Key Points: A FishDuck Focus On Washington State

Charles Fischer Editorials 153 Comments

There are some big keys to watch for today that have not been discussed elsewhere, and this is the site for such contemplation. Time for my Saturday GameDay articles again, and the only negative is a short season of them! Join me in the comment section below this article, where we will discuss what to look for before the game, comment as events unfold during the game, and then begin to debrief after the game.

I will also have a shorter “game reaction” article on Sunday mornings for in-depth pondering of the recent game. It is SO good to get back in the saddle again, and I have some unique items to watch for in this game that could have a big impact today and going forward.

Oregon Offense Observations

The biggest question is just how much more of the Joe Moorhead offense will be unveiled in Pullman today? I have to say I am pleased as punch that five new starters on the offensive line were rated among the best in the nation this past week by PFF college. That is stunning, unheard of, and bodes well going forward; do watch Steven Jones, No. 74 at left tackle, protecting the blind-side of our quarterback. He was surprisingly quick and athletic in stopping the Stanford pass rush, and for 340 lbs.? Exceptional!

Craig Strobeck

Remember when we ran outside so well? (Royce Freeman recalls it too)

Instead of focusing on the plays inside the tackles, I do hope we see some counters, sweeps and outside zone plays that are not “stretch” plays in the Pistol, as it could sure add variety to the running attack. The Ducks have superb wide receiver blocking, so take full advantage of it: run outside! I’m watching to see more of what OC Joe Moorhead hinted at before the season. Will he tone down the use of the Pistol? (Geez I hope so!)

I am certainly watching for this and the use of Oregon’s savvy wide receivers catching more passes across the middle in post and drag routes. It seemed that Tyler Shough did not see receivers opening up on those crossing patterns, and it is important for that aspect to develop as the Ducks completed short and long passes superbly. I also believe screen passes could be successful this week as the WSU defense is very aggressive and made some great sacks and “hurries” last week.

Another key to watch is the performance of Oregon’s center, as he got blown up several times versus the Cardinal and was pushed backward a number of other times. The Cougars do not have the big nose tackle, but it is still something to keep an eye on.

Kevin Cline

We need Jordon Scott to require a double-team…and holding!

Has Jordon Scott Lost Too Much Weight?

When he joined the Ducks from Florida four years ago, Jordon Scott carried over 350 lbs. that needed some trimming. But slimming down to 311 concerns me. Against Stanford he got blocked easily and sometimes got blown backwards. Granted this was against double-teams at times, but the objective of the nose tackle is to require double-teaming, hold the gap and free the linebackers for tackles.

Scott wants to be a pass-rusher, and I get it, but I am concerned that he has turned himself into a “tweener”–not agile enough to be an effective pass rusher and not big enough to be a “two-gap” defender. Compounding the problem is the absence again this weekend of Popo Aumavae, who I felt was often better than Scott last year. A defense starts with plugging the middle, and the Cardinal ate Oregon alive at the line-of-scrimmage at times last week, especially in the early going.

The Ducks are Vulnerable up the MIDDLE?

Many in this very astute FishDuck community have pointed out how the Oregon defense misses the play of Jevon Holland and Brady Breeze. They were exceptional, and, frankly, their replacements are not. Increasing those concerns will be Verone McKinley’s unavailability the first half of this week’s game. While I understand the talent at inside linebacker is there, the inexperience could be a real killer early in the season. Too many times the linebackers took the wrong gap or were too easily blocked. While these are correctable, can the corrections be made after only one game?

UO Athletics

Noah Sewell graded well, but had quite a few get away…

I understand the hype about Noah Sewell as he blew up some plays. However, he also had running backs slip from his grasp a number of times. Will we see improvement? My conclusion is that for now–between Scott, the inside linebackers and the safeties–the Oregon defense is vulnerable up the gut. The Cougars ran the ball for 229 yards last week, and with the Duck defense trying to cover WSU’s precise pass patterns and this weakness versus the run?

Not good.

Washington State:  This is NOT Your Father’s Run-and-Shoot Offense

I was very impressed with the first game of the new Run-and-Shoot offense at Washington State, and I would guess that it is a version that is unique to Head Coach Nick Rolovich. When an R&S team actually runs for more yardage than it passes for, you know it is a balanced attack that will be difficult to contain. Rolo’s R&S looks different than the version NFL coach Buddy Ryan derisively called “the Chuck-and-Duck” so many years ago. (With a name like that–you’d think I’d love it!)

