Oregon’s Offense Must Stop Shooting Itself in the Foot

David Marsh Editorials 102 Comments

Oregon has yet to put a solid four quarters of play together this season. Against Cal, it was Oregon’s offense that lost the game, where in the previous week against Oregon State it was Oregon’s defense. The defense this past weekend, despite a terrible first half, put together its best performance of the season.

The defense obviously needs to continue to improve, but the offense needs to prove it can score points and protect the football.

Ditch the Pistol

This one isn’t new to Oregon fans. As a collective, we have been screaming for over a year now that the pistol simply doesn’t work — at least as an every-down formation. The pistol can work as a change-up to take the defense off-guard. Many teams find success when they only occasionally use the pistol.

At the end of the third quarter and into the beginning of the fourth quarter against Cal, the Ducks displayed exactly how the pistol does not work. The success of this drive was largely dependent on the use of the shotgun, where Travis Dye had runs for chunk-yards and Oregon ramped up the tempo. It left the Cal defense stumbling backward as Oregon was on the march. It was a successful drive until the offense switched to the pistol formation. Three downs later, Oregon was faced with a fourth-and-one scenario. CJ Verdell subbed into the game and lined up in the pistol and, unsurprisingly, failed to make the line to gain.

Tod Fierner

Travis Dye runs through a large hole created by the offensive line.

As Oregon fans, we have seen the pistol kill offensive drives too often, and the fourth-down scenario is nothing new. What was different, though, was the success of the offense was out of the shotgun — only to change to the pistol and four downs later to be completely stopped. The offensive coaching staff was given the starkest examples of what works and what does not work in the same drive.

This needs to change.

The pistol is also hurting offensive line play because it requires the offensive line to make bigger gaps and hold them open for longer periods of time against a defense that knows exactly what is happening and how to stop it. Mario Cristobal preaches physicality, but what he is asking from his linemen is unreasonable, and therefore he is setting them up for failure.

In contrast, this offensive line created enormous gaps for Dye to run through when they ran out of the shotgun, and did so effortlessly. This offensive line has the potential to be great, and these running backs could be great, but the rushing scheme is handicapping them.

It is time to end the failed pistol offense and set Joe Moorhead free.

Tod Fierner

Travis Dye is stopped at the line of scrimmage after running out of the pistol.

Protect the Ball

Ball security is the simplest lesson in all of football. This year that lesson seems to be lost on the Ducks, as every game so far has come with multiple turnovers, save only the UCLA game where Oregon only had one turnover that was returned for a touchdown.

A new quarterback will make mistakes and Tyler Shough has made his fair share. He has four interceptions to date, though that number could certainly be higher as he has made some bad throws that bounced off defenders’ hands. He is young and still learning, and if interceptions were the sole issue facing Oregon’s ball security problem, that would be one thing.

Far more concerning are the fumbles. Shough lost the ball at the end of a run against Cal and hopefully he learned another lesson: to go down instead of struggling for more yardage while the ball is vulnerable. The fumble that sealed the loss against Cal came on Oregon’s final frantic series where Johnny Johnson caught the ball and was hit, sending the ball flying from his grip, only to be recovered by Cal.

Tod Fierner

Tyler Shough fumbles on a quarterback run against Cal.

In the first three games, the three primary running backs have coughed the ball up in troubling ways, though in the past two games the running backs have seemed to re-learn the ball security lesson, as they haven’t been responsible for giving up the ball against OSU or Cal.

These turnover issues need to be fixed quickly. The defense is making progress, though it is not capable of carrying Oregon to victory at this point. In addition, the Oregon offense must stop the self-inflicted wounds of the pistol and turnovers.

Oregon can still reach the Pac-12 Championship Game with a win over Washington this weekend, but the coaches and players need to make some adjustments to have even a chance at winning the Pac-12 North, let alone a second consecutive conference championship. Will change come fast enough to salvage the 2020 season for the Ducks?

David Marsh
Portland, Oregon
Top Photo By: Tod Fierner

Natalie Liebhaber, the FishDuck.com Volunteer Editor for this article, works in the financial technology industry in Bozeman, Montana.

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SeattleDuck

I just gave a listen to Oregonian reporter Andrew Nemec’s first Oregon recruiting-based podcast about why (aside from the COVID impact) performance has been so uneven, particularly on defense. It’s a sobering reminder that although Oregon has had enormous success in recruiting, there’s really only 2 of those celebrated classes on campus right now and they’re all freshmen/redshirt freshmen/true sophomores and how much the upperclassmen leaving really impacted the team. That being said, the growing pains the team is going through this year will ultimately pay huge dividends next year. Lots of in-depth analysis and observation, a great listen if you have 30 minutes.

https://play.acast.com/s/the-recruiting-trail/oregonducks-oregonstatebeaversearlysigningperiodpreview

ducker1

My 2 Cents–
Cristobal is a great recruiter and an excellent O line coach.
Shough is slow on mental decisions under pressure and needs many more reps to lead a power 5 school to a championship but is willing to run and seems to have a strong arm. So There is hope.
Avolos did more with lesser recruits at Boise St.
Moorhead and Cristobal are like oil and water-Im thinking Rob Mullins is thinking ahead????
This year isnt a good year for most College teams–I know –Thanks Captain Obvious.
Slow plodding Offense is not popular with Oregon fans, especially here or anywhere for that matter.
Power running plays dont mix with an inexperienced line.
4th and 1 for the Ducks might as well be 4th and 10.
The kicking has improved.
On D, short passes over the middle are good for 20 yards and now every opposing team knows this.
The D run scheme is to tackle after at least a 7 yard gain–bend a lot–Maybe too much??.
With that said this has been a very strange year that I HOPE never repeats .Still-Love my Ducks!!
Sorry folks but I take a loss to the Beavers very seriously–It should not happen.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

ducker1….please see your email.

