Bench Him or Give Tyler Shough Some Credit?

Ryan Robertson Editorials 137 Comments

Tyler Shough has not been as impressive as some fans had hoped. He looks inaccurate at times, he sails passes and struggles mightily under pressure.

Unlike Justin Herbert, who was only criticized before the draft for… inaccurate passing, sailing throws and struggling under pressure. Oh, maybe Herbert was just better at throwing for a lot of yards? Nope, Shough averages 277.8 yards per game while Herbert averaged only 247.9 as a senior. Was Herbert a more efficient passer? Again, no! Shough has a pass efficiency rating for the season of 165, while Herbert’s senior season saw him finish with a 156.8.

Let’s not forget that Shough already has more rushing yards this season than Herbert had in any season of college. That just adds to the indisputable fact that Shough is having a better season passing in his first year starting than Herbert did in his fourth. The two QB’s played in drastically different offenses, with Shough having more opportunities to throw to open receivers than Herbert did, but Shough has nowhere near the offensive line that Herbert had.

John Sperry

Justin Herbert in 2016 as a freshman.

Tyler doesn’t have any running back with the ceiling of Royce Freeman either, while Herbert had Freeman carrying the load on offense early in his career. Also remember that as a freshman, Herbert played on a 4-8 team, and only won two of those games himself while Shough has already won three games his first year as a starter.

After losing to California, in no small part due to the play of Shough, some fans are asking for the young QB to ride the bench next week. I assume the same fans wanted the same decision to be made in 2016 after Herbert threw for 179 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in a losing effort to the Washington Huskies. (The Ducks scored only 21 points in a home game that day)

Thankfully the staff didn’t listen, and Herbert got to start in more than one football game…

Ryan Robertson
Yuma, Arizona
Top Photo by Tom Corno

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I wanted to take a moment here to thank FishDuck for encouraging diverse opinions in its comment section and tell you how it changed my opinion about today’s subject. My story goes like this; I usually am one of the first to comment in the early mornings and today was no different. I made my stand on saying that we should let Shough finish the year out as QB.

However after coming back later in the morning, and reading many of the other comments I began to see another side and it completely changed my mind. I have to admit here that I am much like Cristobal – – “stubborn to the core” and I defend my stand vigorously. However today was different. The more I read, the more the diverse opinions made sense and made me think that now would be a good time to see what some of our other QB’s can do.

I’m really glad we can accept and discuss a difference of opinion in a such a rational manner as it helps to shape our own.

Thanks Charles.


I agree BigDucksFan. It’s refreshing reading varying perspectives and challenging our own beliefs.

If only this healthy dialogue were the same with politics and our current pandemic. But we won’t go there…

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

It is a shame it cannot happen in the two areas you referred to, but it is not for a lack of trying. Those subjects cannot be mixed with sports IMHO without many nasty consequences and it is only by watching it happen elsewhere and our own experimentation a few years ago that taught me the difficulty of attempting it.

And it looks like I’ve lost a fourth friend over phone discussions of those two subjects, and the cost is not worth “winning” an argument. (or thinking you have won) Those painful experiences reinforce my commitment to the rules on the site!

For me…in the end….the relationships are more important to retain than having those discussions and I’ve applied that concept to the site as well.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Your post gives me great encouragement, as my mission of seeing all sides is gradually accomplished. Dissenting views on other sites are routinely slapped down, or ridiculed and thus inhibiting all the views being seen.

I saw how on a major Oregon subscription site yesterday….how many wrote that they love the inside information there, but things have become too toxic for them and they are leaving.

Perhaps they will find us when the forum is up. (It is getting closer, as I spent many hours on it this last weekend) Thank you BDF…


I did not come to this site all those years ago because this was a safe place. I came to your site because “your site” was unique and more consistent, compared to other online sites. You provided a place to learn things that the team and coach were doing. You ensured that people who got involved were able to voice their thoughts, not abused by others. Sometimes when I may have disagreed with how or what you said, it was in the interest of keeping it civil and informative to others, you would maintain. It is not easy to have to tell other adults how to act, it should be common sense. You have done a pretty darn good job, at such a high personal and financial cost to you. FishDuck sacrifices a lot for us to read, discuss in a good natured way, what may be happening “with our beloved ducks”. Thank you for sharing this part of your Duck Love with me and the community.


I completely agree, and think Ryan did a great job on writing the article. I decided after reading the article the other side needed to be addressed. At the same time I agree with much of what Ryan and others have pointed out.

It is nice to be able to try and give a different, somewhat negative perspective. I do think that perspective needs to respectful, especially with our student athletes. I actually try not to be critical of the student athlete, mainly just the coaches. The qb position is so important that this position, especially, needs to be looked at critically.

I hope Tyler gets it going and become our next great qb. I also think we need to consider what the options are, why and what we should consider.


FishDuck is indeed an oasis. I check over at another site and it’s not pretty. Seemingly every post is only to argue, shame, ridicule, another. There is some conversation going on, but it is sparse, and believe me, for all the members the roster holds, there have been days where it’s DEAD.

Another big plus for FishDuck, every day it looks somebody new has signed up and is posting. Maybe they lurked for a while, or maybe they jumped right in. No matter which, they liked the environment and felt comfortable enough to join in.

It’s great to know that you can post something and not for a minute worry about what kind of response you’ll get. I know at that other place I was hesitant to post, so much that I didn’t, and eventually just left. Because as I wrote earlier, their isn’t much to read there.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

What you have articulated is what I have been studying extensively in the past year, and that is the impact of inhibiting actions upon this community. My knowledge base keeps growing due to new experiences, failing and learning, and then applying not only what works, but what I wish to accomplish.

The newest item I am learning more about is allowing negative without going dark. Most of the negative is fine but where is the line? Isn’t the repetition of it also a factor? How much does it diminish the atmosphere of the site? It is another small detail that ultimately can inhibit others from posting when we have a few Eeyores in the group.

Another example is the use of sarcasm, as we had people in the past who would use it to insult others as a group who disagreed with their opinion. “Anybody who thinks that is uniformed and not thinking this through.” (Example) The result is that the sarcasm inhibits people from posting in the future, hence why I no longer allow it.

We lost a great member recently who posted several times every day, because he insisted that his sarcasm was his form of humor and “that is how he rolls.” I explained that these are the rules, and now it is up to him…and he left.

A small thing, sarcasm, but they all matter. Add them up and you have a unique culture, and a safe GREEN REFUGE from the rest of the world.

Thank you 30Duck.


`Hey Shough is young and so is 75% of this team. These guys obviously weren’t ready to put on their big boy pant’s yet. Still don’t understand why 3 perfectly healthy guys could sit out the season as if their better than the other Hundred plus. The answer to your question is this, doesn’t matter the situation if one guy needs to take a break then sit him.

