not passing the ball around to run up the
      score.

      They were running the same play over and over ad nauseum.
      Everyone knew what was coming. It would have been an insult to not to
      allow Oregon the opportunity to maintain their self respect Let alone
      the fact that Zeke was the workhorse that won the game and he deserved
      to earn records that will stand for a long time.

  • Jaime

    Helfrich called a TO with 1:27 and scored another TD vs. Mich. St…But I guess that’s ok?

  • Dennis Bolt

    Great attitude! I was really at peace last night, due to the fact that as a team OSU is really good and to lose to that QB and RB and defense is no shame. While I think the last TD was a bit questionable, it does not alter the loss. It felt like the third quarter might be classic Oregon, but to no avail. We can play the what if game, but that will bite you as well, since that 70-yard Marshall TD could have been called touchback if the refs had been picky, and there was a OSU TD that the feet were out….Stay hungry Duck fans!

  • Sad Panda

    In my opinion, the main reason that the Ducks got beat is because they were out-coached. Oregon clearly won the first 5 minutes of the game; they had a good game plan and they were executing it well. However, Ohio State made adjustments to their blocking schemes and their defense, and Oregon wasn’t able to react to those adjustments. No doubt the Ducks had some key mistakes that helped swing the momentum, as well as a couple of questionable calls/no-calls (not calling holding in the end zone still annoys me), but Ohio State didn’t exactly play mistake-free either. Bottom line is that they outplayed and out-coached Oregon.

    I’m certainly not saying that Helfrich, Frost, and Pellum should be fired or anything. Heck, they did as good of a job this year as anyone in the country, especially when you consider the ridiculous number of key injuries the Ducks had all year. The fact that Oregon even made it into the final shows how great of a job they did. But even though I’m not a fan of Urban Meyer, he’s in a different league. After watching this game, I honestly don’t think there’s a better coach out there.

    Regardless, I’m still proud of what the Ducks were able to accomplish. It just sucks that we have to continue hearing about how Oregon is not a legitimate program just because they haven’t won a title yet. Hopefully that will change very soon.

    • Littleduckies2001

      Sad Panda, one thing to remember here. Ohio State had unlimited time to practice due to the fact osu did not have class last week. Oregon was limited to 4 hours a day (stupid NCAA loophole for OSU. Needs to be fixed)… this no doubt impacted preperation. Oregon had to execute flawlessly to win this game. They did not. OSU had time to Implement scheme changes and new wrinkles to the existing scheme. BIG advantage to the OSU coaching staff.

      • Devin Reynolds

        I agree about practice time being a, not just important, but decisive factor. But where I saw it most was on Oregon’s offense/Ohio State’s defense. Ohio State knew Oregon’s freaking play book front to back, whereas Oregon didn’t have time to implement scheme changes that could have surprised OSU.

      • jrgdds

        Ohio State did have unlimited time to practice. Meyer did not use it.

        1. Meyer rested the team after a very physical game with Alabama.

        2. Meyer had the players approach their preparation for the game in typical business fashion like any regular season game.

        Don’t believe it? That information is widely available. Columbus Post Dispatch Sports is a good place to start.

        • Littleduckies2001

          I do believe it:-) but Thanks for assuming I would disagree… to counter your point however. Unlimited practice time also includes preparation time. I.E. film study, time to instill new plays to your players, new concepts, new techniques… I don’t begrudge Meyer for doing any of this. osu played within the rules! Good for them! Oregon would have taken advantage of the same opportunity if it had been given to them. Don’t kid yourself for one second that the osu coaching staff didn’t utilize every opportunity they had to “rest” their players in the film room. I would judt like to see a level playing field. If you truly want to stand by your argument then you are a closed minded homer. Congratulations on a solid victory. We’ll see you next year:-)

          • jrgdds

            I try to root for the Ducks. I can throw a Rock and Hit Nike HQ from my office in Beaverton, Oregon sometimes it’s difficult. Before the
            game all I heard was the Ducks were going to hang 60 on the Buckeyes with their tempo. In the last month I’ve heard
            about every conceivable reason why the Ducks lost from extra practice time for the buckeyes to a multitude of lost players and averse circumstances for theDucks. OSU used no practice advantage, and they had their own set of injuries and adverse circumstances

