Tyler Shough

Oregon Football: Ducks the Best YOUNGEST Team in America?

Jordan Ingram Editorials 54 Comments

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After the No. 9 Oregon Ducks (1-0) defeated the Stanford Cardinal 35-14 this past weekend in their season opener at Autzen Stadium, I kept thinking one thing: The Ducks’ future is so bright, I gotta wear shades.

One of my biggest takeaways from Oregon’s much-anticipated debut was the youth of this team. According to the University of Oregon, the Ducks’ 110-man roster consists of 81 underclassmen (freshmen, redshirt freshmen and sophomores), making up approximately 74% of the team — the highest percentage in the FBS. Oregon is the youngest team in America!

In 2019, Oregon’s recruiting class was the strongest group in program history, ranked No. 7 by both ESPN and Rivals and featuring five-star recruit Kayvon Thibodeaux and four-star standouts Mykael Wright, Mase Funa and Mycah Pittman — just to name a few.

And this year’s class was ranked No. 9 (Rivals) and includes two five-star linebackers Justin Flowe and Noah Sewell. Most importantly, all of these players I mentioned were on the field against the Cardinal, making plays and helping the Ducks secure a critical win to start this short but exciting Pac-12 football season.

First of all, the conference is well represented on that list and Washington ain’t on it! According to the Athletic Department, Oregon is one of three Power 5 programs to land the top recruiting class in its conference each of the last two years, while the Ducks’ 2019 class was the program’s first-ever to be the highest-ranked in the Pac-12.

And for 2021? Rivals has the Ducks’ verballed class at No. 3.

ESPN Video

Tyler Shough busts a move to everyone’s surprise.

Did we see some questionable offensive plays in Tyler Shough‘s first career start for the Ducks? Yes, including an interception and a couple of scary near misses. In the passing game, did we see some flashes of brilliance from the sophomore signal caller? Absolutely. Shough completed 17 of 26 passes for 227 yards and a touchdown, with a handful of long completions to Pittman, Johnny Johnson III and DJ Johnson, a redshirt junior tight end who finished with five catches for 55 yards and a touchdown after switching from defensive end in the spring! Did we expect Shough to rush for 85 yards against Stanford’s defense? Not really, but I’m glad he did.

Embrace it; Oregon is the youngest team in Division 1! So the best team in the Pac-12 is also the youngest? When has that ever happened?

Now you tell me Ducks fans. Is Oregon too young to compete for a conference title and the College Football Playoff? Or is it time for Ducks fans to don a new pair of shades?

How bright is the future of Oregon football?

Jordan Ingram
San Diego, California
Top Photo by: UO Athletics

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For Football Season: FishDuck Back to Seven Days a Week!

I had to shut down the daily articles on July 20th because I could no longer work the extra 3 to 12 hours per week of certain managerial/editorial duties. (beyond the usual ones with FishDuck)

I’ve had a blast writing without those duties, and now, due to a new agreement with the writers, I can announce that we will have articles seven days a week again. I wish to thank the writers publicly for their graciousness in coming to a solution, as now I still do not have do those extra duties with our agreement, and meanwhile the writers are back having fun creating articles as I am.

Everybody is happy! So below is the new schedule through football season:

Monday: Mr. FishDuck
Tuesday: Darren Perkins
Wednesday: Joshua WhittedMr. FishDuck
Thursday: Coach Eric BolesAlex Heining
Friday: David Marsh
Saturday: Mr. FishDuck (GameDay Baby!)
Sunday: Jordan Ingram

A couple of writers could not join us as they have new projects in their lives, and cannot write for anyone at the moment–but perhaps we will see them back later.

Things rarely work out so well for all parties in agreements, but this time it has and truly….everyone wins!

Our 33 rules at FishDuck can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) keep it clean, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!

FishDuck members….we got your back.  No Trolls Allowed!

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Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Pac-12 Scheduling Announcement:

Cal and UCLA have been rescheduled to this Sunday, November 15th and the Oregon-UCLA game has been moved one day forward from Friday November 20th, to Saturday, November 21st. Game times to be announced….