The Cougs’ freshman quarterback Jayden de Laura, a true frosh playing in his first collegiate game last week, impressed me every bit as much as Tyler Shough did. De Laura has elite arm strength and is not just mobile … he is fast. Rolovich’s Cougs will run some traditional plays, but they are not afraid to pull a “Chip Kelly” on third and long. Knowing the opposing defense will be in an eight-man zone with a three-man rush (what I have called the 3-Duck-Chuck before), Rolovich will not hesitate to run a wonderfully blocked draw play out of the short Pistol formation for the first down!

Fox Sports Video

Washington State quarterback Jayden de Laura has some fast-twitch.

The final Cougar touchdown last week against the Beavers was a play I have not seen before, where the slotback took the handoff and effectively did a Jet Sweep but cut inside his perimeter blocks. Was this truly “cutting inside the blocks,” or was the blocking scheme actually designed this way? With the innovative and eclectic nature of this offense, I’m inclined to think this was by design rather than by accident.

I understand that many believe Oregon will bulldoze the smaller WSU defensive line, but I saw good athleticism by them, especially in the first half. On one play the Beavs had a seven-man, max-protect blocking package on a pass play, and the Cougars still got the sack rushing only four.  These are Pac-12 scholarship athletes who clearly have talent, and while we should not fear them, they are definitely deserving of our respect.

Is this the TRAP GAME of the Year for Oregon?

I am concerned that Oregon is coming into this game as more talented opponents have with the Ducks in years past, believing they could lean on their superior talent to ball-control their way to a routine victory.  The Ducks of years past, on the other hand, believe that their inspired, go-for-broke offense could outscore a more talented team that adopted a more plodding approach, and they were usually right. I worry this year’s Ducks, now with superior talent, may tend toward the plodding approach, setting the stage for the Trap-Game of the season.

One component I take refuge in is the mental preparation by the coaches; coach Mario Cristobal remembers getting his caboose kicked in the Palouse two years ago, and the team is still smarting from last year’s loss (that should not have happened) against Arizona State. This is mental toughness that only comes from experience and could prove to be very valuable for this young Oregon football team.

Fox Sports Video

Washington State may have a gem in Nick Rolovich.

In the telecast of last week’s Beavs-Cougs game, a quote attributed to coach Rolovich stunned me as he stated that this WSU squad “is the most talented team he has had the privilege of coaching.” What? Holy Crap! This guy must really be used to coaching players up and utilizing anything innovative that he can. Those kind of coaches are dangerous to the upper echelon teams of the world and heightens my fear of a Ducks loss….

Or I could be completely wrong and Oregon wins big! I do believe Oregon needs to score at least 40 to win, and I am not sure if the team is there yet?

This article has a ton to unpack, and again–it is only my opinion. So many coaches know so much more than I, and I highly respect so many of those who comment on this site. So much great football knowledge among this mastermind group.

Consider my thoughts as I do those of many economists and pollsters: “frequently wrong, but never in doubt!”

“Oh how we love to ponder about Our Beloved Ducks!”

Charles Fischer   (Mr. FishDuck)
Eugene, Oregon
Top Photo by Kevin Cline

Phil Anderson, the FishDuck.com Volunteer editor for this article, is a trial lawyer in Bend Oregon.

 

 

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Alex Besaw

So far it’s been a huge upgrade from Arroyo to Moorhead. He has done a great job attacking space instead of bodies with some simple 1st level RPO’s with inside zone read.

I’d love for my duck family to check out the breakdown that I’ve done on the ducks through 2 games:

https://spreadoffensefootball.com/one-simple-rpo-for-inside-zone-read

You can either read the article, or scroll to the bottom and click on the play button to play the video that I made breaking down the Slip RPO.

Thanks and it’s always GO DUCKS!

silverflurry

Can’t believe I’m rooting for beavis.

David Marsh

In other news … Washington looks like crap. Oregon State is gashing washington’s defense with run plays.

Washington’s offense is mostly just run plays as their qb plays has been pretty bad and running the ball can get the job done against Oregon State so far.

oregon111

I’m not too sure about the defensive scheme. Two straight years where we see nothing from the stud position.

Safeties getting burned all game long. Ducks could have easily lost this game. But a lot of really good play calls by the offense, especially the play action passes and zone reads.