            Ohio State lost:

            2 Heisman candidate QBs
            1 WR in Johnnie Dixon, a guy who tore up spring and summer practice
            1 Dontre Wilson…starting WR/H
            1 Noah Spence who had substance abuse problems
            1 Jeff Heurman, who played on a horrible ankle all season limiting what he could do
            1 Trey Johnson, a guy who was running was in the LB rotation until his knee gave out
            1 Armani Reeves, starting nickel who missed several games because of concussions
            1 Devon Bogard, special teams leader who suffered a 3rd torn ACL
            1 Zeke Elliot who played the ENTIRE with a broken wrist
            1 Kyle Dodson, back up OL who had his career ended due to a neck injury
            1 Chad Lindsay, guy transferred from Bama and was looked at as the starting center until his career was ended

            Not to mention the death of a player the week of the conference championship

            The Buckeyes were better prepared and more motivated. The
            truth is that the Ducks are fun to watch, but they will not win an NC until their philosophy accommodates the fact that football is a physical game and they get big, fast guys on the O and D line.

          • Littleduckies2001

            Adverse circumstances that the ducks faced as well. One difference… you yourself mentioned it above… preparation. When you are given unlimited preparation / practice time over an opponent you have an advantage. You can not argue with that can you? Name 1 coach that would not use extra time to prepare if it was given to them. U can “rest player” and still prepare for a game… I don’t see an inteligent argument to these points; Oregon lost the game. Oregon got out played. Both Oregon and OSU had adversity to overcome. OSU did a better hob overcoming them. OSU had more time to prepare their players for this game. The bottom line is OSU are the national champions and Oregon had a pretty darn good year. I just wish that the NCAA could create fairness on the field. Never going to happen though.

          • jrgdds

            I took down my OP. Too Long.

            The Buckeyes game plan for Oregon did not require extra practice above and beyond the usual allotted time. It was virtually identical to their game plans for Wisconsin, Alabama. The only difference was a little more emphasis on ball control. The Buckeye OL and DL did not get bigger or faster in those 10 days.

            Every player Duck or Buckeye that played on that field did nothing but prepare for that game for the entire ten days leading up to it.

            Buckeyes would have won on that night no matter matter what.

          • Littleduckies2001

            OK. U win. Preperation time doesn’t matter. All coaches in all sports Who believe it does are wrong. I bow to your knowledge. Thanks for the lesson.

          • jrgdds

            Except for the nasty little fact that Ohio state did not have even an hour more of official practice and preparation than they did every week of the regular season, your theory is air tight.

          • Littleduckies2001

            ESPN did a report on it. Sports illustrated did an article on it. You are hilarious! Go… enjoy your win… stop with the sore winner act. It’s old. I already congatulated your team, what more do you want?

          • jrgdds

            Your wish casting doesn’t make it so. SI and ESPN said that a quirk in the rule did allow Ohio State more to practice time not that they actually did practice more. Get the difference?

            Meyer is on record in te Columbus post Dispatch, and there are videos of his press conferences at 24/7 sports and Scout with him explicitly addressing the NCAA practice rule and the pre-game practice scheduale.

            Provide a link from SI or ESPN that demonstrates Ohio State actually practiced more not that they could have. You can’t.

          • Littleduckies2001

            Ready my comments above… they werecsllowed more practice time by rule. osu could also also use that time as Preparation time. U see coaches don’t only teach on the practice field. They also teach in a class room. The talk game plan. Look at film. Draw things on a wipe board. This is done with players present. That means in the room with them. The 4 hours a day that Oregon was limited to included the time they could spend with coaches watching film and discussing gameplan. Do you see a difference now between the terms practice and preperation. I’m done now… again Congrats on the win. Relax. Enjoy it.

  • Steve Parr

    Agree 100% that Helfrich would have taken. No need to “rub it in”. But Urban saw it differently. Classless…….

    • jrgdds

      Score or not. Ohio State was not passing the ball around to run up the score. They were running the same play over and over ad nauseum. Everyone knew what was coming. It would have been an insult to not to allow Oregon the opportunity to maintain their self respect Let alone the fact that Zeke was the workhorse that won the game and he deserved to earn records that will stand for a long time.