Shough just needs more time to develop and most people thought 21 would be the year and that would be a pretty easy one to put your money on. As long as we get back to regular sports with fans yelling in the back ground. Cristabol could have played Brown and just my opinion it’s about winning.

I mean this season has been about as 50/50 as the sun coming up every morning. Shough has a whole lot of ability and this season and the way it worked out he more than likely does better work. Lets hope it all pulls together against the Leg Pissers. I couldn’t take that loss any way you put it down. Three wins to start out the year and the losing streak needs to stop at Two.


FishDuck rocks, but why does this have to be praise or bench? Tyler has done great for a 1st yr QB but has hit a pretty rough spot the past 6 quarters. While I don’t think benching him is the answer, but why is it unthinkable to give Anthony Brown a few reps to shake things up? At minimum the defense would not entirely know how to respond. It just seems to be people are focused on praising or condemning Tyler when the real answer is how can we find a way to win?

Frozen Duck

Well said. It’s good to keep things in perspective.


I wanted to add a couple quick comments:

Thanks Ryan, I liked the article.

Thanks Charles – tying into what BigDucksFan said and the comments under that, it’s so nice to have a site like this which does not devolve into nastiness.

And in addition – it’s a lot of work to manage that. Maybe not appreciated by all, but I can attest that it is! Thanks again.

Jon Joseph

Yes, SC handled Washington State and is -3.5 at UCLA on Saturday.

CU is -1.5 vs Utah in Boulder.

SC is 16 in the latest AP Poll, CU comes in at 21.

As you noted 30, both go 6-0 and CU has no chance to play for a conference title. Insult to this potential injury is CU was not able to play at SC because the Trojans had to COVID cancel.

I and others, noted week’s ago that in 2020 the Pac-12 should follow the ACC’s lead and drop divisions. Worked out perfectly for the ACC with a sure to be hugely viewed Notre Dame/Clemson re-match.

Larry and the Pac-12 could screw up a free lunch.


Thanks Jon and it’s really good to start the day off with a laugh so thank you. Larry Scott could screw up a free lunch, LOL and you are so right about the Man as in totally incompetent. Hopefully Mr Hanks will push him out of the way. Like to the Tennis Door Mr Scott. Mr Hanks knows Football so he’ll be going in the door you can’t get in because you’d have to know Football and you don’t.


I watched USC vs Wazzou last night on TV. I wonder how much we miss Donte Williams as DB coach?

I was impressed with the tackling in space by USC’s DB’s as well as their coverage downfield.

We know Rod Chance is a great recruiter, but it seems the defensive backfield has taken a step back. It might be due to less experienced players this year due to graduation and opt-outs?

David Marsh

The Corners have actually been a bright spot for Oregon more or less with Lenoir and Wright in those positions. The safties are the ones who have been burnt the most.


Yeah Chance is doing his best with what has been dumped on his plate and perform or Mario will find someone who does. Its the middle of the field I worry about the most when were talking DB’s. Young team that honestly shouldn’t have lost to neither OSU nor Cal. It all has to come together and it better happen with a win to propel us into the Championship game.

This can still work out and that would mean beating that Gay color Purple and well anything that goes with Purple. Then by beating SC in California would make this Ducks team successful for another year with a couple hiccup’s along the way. Better recruiting for the D Line like pulling in JT would make a huge win for the Ducks taking the next step.


That step back has sure hurt Dede


When you look at film clips it seems to me that when the momentum is ours Shough is more than decent, when things are going bad he seems to fall apart.


True. He gets the jitters under pressure but it is only his 5th start


Another take is are we trusting the star ratings too much. As has been said, at qb especially, the star ratings don’t matter as much as the on field performance. Shough looks like a 4* qb and has some of the performance you would expect, with some good passes and runs.

The question is, does he have the ‘it’ to lead us to the record we expect? The last two games, not just this one, his mistakes have cost us the game. Is losing to OSU and CAL excusable? I can give him plenty of credit and still want him on the bench to try an Ashford or somebody who seems to have it, regardless of their star rating.

I will also say the receivers under CK didn’t miss blocks which killed plays like I see under Cristobal. Maybe this is why DW is sitting on the bench? I could see another top receiver sitting on the bench after the CAL game. Under CK the team executed better than the other teams. This is why lesser talent wins, execution by the players and scheme by the coaches. Scheme by the coaches is another issue, completely.


Ohh yes-brings back memories of Jeff Maehl and the kid wasnt all that big. Take a couple of Blocks and slip over to side line for a catch.


While I believe that Shough has talent, I don’t see a comfortable leader in the pocket. The other day Sherman posted that he did not look comfortable with RPO and the mesh. I agree, he often fails to pull the ball when the end crashes the RB. He fails to see the open field in front of him and is often late to see the receiver getting separation.

He needs faster reps more reps like Marcus and D Thomas had so that it become natural. I would also like to see them play faster, force his mind to recognize and react faster, put the defense on their heals. As for the team, the defense is giving up too much, they play protect from the deep threat, explosion play to giving up the long sustained drives.

We are supposed to have the better and deeper talent and we are getting beat up by less talent with less depth. Something is wrong with our approach and lands on the coaching. Mario better get it figured out and show some confidence, or he will continue to shed recruits that lack faith in his coaching and staffs abilities to take them to the next level IMHO.


Tyler Shough struggles with making the right reads every game. Maybe try Robby ashford. It’s worth a shot, he’s a better athlete.


Not really an issue but it showed in this game in terms of playing under pressure. He does have a lot of rushing yards mainly by play design. I’m sure Robby ashford can do better. I wasn’t trying to say a more athletic qb will make better reads I was just addressing shoughs struggle but Ashford gotta be better at making reads because I don’t think you can be worse than Shough at this point.


Did anyone watch any of Brown’s film from BC? He reminds me a lot of Vernon Adams


I feel like the problem is less Tyler Shough and more the inexperience of the OL and the new offensive scheme. The OL, while large and athletic, is inexperienced and it showed against more experienced DLs as they get into the backfield far more than in the past. As for the offensive scheme, I don’t think it’s wrong (aside from the awful pistol formation), these guys just haven’t had enough practice with it before getting into the regular schedule.

The experience and practice need time, can’t do anything about that. I do think that the offense will be more consistent if we just get rid of the pistol and operate out of the shotgun.


Definitely has a lot to do with OL inexperience, but Tyler does make a lot of bad reads on running plays. A LOT


We have a lot of problems on this team but the biggest is still our offensive scheme. Our chip Kelly led teams had similar talent if not worse in most positions to this years team and they still blew up the scoreboard. Cristobal must realize this by now and stop being selfish and change it up before it’s too late. What good recruit would want to play in a offense like that??


