Winning Ugly: When Culture Wins Out

David Marsh Editorials 73 Comments

Good teams win games and lose games, but truly great teams always find a way to win.

This does not mean Oregon is a great team, but they are on their way to greatness. Oregon is currently 3-0, and as fans, we haven’t felt good about any of those three wins.

Against Stanford, Oregon turned the ball over twice and left points on the field, while the defense couldn’t consistently stop the run. The following week against Washington State, Oregon turned the ball over three times on three consecutive possessions and the Cougars shredded the Duck defense in the first half.

Saturday’s game against UCLA was filled with ups and downs. We were happy for the win but you wouldn’t have known it based on our biggest takeaways from the game.

The offense couldn’t run the ball, and though Tyler Shough played a good game overall, he found himself constantly under pressure, as Oregon’s offensive line was less of a wall and more of a sieve.

Tom Corno

Jamal Hill chases down a UCLA ball carrier while being held.

Oregon’s defense had three takeaways, one of which was a pick-six, and special teams came up with another during a kick return. However, the defense caved to UCLA’s constant rushing attack.

But Oregon won.

A win is a win and as far as the AP Poll is concerned, that win was enough to boost Oregon into the top ten. Winning isn’t easy and sometimes an ugly win is just what a team needs.

Trust the Culture

Mario Cristobal has steered Oregon to victory in ugly wins before. As Oregon fans, we want to see Oregon win big every game, and those days are coming. For now, we will have to wait and remember that this is the youngest team in the country. An ugly win is a major learning opportunity for this team. It teaches toughness, perseverance, grit, and above all, trust and teamwork. These are the things National Championships are made of and Cristobal knows it.

The Rose Bowl last year was a perfect example of winning ugly. Oregon won 28 to 27, winning by one point, one! That was a culture-building win. The defense managed to hang in against a physical Wisconsin team that owned the time-of-possession, and when the defense needed a stop to end the game, they got it done.

Tom Corno

Oregon’s defense works together to stop the run.

This year’s Oregon team is hurting from a loss of leadership. Many players who led that Oregon team to victory in the Rose Bowl are gone. Some graduated but others opted-out due to the ongoing pandemic. These opt-outs have hurt the team more than any of us fully realize, because if these veteran players had started, it would have granted our younger players another year of learning and developing as back-ups.

Instead, Oregon has had to turn to new faces to fill the leadership void.

Furthermore, both sides of the ball have been affected by players being unavailable for games. Some have had minor injuries, and it would seem others have been affected by contact tracing. (Although Oregon has not stated whether this is or isn’t the case, the timeline matches up.)

Yes, Oregon’s defense was dreadful against UCLA. UCLA’s Demetric Felton ran over Oregon’s front seven for 167 yards, and backup quarterback Chase Griffin made Oregon’s secondary look silly on too many occasions. And yes, Oregon’s offensive line couldn’t get enough push to get the running game going and they let Shough get sacked far too many times.

Tom Corno

Isaac Slade-Matautia makes a tackle against UCLA.

But Oregon’s offense managed to capitalize on the turnovers generated by the defense and were able to build enough of a lead for the defense to protect. In the end, the defense did protect that lead as Oregon won the game, even if it was only by three points.

Champions Win Ugly

Winning ugly is something championship-quality teams can do.

Winning ugly forces players to come together as a team. It is a shared experience that each player at Oregon will take away from the game, and it will drive them to become better. This is Oregon’s culture under Cristobal, and winning ugly reinforces everything Cristobal preaches.

This is the youngest team in college football, and before the pandemic, this Oregon defense wasn’t supposed to have so many new faces. There is a major upside to this young football team. If they can come together and play as a team in the most difficult conditions football has been confronted with in the last hundred years, just think where this team can go when they have a full spring practice, offseason weight and conditioning regimen, and fall camp.

David Marsh
Portland, Oregon
Top Photo Credit: Tom Corno

Andrew Mueller, the FishDuck.com Volunteer Editor for this article, works in higher education in Chicago, Illinois.