Drake

Young team. Mistakes are going to happen. Given time these guys will play much better. Good to see them respond in the 2nd half. That builds up Shough’s confidence for the future.

David Marsh

The youngest team in the country I believe by the eligable underclassmen metric.

Oregon is looking like the best team in the PAC … Even with our love of giving the other team a chance by giving them the ball… Though we are not passing the eyeball test for the playoff.

But a very bright future.

30Duck

Definitely the best, USC gets another last seconds come from behind win, this time against Arizona. They just don’t look very good. Offensively, Klovis is throwing the worst ball I’ve seen in a long time, hardly ever a spiral, and most are just jump balls that the receivers get to. Defense? Not very much.

Jon Joseph

NEVER A DOUBT!

And you were so right Charles, I should have laid the 10 and bet the over.

Instead, I put a bet down on (Feet Of) Clay Helton. His undisciplined bunch pulled out another late and lucky win. Even though SC did all it could to take the L, including committing a lot of stupid, uncalled for, penalties.

Oh well, Indy came through and UNC/Wake lit up the scoreboard. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad. For those following suit, we are now 14 and 6 ATS for the year to date.

Nice win on the road in trap game circumstances. Rolo is a couch to be reckoned with.

David Marsh

The second half was the Oregon team we were all expecting to see this year… Thankfully the first half didn’t cause a loss but it very well could have…

CJ

Little Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde between halves.
Happy to see us finish strong.
Didn’t think we would be 0-5 on the turnover margin and be 2-0 through the first couple games.

Glen Park

It’s good to see the offense finally settling down and executing. That being said, this is not a playoff team. If they keep improving then they’ll win the Pac12 but I think they’d be blitzed by Alabama or Clemson as they are right now.

CJ

This is our playoff drive right here. We need to score a touchdown to maintain hope.

Glen Park

Oregon is not a playoff team right now. Maybe next year but not this year.

CJ

Yeah, you are probably right. But I am still holding out hope we will see big improvements…..particularly in the defensive backfield. Wow, they have been atrocious.

Glen Park

I have no doubt they’ll improve over the course of the next month or so. This sort of inconsistency and sloppy play is usually ironed out against 3 out of conference games against cupcakes so it’s playing out now.

That being said, 3 turnovers on consecutive possessions is a death sentence against more talented teams. Oregon got lucky today.

Last edited 9 days ago by Glen Park
Sherman

Nick Pickett….can’t cover to save his life.
We GOTTA get Dontae Manning in coverage!!!!!
Mykael Wright on one side.
Dontae Manning on the other.
Then we’ll see a turnover.

Sherman

Pickett!!!! Turn your head around!!!!

Glen Park

We now see why Brady Breeze took over the starting spot from him last year.

Sherman

Yep

David Marsh

I LOVE DJ Johnson! The man is a beast and has incredible hands!

30Duck

Have never agreed with anything more. He is unlike any TE Oregon has had before, Beast is the only appropriate adjective.

Glen Park

That was a heads-up play by DJ Johnson, he may keep the starting TE position even after all the injured guys come back.

CJ

Where does Wazzu get these kickers/punters? They are seriously out recruiting everyone with these guys.

Glen Park

At this point I’d even take back Alejandro Maldenado. He didn’t have range but at least he was consistent inside 40 yards…

Sherman

How many names is Tim Brando gonna mispronounce?
Vernon McKinley?
Outsen Stadium?
And on and on and on………

Sherman

Fa loo loo?
My god Tim Brando.
You’re embarrassing.

DuckUp

Exaclty! He called Penei, Penny Sewell. Granted that’s a tough name but come on man this your job!

30Duck

I’m glad I listened to Jerry & Jorgy. Jerry is somewhat less than perfect, but always entertaining.

CJ

Some of the Oregon players look a little stiff and maybe too bulky. It makes them appear a bit slow relative to the Wazzu players. I wonder if some of them pumped too much iron. It can definitely happen with the zeal to be more physical.

Last edited 9 days ago by CJ
Santa Rosa Duck

Can we get Jet Toner?

Glen Park

At this point I’m ready to revoke Lewis’ scholarship. He hasn’t shown any improvement since last year and even looks worse.

DuckUp

Can we get a turnover??

David Marsh

Can Noah Sewell kick field goals? I hear he can do pretty much everything else…

Sherman

And 1 other thing::::
Even though he’s only 1 player, this is emblematic of the lack of effort and disgraceful play we’re seeing of the Ducks tonight and this season.