That is a fascinating question. How did Mario get Ty Thompson, now the consensus top QB in the class, to commit to Oregon, along with the WR’s in the class. What is Mario going to do with this talent. It’s a roster built like 2019 LSU. But with Mario running it, what will it do?


I fear he will not change. The longer we run our offense like that, the harder it will be to get recruits to buy in to the program. I suggest we hire someone in the place of maestro and go back to being one of the most innovative offenses in the game. Go back to what made us great.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

I am not only in agreement with you Matt, but since the third game of the 2018 season, (the year Cristobal took over) I’ve been advocating for staying with what worked.

But he does not want to do anything that was successful before, and it is an indication of his stubbornness.

There is a difference between being stubborn, and “sticking to what works.” But he has not found something that truly works, and he has no system. He keeps trying things, and–never mind. I will drive myself crazy going down that rabbit hole again.


The Oregon Ducks became a big time brand not just here but all over the Country for the type of exciting offense that was really started by Bellotti and Chip took even higher, Rich Brooks put us on the map of course

.I tend to call it finesse football because its hard to get those big tough linemen recruited 2 deep up here in the chilly NW so we made the most of what we had in personnel–and–it worked pretty good

-hopefully Cristobal will find it in him to explore this once again.


You would think that cristobal would want to run whatever offense would get the most rushing yards no matter the scheme because that would ultimately make his oline look the best. I’m not even sure of his logic at times. He uses prized olineman to block simple bland run plays. Barely any zone blocking or pulling which is used all the time in the NFL.
No one runs pistol dives 85% of the time simply because it does not work. Why do you think Herbert is putting up significantly better stats as a rookie in the NFL compared to his last year in college. That says a lot about the coaching


Even Saban has caught on –Sheesh


Saban has Sark. Different depth of water in their pool.


I still remember the “ditch Rich” cries from some fans in 1994 after two early losses in the season that the Ducks went to the Rose Bowl for the first time in 35 years, and I guess that helps me be a little more patient with players and coaches.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Great call Annie, and I was one of those fools that had lost confidence in Brooks and his staff after losing at Hawaii and at home to Utah. I was at the latter game, and it was ugly.


Yes, I was at the Utah game too. Not fun. But a little later in the season, the game against uw turned out to be a lot of fun. :)


While agree, and at the time supported keeping Brooks, didn’t want to become the dumpster fire OSU was, we aren’t firing Shough. We still want him on the team and as an option at qb.

If Shough is put on the sideline for a bit all is not lost. He can gain a different perspective, and come back even more focused on what needs to be done.

I would guess that is what is happening to some of our receivers. You make too many mental mistakes it is time to sit, and watch the game for a bit. The players can come back and be even more focused on what needs to be done and how to do it right.

It may be time for Shough to do the same. He could also come out and light up the dawgs and never look back, I hope so.

I will also say it is nice to get the thumbs up, and when you go negative, give a different perspective, you have to expect not to get the thumbs up. On Fishduck at least you won’t get attacked.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

How in world can Oregon be the favorite? Can anyone answer that for me?

I can only surmise that it will guarantee movement in the line. A lot of bettors will be at the window early with this one.


But without people in the stands it doesn’t matter that much, Maybe they think the cardboard cutouts can talk and cheer.

David Marsh

The Pac-12 on the whole has looked really bad…


THIS made me laugh.


+3 for home field advantage? Just kidding. I don’t get it, either. UW has a terrific secondary, so it will be interesting to see how conservative the offensive game plan is this week.

It is the mustache we have kicking the ball now. The oddsmakers were watching, and marveling, at the kicker we have now and we all should too!

David Marsh

He did have to kick a 41 yard extra point…


That was a thing of beauty. It could of gone through at 50 yards and was dead center. I sat there and thought, ‘that is how other programs kickers do it.’

David Marsh

It was a straight shot which helped .. no angle … But it was a sight for sore eyes in terms of Oregon’s kicking game..


Special teams has been the one bright spot in the last couple games. I was cautiously optimistic about Kattleman after his first game, very confident in him after the second.


I don’t know but is Washington in the lead for the North ?? Oh how nice it would be to pop their bubble.

To balance the book? UW did lose at home to a tribe of wandering Cardinal and had 2 comebacks from 21 down prior to this loss.


The kiss of death? Wish we weren’t the favorites, put the fire in their bellies. GET MAD and show the nay sayers. Something to prove and hopefully keeps the foot on the gas and take the fight out of the opponents.


Okay, the day starts with football and ends with basketball. Remember, the Ducks haven’t lost a game in Seattle since 2015.

Jeremiah Geiger

I don’t know necessarily if I would bench him.

But I don’t believe Shough is the long term answer at QB, and the stats don’t really tell the story. I haven’t seen the “wow” pass that Herbert would routinely make every game, the NFL type throws. I don’t see him the “it” factor that elite quarterbacks have.

I’d like to see Robby Ashford in for a drive to see what he’s got, or Jay Butterfield.


All the backups should be allowed some reps at some point


For whatever reason, Cristobal hasn’t seemed much inclined to do that, last year or this.


Stats don’t tell the whole story when comparing Herbert to Shough. The biggest offensive weapon this year is Travis Dye, who’s averaging 40 yards per catch. JoMo has done a great job of scheming RBs and TEs open for easy throws for Shough; Arroyo didn’t use the RBs as receivers and the TEs were relegated to blockers after Breeland went down despite having a healthy Webb on the roster.

I haven’t seen many eye-popping throws from Shough. Few completions into tight windows on 3rd and long that move the chains. He’s not the kinda QB that’s going to win a game with his arm in the 4th quarter. Most of his stats are generated from one read throws off play action. Once the running game is taken away, the offense disappears.

Shough has made several perplexing throws that have lead to INTs at the most inopportune times. He should have 3-4 more picks. Maybe we can chalk this all up to experience but from my perspective, he doesn’t see the field and has tunnel vision. He throws the ball late at times. I would like to see a more aggressive passing offense on early downs but that’s probably not going to happen with MC as HC.

Questioning Shough as the QB to lead Oregon to the promised land is legitimate. I’m not convinced at this point. He needs to put the team on his back in the 4th quarter to make me a believer; he’s 0-2 the last two games when given the chance. UW will be a stiff test and they will likely shut down the run. They lead the conference in total D. Great opportunity for Shough to step up. Right now, he’s a front-runner as a QB.


Thanks for the formatting help, Charles. Hard to do on my phone.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

It is easy; hit the return button twice after every three or four sentences please. I do not have the time to edit everyone’s articles and that we help the Greybeard-age members of this community by making it easier on their eyes without tons of lines without a break.

Please keep posting, but I ask that you make it easier for us to read, please.