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30Duck

As expected, there has been movement on the line for Oregon @ Oregon St, but not very much.

stvnbrwn54gmail-com

I agree that champions do win ugly, with one major caveat…sometimes. Winning ugly is also a bit like poking a sleeping bear and when it happens too frequently…at some point the bear’s gonna get you. It really isn’t a stretch to imagine the Ducks 0-3 and I’m thrilled to see us pull games out we’d be losing in times past, but the Ducks need to come out and blast someone…hopefully, the Beavers this week.

FishIceCream

It seems to me like tackling was the biggest issue on defense. The line got some pressure, which led to turnovers, which arguably was the difference in the game. I read that the coaches were going to focus on tackling after Wazzu, but it seems like there is still work to do.

On offense, it seemed like UCLA crowded the box, either with actual linebackers and line or with safeties creeping up. They did that old-school trick of saying – beat us on the pass, we’ll focus on the run because we know you like it.

That almost worked, but we got enough done through the pass and thorough defense to win the battle.

Going forward – if the tackling issues can be taken care of, I think we are in good shape. Whether we fans like it or not, the power run is an established tendency, but I have more confidence in the pass this year. So if teams focus on the one, it opens up the other.

FishIceCream

I get this feeling, as a non coach, that there have been enough plays in which defenders have been in the Right Position that everyone would be singing Avalos’s praise if they’d made more tackles. It will get there, in my opinion.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Good stuff, but I believe our issues go deeper than that. The entire defensive line is playing significantly below last year’s level, IMHO.

Great to see you posting, but man….I still don’t know what to think of that handle!

FishIceCream

Thanks for the reply – I have two counterpoints for you to ponder:

First about football: As a former high school player (who was not very good but enjoyed learning about the game!) we played very old-school 5-2 defense. I played the DE (these days outside linebacker) who lined up across from the tight end every play. I fully appreciate how the game has evolved, but I am not convinced that losing in effect one D-lineman and one linebacker while replacing them with ‘tweeners’ will give you a solid run defense. There is going to be a soft spot, no matter how you look at it. I think last year we had the experience and talent to pull it off – this year I think we don’t have those in the key spots, which is why the line doesn’t look so good. I could be totally wrong about that, and hope someone will put me in my place if I am!

Second about fish ice cream: It came about because I was an early fan of Iron Chef, a Japanese cooking competition show in the early 2000’s that was dubbed in English. It was picked up and modified a few years later into Iron Chef America, with some famous celebrity chefs like Bobby Flay. Each show was a competition, and there was a key ingredient that had to be incorporated into every dish, including the dessert.

I have never tried it, but damn I loved the idea of fish ice cream.

A couple links for your enjoyment!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dtcu0wVIDU4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w51Hh34vep0

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

You sir, are interesting as heck. That first video about made me lose my lunch, and yes I get some people like Gelato and Sushi, but together?

When I played high school football, (when pictures were in black and white) I primarily played offensive tackle, but on defense we played the 5-2 as well. Your response got me to thinking about what a player Bryson Young was….and perhaps we miss him more than we know?

Keep pondering and sharing, as I just love the different perspectives people come up with (like yours) that make me pause and consider other possibilities. This site is different because the majority know that there are few absolutes that are “right-or-wrong,” but many opinions and shades of discernment. And I want to see them all!

And thanks for the entertaining and champion handle…

FishIceCream

Ha very welcome.

I should say that I was mostly a tweener myself, because I was undersized even then (80’s) and was a backup guard on offense, which was even worse. Which shades my opinion about it. I usually had an edge in quickness, so I could defend the sweep alright, but if there was power right at me I would be squashed. I was not strong/big enough to defeat that!

Anyway, it shades how I think about my fan analysis and I think you have a point about Bryson Young too.

Jon Joseph

Great points. No, Mario should not be judged solely on this season. 2021 could be special.

However, I would like to see more leeway being given to JM, more shotgun and less pistol and not allowing lesser opponents to hang in there. I am going to be patient as this is not the season to necessarily introduce all the new bells and whistles.

Loved the take.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

That is a very good point David, that without spring football–the installation is occurring naturally, and you play what the players know at this point.

That helps a few of us become more measured…

Drake

I like your take on this David. This team is definitely vulnerable because of circumstances that are beyond our control. I have no doubt that with the players that opted out we would be much stronger. This team played poorly and still won. If we played UCLA again, I would expect the same outcome.