P.S. Yours truly will have a GameDay article tomorrow with a lot of meat in it–lots to discuss by the 4:00 PM kickoff. Discuss before, during and after the game in the comments like last week and last year. Tons of fun…

Frozen Duck

The future of Ducks football is indeed bright. I just might need a new pair of shades.

Jon Joseph

RIP Paul Hornung who passed today at age 84.

Won the Heisman Trophy in 1956 playing for a Notre Dame team that finished with a losing record.

Great pro career with the Green Bay Packers playing, mostly, for the legendary coach, Vince Lombardi.

Saying that ‘anything’ in sports will never be topped has been proved wrong far more often than not. But I am confidant that no player on a team with losing record will ever again win the Heisman, Even if he plays for NOTRE DAME.



Wow, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby tells Sirius/XM there have been discussions about moving back the playoff and New Year’s Six bowls due to COVID. First, I’d heard anyone in power say that.

Jon Joseph

Not surprised. I still wonder if the bowls will not be called off and the playoff games contested on the home field of the higher ranked teams?

Rumored that Governor Brown is about to shut the state of Oregon down for 2 weeks? If true, will the Ducks be able to practice and play?

Will the state of California allow Right Coast teams to fly in for the Rose Bowl?

The Commish will do whatever they can to get the PO in and the $ that comes with it.


JJ (et al.) Who are you liking in Haweyes @ Gophers tonight on FS1?

Am disappointed that Maryland’s game was cancelled; Tua Jr’s performance to date has piqued my interest in the Terps as a BIG version of say, Old Miss, with Big Offense and a flighty defense.

UCLA v Cal as the beginning of a new Pac12 game show where you spin the wheel to see who you play in two days. Speed dating for football – gotta be on top of your game!

Jon Joseph

Love it!

I think with the Gophers D in bad shape I’d take Iowa?

Spot on, wheel of fortune for every game this season.

David Marsh

I kinda like the idea of spin the wheel and see who you play in two days… it will really test a team’s preparation and game planning.

There would also be a good amount of … just play football… to go with it. As intimately knowing a game plan is going to be difficult for most players but fundamentals are always a must.


We may stay the youngest team in the Pac-12, as many might leave early for the draft and others will transfer.

The fifth year senior will become rarer and the kids leaving early, like Penei, will become more common. Life is good on this Friday the 13th, 2020. A double negative often equates into a positive!

Jon Joseph

Or, guys whose eligibility would have otherwise been used up may stick around?

David Marsh

Unsurprisingly Utah and UCLA has now been cancelled as well…

The Pac-12 it appears has failed to reschedule UCLA and potentially Cal… Granted Cal is a conumdrum themselves as to whether or not they will be allowed to play at all this season. Though if Cal can play they can definately drive the equpitment truck across the state in time for a game tomorrow… but they won’t have too much time to think about it so that is unlikely to happen.

David Marsh

… and UCLA v Cal on… sunday… So a bonus day of pac-12 football.

Jon Joseph

Any info as to time of kick off and if the game is on TV?


Noon (Eastern!)/ 9 AM PST on FS1 via ESPN


I will be genuinely stunned if they pull this off, but I’m impressed regardless that the Pac12 is indeed giving it the old college try.

PS – Ducks v UCLA moved from Friday (20th) to Saturday (21st) yippee!

Jon Joseph

Thanks DC. The 2nd 9 AM kick off. Get FOX and ESPN on board for maybe 1 a week?

Much better viewer #s than for the late, late games and for most games that kick off 7 to 7:30 Right Coast time.

Besides, I’m running out of No-Doz.

Jon Joseph

Thanks DC.

And hats off to FOX for potentially, fitting this game in.

Jon Joseph

So, CAL at ASU canceled. Utah at UCLA canceled.

Will UCLA v CAL on Sunday be broadcast on Pqc-12 network or otherwise?


I don’t have the stat to back me up, but I’m comfortable in saying that the Chargers are close to the top, if not the top, in cumulative minutes played with the lead!!! This can be taken positively, or it can make their, “it’s not over til there’s literally no time left, until we lose” season all the more painful. This week, Justin & the Chargers @ Tua & the Dolphins.


The way the Chargers are playing they will have a good draft pick next year.