  • fairweatherfowl

    I am an Indiana University graduate. I never cared about football. Game Day clown, Lee Corso, used to coach the Hoosier football team. So I called myself “fairweatherfowl”–cheer the Ducks when they win. I joined this site when all the outrage to “fire the coaches who aren’t named Kelly” started.

    Mark Helfrich, Don Pellum, Scott Frost and all the coaches of this team deserve kudos for continuing to innovate without scrapping Kelly’s program. An outside coaching staff would have blown the program up, like a new alpha male in a pride of lions–the first act is to kill all the cubs he didn’t father.

    Helfrich seems to have a personality much like HIS most famous recruit and student, Marcus Mariota. The assistant coaches, both young and more ‘experienced,’ have indicated that Helfrich isn’t the least bit autocratic. He listens to his assistants and even asks the players for their input. He’s humble. In front of the team and assistant coaches he blamed himself for this year’s loss to Arizona. He nurtured a culture he didn’t create. He believes in the culture and system, and he gets his players to buy into the process as he leads them from being boys to being men.

    Scott Frost said the Oregon program was is the most enjoyable program he has been associated with, which makes it difficult for him to entertain leaving for another, larger job. After only one year as the defensive coordinator, there are plenty of rumors that Don Pellum is being courted by older, bigger, more traditional schools to coach for them at 3 times his current salary.

    The coaches always deserved a chance to demonstrate their full capabilities. They have done a great job since Kelly and Aliotti left. They have recruited players with character and coachable talent. They have removed talented players who displayed breaches of character so the rest of the team could congeal into a family of brothers, not merely a team.

    To me, the Ducks, in their current iteration, are true champions, not just because of the way they play, but because of the way they represent the university both on and off the field. Losing games isn’t nearly as important as losing respect. For what it’s worth, those coaches have my respect. I’m no longer a band wagon fan. Now, I am a true fanatic.

    Michael Miller

  • Countryou

    I just wanted to say thank you for such an amazing site. I am an OSU fan have been my whole life. I have always enjoyed watching Oregon football and that amazing offense. Your videos explaining the offense really helped me enjoy the National Championship Game even more.

    The only thing I would challenge would be saying that our coaching staff ran up the score. As a fan I was still nervous about a wild comeback until we punched it in the last time. I honestly feel that if Oregon didn’t have 2 timeouts left that we absolutely would have taken a knee, but Oregon wasn’t going to quit until there was no time left on the clock. That is admirable, but it forced Ohio State to keep playing too. Thus from your perspective we appeared to run up the score.

    Anyway, congrats on an amazing season and I look forward to watching Oregon football in the future!

    • duckboy

      hey buddy,

      Thanks for the compliments but get real on your explanation of your teams/coach’s poor sportsmanship.

      Take a knee on 1st and goal and see if we use a time out if you are that worried with :25 seconds left.

      Get real with yourself and own it.

      • Frank Lennon

        Look at the final scores of Oregon’s schedule. How and the world can any Oregon fan point there finger at OSU….please

        • P.u. Bea-Mullet

          You haven’t been paying attention. Those lopsided games were lopsided by the 3rd quarter, when OREGON PULLS ITS STARTERS. If anything, the margins would have been even greater if we followed the example of Meyers.

          • jrgdds

            It’s OK to run up the score using 2nd and 3rd string players. And at a Championship level, it’s better to have your opponent take a knee and not even attempt score lest feelings get hurt. Score or not. It would have been an insult to not to allow Oregon the opportunity to maintain their self respect

            Helfrich’s didn’t signal that his up tempo score quickly players were beaten and quit before time ran out. And not one of the Ducks coaches or players has complained about OSU’s final TD.

          • Littleduckies2001

            Who were your second and third stringers on the field at the time beyond the qb Who played the whole game?

          • jrgdds

            Others posted that Oregon puts in second and third stringers that score late in the game. My point was not that Ohio State had a significant number of second or third string players in the game.

            My point was that the result is the same for the other team. The other team doesn’t go home after the game saying to themselves “Well at least at the end there they tried not to score on us. They were using their bench.”

