You know how it is; Oregon Spring games are hard to truly gauge for accuracy going forward. I could list a ton of examples from the past, but I’m sure you have experienced frustration and fascination from what has unfolded in the many Spring Games you’ve witnessed in the past.
For the moment–I simply wish to give those who did not see the game my first impressions, while a more full report will come on Monday morning. We will be breaking down specific plays and techniques through the spring and summer as we have a lot to discuss. For now–let’s look at the bullet points:
The Oregon Homer within me….
–Braxton Burmeister is Better
Admit it–most all of us felt that he could never be a Pac-12 quarterback, but his improvement was astonishing to me. He could beat a Bowling Green, but not a Stanford yet in case of injury to you-know-who. But such a jump in his play shouts out to me the confirmation of internal reports that he did not expect to play last year and was truly not ready. With the trend-line he is on … he could come through for the Ducks at a later date, but I have more to discuss later this summer.
–Satisfied Shuck is a Duck? (Shough)
That name (Tyler Shough, pronounced ‘Shuck’) is going to mess us fans and writers up for a long time, while he is messing up Pac-12 defenses for touchdowns. I love the look and the upside of this player; the next Justin Herbert?
I was quite worried hearing the starting center Jake Hanson was injured all spring, with back-up Calvin Throckmorton dealing with an injury as well. Yet we had no bad center snaps, and as I’ll show later, some damn good blocking at the center position.
–Verdell is Verified
The word in spring camp was confirmed as CJ Verdell impressed me with his vision and his understanding of utilizing his low pad level and power for short yardage situations. My Greybeard friends … think Tony Cherry!
If you do not get the Pac-12 Channel and want to see the game? Email me at email@example.com and I can make it happen; donations to help offset the costs of the site are accepted…
–Tremendous in the Trenches
Holy Crap! I loved what I saw going on with the offensive line …wow! Trust me my friends, as we have never seen road-grading like this by our beloved Ducks ever before. Before I gush too much and drool on the keyboard … I will provide a touch of the other side of this issue and you will want to offer your feedback over the spring and summer. This is definitely a two-sided sword…
–Davis is Divine…
Daewood Davis made this game quite a coming out party, but he finally helped me understand what I’ve been failing to put into the written word in describing the other receivers in the past. Some players have the “it” factor, and Davis does between his speed, his route-running and his savvy to make a play. His first touchdown said it all…
Our other receivers simply do not have the “it” factor; they are serviceable.
The Negative Nellie within me...
I know … I got a thing for alliteration in subtitles today, but when you spend a bunch of money on your own site for the fun and passion and for fellow Duck fans—you can do these impulsive things.
Disappointed with the Defense?
Yup–so was I. In the morning Eugene Register-Guard … I was reading FishDuck.com contributor Coach Ken Woody, and looking over the names on the offensive and defensive lines before the game, and was wincing. Based upon experience of 30+ prior Spring Games? This looked bad for the offense, as there was much more talent on the defensive line in depth than on offense–yet you would not know it from watching the game.
Defensive Coordinator Jim Leavitt should be very proud of the step up by the linebackers and frankly … the secondary was better than I anticipated. But I think the head coach Mario Cristobal got his area on the team excelling in a fashion I did not see coming…
This Offense is Offensive to ME….
I am gravely disappointed, concerned and almost in a blind panic at what I saw from a schematic, X&Os point of view. They were not wrong, but philosophically so different…it is more than I can cover here and will go into it deeply on Monday morning. This is not what I was sold on…do any of the Greybeards remember the Craig Fertig fiasco in the 70s at little brother 40 miles away?
We could be in big trouble.
There is so much to discuss, and on this site we will do so in a civilized way, but we will not refrain from stating our true feelings and thoughts. On Monday morning–you will see an article expanding upon what you see above, and while I could be wrong–it is worth considering.
Regardless … “oh how we love to learn about our Beloved Ducks!”
Charles Fischer (FishDuck)
Top Photo by Kevin Cline