But don’t worry their luck is going to change because I just ordered my Chargers HERBERT #10 jersey. – – – Go Chargers.

Jon Joseph

Move up and get Sewell blocking for JH?


I like it – I like it – I like it.

David Marsh

Herbert is making me care about the NFL…. I am hoping that Mariota makes a comeback … Other ducks are making a nice impact as well.

Jon Joseph

DeFo looked good for Indy last night for sure.


We have never had so many highly ranked recruits on our roster at the same time, and many are freshmen and sophomores. With the potential of signing our highest ranked recruiting class ever on the horizon…Wow!!

Watching this happen is starting to get very interesting.

Jon Joseph

And the WRs coming in are off the charts.


I wanted to do another review of WSU’s starting line up but frankly I don’t know where to start. They had so many players miss a game last week and I really don’t know who will be back. I heard a few rumors about why many missed the game, 1) covid outbreak on the team: I think this is unlikely as the university didn’t report campus wide numbers that would have been effected by this. 2) lack of funding to send the team: I do think that WSU has the worst budget in the pac12 so it seems likely but their were a number of players I still would have expected to make the trip if that were the case. 3) that a number of players went to a Halloween party and the team is forcing them to quarantine: this makes the most sense but I still don’t know.

With that here is the offense:

QB: Jayden De Laura freshman

  • overall I thought he had a good first game, the offense really is more of a combination R&S/ Air raid than the true R&S. He made a number of bad choices in the read option and his most successful runs were on collapsed pockets. Passing was okay, overall I think his WR’s made some great adjustments to pull in some of his passes.

RB: Max Borghi or Deon McIntosh

  • Max missed last week due to a back injury and it is expected of him to miss again. Deon played really well, his Oline very rarely left him a whole to go through and he was tackled frequently at or near the line of scrimmage. in what appears to be a wet game ahead I hope he is ready to pound the ball behind that line. Added note The only had Deon and a walk on Full back available last week, if that continues depth will be an issue against oregon.

WR: Calvin Jackson, Renard Bell, Travell Harris, and Jamire Calvin

  • Best part of WSU’s Offense period! as WSU ran exclusively in the 10 personnel these 4 receivers received nearly 100 percent of the downs last week. They were very clearly a step above the OSU DB’s.

OL: Ryan Liam, Jarrett Kingston, Brian Greene, Josh Watson, and Abraham Lucas

  • This oline performed about as I expected against WSU, Good/Average in the pass game and horrid in the run game. A lot of the run blocking schemes they were running are things you would now expect to see at oregon(the double team at the first level and then the release and block at the second level) the problem is they weren’t very good at the release and moving to the second level and when they did release they almost always were out of position or missed their tackle. The pass game I didn’t think was that great either. they did great when Oregon stated only brought 3 but any time OSU rushed 4 or more the pocket collapsed quickly. When you add in that de Laura wasn’t very successful throwing the ball while pressured it doesn’t seem like a good fit. Lucas is good and is a likely NFL draft pick.

I am interested to see how this offense performs this week, and to see what happens to the roughly 30 players that didn’t make last week. Add in that it is most likely to be raining/snowing the game will be won on the ground. Keys for oregon Defense, 1) tackling both McIntosh and De Laura proved last week that they can hurt you most if they make you miss on the ground. 2) Green dog play, I’m assuming one of our ILB’s will have exclusive goal of preventing the QB scramble. 3) outlasting the cold I think the team that wins the cold will win. as they say “Never invade Russia in the winter”


Defense: quick note is that this is also a new scheme change for WSU, they moved to 4-2-5 which does appear to benefit their front 6 more than their previous scheme.

DL: Will Rodgers, Amir Mujahid, Dallas Hobbs and Brennan Jackson

  • Good in the pass rush against Oregon State, did a poor job defending the run, I truthfully don’t think they are all that great and I think oregon State has a poor Oline this year. they did not seem eager to stop the run game and as the game moved on OSU exploited this heavily. the defensive front could not stop oregon state from rushing for first downs and i think Jonathan smith noticed this to late.