This team will gain needed experience and barring further injuries will get stronger. Let’s finish this season strong.

Haywarduck

30 Duck has given us a new term the ‘prevent offense.’ The question is what is preventing the RPO, Pistol and other innovative elements our offense has from executing 40-50 points a game?

I think the prevent in our offense is Cristobal. He is the only constant which has been with our offense as it has stagnated. His stubborn personality is a strength and a weakness. With his need to dominate the line of scrimmage and need to be able to be successful at what is predictable is preventing us from winning pretty.

Somebody needs to prevent Cristobal from letting his tendencies control play calling. Until then we will have a prevent offense controlled by prevent Cristobal.

I do agree with most on this site Cristobal is exactly who we want as a head coach. The culture at Oregon is enough to put up with the prevent offense. It just doesn’t have to be that way, that is what is so ugly and hard to accept.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

I LOVE that term, and will until it is no longer applicable. His strength, as you pointed out, is also his weakness….Hmmmm. There is an article in there!

True of so many of us, no?

MaiTaiDuck

That’s kind of funny your picture of J Hill shows their TE holding him on that play. There is a boat load of talent and unfortunately over half of them are RF Freshman or sophmores. It takes reps and if your talented with good coaching all of this gets worked out or it doesn’t and I have faith that with this staff it will get worked out. If Sewell Holland and Breeze wouldn’t have opted out then this team could be great this year.

So best case scenario is that they win 7 games this year regardless of if they get into the playoff. That would keep recruiting top notch and I would have a great feeling about getting JT from up north to actually commit to the Ducks. I would think next season this team will be ready to take that next step and of coarse if they have a full spring, summer and fall camp to get up to speed. Also if the Ducks do get into the playoffs good.

You just never know because sometimes it just works out and the Ducks are owed this if you ask me. Thank you for all you guys do. Best place to get our beloved Ducks news. Go Ducks and they will play a lot better.

Jon Joseph

Great take. Go 7-0 and there will (COVID permitting) a Fiesta Bowl game. Most likely against BYU or Northwestern.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

You make a good point about patience with a young team, and you sir, are a great fan. Thanks for your comments and kind words.

Although,.. we really are not a news source, and don’t claim to be. We let other sites report the news and this community likes to ponder it all and discuss. That is what our writers are targeting, and David’s article today is perfect in what we are trying to achieve.

All the other sites deal with the news; this site likes to look at the news of the Ducks and take it a few levels deeper–to ponder it all with implications going so many directions.

It is fun, and we learn so much from each other in the process. I gotta come up with a name or label that describes what we are…

silverflurry

“The Rose Bowl last year was a perfect example of winning ugly. Oregon won 28 to 27, winning by one point, one!”

At the end of the Rose Bowl Oregon had first and goal with more than a minute remaining. They had plenty of time to pad the score but chose to run out the clock because good form and judgement called for it. The score may show a one-point win but that is most certainly not the story here. 

MaiTaiDuck

Yeah they did but that was Arroyo’s terrible offense. If we’d of had Mooreheads offense we would have put up more points I have no doubt. HEBERT won that game for us period. LSU’s QB didn’t have to do any of that. Heberts the best QB of 1st year QBs in the NFL. No knock on Bengals or should I say Bungles QB as he’s played pretty darn good but Hebert is still to me a notch above.

Jon Joseph

What was confusing to me under Arroyo was a great opening drive followed up by blah. 2019/20 Rose Bowl was a perfect example.

I’m down with Charles here, the D won the Rose Bowl.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

This is one of the few times I will gently disagree; Oregon barely had over 200 yards of total offense and got four turnovers from the defense. We won because of the defense, and do not have that backstop this year….

silverflurry

Charles, if we have a disagreement, you’re going to have to point it out to me.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

I have my doubts that Oregon could have scored many more points, but it is moot now. Maybe they would have scored a cheapie as Urban Meyer did to us in the ‘Natty, or maybe we could have kicked a FG. Or maybe we get nothing, but my point is the poor offense in the RB.

No sweat.

silverflurry

What do you mean unthinkable? Doesn’t sound like you read my comment in its entirety, as “good form and judgement” covers such a scenario. 

