The blog Bear Insider published this article to preview each Pac-12 team, and it included some interesting comments about Oregon concerning the 2019 season and the upcoming 2020 campaign. I thought it would provide us some information about the other conference teams going into the season and some discussion points about Oregon’s prospects this fall. (I list their bullet points and then offer my reaction to their items in bold and italics.)
Looking at the Ducks in 2020
+ “A top ten national defense in 2019 returns nine starters and welcomes in three Five-star [sic] recruits …”
This is correct as the Ducks are a top-ten, if not top-five defense returning on many boards. We’ve never had this in Eugene before!
+ “The Ducks have put together back-to-back top ten nationally ranked recruiting classes and are loaded with elite, young talent.”
Actually the Ducks have had the best three years of recruiting classes in the row ever at Oregon. (An article about that was here.)
+ “The schedule is favorable with their toughest opponents — UW, USC, Ohio State and ASU all at home. Cal may well be their toughest road tilt.”
That is a very accurate statement, and makes the home schedule for viewing simply amazing. Usually the fans get one or maybe two huge games, but Ohio State, USC and Washington? An Autzen paradise for fans if we have a season!
+ “The addition of new OC Joe Moorhead can provide a much-needed dynamism to Oregon’s offense.”
For some of us … that is a “no-kidding” kind of statement, while others feel that Marcus Arroyo was not appreciated enough.
– “There was a lot of staff turnover for the Ducks this off-season with grumblings about a toxic staff culture under HC Mario Cristobal.”
There will always be a lot of turnover when you are successful and while we don’t like it as fans — it is reality. A toxic culture? Not what I’ve heard, although I’ve heard that Mario Cristobal is hard on assistants, as he expects them to recruit and work as hard as he does. Thoughts on this?
– “The offense loses Justin Herbert, their top two big-play receivers (one being their TE), and four starters along the OL. It will be a young and inexperienced group on that side of the ball.”
I feel pretty good about Anthony Brown (the Boston College transfer) and Tyler Shough at QB, but the offensive line replacement does not happen easily or seamlessly. A very valid point IMHO.
– “Breaking in a new QB behind an inexperienced OL is generally not the recipe for success, especially when Ohio State, UW and Cal’s defenses are all in the 1st half of the schedule.”
Yikes. This to me is another very valid point, that perhaps can be off-set by the RPOs that Joe Moorhead is known for? (Thoughts?)
– “How did the 2019 team with a stalwart defense, a first-round pick at QB and the nation’s best OL not make the playoff? Mario Cristobal may be the limiting factor in maximizing this team’s talent.”
This one is not going to go over well with many Oregon fans. I understand that when you have 17 of 22 starters returning with seniors such as Justin Herbert and Troy Dye, the reasonable goal can be the Playoffs. Yet to me, this team was mentally inexperienced at being in the top ten, and the two losses were part of both the players’ and coaches’ learning curves. (See the article about the mental growth here.)
Keep in mind that this was written by fellow fans on the Cal website, and they took a ton of time to research each team. It is a good summary with bullet points about the teams, and the article makes some great points and observations about what to watch for in 2020. As for the Oregon comments? Isn’t it is interesting to see how other fans in the conference view Oregon and the head coach?
“Oh how we love to ponder about Our Beloved Ducks!”
Charles Fischer (Mr. FishDuck)
Top Photo by Kevin Cline
P.S. We know about the Ohio State game change that occurred yesterday …
Andrew Mueller, the FishDuck.com Volunteer Editor for this article, works in higher education in Chicago, Illinois.
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