LB: Jahad Woods and Justus Rogers

  • honestly I don’t have a lot to say about these guys, most often they either played in coverage which they didn’t do well and they didn’t do a good job in run defense either. the 4-2 defense often forces teams to run outside as most of if not all of the wholes are going to be plugged inside. When OSU ran they ran both extremely well as these two couldn’t find the back and stop the run.

DB: Jaylen Watson, Daniel isom, Armani Marsh, Ayden Hector, George Hicks

  • This DB crew was not good. the best one was PWO and previous stanford signee Ayden Hector. I think he played Nickel and appeared to be the one calling the shots adjusting the coverage and correcting his sr’s. He shared a team High 7 Tackles and was the only thing I would call coverage in this DB crew. If OSU’s Oline could have played better OSU could have passed the ball all night as the DB’s were often confused while some played in man others played in zone. While they did play zone more often than not the DB’s could not keep up and were left behind or lost on the double moves of the OSU WR’s.

what to watch for on oregon’s offense: Due to the weather and the poor run defense I think oregon is going to run this ball a lot! When they don’t I expect to see RPO over the middle. If the LB’s are squeezing too much to stop the run. both teams liked to play ball control as WSU hardly ever snapped the ball with the clock running until 5 seconds or less on the play clock. I expect WSU to do this again as a lower possession game in inclement weather can often lead to upsets. I also want to see how oregon shores up their Oline Depth, they appear to have a 6 man rotation so let’s see if they get it to a final 5 man rotation this game. It’s also possible they change the number of a Lineman to to get an added TE and run some ‘Stanford power football’ especially with our TE depth being really low due to injuries.

Santa Rosa Duck

Hey Utah Duck, thanks for the player reviews, lets see what happens!


Great profiles; will really add to the enjoyment of the game. Thanks for your contribution!

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

I really appreciate these break-downs, and all the knowledge shared among this community. Thanks Utah!

Amen. I ducked (sorry) the 57.5 over in this game because I think Mario will look to bull doze WSO on the ground? Which should happen if the O line is in synch and Shough remains as a viable run threat.

Oregon does not just have big guys on the O line, these guys are athletic. And add in an effective and big blocker at TE?

If the pass D holds up the Ducks should have LOS dominance on both sides of the ball no longer than half way into the 3rd Q.

BTW, are the Ducks in Pullman tonight? Or, flying in tomorrow with an early walk-through?

David Marsh

For WSU it will be interesting to see how Jayden de Laura does in a cold environment. He is a true freshman from Hawaii, the cold weather might make this a tougher game for a young QB who isn’t used to the cold. Follow that up by putting a real pass rush on him from Oregon and it could be a cold a miserable game for WSU’s true freshman quarterback.

Jon Sousa

Excellent point! Coming from HI, the cold can’t be easy. He is practicing in the cold this week.

Jon Joseph

And has lived in the climate for how many months?

It wasn’t exactly toasty in Corvallis late last Saturday evening.

Jon Joseph

Rolo’s O is far more run oriented than is The Pirate’s and I would not be surprised after looking at the Stanford tape, if WSU doesn’t come out running?

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

The impact of that truth….being the youngest team, just blows my mind. So fun to think about the future and as fans, we have to get used to all the inevitable transfers that will happen. Most of Taggart’s class is gone, thus why we have so few upperclassmen.

Youngest team in America….wow.

David Marsh

Here’s the thing that is really mind blowing… there is still ONE player from the Helfrich era on the roster. Cam McCormick was in the 2016 recruiting class and due to injuries he is still on the team.

Jon Joseph

Man, it’s sad how badly this guy with loads of potential has been dinged up year after year,


Just think about how much money the Athletic Dept will save in not having to buy razors for the players


Ha, ha, love it.


How bright is the future of Oregon football? 99 by the TAPPI standard!


And they are ANSI-Certified.

David Marsh

Cal v ASU was just cancelled due ASU’s coaching staff and players testing positive. Including Herm Edwards… I think there were some doubts about whether or not Cal would be permitted to play due to local regulations but I guess they don’t have to make those calls this week as the game was cancelled on ASU’s end.


This almost assuredly removes Cal from contention from the pac 12 north right? like even winning out probably wouldn’t push them over the minimum number of games requirements.