Look at how early Steven Jones (#74) is giving up on his blocks.
I thought this guy had the Penei Sewell seal of approval.
Apparently, “Big Grizz” didn’t get the memo.

David Marsh

I am sure Oregon would probably have 7-14 more points if Oregon didn’t turn it over 3 times in 3 possessions.

But on the year so far Oregon is -5 on turnover margin… This is not acceptable or sustainable.

Jon Joseph

Kept the Cougs in the game far longer than WSU should have been. But how about that O line with now, only 2 starts under the belt.

Sherman

Here’s what is PAINFULLY APPARENT:::::
Jamal Hill (#19), Nick Pickett (#6), Bennett Williams (#15) and Jordan Happle (#32) are all around the ball.
By “all around the ball”, I mean they are about 5 yards away from every caught ball.
There is NOT A SINGLE PLAY MAKING BALLHAWK AMONG THEM!
As I said previously, the Ducks sorely miss Brady Breeze.

That, and the fact that Kayvon Thibodeaux and Isaac Slade M are both playing terribly.

If we can’t find 1 or 2 playmakers on the defense in the second half, the Ducks are gonna be embarrassed.

Fact.

Sherman

Thank goodness Noah Sewell is playing tonight

oregon111

at half time – they look B A D…

Need to get some pressure on the QB and cover better. Also contain the run to the outside.

On offense, Shough needs to complete some downfield throws. And read past the first receiver.

Anthony Brown should have been playing, with Shough getting in on some series as well.

Linebackers really look over rated. A. Jackson ran down the QB – hope we see more of him out there.

BigDucksFan

You can’t take Shough until 2nd half and only if he throws another interception. He’s our QB and he has to know it.

Mike West

I’m beginning to despise Oregon’s version of the Pistol. Last year wasn’t an Arroyo issue. That should be clear by now. The second fumble was a disaster play no matter what. Moorehead builds momentum ten yards out of the red Zone, and MC wants to stuff it down WSU’s throat. WSU calls a run blitz to attack it, and instead of moving out of the play call, Moorehead and MC run the ball anyway.

The situation called for throwing donwfield to break tendencies, but it’s clear MC is calling the shots. I would have attacked WSU’s secondary in that situation because MC’s motivation is so obvious. WSU would not have defended that well. They attacked with seven in the box.

MC still believes physicality equals effectiveness. Touchdowns equal effectiveness. Even with the turnovers, this should be a one score game (WSU has had ONE long drive for a score-MC is playing it safe, hoping to wear down the Cougars).

Talent aside, this strategy is a buzzkill. Cincinnati, and BYU deserve a playoff bid more than the Ducks do. They don’t tiptoe their way to victory. When teams want to neutralize your run game, you make them pay for it. MC refuses to. I’m very disappointed. This is how inferior teams win games instead of getting obliterated.

Last edited 9 days ago by Mike West
oregon111

good points…. also, the Oregon safeties are getting burned like toast

Another game with Funa as a non-factor. I think the dude is too slow.

RPO got them down the field on the first drive, then they went away from it.

Rolo looks like a good coach, so he gets some credit.

Mike West

It seems to me Funa is slotted out of position. Avalos wasn’t concerned with sealing the edge of the box. Funa is a lockdown edge sealer. Teams don’t run outside of him. He didn’t align outside the tackles much tonight (nobody did).

The safeties are atrocious. All of them. No closing speed, no natural speed, no instinct, no coverage skills. They tackle aggressively, but that’s wasted because they are far too often out of position to make plays.

Worse, the lineman are getting pushed off the LOS. Thibs is the only consistent player at present. I love Sewell. He’s a beast. I’d move Funa inside with him, and put Slade outside with Jackson (with Jackson opposite Thibs). They’d seal the edge better, and Jackson’s pass coverage skills are solid.

Id also teach Funa and Sewell to find the Receivers slashing into the box area, and close off their route by running to where the route is being run, instead of at the receiver(that is where the receiver is at once they spot him-a common mistake linebackers make).. That shuts down the middle so the safeties can start taking care of the fade and post routes.

Im not a fan of skinny safeties. That’s all we have. I want meaty hammers stomping on receivers. With enough speed to close deep, and the ability to close down the box against the run. You know TROY PALOMALU TYPES. KENNY EASLY, and the two Oregon safeties currently in the NFL. Our safeties are slow versions of wide receiver build. Not good.

