Coach’s Comments After Nebraska: “What a Mess … “

In keeping with our announcement of shifting the site toward more total analysis (including the bad plays to learn from), I offer a brutal assessment of the Oregon football team from Mike Morris (the Grizzled Ol’ Coach).  Charles Fischer 

What I saw:

GOC was stunned at what he saw....

Charles Fischer

GOC was stunned at what he saw …

Probably like most of you, the Ducks defense surprised me only in the number of points [not] allowed, and the offense surprised me – too many times – in its ineffectiveness.  Let’s look at:

DEFENSE

What a mess.  What the hell happened to un-confused players “wreaking havoc” in opponents’ backfields? The final score was deceptive because the Ducks‘ offense never turned the ball over, and because of that Nebraska lateral turnover to the Ducks. And the Ducks defenders seemed to give great “effort” - “they’re just not very good.”

But – I repeat –

“The Ducks’ defense was a mess.”

After 3 games, I see only Arrion Springs as [possibly] worthy of “Pac-12 Honorable Mention.” There’s just no one who’s good. Well, maybe Tyree Robinson at corner, NOT as a safety. My morning milk carton had a picture of Troy Dye. NOBODY can defeat blockers effectively, and/or tackle with any power. “Puny” and “soft” weren’t the words Brady Hoke was thinking would describe his defense.

Are they well-coached? Shit … WHAT DO THEY DO AT THEIR PRACTICES? The players are OFTEN confused about their assignments; the coaches are confused about which players to play; (Charles thinks they are “throwing mud against the wall to see who sticks/can play) and Hoke is confused about which schemes to use. They have no defensive “identity” – except hoping that the offense makes a mistake.

Arrion Springs

From Video

Arrion Springs

Hoke is smart enough to know he must put some pressure on the passer, but he doesn’t know how/is unable to do it. He sure can’t do it with just four, so he brings five – or even six – nope. No – vitally needed – QB sacks!

Meanwhile, the pass coverage is weakened while blitzing. The Ducks seem to have tried every conceivable blitz and coverage, with every player they have, and, unless Springs makes a great play, it is all ineffective.

Was Nebraska good? Damn straight. Isn’t everybody else in the Pac-12 [except the Beavers] similarly as good? Will Oregon get better, good enough to stop those other guys? I don’t see how. There’s just no “there” (substance) there. The return of Dye? And playing Dye and Jonah Moi together? Keeping Robinson at corner? Brenden Schooler and Drayton Carlberg provided glimmers of hope, but I, unfortunately, feel sure the Ducks defense is destined for a lot of painful Pac-12 games.

OFFENSE

As painful as the Ducks defense was for me to watch, I was more disappointed by their offense. An “embarrassment of riches?” All that talent always seemed to shoot itself in the foot. Borrowing from above, I didn’t sense an offensive “identity” from Oregon.

Coach Riley had seen this scenario before...

From Video

Coach Riley had seen this scenario before …

You realize that the Ducks’ last drive was almost identical to the drive in Mike Riley‘s last Civil War? Just like the Beavers. Nebraska scored, but there was enough time for Marcus Mariota to lead the Ducks to a winning TD [pass to Josh Huff]. Dakota Prukop could have done the same this time, but I “knew” he wouldn’t. (Yeah, it’s unfair to compare a third-game QB with a third year starter, Mariota)

And as pessimistic as I am about the Ducks’ defense, I’m very optimistic about the Ducks’ offense (even with the possible losses of Royce Freeman and Devon Allen). As incredibly great as Freeman is and potentially great as Allen is, I think the Ducks can still find their identity and have a great offensive season.

But if Oregon’s offense isn’t “great,” there are going to be a lot of painful losses waiting down the road.

Mike Morris
College Football Analyst for FishDuck.com
Pleasant Hill, Oregon

Top Photo from Video

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