David Marsh

Probably.. but they could potentially play a huge spoiler.


Yes, they seem to enjoy that roll.

Jon Joseph

Spot on. And the way things are going, will CAL be able to effectively practice let alone play a game?

Looking ahead, based on today’s pandemic status, I hope Mullens is talking with the CAL AD about playing the game in Eugene?

This is COVID roulette.

Santa Rosa Duck

Jordan, thanks for a fun perspective. I had no idea of the youth of this team. This wacky year may collapse in a heap of cancelled games but with a vaccine on the horizon, I look forward to a great 2021. Sure looking forward to this Saturday as well. I think this will be a test. GO DUCKS!


So the best team in the Pac-12 is also the youngest? When has that ever happened?

What a great sentence! “Washington ain’t on it” is fine too. The future is now, Oregon reloads, they don’t rebuild. All that applies to what Cristobal is building here, and Washington can go jump in a “lake”?
Freshman quarterbacks, Slovis, Daniels, had very good season’s last year, no reason that Shough can’t this season, and with arguably better players around him.

It’s good to have some experience, nobody would say that not having Holland & Graham is a good thing. But having talented little yellow Ducks, and some of these guys are NOT little, out there getting experience, building depth, is all good.

Jon Joseph

Thanks Jordan, great take.

Yes and most definitely regarding the 2020 conference title. The Ducks was favored going in and remain the favorite. On paper, according to SP+, Saturday’s W over Stanford came against the 2nd highest ranked team on the abbreviated schedule.

No, sorry and with apologies to friend Jerry Palm, when it comes to the 2020 playoff.

The highest ranked team remaining on Oregon’s schedule is #30, UW, -13.5 vs Oregon State in Seattle on Saturday night. With this schedule and currently ranked 11, how high will the Ducks be able to climb?

USC is ranked at 20. Remaining on the Trojan’s schedule is a game at Utah, a team ranked at 29 and yet to play a game in 2020. How high can SC be ranked if (when?) the Ducks meet the Trojans in the playoff; hopefully, in Eugene.

According to the ESPN FPI, every team ranked above the Ducks in the AP Poll this week has a better shot at the final 4, including Cincinnati and BYU.

With 4 SEC games ‘postponed’ this weekend and the Ohio State game canceled, one wonders if there will be a bowl season and/or playoff in 2020? IMO, if there is a playoff, I do not see a game being played in the Rose Bowl.

The Doctor Pepper/ESPN Invitational is odds on to have a field of 4 teams east of the Mississippi River. Are college commissioners going to allow 2 of said teams to travel to LA; especially, when there is no Rose Parade and perhaps, zero fans in the stands?

The Ivy League is not a bell weather for CFB or CBB. However, as a safety precaution, the Ivy has cancelled all winter sports competition. The 10 commish and the ND and AD do not have to follow the Ivy League, of course. But send 2 teams west and the game is COVID called off? I don’t see them taking this risk.

And if the Rose Bowl isn’t played, I doubt that the Fiesta Bowl, Alamo Bowl, etc. will be played?

But keep those shades on! The future is BRIGHT! If nothing else this season is giving lots of Oregon players the opportunity to take off the training wells in expectation of a more regular, 2021 regular season. Beat a Fields-less Ohio State in Columbus in 2021 and the playoff will be well in view.


Fields has one varsity year & what comes of 2020, plus he’s slathered relentlessly in Kiper & McShay dross.

If the whole season kind of sputters to a death of false positives & contact tracing, would it be possible that Mr. Fields might be sticking around Columbus next Fall, finishing up a few classes & scheming to go #1 overall in the 2022 draft?

Jon Joseph

In Theory, Fields could come back next year. In reality, $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.


That is the truth, Jon. I wrote yesterday that I thought it was good to see Jerry Palm, and 247 yesterday had Oregon in now, instead of Clemson. But, as you highlighted, I can’t see how the Ducks get there

Jon Joseph

Hope Jerry is right and I am wrong but I don’t see 7-0 trumping many the team currently above the Ducks that are likely to finish with 1 or fewer loss with a lot more games played. Including BYU and Cincinnati.