Avalos has his work Cutout for him, as COVID disturbed the teaching phase of his defense this year.

One other thing…the Pistol is a closer formation. For use when the game is at hand and you want to chew clock. MC has it backwards. WSU had no business closing th e score to seven in the fourth quarter. That is all MC Pistol wanna be Bill Parcells and Bill Bellichick. Recipe for NY6 bowls, not the playoffs.

DuckUp

I agree Mike! Kam Chancellor was another one I loved watching!

Duckpop22

In the past I have probably been too tough on young quarterbacks, because we have been spoiled. But too many balls have been thrown into danger in both games. If our quarterback simply abides by the first tenet of the Hippocrates Oath, “Do no harm” we will do great. But winging it into traffic???

BigDucksFan

Three turn overs and only down by 5, wow.

David Marsh

The defense has settled down now for Oregon… Otherwise this would be real ugly.

We get verone back next half… Maybe he can ignite some turnovers.

Glen Park

They’re extremely fortunate not to be down by 3 tds. If I were Cristobal I’d be furious right now and on a rampage during halftime.

oregon111

I played high school football in the late 70s and early 80s..

I was in on plenty of halftime rampages…. faces turning red, veins throbbing, eyeballs popping out, and spit flying all over the place

Glen Park

I normally don’t advocate for halftime rampages but once in a blue moon I think they’re necessary to break players out of the malaise they’re in.

Santa Rosa Duck

This sure looks better than down 27-0 last year at half time.

BigDucksFan

I sure haven’t seen much of that second game improvement.

Glen Park

Charles,

Watching Jordon Scott I think I’m inclined to agree with you. He’s not nearly as effective as last year and I think it’s because he lost too much weight.

Glen Park

It’s a mystery why Popo isn’t playing. Have they disclosed any reasons why he’s out? I haven’t seen any.

CJ

Is it safe to say that what we are seeing could now be considered “The Curse of the Palouse”?

Glen Park

I’d say it’s more likely we’re seeing the inevitable effect of the these factors:

  • New offense under a new OC
  • New/young QB
  • New OL
  • Shortened practice time and no OOC games to get this all to gel
CJ

Isn’t Wazzu playing under the same circumstances? Except they are like 50th in recruiting in the nation?

Glen Park

On defense however there aren’t any excuses. Oregon’s missing a LOT of tackles for some inexplicable reason.

Glen Park

Just because their offense is doing well this game doesn’t mean they will in the next.

DuckUp

is it time to give Brown a shot?

BigDucksFan

Not until the 2nd half.

Glen Park

If the offense coughs up the ball again then I would.

CJ

Yeah, two of the three turnovers tonight are on Shough (3 out of the 5 in two games). If he gets to three then all bets are off.

Glen Park

Three straight turnovers on three straight possessions. Moorhead needs to get the offense under control because it’s frankly getting embarrassing now.

Glen Park

The defense doesn’t seem to be able to cover the long ball. They’re seriously missing Jevon Holland and Brady Breeze right now, Nick Pickett is getting beat every time.

Glen Park

The offense is also making me nervous. Shough is rushing his passes, resulting in the ball always at the back shoulder on the receivers and making it tough to make plays. Dye getting stripped is maddening as he has a history of being stripped of the ball. He’s a fastback, not a powerback…not a great idea to have him run straight into a pile of d-linemen.

David Marsh

Turnover margin is garbage right now .. 0-4 for the ducks on the year right now.

CJ

Is it just me…or are the announcers rooting for Wazzu? They sure seem impressed by Wazzu.
Folks, I think we are in big trouble here tonight. Early days but the Ducks look flat and out of gas. Many defenders with their hands on their hips already.

Duckpop22

Announcers root for the story. A blowout isn’t a story so they are excited it is a game. Announcers don’t root. I’ve called play by play before and I liked drama and close games

Glen Park

TBH, Oregon’s not been anywhere remotely impressive on both sides of the ball so far.

Santa Rosa Duck

Wazzu does look impressive. and I am holding my breath every time Shough throws the ball.

BigDucksFan

Did they invite the defense to the game ??

DuckUp

Missing Breeze and Holland a lot.

Santa Rosa Duck

and Verone McKinley

Santa Rosa Duck

Ouch. Nick Pickett burned twice on that last series.