Note also: I did not change a word. I simply hit the return or enter button twice after three or four sentences. Easy-Peasy!

Jon Joseph

Speaking of QBs.

Did you know that the QB with the all time wins at Notre Dame, Ian Book, was initially a 3* commit to Washington State?


I didn’t! But when I looked him up on 247, did you realize that his composite rating coming out of high school (3 star, 0.8681) was just a bit higher than a certain famous quarterback from Hawaii who played at Oregon? (3 star, 0.8631)

One of those “that’s why they don’t decide the game scores by comparing recruiting class rankings” moments.


Geeze, it just hit me we need to instruct the coaches to start recruiting only the QBs who are in the .86xx composite rating range! We’ll have a wall of trophies in a few decades!

Jon Joseph

Great info, thanks.


With their 85-43 win over Utah, #10 Oregon extended their winning streak to 23 and have now started a season 4-0, 3 years in a row. Sedona Prince missed the game after injuring her ankle against Colorado, but she is doing well. Not that the Ducks didn’t miss her against the Utes, but they didn’t really. 35-63 from the field, 56%. They were only 7-22 on 3’s, 32%, and continue to struggle at the free throw line, 8-16.
 Against Colorado, Erin Boley scored the first 7 for the Ducks, this time, the first 5. Last season, according to commentary from the game announcers, Boley’s role, dictated by Coach Graves, was to set up at the 3 point line on offense, and to also stay there, to be the first line on defense. This season her game has opened up, and Boley is everywhere; still shooting 3’s, but also mid range shots, and taking it to the basket. She finished with 17 points.
 Te-Hina PaoPao also finished with 17, and again led the team in assists with 4. One thing PaoPao could do is not be so tied to pass first, several times she found herself a step away from a shot herself, but passed it to a teammate. This is bad as she is giving the defense a read, and also the teammate won’t be expecting a pass when PaoPao has an open shot. 
Jaz Shelley had her best game of the season, 11 points. Sydney Parrish finished with 12. Angela Dugalich made the most of her 14 minutes, scoring 9 points, and a no look pass for an assist that would have made Magic Johnson smile. It’s fair and reasonable that experienced veteran laden Stanford & Arizona are picked 1 & 2 in the conference over a Ducks team, reloading after losing Ionescu, Sabally & Hebard. But, the depth of this team is unparalleled in the conference, and by season’s end, watch out!


I find this team frustrating to watch in all phases, but years like this happen. As for the WB position, I recall a friend saying that Herbert “will be a fine doctor some day, but he’s no QB.”

My point being, sometimes we just need to throttle back and realize growth takes time.

J Duck

I agree Ryan, People are being way too critical. The entire offensive line is new to starting, building chemistry etc. Shough has been hurried a lot, run game not always opening things up either. Shough has made some tremendous throws but you cringe a bit sometimes, into tight double coverage. Our receivers have pulled out some great catches.

Like a lot of people I have questioned decisions on reads. I think MC needs to let Moorhead have the reigns, the RPO stuff looked good against Cal, wondered why we didn’t see “Moor” of that?

Young team…give them time people, and it’s 2020…


I think the general feeling among people outside of the fan base who were looking at the upcoming season and making predictions was that the offense might struggle a bit replacing a top QB and five of the top 6 (by my estimation) offensive linemen, but had enough returning talent to be serviceable, somewhat depending on how many growing pains the new starters at QB and line went through. Of course then they lost Penei on top of that. Given all of that, I actually think the offense is performing as expected on the whole, and maybe a little better. Last week was a bad game.

This does not mean I am defending the pistol set runs up the gut in short yardage thing! I am sure the coaches know more than I do, but it leaves me scratching my head like most everyone commenting on FishDuck.

Back to my point, overall I think the offense is performing as expected and maybe even a little better than expected, outside of last week. Shough is making some mistakes but is also productive. Which is to be expected in the first 5 games as a starter.

The reason why the outside pundits were picking the Ducks to win the conference was because they were expected to lean on the best returning defensive unit in the league, supplemented with some incoming star recruits.

And we have seen how that prediction turned out, unfortunately.


I have mixed feelings about this and here is why……1st. I think Tyler is doing a pretty good job all things considering, but I look beyond Tyler’s play on the field and look at the coaching 1st and their play calling and what players they put on the field…(example) cj verdel, why is cj verdel on the field when Dye is a far superior and more versatile back with much better speed and explosiveness and better hip movement, he reads the field better and makes big plays with his feet and hands, cj verdel is slow and lacks power and I see him getting tackled behind the line of scrimmage more often then not but yet they keep putting him not only on the field but on crucial plays, why? Look at his numbers and our QB shouldn’t be our leading rusher every game.

2nd. When Tyler gets to take big shots down the field we move the ball pretty well . On many drives he makes big throws down field and then they go back to the same ole that doesn’t nor hasn’t worked and they did the same thing with Justin’s senior year and the proof is in the pudding when you look at his game play and rookie stats in NFL.

Our offense is stale and our defense has holes but at times has been very good especially considering most of our starters are gone. I look back at the chip kelly era and the players he had to develop, oregon wasn’t getting alot of 4 and 5 star recruits it was more 2 and 3 star and our offense was lethal and our defense was solid if not dangerous at times so why are we doing so bad with 4 and 5 star recruits?

Jon Joseph

Glad to see you here Lorenzo and ‘stale’ is the word for this O.

The Constitutionalist

Honestly, I don’t see the point in benching him. One bad game? His first season as a starter doesn’t have enough game-to-game improvement? He’s floated a couple passes and lost a couple balls?

From a playtime perspective, he’s brand new. He’s coming from a scheme last year that was arguably one of the easiest to learn, watching a tenured starter play behind the most experienced offensive line in college football to learning one of the most difficult schemes from behind the youngest offensive line in college football. And to make matters worse, he isn’t getting much help from anywhere. It’s certainly not helping that the defense can’t get the ball back into his hands.

On another note…

It’s been tough to read the comments here this season. I can’t help but lovingly ask my fellow ducks, what did you expect? After the powers that be made the call to truncate the season and further slide our conference to near FCS mediocrity, and following the opt-out of our best players, leaving us with the youngest team in college football, was this the year you thought we were going to win it all? That this season would be a step forward from last year?

We need to give it time. This COVID-ruined year wasn’t the reload we had hoped for. Instead, much like in real shooting sports, the ammunition is gone, and we’re (re)building a new gun.

On another… another note…

We’re a year removed from winning the Rose bowl. With the pistol. Allegedly with MC “calling all the plays” and “not allowing the OC to do his job.” Our offense is, by the numbers, improved from last year, even though Shough has shown signs of brilliance, albeit with times of head-scratching missteps. How’s Arroyo and his not “held back by MC offense doing?” They’re 0-5, averaging 16.6 points per game.