Again, by overemphasizing the one-point difference (“… winning by one point, one!”), you’ve mischaracterized the situation on the ground. Oregon was in complete control at the end of the game and chose to leave points on the field.

Jon Joseph

First, Happy Thanksgiving to all Ducks fans.

With games scheduled for Friday, if played, I wanted to come early with this week’s picks. I am now 16-8 for the season. This must be the reason why I am breaking all the rules betting 2 road favorites? Oh well, here goes.

Alabama -24 is playing at home vs Auburn. It’s not like Bama needs extra incentive for the Iron Bowl but last year’s L at Auburn was a tough loss for Saban and Mac Jones, who was starting for an injured Tua and threw 2 pick 6’s in that game. I see Bama as being super motivated and Auburn’s best RB is dinged up. Also Bo is a different Nix on the road. I like the Tide to cover. I’m certain Nick wants to hold onto the Committee’s top spot and play the semi in the Sugar Bowl vs the #4 seed. I’m laying the 24.

UGA -19.5 at South Carolina – Did you see what UGA’s new O can do with a bona fide pitcher? A finally healthy JT Daniels threw for 401 yards. South Carolina’s Will Muschamp has been given a Thanksgiving $13M+ going away present. (Agents vs AD’s is obviously not a fair fight.) Additionally, the Gamecocks 2 best DBs have opted out for the rest of the season. I think UGA covers and JT continues to show why he was such a highly valued recruit. I for one am not certain that Slovis is better than JT?

Oklahoma -10.5 at West Virginia. As the Iowa AD, Greg Barta, noted on the 1st of the ESPN/Doc Pepper Big Reveal Shows, OK with 2 drug suspended studs back is Sooner rather than later. The Committee showed a lot of B12 love last night in comparison with the AP Poll. Even with 2 Ls, B12 champ Oklahoma will have an argument over a 1L non-conference champ team. W VA does play good D but Rattler has improved as has the entire Oklahoma O. And amazingly, Oklahoma is playing good D. I like the Sooners to cover and save a lot of couches from being burned.

LSU +12.5 at A+M – These 2 teams despise one another. And with all the negative news out of Baton Rogue, pay-for-play, sex scandal, I think the Tigers are ready to play well for Coach O vs the Aggies. Don’t look now but with Kory Foreman an LSU lean along with 3 other big name recruits, LSU could come from back in the pack and finish with the #1 recruiting class? I like LSU to cover in what should be a terrific game between 2 motivated teams.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

UW could not get a game on with BYU, but with ASU again being COVID-benched, ends up playing Utah. Will Utah improve enough between its 1st and 2nd game to give UW a go in Seattle?

Also, keep an eye on Notre Dame -4 at UNC. The Domers has lost its starting center for the season and a starting guard is also out of this game. Clemson put up a lot of points on the Notre Dame D and I expect UNC will do the same. This could be a track meet?

Who knew? Looks like CU at SC this weekend could determine the Pac-12 S race? But I still think UCLA is in the running? The Bruins have to win out including a W over SC and hope CU starting this Saturday, plays and drops, 3 games. However, I will be cheering on the much pre-season maligned Buffs.

The Committee was kind to the B12 but not the Pac-12; especially, the Ducks. AP 9 to Committee 15.Based on the way the Ducks has struggled this season, as so well noted by David here, it’s hard to find fault with the 14 teams ranked ahead of Oregon.

Jon Joseph

PS – If The Committee had listened to Larry.

8 Oregon Pac-12 at 1 Alabama SEC
5 A+M AL at 4 Ohio State B1G

7 Oklahoma B12 at 2 Notre Dame ACC
6 Cincinnati G5 at 3 Clemson AL

The top bracket is loaded.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Jon…you are the man. Great stuff and yes…I think Utah will give the Huskies quite a run for it. The Beavers should have beat Washington, and the jump from game one to game two is enormous for many teams. Cal was 300% better last week, than their first week.

I expect the same from the Utes…

Thanks Charles.

Fortunately for me, when my runner in Vegas, actually a good friend, placed our weekend bets, I got LSU +14.5. We’ll see if it makes a difference.