David Marsh

Second wsu series was terrible for the Oregon defense… So many missed tackles.

CJ

Haven’t seen the D look this bad in a few years. Tons of missed tackles and over running instead of breaking down and wrapping up.

Santa Rosa Duck

I did not see Thibodeaux on WSU’s first series. Was I blind?

CJ

KT is in there. He just tried to make a high tackle and wiffed.

CJ

Wow….excellent play calling. Love the way they spread it horizontally all over the field. Very nice start.

CJ

Just witnessed four missed tackles on one play.

Santa Rosa Duck

Arizona currently up by 3 over USC with 7 minutes to go. Hope Arizona wins at this point. I do not want to see a tie with overtime and our DUCKS up next.

David Marsh

Is it just me or does it look like a lot of teams are using the pistol formation more frequently? No one is using it as much as Oregon but I’m seeing a lot of teams line up and run with the formation at a higher frequency.

Drake

Oh my…USC looks very average.

BigDucksFan

Yes, isn’t it nice ?? And Arizona is playing its first game of the season.

Last edited 9 days ago by BigDucksFan
David Marsh

And Stanford looks pretty lack luster today… Stanford has a major identity crisis as they have really moved away from running the ball.

Then usc and this air raid offense is just a dumb fit for them… They have the linemen and the recruiting chops to get good linemen and runningback and yet they are running an offense that is designed to give a school with access to lesser talent an advantage.

Duckpop22

Well, there you go. I’m sitting here enjoying a Starbucks, fairly relaxed and BOOM, the Fish tells me we’re weak clear into the secondary. Okay then. I played a little linebacker back in the day. It looks like my Ducks ( about whom we love to ponder) might need me. Does anyone know where I left my walker?

Duckpop22

I know, bad form to reply to myself but it strokes my ego Ducks 31, Cougs 21.

DuckUp

Well its still early Charles but everything you’ve been concerned about is already playing out!

Jon Sousa

“These are Pac-12 scholarship athletes who clearly have talent, and while we should not fear them, they are definitely deserving of our respect.” I 100% totally agree Charles. I think we disrespect most of the other teams in the PAC12 way too much of the time. We believe that “the PAC12 weak”. The PAC is a POWER 5 conference and everyone knows that.

Respect everyone; fear no one. Go DUCKS!

Mike West

Nice “analysis” Charles. I have to disagree on a couple of things. I saw some additional footage from our “pal” hythloday1, which changed my opinion a bit on this game.

First of all, in my skewed opinion, De Laura is a good passer, but hi arm strength lacks. A few times he had open WRs he missed due to his lack of arm strength (footwork was good on each). One case he u
set up OSU’s safety and underthrew a streaking WR on his fade route that ended up being defended. Another time in the Red Zone, he threw behind a crossing (and open) slant route. Bothe are what I call “control issues “- being that arm strength controls both situations, and lack of indicates less arm strength (as an example Aaron Rodgers guns both types of passes-and we know how strong his arm is).

Secondly, you pointed out our OL. They are STRONG. Too strong for anything WSU has. Oregon is going to (or should) explode off the TV set today. I expect there to five 20 plus yard gains on the ground today. On addition, WSU’s team speed cannot match our RBs or WRs, so the offense should feast. Of course, this hinges on MC and his willingness to “gut out” a lesser opponent.

Finally, this version of WSU doesn’t layer crossing patterns, which always seem to trip up our LBs and DBs. Look for more of that this week from WSU, or they may struggle on offense.

I expect another rout this week. In fact, I demand it. WSU doesn’t have the horses to keep up in my “arrogant “ opinion (no homer spin here-I think the Ducks should drop 56 on offense and keep WSU to 24 or less).

Duckpop22

You demand it? I love it!

PittDuck

I am going to go with 32-12 Ducks, driven by dominating performances in the trenches by the O and the D lines wearing lightning white with apple green hats. I think we wear them down in the 4th and win going away.

PittDuck

Agreed! I want to see the Avalos D start to come into their own today. All the 5 stars standing up and making a statement! No TD allowed, make them settle for a FG on the only 4 times we let them sniff the red zone!

Bold Prediction Indeed…

duckcardinal

Kick off temperature of 37, winds 9-12 mph, 7% chance of rain @ 4PM, going up to 20% by 7 PM.

It could be – and has been – much, much worse. Moorhead has coached in the NE and Midwest so should have a good feel for what would work under those conditions.