Many of us would give them the benefit of the doubt, so why not do the same with your own team?


Well said – I didn’t see this while I was writing my response above, but I’d say we are on the same page. Judging by outside experts looking in, the offense was the question mark coming into the season even back before losing Penei and spring practice etc. In my opinion as a non-expert, it’s doing about as well as I would have expected knowing all that’s happened. And certainly room for growth, which I of course hope will happen.


Thank you for this, this is exactly what I’ve been thinking. Obviously losing stinks but let’s please remember that there’s a large chunk of our players seeing time that are still teenagers! Youth + new OC + disrupted/limited practice due to COVID leads to head-scratching mistakes at times. Of course, the head-scratching decisions by the coaching staff in-game are a completely different matter. The second they trotted out Verdell, cold off the bench (why is nobody in the program explaining why he essentially didn’t play?) to run out of the pistol on 4th-and-1 in a play where the defense KNEW without a doubt what play Oregon was going to do I basically felt like the game was over.


If memory serves me correctly, Shough has practiced behind these guys, these guys have been together for awhile, learning behind the four year starters line that just graduated. The offensive coordinator has made changes and that is what takes time to learn but his decision making is slow and not always confident. This year has been unusual but it is the same for Everyone else, so What Gives? MC has A LOT to answer for, he is the leader and after every game interview looks and sounds shaky. Anyone notice his demeanor, Almost like Mark Helfrich, deer in the headlights, no clue.

David Marsh

2020 is a crap year for football (unless your team is having a great year which applies to some programs) but it is so inconsistent for so many reasons.

Just think of this small example… Oregon had Mycah Pittman for the first game of the year … lost him for the following 2 (effectively 3 as he was only JUST cleared to play before the OSU game and played one snap)… we saw the emergence of Devon Williams …. and lost Williams last game against Cal. Williams is the big target for Shough and one that Shough has grown to rely upon this year.

Is Williams hurt? … maybe… is he in contact tracing protocols? … maybe… will he be available for the next game? … maybe,

On the flip side the linebacker corp was playing a walk-on last game because the depth has been gutted seemingly by contact tracing as well.

I am not bashing contact tracing as it is important and goes beyond football.

Though there is a part of me that is really thinking now that since Oregon has played all of their games with a disrupted roster from week-to-week compared to teams that have had games cancelled but are playing with a more complete roster … that Oregon has really gotten the short end of the stick.

USC is undefeated and avoided undefeated Colorado because they were forced to cancel their game. They had some time to rest players, including those outside of contact tracing.

This season has some difficulties with the virus and it is a complete crap shoot as to how complete a team is going to be week to week. Every team has to deal with the uncertainty but not every team is equally affected. Just think of it this way, as Washington had their first game cancelled due to Cal unable to field a roster they lead in the North right now (also Oregon’s fault for not beating Cal and Oregon State) but if the Oregon v Washington game is cancelled Washington wins the North… but if Washington were to lose to Oregon this week Oregon wins the North…

This season doesn’t count (unless your team is in the final four)… let Shough play and learn. He may very well lose the starting job before next year’s season with other QBs on the roster putting pressure on him but that’s for next year.

Santa Rosa Duck

By the way Ladies and Gentlemen, as the acknowledged winner of the Game Prediction thread again this week, that makes it two out of four for the Santa Rosa Duck. Yes my QBR is off the chart. Since I do have inside knowledge, I am willing to share this gift for a small token offering. Yes I have my prediction ready for the Huskies. I am willing to share that information for perhaps a bottle of Willamette Valley Chardonnay or Pinot delivered ahead of game time to my home in Santa Rosa. Now, it is time to be modest again.

Jon Joseph

You are the prediction Man!

I am now 23/11 ATS YTD. So, I am getting paid.

I went 4-3 last week (UGA-Vandy) was canceled, with the over in Auburn v A+M, and covers from big boys Bama, Clemson and Ohio St.

Auburn with a sure interception that bounced into the hands of an A+M WR for a TD, and a dropped TD of its own, could not cover the +7.

OK and UF had easy Ws but did not cover. Perhaps, looking ahead to Bama and Iowa State in their champ games?

4-3 is not good. Hope to do better next week.

And I’m coming for The Man, that’s you SRD, in my prediction for the UW game!


Our family’s affection for and generational involvement with football as players, coaches, and avid boosters comes from the biased belief it is the ultimate team sport. The nature of the game and its evolution has led to an over emphasis by media and fans ( which as a recent perceptive comment correctly pointed out is the abbreviated form for fanatics) on the “skill positions.” In particular quarterback is viewed as the most important position on the field. I certainly agree that in the modern game the offense goes through the qb. However, I’ve been around long enough to have observed, on the high school and college levels numerous championship TEAMs with competent not great or even exceptionally talented qbs. In all that time I have also rarely if ever witnessed successfully programs which relied solely on one position be it a quarterback, running back, or receiver.

I certainly appreciate the current discussion. Mr. Shough has been inconsistent. In my opinion that is the apt description for the 2020 -21 Ducks as a whole. Youth, lack of ample practice time, just a strange moment in time, and all of the aforementioned factors in this comment section are valid explanations.

It’s my hope, however, that knee jerk reactions to disappointment will lead to attempts at quick fix solutions. You build self confidence in others by showing your support in their effort. That’ s not to say changes will not need to be made. Making those sorts of decisions is the task of the coaching staff and ultimately the head coach. Yanking players too soon, especially on young teams in need of confidence can have an over all negative and detrimental effect for a programs long term success.

“The most popular player “ with casual fans “is always the back-up QB.” I don’t know who said that but it sure rings true.

The Constitutionalist

Couldn’t have said it better myself.


Love the line, but the last time the most popular player, back-up QB, was on the sideline for Oregon it was Justin Herbert.

The time before that the starting qb left, supposedly, because the back-up was so good he was going to lose his job. That guy went on to win the Heisman.

Santa Rosa Duck

Nice article Ryan and you are right. Tyler Shough is our starter and I do not want to see Anthony Brown unless Tyler has a first half similar to his second half against Cal.

Jon Joseph

Bench him?

Is there anyone behind him who will play better in this system? If so, they should already be on the field.

I’m not sure a back-up QB can light a fire when he’s playing in a system designed not to be combustible?

Comparing Shough to Herbert is interesting. Herbert is a guy who was never allowed to play to his ability at Oregon. He was hand cuffed by the system he played in, and the play calls made from the sidelines.

Tip of the hat to 30 Duck: Oregon’s head coach prefers to play ‘prevent offense.’ This IMO, is why the Ducks play down to the level of its opponents. This is one reason why Mario will never have a year without 2 or more regular season defeats. Will never, unless and until the playoff field expands, have this team playing for a Natty.