            I’ve watched the Ducks for years. First stringers, second stringers, whoever, they do score necessarily on inferior competition when the game is out of contention. But really, it’s not the Ducks job to stop the Ducks.

  • oregon111

    my expert opinion:

    in 2012, the ducks had a better o-line (including TE) and front 7 on defense…

    problem is: lack of recruits to fill the ranks

    how to hurdle the hump? answer: recruit better on defense – case closed

    this is the worst set of inside backers since I have been watching the Ducks (2006)

  • duck11

    Fish, great analysis and insight. I really enjoy your stuff. I to thought Meyers actions at the en of the game was classless, but you kno what they say about karma, it will come for him someday. As to the game I was disappointed we have not learned the lessons taught to us by LSU and Auburn, lessons and class the second time around tend to sting a little more. I to believe like you we will win a title soon, and with this staff, and it will be sweet. The future of Duck football is bright. Keep up your awesome work. Go Ducks

  • Devin Reynolds

    I think Ohio State’s unlimited practice time, compared to Oregon’s 20 hours was a HUGE advantage that no one has really addressed
    yet. I can’t imagine it will stand in future seasons. The
    “opportunities” that the Ducks had, were foiled PRECISELY BECAUSE the
    Ohio State defense knew our playbook front to
    back, they hardly missed an assignment or fell for a misdirection all
    game, they’re not super geniuses and that wasn’t magic. Ohio State knew our
    playbook because they had unlimited time to study it with their coaches. I imagine they maybe spent 4 hours a day on film alone, let alone other
    practice. All told, I bet they put in 10+ hour days last week, simply because they could. However long it took them, it was clearly far more time than Oregon had at it’s disposal. Oregon wasn’t able to alter their plays in order to
    introduce new wrinkles and variations because they DIDN’T have time to
    learn new material, they were lucky to have enough time to study up on
    Ohio State. Ohio State had the luxury of treating this game like another bowl game (ample preparation, bring in new and surprising material), while Oregon had to treat it like a regular season game (sharpen up what you already do, try to learn the other team, but don’t do anything drastically different, all while juggling classes). Everyone was kind of iffy about whether this
    was an advantage, but now that the game is over… IT WAS. The inequity
    of this particular aspect of the game was a joke that, I think, made a
    mockery of the playoff system. Clearly no one had thought about
    the lengthened season bumping into the winter academic schedule being a potential
    issue. I don’t mean to take anything away from Ohio State’s players
    (though, some of them are among the most abysmal winners I’ve ever seen, coach included), but I personally think that this imbalance was
    more responsible for the manner of Oregon’s defeat than anything they would have done if prep time had been a level playing field.

  • MAITAIDUCK

    I just think 8 starters that officially cost us the Game. Allen, Brown Addison and Carringtons disregard for his Teammates spelled doom for this offense. I mean your right as in you gotta give credit to OS for getting Urban Meyer to come there. Oregon’s Coaching Staff should get a clear cut F for the teams performance as in especially on the D Line and I’m thinking maybe Pellum really isn’t the answer to give up that many yards to 1 RB is ridiculous for a Championship Game period. Maybe Oregon should go to a 4-3 Defense and play more Man like they used to. Oregon will be once again loaded especially on offense and it will just matter who plays QB. Canton will make people forget Armstead who really never became the same dominant player he surely would of been at LT where we certainly could of used him more after the terrible performance in the Title Game. Its evident this D Line still needs to get stronger and a RUN Stopping unit is better than a Pass rushing D any day. Lets not forget the NCAA didn’t want Oregon in that BIG GAME as evidenced by the BAD Officiating. No wonder Jake Fisher got the 15 yard penalty after that Cheep Shot Bosa hut Marcus clearly after the Ball was out of his hands and should of been a roughing call! They absolutely wanted OS too win and it’s always 1 thing or another keeping Oregon from winning it all and this year was INJURIES because if we’d of had all our Offensive play makers on that offense it would of been Oregon winning with 1 more score than the Buck’s I have no doubt. It sucks nto lose it again but what really sucks is losing to OS 9 times in a row! Oregon needs to schedule them and win that next game.