Still, I feel Cristobal has too much concern for losing, and not enough zeal for winning big, and, like GD15, I see this game as being uncomfortably close. 27-21 Ducks.

Duckpop22

Much worse? If fans were present in that weather, half the guys (and some of the girls) would be shirtless. And all of the shirtless ones would have more armpit hair than I do.

duckcardinal

Well, I was spot on; early 4thQ. Same for you, but mid 4thQ.

Primarily I thought the weather might be worse, and make both teams more one-dimensional.

As you’ve pointed out: consider our success on 3rd & 4th down – Moorhead is a blessing!

Phil Anderson

I will be making the smart move of attending my step daughter’s 14th birthday party and recording the game, but my hope is a Ducks win regardless of score. Plenty of opportunities to make a statement, and the later statements ring loudest in the CFP’s impressionable ears. Early season in 38 degree weather in Pullman , any win is impressive. 31-24 Ducks in OT.

David Marsh

So Stanford is putting trees into the stands for their home games…

Now can Oregon get hundreds of ducks in the stands? They would bring some extra noise to Autzen for the home games.

Greentothegills

I’m hoping we score early on and wear them down with a relentless running game, combined with quick passes to offset any kind of rush by their defense.
Our defense has to play well enough to cause a couple turnovers and punish their QB and RB’s. The Coug’s will score but we need to push them around and grind on them throughout the game.

30Duck

It’s always informative to check on the barking from up north, here’s a post full of bark, and as usual, little bite: https://www.uwdawgpound.com/2020/11/12/21562605/picking-the-pac-week-2-beaver-week-washington-huskies-football

If Stanford could have just scored TD’s instead of settling for FG attempts, they could have beaten the Ducks.

That is the sage, astute analysis found often in Husky land.

Last edited 9 days ago by 30Duck
Phil Anderson

You use the word “informative” loosely I see 😂

30Duck

The Pups will have to stay up until well past their bedtimes for the end of the game against the Beavs tonight. Let’s hope the, ‘most improvement is between games 1& 2″ is accurate, and they’ll be chasing their tails all night.

Drake

The pup fans are brilliant, just ask them.

DuckUp

Oregon 41 Wazu 20 The D stops the run much better this week, Tyler throws 2 TD’s and runs 1 in. CJ has a big day with 189 Yrds rushing and Camden Lewis makes 2 FGs! Let’s GO DUCKS!

Phil Anderson

Slough threw some wobbly balls last week. One picked, others pickable. Hopefully he has the latest in Nike hand-warming tech today. Another something to watch for—how the ball is coming off his hand early on.

Jon Joseph

Your keyboard to the football gods ears!

Santa Rosa Duck

I am hoping the star of this show is the entire Oregon team. Mario Christobal does not wish to be carrying the Curse of the Palouse around for a few more years. I think our DUCKS wlll be prepared. Oregon 35 Wazzu 17. GO DUCKS!

Haywarduck

Can we run and can we stop the run, those are the questions. With the weather the passing games will be limited, so it will come down to who has the strongest running game. As Charles said, and so true, I’m “frequently wrong, but never in doubt!” Ducks 47 Cougs 6.

Last edited 9 days ago by Haywarduck
Jon Joseph

WOW! The Ducks did put up 496 yards last week against a D that I think is better than what we will see out of Wazzu.

GODUCKS15

No MIke Leach.
Ducks win 31-27.

BigDucksFan

If we can hold Stanford to 14 we should be able to hold WSU to less then 27. But then WSU might have a better kicker.

Last edited 9 days ago by BigDucksFan
Jon Joseph

Could any kicker for any team have a worse day?

GODUCKS15

It seemed like Stanford was missing more key players than WSU is right now. Although Borghi not playing that will hurt WSU, Pullman is a tough place to play so the wins come harder. New coaching staff for WSU creates some unknowns. Mobile QB. I’d love to see a lopsided Duck score but since it’s an away game in harsh conditions I’m going with a close score game.

Jon Joseph

Thanks Larry! The Pac-12 has apologized to Stanford for wrongly COVID sitting Stanford’s starting QB and best WR.

No D starter for Stanford missed the game.

BigDucksFan

Good points, things to ponder.

Drake

On the road we always seem to have a difficult time at two places, Cal and WSU. So, history makes me nervous about this game.