OH NO! Saint Nick is COVID out for the Iron Bowl and this time it looks for certain that he will not be on the sideline.

Can Sark get the cover? (Sark has to be on the list as the next South Carolina coach but this would be akin in the SEC to taking the CU job in the Pac-12.)

30Duck

Yeah, I don’t now about Oklahoma @ 11 with 2 L’s, but they apparently have a Gold embossed Invitation from The Committee. It was nice to see Clemson @ 3, and hoping the trend of NO #3 in the initial rankings ending up in the Final Four continues, and after watching USC in its first 3 games, and UCLA, with its freshman QB, the Bruins are definitely in the running…and GO UTES!!!

Jon Joseph

AMEN, GO UYES!

Oklahoma vs A+M could be a heck of a Cotton Bowl game.

chasman

One of the most disheartening “ugly wins” I ever witnessed was #1 Washington beating unranked Oregon 17 to 10 at Husky Stadium in 1984. The #1 ranked Dawgs powered their way to a total of three first downs the entire game; yep, that’s three first downs with a total of 109 yards gained for the contest against a very mediocre Oregon team. Yet, they managed to “win ugly” by returning a punt for their first score, kicked one field goal, and blocked a punt into the end zone for the winning score. That turned out to be one of their most celebrated seasons ever, so there is indeed a case to make for winning ugly! Oh, and that was with the “mediocre” coach Don James at the helm!

BigDucksFan

Wow, that is winning ugly. I’m sure glad I didn’t watch that game. I would have pulled out all my hair by the end of the game.

MaiTaiDuck

Remember the MUTT’S cheated when they won that Natty and I think if I’m correct they shared it with BYU. Anyways we are the better team and the better Organization. The Leg Pissers are just a bunch of jealous fans and the whole organization and through our history they’ve done some pretty crappy s— to Oregon. Jimmy Fake is insecure piece of work so that game will give me so much joy when we slap them down in our 6th game. Just to bad no fans.

Jon Joseph

Mai, how do you really feel about UW? It’s so hard to tell from this post.

Please, forgive my sarcasm; love the points and the way you made them.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

It was the 1991 team that cheated horribly, got caught and they still celebrate their “championship.”

You are just like me; just mouthing the “H” word makes me want to turn and spit….

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Yep…they won on a punt return that had two clips in it–but were not called. That is a perfect example of “winning ugly” as the Huskies just got by that day, and somedays–you have to find a way.

Please keep commenting chasman–great to have you on-board!

Duck lifer

I think you’re being overly optimistic here David… we’re scraping by on raw talent and mediocre coaching at this point. I’ve felt this way for a long time. Not on a surface level, but down deep in the pit of my stomach. I’ve refused the obvious truth for so long. I love my Ducks and all of our green and yellow half crazed fans, so you guys tell me, because I can’t admit it to myself.

Is Mario simply an amazing recruiter and a sub par coach? Everything from the mismanaged use of timeouts, to refusing to abandon the pistol, and everything in between. It can be truly baffling at times. We have all the athletes and assistant coaches in place to not only win, but win BIG! The only thing that seems to be getting in the way week in and week out is our head coach.

I want to love what he’s doing and get on board with all his decisions but I just can’t make myself do it! I feel a huge sense of betrayal even saying this, even thinking it, but I just can’t shake this feeling that we have some real concerns at the hc level.

Of course my hope is that he’s just young and he will learn from his mistakes and everything will eventually fall into place. Tell me this is the case guys! I need some reassurances and I need them like yesterday! I hate to be a pessimist and I desperately want to be optimistic but MC is making it very difficult!

GODUCKS15

Spot on.

Jon Joseph

Tony, good thoughts that I share.

But ‘young?’ I think that is a stretch for a guy who has been a head coach for 60+ games and coached under Nick Saban. If the light hasn’t turned on yet, when will it?

I believe that he simply loves smash mouth football. Unlike Nick Saban and others, he refuses to evolve. This year’s evolutionary Exhibit A is Kirby Smart. It took JT Daniels getting healthy to show how Kirby has opened up the O at UGA.

