At … We Are Hurting, too!


My friends – I feel your pain, heck we all do at, as we are Duck fans like you, and volunteer our writing, editing and analyzing for the fun of it. We are long-term, bleeding-green fans who give up a good chunk of our free time to offer our thoughts and hope to inform and entertain you in the process. It is really hard for us to want to write about all the implications of the loss to Colorado and the contemplation about the state of the program of Oregon Football that we all love so much.

Boy, was I WRONG

I have made a ton of predictions over time and been pleased at how most have gone my direction – until this year. I was wrong about all three facets of the team, as an example I felt this would be our most explosive offense ever at Oregon, yet the reality is that the downfield passing attack that has been so sophisticated in the past … is coming along too slow for what this team needs.

Time for a re-set already?

Gary Breedlove

Time for a re-set already?

I thought the defense could be adequate this season with the defense installed by defensive coordinator Brady Hoke and from what I saw in the spring (massively wrong). I cannot help but wonder if the Ducks won’t start over again rebuilding the defense after this season … yet you can shoot yourself in foot doing that. What are your thoughts, Oregon fans?

I thought the Special Teams would be special this year – a real contributor to the team scoring. Yet between the mistakes of one player, and some bad calls sandwiched between superb performances (such as the fake punt), they came up way short in helping the team as much as I thought they would.

“We are in an awful spot; our defense is just horrendous, and our offense cannot score enough for the ‘out-score the opponent’ philosophy.”

Do remember the Grizzled Ol’ Coach’s prediction of “if Oregon’s offense isn’t ‘great,’ there are going to be a lot of painful losses waiting down the road.” 

Damn – that didn’t take long!

Impact of the Loss and Remaining Season?

Is this the end of an era at Oregon? It kinda feels like it to me – but my track record lately is not so hot. How does it feel to you? The impact of this loss on team confidence, in how they view themselves and how the rest of the nation views us is yet unknown – but it can’t be good. How will this affect recruiting? Ticket sales? The budget, and thus the impact on other sports at Oregon? What a shame …

Better re-think the Uniforms …

When we’re winning – uniforms that honor The Duck are fun, and cool; when we’re losing they look clownish and dumb. Losing takes the luster off of everything cool about the program and even our staff at has been questioning if the even our judgment on uniforms has gone off-track?

Will the fun end?

From a message board...

Will the fun end?

Keep this in Mind …

I really can’t whine or complain, as Oregon has done a lot of winning in the last five years, and not all programs can remain on top forever – otherwise Army would still be No. 1 in the nation. Yet so much of this feels that it could have been prevented …  (I’m sure Husky fans said that following the decline after the Don James Affair)  

Change your perspective on viewing the games and how to enjoy them. Come to to learn the game and ponder with our writers, as the more you know about the game of football – the more you can enjoy this wonderful college game … even if we lose. And the more you learn, the more you will appreciate the good plays, and even admire what our opponents are doing. (Yeah – it sucks to turn to that perspective, but it helps.)

On Monday, I hope to offer you the thoughts on the team from those who are currently or are retired from being paid to coach the sport.

Have your retort Ready …

What do I do when ugly opposing fans begin to relish in our pain and rub salt on the wound? I tell them …

“Who cares? We’re a basketball school!”


Charles Fischer    (FishDuck)
College Football Analyst for
Eugene, Oregon

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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...

  • bbb

    Painful loss, without a doubt… The Ducks have lost their identity and their swagger. Colorado runs the blur, and executes it well. Oregon’s offense is slow and plodding in comparison. The thing that made this game close was the CU redshirt freshman, who eventually made enough mistakes to keep Oregon in the game. I have a feeling that if Colorado had their starting QB, this one would have been a blowout.

    Colorado is a good team and will challenge for the North. They are good on both sides of the ball and Coach Mac has them executing.

    • Your second sentence is so true and painful. How quickly it can be lost….

      Thanks bbb.

      • Daniel Frank

        Charles, why are opponents able to repeatedly run up the middle untouched?

        • See the “Coaches Comments” article Monday; it will be a dilly…

          • bbb

            I am sure it will be… Will it come with an advisory statement for the faint of heart?

          • Ha! That might just be needed as the most scathing is from a coach coming from a source you would not expect. I am working on it now and am shaking my head….

            It is painful as a devoted Duck fan, but we can also learn some good football from it.

    • Mike Green

      Colorado and Utah are in the south division


    I have to make myself understand that this is a really young team that really should be 4-0 if it wasn’t for the HEAD MAN! I also have to understand that Helfrich might not be the right guy for this innovative DUCK Fraturnity and right now that innovation that got us here has now nothing innovative except some really ridiculous uiniform combinations. I’m really concerned about the future of this program now that our whole staff is just getting way older. I’m really for bringing in a kind of Coach and his coaching staff that show no matter where they go they’ll turn that program into a winner like a few coach’s out there like Saban, Urban I HATE Meyers and the man that I believe could bring Oregon into the next decade is TODD HERRMAN. I’ve heard the debate that Oregon couldn’t make the hire because of money that we couldn’t compete with other schools that could pay him the money. Thats ridiculous to even say such a thing and If Oregon’s AD and the people that make these types of decisions don’t do just that then Oregon might just go back to the old days and maybe playing in a Bowl game. Sooner or later these guys like Greatwood, Pellum, Campbell ect should be put out to pasture and who do theit Coach H if he’s shown us anything it’s he doesn’t know how to make a wise decision when it comes to being the HEAD MAN of a once great innovative program. Prukop should be benched and out Freshman Hebert should be given the oppertunity to see what he can bring to the table. Sorry for rambling on but right now I’m really embarrassed about forking out money to the rich that basically aren’t giving me anything back on my investment.