Our defense will need to step up their play. If the linebackers play to their potential, then the defense as a whole should be fine. Our offense is still somewhat of a mystery to both the fans and the other teams. Can Shough settle in and improve some of his decision making? That improvement will be needed for the Ducks to win this game on the road.

Brent Pennington

Ducks 38 Cougs 17. A new day has dawned in this stand-off.

Jon Joseph

LOVE IT Brent. That would be an impressive cover.

30Duck

A lot of stuff in here Charles; these are not the Cougars that have been the pesks of the Pac, nearly identical yards and plays on the ground and in the air. Worrying about the running game when playing the Cougars is not something that has been necessary before, but it looks to be the case here,

I’m hoping 40 isn’t necessary, that 38 against Oregon State does not a standard make. Oregon, 35-27

30Duck

I think it’s VERY possible that Rolovich will be a better coach than was Leach, and that WSU will VERY likely be a bigger thorn in the sides of all the Pac-12 teams. The Cougars will still have the problem of location, location, location, though.

BigDucksFan

Right on 30Duck. WSU has a location problem for recruiting more so then Oregon, and I agree Rolovich will be better then Leach.

WSU’s best recruiting edge will come from winning.

Jon Joseph

Great take Charles. Really a great job of setting up the game.

What team is the equivalent in the ACC to WSU? I was going to say NC State, but NC State sends too many OL and DL guys to the NFL to be a fair comparison. WSU has been more consistent year to year, getting to bowl games under Leach, than has Pitt and Syracuse. So no Pitt or Orange.

How about Wake Forest? A school that usually qualifies for a bowl and usually takes the bowl L. Last season losing in the Pinstripe Bowl to Michigan State. A far better bowl loss than WSU suffered against G5 Air Force Academy. AFA’s D shut down the WSU O, far, far better than a Ducks D, a D that WSU lit up.

What’s my point? When Clemson plays Wake Forest, Wake Forest looks more like Sleepy Hollow. Clemson blows Wake’s doors off. Wake is a typical ACC opponent for Clemson. Yes, a ‘real’ ACC opponent, not Notre Dame renting space this season, will occasionally challenge the Tigers. But for the most part Clemson destroys the inferior ACC teams.

You want to be the Clemson of the Left Coast? The Wazzu’s of the world have to be rendered burnt toast.

It’s time to stop pussy-footing around and blow away almost every team on the conference schedule. If this does not happen, the high quality athletes coming to Eugene are not being adequately coached up. And/or not playing in systems on O and D best calculated to get the W.

As Charles so accurately noted, WSU’s players are athletic. But Oregon’s players are far bigger and equally athletic; if, not more athletic.

BLOW WAZZU OUT! If Washington State hangs with the Ducks for 4 Qs, please put the brakes on this Clemson of the West talk.

Jon Joseph

I was tempted to double on the Ducks, -10 and over 57.5 but the weather concerns me as does Mario’s tendency to shut it down with a modest lead.

BigDucksFan

Interesting article Charles.

This year for the Ducks is, so far, falling a little short of expectations. However we can say “it’s early yet” and improvement will take place. The problem with that is improvement will also take place for our competition. The question is can the Ducks improve faster than our competition ??

Nick Rolovich reminds me a little of the Utah head coach in that he is good at coaching up players. Since Utah is in the Pac-12 south we don’t have to deal with them that much during the regular season. Nick however is in the North and like it or not we will have to deal with him year in and year out.

A couple of things to point out here is that beating Oregon State, does not a season make. A record of 28-27 does not a savior make however being coach of the year in any conference should be an attention getter and the Ducks need to be careful. One unknown item for Nick is how well he can recruit and we all know that winning helps recruiting. But don’t panic just yet save it for halftime.

On the good side I see Washington State as much a thorn in the side of the Washington Huskies as they are for the Oregon Ducks.

Last edited 9 days ago by BigDucksFan
Jon Joseph

My comment on Charles’ fine take is for some unknown reason, pending approval.

So, here it is in summary form: You want to be the Clemson of the West, you blow out the Washington State’s of the CFB world.

Jon Joseph

Kitty-footing?

Jon Sousa

Clean up that language Jon. It’s “feline-pawing”.

BigDucksFan

My comment on Charles’ fine take is for some unknown reason, pending approval. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, (still laughing).

So, here it is in summary form: You want to be the Clemson of the West, you blow out the Washington State’s of the CFB world. yes but can we actually do that today ??

Jon Joseph

? But Oregon should do so.