Would Marcus Mariota have won a Heisman playing for these coaches in this system? I very much doubt it. MM’s athleticism and creativity would not have been allowed to show.

So, whether it’s the ‘2020 NFL Rookie of the Year,’ a new starter like Tyler Shough, or anyone else playing QB for this coaching staff in this system, does it matter?


Drop the mic, bam!



And yes, Jon, that last statement may be folly. I take you back to one Braxton Burmeister for the painful truth. It matters who plays qb. And one thing to remember, no qb in the last decade has played behind as poor an O-line. Shough was in constant pressure in all games this season. Alas, maybe that’s something else to critique MC about…being that’s his real interest.

Jon Joseph

Agree no doubt with BB. A guy who because of the situation was forced to play.

The question in 202, is there a back-up who can play better than Shough? I do not know?


There’s always the possibility that Jay Butterfield could rise up and take over the starting role in his redshirt freshman year like MM did over Darron Thomas. He’ll have a year practicing in the current offense without the pressure of performing in games. Not saying it’ll happen but you never know.

Jon Joseph

Charles was concerned yesterday regarding too much shade being thrown at the coaches and the players.

Frankly, I was surprised at the acceptance and the tolerance for the team’s performance YTD.

Evidence of a good and loyal fan base.

But it does beg the question, when does the tolerance expire?

If 2021 is a non-COVID season, what is the worst record Oregon fans will accept and still believe that Mario will take the Ducks to a national championship?

My biggest concern at this point in time is the 2 decommits to date. Take the L vs UW next Saturday? Will more follow?

Stanford won at UW by rushing the ball, draining the clock and wearing down the Husky D. Can this Ducks team do the same?

And with the way Pac-12 bowls are drying up, a 3-3 Oregon may find itself out of a bowl game; out of the much needed bowl game practice time.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

No, no, no, no, NO!

I was not objecting to throwing shade at coaches or players for their performances, and I’ve stated many, many times I want all opinions. But we cannot go personal and a fellow or two were going quite dark, and there is a difference.

Please do not misrepresent my views…..

P.S. And with that…I agree with your views about whether (or not) the HC can learn and change. We have what we have…

You have not gone dark, and thus why I have not edited yours or nearly anyone’s comments.

Thanks for the reply Charles.

I see many here who express themselves so eloquently, have faith. No matter what we see on the field today, Mario will get everything turned around.

On the other hand, I have hope. Hope that Mario will move his coaching philosophy; especially when it comes to O, into the 21st century.

In the direction I observed last night watching SC and the changes Helton has made since he brought in Graham Harold as OC.

In the direction of his mentor, Nick Saban.

I’m sorry, but until I see some flexibility out of Mario, I believe I am hoping against hope?


This will be the most interesting offseason in a long time, no matter what happens the rest of the way. For a little spice, here’s some conjecture about a big school in the South who is looking for a new coach.

Jon Joseph

Herman has been canned?


I don’t think so but he’s certainly sitting on a very hot seat right now.


Interesting notion Jon, it brings up something Herbie brought up on “Gameday”. It concerned the fans at Texas, and how a coach left because he couldn’t take the fanbase’s ” outrageous expectations”, The coach was Blair Cherry, who went 32-10, 1947-50, 2-1 in bowl games. He was suffering from ulcers and insomnia when he left.

This is Texas, where everything is BIG, including expectations for the Longhorns, but outside of the Vince Young win over USC in the 2006 Championship game, Texas has been irrelevant. Along with Michigan, Penn State. The committee invites Oklahoma. But even with back to back Heisman QB’s, they leave early.

I don’t want to become, “Duck Nation”. Over in BN they are thrilled with this season. They would be ecstatic with a winning record, a 3 star Offensive guard gets a parade down Main St. No. But we can temper our responses to how a season plays out, especially this one.


In sports, perfection is an endless pursuit. Since you play golf, you play with other golfers all the time. Ever wish you had other golfers skill sets? Ever identify weaknesses in your game and work on improving those areas? How many times have you had your best round ever?

I believe that Cristobal has skill sets that many other coaches envy. He has some weaknesses in his game, but nothing that I can see that can’t be improved. I believe that with the skills he has, he still has his best “round” in front of him.

Jon Joseph

Good points. But if I thought it would improve my golf game I would and I have, changed my swing and my attitude to the game.

I observe those taking a better approach to the game and I have tried to adapt and adopt..

I have improved. Had I remained entirely fixed in my earlier game and too stubborn to change I would not be playing as well as I am today.

Mario can’t observe what Nick Saban has done and is doing? If a coach can’t be coached up how is he going to coach others up?


I have to assume that the coaches who see Shough and the other QBs every day in practice know better than I do.

Jon Joseph

Man, I certainly hope so!




Shough can do the job well. He does need time to develop his skills. Unless there is someone on the sidelines much better, I say you stay with him.

Sherman Poindexter

I wrote pretty extensively about Tyler Shough yesterday.

He’s the QB.
Presently, he’s got a lot on his plate, but he needs some time to pull it all together.
Needs about 3x the practice reps to get it all dialed in.
Playing the QB position slows down immeasurably when you innately know :::
1. What you’re doing on every play.
2. Who you’re keying on.
3. You first 2-3 reads.
4. Who’s your outlet.
5. And most importantly, have the time to make #1-4 happen.

And HIGH REP practices would help Shough tremendously in the aforementioned.

Honestly though, Shough is not the same caliber of quarterback as Marcus or Herbie.
But that’s ok.
If he had more help with a consistent scheme (without Cristobal’s input), better blocking and some innovative play calling….he’d be fine.

But in a much larger sense, I think Shough needs a few things to make his life a LOT easier::

#1. As I said, I covered this yesterday. Shough would absolutely benefit from the high reps in practice. There literally is nothing that will increase his FLUENCY with the offense faster.

#2. Chip Kelly was an innovative offensive mad genius 10 years ago.
One of the things he’d do that still brings a smile to my face when I think about it (based on a story I heard), is he’d use motion to not only create match up issues, move personnel into position for specific plays and also help diagnose coverages pre-snap…..Chip would occasionally use motion to mentally mess with the opponent’s defensive coordinator.
Like, “you think you know what we’re gonna run out of this set or this motion, but I’m playing 3 dimensional chess and messing with your head, dummy.”

Because, under Chip and Helfrich….. the offense ALWAYS DICTATED what was going to happen.
The opponent’s defense was always on their heels..
Since Cristobal has been Oregon’s head coach, can anyone say that’s the case?
I think not.

Ironically, 1 month ago, I was singing the praises of Cristobal and Moorhead on FishDuck while disparaging Chip Kelly’s banal “plodding” UCLA offense.
Guess Chip learned his lesson, because based on the last month….we might just be seeing Chipper bringing back the swagger and excitement.
And I love to see it.
Unfortunately, that lesson hasn’t rubbed off on Cristobal yet.