I believe Mario made a great hire with Joe Moorhead. I also believe that Mario refuses to get out of the way. The Oregon O today is the best in the conference and 6th in the nation but still appears to be half-pregnant. UCLA loaded the box last Saturday. Where were the screen passes, wheel routes, etc. to take advantage?

I think with Mario at the helm Oregon will continue be in close games versus outclassed opponents?

Mudslide

I just want to lay this out there. The pistol offensive set that most of you are deriding is used to some greater or lesser extent by quite a few college and pro teams. If I’m not mistaken, the current top four ranked teams all have used the pistol in their games this season. In theory, this set has many advantages that one of the coaches can address better than I. Running it successfully might be another animal (as with any alignment).

How are all you half-empty guys going to enjoy a little libation during the holidays with half filled containers? ;-)

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

In short, and this is a conversation/analysis article for after the season….but we do not run the Pistol very well. And many of those teams you refer to who do run the Pistol do so in a short Pistol, as Oregon did in 2014.

What a coach is trying to generate with a Pistol can still be accomplished with the Shotgun, only with a change of foot path as you see right here.

We’ve done that in the past as so have many of the top teams today, but MC doesn’t want to do it because….we did it before him, IMHO.

BigDucksFan

Look on the bright side Tony, Mario is the best HC we have right now. Yes he sometimes gets his X’s and O’s mixed up with Z’s and G’s but if he can learn to stay out of the way of his play callers he’ll be spot on.

One has to admit he has created a great culture here at Oregon, and the boys seem to stay out of trouble off the field.

Duck lifer

I agree with you and I love the culture he’s built at the program, but he just can’t seem to get out of his own way. I truly hope he learns to lean on his assistants more, especially while we have an offensive genius like Moorehead running the offense. He most likely won’t be here long so we really need to utilize him while he’s here

GODUCKS15

Will he learn to stay out of his own way? HC’s can be stubborn. I hope you’re right.

Drake

Strengths and weaknesses. In my opinion, Cristobal will continue to run the ball. I believe that he fully expects his offensive line to wear down opponents and RB’s to dominate late in the game. The defense lost several NFL caliber players and is struggling with very young players. Not so sure that expecting this young team to dominate every game is realistic.

Does anybody think this team will get worse as they gain experience playing together? We are 3 -0 and on an upward trajectory. This year may be the best opportunity that PAC 12 teams will have to beat us for awhile.

I think it would be much more concerning to hear that Cristobal has accepted an offer to coach somewhere else. My take is to enjoy the bumpy ride.

MaiTaiDuck

Mediocre coaching? Ok if you say so.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

While I believe some fellows below made great points–the crux of your post makes a ton of sense to me. Is the coaching by the HC at the same level as the talent he is recruiting?

Or is this too soon to make the judgement since the majority of this great talent are underclassmen?

Tony…your observation is a topic that should have many articles pondering it. GREAT stuff, and please keep sharing your thoughts with us!

Jon Sousa

“Everything from the mismanaged use of timeouts, to refusing to abandon the pistol, and everything in between.”

In MC’s first year he famously mismanaged timeouts and the news outlets were talking about it. When was the last time that happened? Is he still famously mismanaging timeouts?

Concede that the guy has had a little bit of growth in this area and you may feel a little more optimistic about other areas as well.

“Everything from the mismanaged use of timeouts, to refusing to abandon the pistol” … as if these two are the most egregious faults in football today. It’s been pointed out several times the Moorhead likes and has wanted to use the pistol for years. It has also been pointed out several times that great teams in college and the pros use the pistol with regularity.

Fasten your seatbelt… enjoy the ride.

Duck lifer

Ok…but the difference between us and those top teams and teams that run the pistol in the NFL you eluded to do it well. We run it with mediocrity.

We also don’t play to the strengths of our athletes. Look no further than Herbert. He’s excelling and looking to set several rookie qb records. A lot of “experts” have said much the same about Oregon and their coaching.

Great coaches adapt to their best players’ abilities and skill sets when needed, whereas others force their players to adapt to their systems, often times with terrible or sub standard results.

MC’s apparent unwillingness to change or adapt to any given circumstance is the only thing preventing us from going from a really good team to an elite one IMHO.