    • Hello Maitai,

      Your rambling is understandable as we all are kind of angry, sad, and dazed. But for easier reading–it would help to hit an “enter” button once in awhile and create a paragraph.

      Your Herbert comment has real merit, and we might just hear about that from one of the site’s favorite writers, Mike Merrell, tomorrow.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

    • Buckeye Steve

      Todd Herrman will probably be your coach next year and work for nothing…. count on it!!! Ha! Now Tom Herman will get to choose where here coaches next year and will never even consider being the Oregon coach… Compare Oregon football to any blue chip program on winsipedia and you will see why… I’ve said it for a month…. you will want Brady Hoke gone come the first of October. You have the offensive power you just need a real DC. Washington is going to be a mess…

  • duckusucker

    Well, Charles, there were a lot of us optimists crying into our granola this morning.
    Here’s my main takeaway: this team is competitive with second-tier teams. That’s it. It hasn’t shown it can defeat them, yet. The reasons are interesting: very young team. New coach/system (on D). A QB that has blown to end-of-game plays.
    But the O always has been the key to the new winning-era Ducks— and this one just ain’t workin’ as it should w/Prukop: he’s obviously not the fast study VA was (who could be???). Nor as talented a passer.
    But the real reason the Ducks won’t find success is Helfrich (and Lubick). He keeps doing the same-old, same-old. No wrinkles. In fact, though the Ducks began the nation-wide move to zone-read and hurry-up, they now have the worst version of it I’ve seen this year (and I’ve seen a lot of highlights of other teams). If not for the amazing skill position talent, it would be a sup-par offense from both the QB and line position(s).
    I do like the way the team kept fighting, but the amazing amount of defensive mistakes especially in the first quarter were unforgivable. A green-as-can-be QB lighting up the Ducks? Buff coach said he came out calling basic plays to get his new QB comfortable— and pleasantly was surprised to see the Ducks again-and-again align in the perfect positions to be exploited. Was Hoke asleep for that entire first quarter?
    Every game will be a war. I don’t know, perhaps it is time to see if indeed Herbert is a real talent? If we’re going to lose anyhow, may as well give the kid a shot.
    Frankly, I saw so many mistakes, so much poor tackling and out-of-position play, that I think we may be headed for a brawl amongst the cellar dwellers.
    Of course, then the devil whispers in my ear that all of the above would be superfluous if but two plays, one each week, had gone differently…….

    • Ducku….it does appear that the inexperience among the coaches is glaring. A HC still learning the ropes, and new Offensive Coordinator, new QB Coach, and new Defensive Coordinator is a bit too much transition for one year.

      It all makes me sad.

      Good points and thanks.

      • duckusucker

        Keep up the good work and good summary of inexperience at coaching level.
        Still, it should be an entertaining season, if not much else.
        Any gentleman’s bet on Herbert seeing some time?
        Helf is pretty stubborn so I’d say not…

  • douglas fur

    The UofO is about learning. Where will the learning take place?
    Oregon had a once-in-a-lifetime quarterback. Stanford had one who was once-in-a-decade. Both are on a downward trend. Browning looks like a decade player.
    CU and Standard won because they were well coached.
    Peterson looks good too. Anderson sounds like he has his head straight. Leach doesn’t, at least in terms of disipline.* Dykes seems to run hot and cold. Is Helfrich as good or the victim of a down cycle of players? Too soon to tell. (The previous administrator also had a habit of relating a play once too often.) {“Uncle Phil” is getting old. How long will he wait for a Title?}
    For perspective, how well is USC doing meeting expectations or recovering from losing Carrol?
    (*Leach and Hoke both seem to blame others. This reminds me of the portent from a Michigan fan who said we’d find “Hoke is a joke…)
    I’m still optimistic for a winning season. There is motivation for learning. Beat the Dawgs? Maybe. Bowl? Not for roses but lower tier.


    • You make a good point, Doug, about the quality of coaching in the conference is like no other time that I’ve seen. We have to be pretty good to stay up….and we’re not.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

  • Platypus

    I said before the season that this team would be defined by it’s defense and that’s been the case. The offense has played well enough to win but, oh the defense…
    Teams are running and passing against the Ducks so why not load the box and at least stop the run. The play calling on both sides of the ball is mystifying.

    • Well….the offense has played enough to barely win, but the potential (in my opinion) was/is much higher.


    • Mike Green

      Teams are running and passing against the Ducks so why not load the box and at least stop the run

      that is what the ducks did last year — the run D was pretty good but the passing D was the worst

      do you reeeeeaaaaaly want pac12 QBs to throw on the ducks all game long???

      might as well blitz on every down and get a stop once in a while

  • Mike Green

    from my perspective, what I see when I watch the games is that the front 4 on D are blocked on every play AND the running backs have no lane to run thru

    combine that with a QB who is NOT accurate & C Nelson returning like a scared little girl – compare that to how Cliff Harris used to return punts and DAT returning kickoffs

    now for the other side of the coin:

    Reggie Daniels, Amadi, Springs playing aggressive coverage with mixed success,
    Dye is really good at outside LB, Hochkins and Reagan are ‘serviceable’,
    Freeman is top talent – if he comes back,
    the freshmen O linemen are doing well for being freshmen,
    still have a good field goal kicker

    so according to my analysis:

    ducks can play better by — getting a better QB, getting better D linemen, and getting a better return man, and better play calling on both sides of the ball

    to do this – ducks need a new direction — ie. head coach