The lesson to Cristobal::
Being the alpha dog doesn’t mean pedantically running the ball up the gut and failing to get the 1st down.
Being the alpha dog means DICTATING to the defense.
Making them unsure.
Making them hesitate.
Making them sit back on their heels.
It means screwing with their heads by running the same play with DJ Johnson with 3 entirely DIFFERENT yet successful outcomes. (Remember that from 4 weeks ago?!)
It means THAT sort of swagger on every offensive series….regardless of the down.
Because honestly, who wants to see CJ Verdell get stuffed in the A gap 1 more time?!!!!!

Anyway, THAT sort of b*llsy, unpredictable, take it to the defense, mess-with-their-heads, Old School Chip Kelly Style wrecking machine…..would turn Shough from a zero to a hero overnight.

But it’s not about a specific play.
It’s about a mindset from the coach.
And that’s sorely missing right now.

#3. Yeah. I just said it’s NOT about a specific play.
BUT, you want to get Shough’s confidence back in a hurray?

Run a 3 tight end set.
DJ Johnson
and my personal fav: Spencer Webb

Those 3 players on the field at the same time would be an RPO dream and totally mess with the opposing D coordinator’s head.
All 3 of them have size, good hands, good blocking technique….and all 3 of them remind me a bit of Brady Breeze in their own way::::
Team guys.
Bigplay makers.
3 of them on the field at the same time would allow for some swagger & innovation.
And man…. the Ducks really need that right now.

And maybe every other play, sub in Mycah Pittman to keep em honest.

Anyway, just a long winded schpiel about how to elevate Tyler Shough….his play and his confidence.
In my opinion.


Great writing and I completely agree with your comments about the TE. We have had more NFL talent at TE then at receiver over the years. We also almost always rely on the receiver position too much over the TE.

What was done with DJ Johnson early in the season gave me hope. What I have seen done with the TE position since then has single handedly gave me pause about Moorhead’s ability to lead our offense.


Glad to see you revisiting your opinion of UCLA. Their defense has also gotten ‘smarter’ by having 3rd year players in the system.


Amen! I totally agree with your assessment. I especially would like to see:
“It means screwing with their heads by running the same play with DJ Johnson with 3 entirely DIFFERENT yet successful outcomes. (Remember that from 4 weeks ago?!)”

Jaylon Redd has been effective on jet sweep! When have we seen a reverse or other misdirection play? Last year the swirl route off of motion to Pitman was effective.

Use our speed!

Jon Joseph

Great take Sherman.

This staff will not change it ways. Your excellent suggestions may have been considered; if so, they have and will continue to be ignored.

Shough will have to play as well as he can within this ‘play not to lose’ system

My biggest questions regarding Tyler come down to his physical attributes; namely, his arm strength and his quickness.

He certainly is not going to remind anyone of Kyler Murray and he comes nowhere close to having an arm like Herbert’s or Burrow’s.

Unless as a back-up to a back-up, he will not play in the NFL.

IMO, to win a playoff title today, you need a QB who can start or press for starting time. in the NFL In today’s landscape, you need a Jones, Trask, Fields or Lawrence. Or, an escape artist and outstanding game manager like an Ian Book.

In fairness, I note that all the current QBs noted above have the advantage over Tyler of playing with better talent and playing for better coaches.

Is there a QB anywhere who can light it up when you, I and the defense knows what’s coming?


YOU DUCK GOD, I kept hitting the THUMBS UP THUMBS UP Button to NO AVAILE, guess I hit my limit. You speak the truth. That is what the Offense lacks, is telling the DEFENSE, You THINK you know what we are going to do but BOOM! I remember when Helf, Frost and Chip would just have those lil different looks and had them defense with their heads spinning on their shoulders, TOOK the Fight Out of em. Love your repy. Im not worthy… Now I wanns SHOUT! ; )


I think you are tweaking history a little bit. Most fans were pretty amazed and grateful when Herbert came in as a true freshman and competed against the Huskies. Herbert hadn’t practiced in the spring, he played baseball, and he was pretty innexperienced at the college level. He took over for Dakota who had struggled mightily. He also looked good against WSU, the previous week, spelling Dakota and going 3-5.

At the time there was rumblings that Herbert was the better qb. It was great the staff was willing to give him a go, and he flourished for 4 years. Giving Herbert a shot against WSU and starting against the dawgs were good, prudent decisions. The staff saw the talent, as a freshman, and put in the work to get him on the field.

What is admirable about Cristobal is his loyalty to his starters, players. If you make a mistake he has your back, you go right back in. The only question is just how good are the back-ups, just like in 2016. I am left wondering about some of the back-ups under Cristobal.

Shough hasn’t earned the starting position, longterm, with his play. With a 5* qb coming in next season he needs to continue to progress and start to see the game slow down to keep his position. His turnovers, decision making and execution have to improve.

You are right he deserves credit. He shows potential and at times looks like he will become the next great qb. I also think if there is somebody else, like Herbert, backing him up, let’s give him a try. I like Cristobal’s loyalty, but if Shough struggles too much next week, let’s see what the next man up has got. Game time exposure is sometimes all that is needed to see the next great player.


I don’t think many fan’s expect the Ducks to win over Washington next week so in reality the rest of the season has to be considered “garbage time” and perfect for checking out other QB options.

Jon Joseph

I expect a W on Saturday, I really do. UW escaped from 2 big deficits before failing to come back versus Stanford last Saturday.

If I had to today, I’d take the Ducks and lay the 4.5.

Unless Oregon has completely packed it in and this would be a real indictment of Mario, I think it will be a hard fought game with the Ducks prevailing late?


This is how I’m thinking as well, and it isn’t purely drinking the Oregon kool-aid, Washington hasn’t been playing lights out either. Ridiculous officiating against the Beavers, they pulled off a 21 point comeback against Utah, but didn’t get it done against Stanford. Needless to say, Husky Nation isn’t worried at all.


TS is NOT the answer !!! He makes POOR rushing and passes reads ! Has he got better games 1-5 , NO ! It’s close to Jeff Lockie as we can get . With Butterfield and Thompson coming in , TS time at Oregon is coming to an end and he will transfer after getting beat out next year !

Jon Joseph

I agree, Ryan. I think the last 2 week’s Ls against unranked teams are on the shoulders of the coaching staff, far more than on Shough.

He is not being put in a position where he can win.

Why for instance against CAL, do you want to drain the clock between plays, play no hurry up and give the CAL D all the time in the world to set up? Playing slow-mo O is the anthesis of what made the Ducks successful.

I think Mario attempting from top to bottom to remake this program in his image is not going to work. IMO it is a long-term devastating mistake.