30Duck

BDF nailed it, “winning ugly” is great when the team pulls a win out when it looked like nothing was working right, not when it’s going according to plan. It really was “ugly” on the defensive side, no coaching philosophy would espouse that performance, even with the TO’s.

But, as we discussed yesterday, the “prevent offense” that Cristobal appears to favor is going to give us games like that. I love the culture that Cristobal has built, I wouldn’t trade him and his staff for any in the conference. Tough is good. But 3 yards and a cloud of dust isn’t. Hopefully, Moorhead will seep through enough to get Cristobal to embrace the noise that comes with scoring points, like Nick has down in Tuscaloosa.

Jon Joseph

‘Prevent offense?’ Love it and so true.

BigDucksFan

Spot on 30Duck

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Great stuff 30Duck, as your definition of winning ugly is the correct one.

Notalot

Duck Ugly. Do I sense a movie in our future, David?

Jon Joseph

I don’t know, but I bet it would be a pistol.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!

Notalot

Pow! What a shot, Jon.

Jon Joseph

A better LOL comeback!

Jon Joseph

Well thought out, well reasoned and well written article David. Thank you.

Fan(atics) of course do have a very hard time keeping things in perspective.

I do have a concern regarding Oregon’s path to greatness; namely, does the HC have the chops to win it all at the P5 level. Recruiting, no problem. And we have witnessed the very good hiring of assistant coaches. But is a process in place that will allow greatness?

Alabama has not lost to an unranked opponent since Nick Saban’s 1st season at the school. Alabama’s record against ranked opponents is exemplary; especially, versus top 5 opponents when compared to the other ‘blue blood’ programs.

Last season, Oregon lost 2 games it should not have lost. Against a ranked Auburn team due to bad in-game coaching and at ASU due to the failure of the coaching staff to have the team ready to play a critical game on the way to the final 4.

The 3 wins in 2020 that you noted in your article David, are really nothing new. Under Mario this team has consistently played down to the level of the competition. The Rose Bowl win was nice, but it came against a 3 loss team that was twice hammered by Ohio State and lost as a huge favorite at Illinois.

This is not Mario’s 1st rodeo; far from it. He has been a CFB HC for over 60 games. Is he capable of coming with and executing a plan that will take Oregon to the final 4 and win a title?

I hope so. But I’ll believe it when I see it starting this Friday. Yes, Oregon is young but talent-wise, the Beavers do not belong on the same field. Thus, Oregon should win going away. The Ducks should not need a last series stop on D to defeat this team.

Will we see an easy victory Friday and versus the other unranked teams on the Ducks schedule?

The Committee rankings are out so we can put the AP, etc., to bed. Oregon is ranked 15 and SC comes in at 18. The Committee believes that Oregon is AP over ranked and that in SC’s case, the AP got it right.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Jon you make a brilliant point that I have not seen elsewhere; 60 games is more than enough time to have learned what he needs to learn. Yikes.

If this means there is no further growth for him as a coach, then Oregon’s upside is similarly limited as well. Huge point!

Yep, the training wheels should be long gone.

BigDucksFan

I’m not so sure about that David. Winning ugly is nice but not when its every game you’ve played and against teams that are not even rated in the top 25. It may be time to take a more realistic approach to the Ducks situation. Winning ugly is nice but not when it’s the only way you can win games.

Great teams are also known for complete domination of weaker teams and I haven’t seen that from the Ducks yet but yet all the games so far have been against weaker teams. That must mean something and that something is us fans better get realistic and come down to earth as trouble is brewing for the Ducks.

It’s nice to be optimistic but one must also has to be realistic about the situation. Much tougher opponents are on the list, and licking their chops when they review the tapes.

Their is an old saying “I would rather be lucky then good”. The Ducks have been lucky so far. How do you feel about the Ducks losing 2 of the next three games ??

Jon Joseph

Welcome back BDF! Well stated and valid concerns. Oregon needs to start playing against itself and down not at the level of lesser talented opponents.

It does zero good to recruit better players if the talent does not come through on the field. SEE: Tennessee for years now and on many occasions, USC.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

So well said, and so great to have you back. “All is right in the world again…”

BigDucksFan

good to be back. It’s cold in Wash state compared to South Calif