12-2 in 2019 was nice. But the players on-hand were experienced and evidenced quality peer leadership. And this team dropped 2 games it should not have lost and won the Rose Bowl by 1 point against a 3L opponent.

Personally, I think 2019 could well be the Ducks high water mark under Mario? Unless, Mario takes a cue from Nick Saban, Ed Orgeron, Kirby Smart, Lincoln Riley and even, Clay Helton?

As Bill Parcells famously said, ‘Your record says what you are.’ Mario’s HC record is 51-56.

Fire him? I am not in the least bit in favor of doing so without giving him another couple of years. I want to see how Oregon matches up against Ohio State in 2021 and against Georgia in 2022?

I want to see if Oregon can win a conference title in 2021 and 2022, play in and win the Rose Bowl in ’21 and ’22?

I want to see if the talent being brought in will be coached up?

Besides, with what Mario is being paid, who better will you entice to come to Eugene, and participate in the conference that CFB forgot?

This year speaks for itself. Please note that every team in the conference has new players and has had to deal with COVID issues. Indeed, Oregon has had good fortune avoiding COVID, far more than many, many conference teams.

Thanks Ryan for the most interesting take. As the saying goes: No one is more popular than the back-up QB.


IMO coaching up is not something that is done very well at Oregon, Cristobal especially. Can you imagine what Utah could do with Oregon’s talent ??


Since the rest of the season is “garbage time” It would be a perfect time to give the QB stable some game experience.

Jon Joseph

Chin up! A NY6 bowl this season would be great!


I don’t look for us to win over Washington, so can a 3 loss team make it to the NY6 bowl ?? if so what are our chances of pulling off a win ??


I would agree that Jeff Lockie came to my mind too but Lockie coughed up the ball if someone looked his way. He just does not feel comfortable in the mesh of an RPO football plan. He is a Pocket passer with RUN last in his book, like Foles. Makes me miss D Thomas, he was not fast but he made immediate decisions no hesitation. J Massoli was a Road Grader of a Quarterback, love that but you need a passer than can make the reads and connect. And with who we have now and will hopefully maintain on signing day we may get someone to be better for Coach Moorhead. We are going to lose a couple of QBs, I believe- Millen, Butterfield, Ashford and Thompson. We shall see.


As Duck players and coaches have said over the years –Personal stats dont mean much especially in a loss.
However, I think that will be up to the coaches after a full off season of practice to keep him as a starter or not.
If they keep running him like they are he’s bound to get hurt so the backups are going to need some reps too. The 2nd half of Cal he looked pretty frightened.


I would have said gun shy. A lot going on in the young head of a “how do I help my team” rattled player. In the interviews he is pretty consistent with his play. But his inexperience to translate it into corrective action, that is coaching. Guys are doing their jobs but are lacking in the instincts that made up last years team both on Offense and Defense. Boggles the mind. Agree about getting back ups reps, Next Man Up, means nothing if they are not coached well. Especially this year with Covid.


To early to tell, let him finish the year. Also, do we have anyone better ??


This is not to mean that I am actually disagreeing with you, BDF, but my response to your question is, we don’t know if there’s anyone better. It’s really interesting that the starting QB is unique in sports in being irreplaceable. A pitcher gets pulled, a point guard gets a break, pinch hitters in baseball, every other position in football, can be switched out. But, change the guy most important to how the game is played. Absolutely not!.

So, looking at it this way, it’s not hard to see why Mario hasn’t made a change at quarterback. Mario is not going to zig instead of zag. He will ZIG harder, but a change in direction as significant as bringing in a new QB is unlikely.

I don’t think that seeing what Brown could have done against Cal would have been, “change for change sake”. I saw Shough struggling. Brown would have brought in a new energy, a new feel. I don’t think the team responding to Brown’s presence would have been a diss at Shough, but an acceptance that change can be a positive.


I also believe that the shortened spring and fall practice prevented other QBs (Brown specifically) from likely getting the reps and playbook experience to be a viable option.

I could be wrong, but I think back to past transfer QBs, their addition was to address holes. I wonder if MC and company knew QB was a weakness, thus they were open to bringing in potential talent at the position to cover down on this. It’s already a challenge to transfer in and challenge for the starting role (cough, Dakota Prukop), and with all the other variables this year, Brown became a non-factor, and thus we are stuck with a QB who isn’t the ideal fit MC and team envisioned.

Jon Joseph

Good take. Brown can play in 2021 if he so desires. If Thompson is all that, why not have given Brown a chance to play?

It’s getting rather late in the day to do so,

Of course, if 1 word defines Mario, it might be ‘stubborn?’


Yea, it was surprising when Brown was brought in and more supposing that Brown wanted to join the Ducks. When Brown accepted Shough was very much recognized as the anointed one. I for one feel that even without Brown we have a decent group in the barn, In particular I would like to see what Butterfield can do.


I keep coming back to Brown having almost 2 years of very productive starting experience in D-1. While his full knowledge of the offense may not be as great as Shough’s, his experience may make the game slower for him, and he could then execute plays better, even if the playbook may be a bit smaller

He is also an adept dual threat runner, so he should be fine with that as well.

Re Southeast Duck’s comment – we fans simply don’t know if he’ll be a Vernon Adams or a Dakota Prokop, but given a free extra year of eligibility for all, why not get a decent look at him now, and see what kind of gamer he is?


For some reason Cristobal (IMO) doesn’t seem to give backups much real game experience. I would think it would be more beneficial for the future if he would and would like to see more get some game experience especially QB’s.


Good points 30Duck. I have seen maybe one or two games in my lifetime where two QB’s would alternate, however I can’t say its been successful. Usually one is good at the pass the other good at the run but that of course just gives the D an advantage.

At this point I’m thinking Cristobal see’s Shough as the long term QB and wants him to get as much experience as possible, good and bad.


I’m not advocating a dual QB situation, and there’s a good reason that you and everybody else has seen that very rarely. But, as Jon noted a while ago, Mario, thy name is stubborn, is very unlikely to even give another QB a look.

I understand the loyalty, shake his confidence reactions that go with replacing a QB. But it doesn’t mean that Shough is being thrown on the garbage pile.


Cristobal has repeatedly said they are going to play the best guy… So, sounds like Brown just isn’t picking up the offense as quickly as needed to effectively take it over from Tyler. Hopefully he has enough knowledge and grip to be a viable backup if Tyler goes down. That’s a scary thought… if he doesn’t.


So true.


I always believed that Brown was brought in as an insurance policy because of the lack of experienced depth. Butterfield as the #3 QB tells me, that Millen and Ashford need time to develop??? Let us hope they maintain the commitment of Thompson, whom I believe is a true Dual Threat QB.