Dave23

If it was 4th and 10 just maybe they wouldn’t run the pistol plunge up the middle but I wouldn’t count on it.

Logger29

It seems the Big10 has changed the requirements for number of games played to qualify for the championship. Ohio State gets its way, I’m shocked, SHOCKED I tell ya!

Do you really think the Buckeyes would risk virus infection or the outside chance of a loss and fly cross country for a game against Oregon?

Let’s call UNLV now!

30Duck

At first, the idea of changing the rules, as soon as they are inconvenient seems completely wrong, and I don’t know if the idea would even be broached were it not Ohio State that is involved. But, it isn’t completely hollow and shameless.

Ohio State did beat Indiana, they are undefeated, so keeping them out of the B1G Championship Game would be wrong, so there is merit to what the B1G is doing. Pac-12, ae you seeing how this is being adressed?

Logger29

Certainly Buckeye Nation would scream a horrendous howl to the moral injustice of abiding by the rules. Personally, I think it’s less about right or wrong and solely about the conference payday which Ohio State seems now assured to bring to the heartland.

I hear your comment regarding the Pac12. Wouldn’t it be nice to see our conference step up and adapt to a very unusual season. I like Jon’s idea which would pit Colorado against USC in the Championship.

Jon Joseph

YES.

30Duck
CJ

Love seeing Dante get into the action tonight. By far his best game of his Duck career. If we get Dante showing up on a regular basis like this I am feeling pretty good about our chances.

Williams is a great hustle guy to have on the floor as well.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

It is amazing how much better the team is since the first game, and while the Ducks had a huge advantage inside–a confidence game like that is perfect prior to facing the Huskies.

FGLumber

Wanna bet they cancel?

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Nope….and that would be a 50/50 proposition anyway. No word about the basketball game…

30Duck

So you’re saying there’s a chance?

There are some reports surfacing that UW is being extra cautious with this and they are confident right now that the positives are isolated.
Whatever the case is, we will find out tomorrow when all of the testing results come back …

SoutheastDuck

Maybe Washington misses out on a week of practice, and goes into the game less prepared as a result of all this. Just trying to be optimistic… ha.

Jon Joseph

FWIW

Athlon Pac-12 Bowl predictions –

Fiesta – USC vs Indiana

Alamo – CU vs Iowa State

Armed Forces – UW vs Arkansas

Independence – Oregon vs Army

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

If the NCAA ran the FBS playoff –

16 Buffalo MAC at 1 Alabama SEC
9 UGA AL at Cincinnati AAC

13 USC Pac-12 at 4 Ohio State B1G
12 Coastal Carolina SB at 5 A+M AL

15 San Jose State MW at 2 Notre Dame ACC
10 Miami AL at 7 Iowa State B12

14 Marshall CUSA at 3 Clemson AL
11 Oklahoma AL at 6 Florida AL

————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

If they’d listened to Larry –

8 USC Pac-12 at 1 Alabama SEC
5 A+M AL at 4 Ohio State B1G (why not play this game this Saturday? $$$)

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

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Shreveport? Yuck!

But then you could say the same thing about how the Ducks are playing right now…

Drake

Many of us have played football at different levels, with various levels of success. Winning at this level goes way beyond just changing the pistol formation. We have seen the Ducks most prolific offense we have ever had, lose as well.

This team has not played exceptional football, but has components that I like. While you can argue that they need to be coached better, or the coach is not very smart. I still support a coach that has played on a National Championship team, Coached on a National Championship team, won a PAC 12 Championship, and has established himself as the highest rated recruiter we have ever had.

We have just started to recruit at a level above USC and expect to compete for a National Championship? We all know that it will take more than a change of formation to go the distance. However, it won’t be the pistol formation that stops us from winning it. It will be a mixture of coaching and talent….with a heavy lean on the talent side of things.

Keep up the good work Cristobal. I like what you are doing.

Jon Joseph

Good take. But, ‘shown he can learn?’

Specifics?

30Duck

 But changing tactics and strategy based off data is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength. He just needs to admit something isn’t working so that it can be fixed and move on.

This is the nuance that we hope Mario is capable of grasping. Stubbornness was also the dent in Chip’s armor. Nick Saban has shown that he is capable of trying something new, because the situation called for it. He brought Tua in at halftime. He was completely against Up Tempo offense, but realized that Alabama could be successful with it.

30Duck

Yes, it took a long time, and it wasn’t so much a change, as Saban just allowing the Tide to Roll the way college football was going. In advocating that Mario adjust we aren’t asking for anything nearly as drastic.

But it might be more fundamental. I do believe that Mario would rather win 28-14 than 45-14. That “PO” grinding up the yards, not points, is how Mario wants to win. The Total offense that Oregon has built up this season is misleading and not what Mario has in mind, being more on explosive plays, especially at the end of the 1st half, not methodically grinding it out.

Mario wants to be the Stanford that went against Chip’s Oregon. Oregon isn’t playing like those Stanford teams, and he’s recruiting to assemble a team like last season’s LSU. So what is Mario’s plan?

Jon Joseph

AMEN!

You know, in this conference I do think Mario can win titles playing smash mouth ball. But a Natty?

Jon Joseph

BUT, that was Alabama with jake Coker playing QB, ‘when.’ Mario was on the Bama staff and won the award for the best recruiter in the country.

Mario cannot see how Nick Saban and Kirby Smart have evolved since?

Is Nick Saban running the same O today as when Mario was there? Does he now have behemoths on D; or, athletes who can play in space?

Does Mario not watch Bama game tape? it will take year’s more before he ‘gets it?’

Mario won a Pac-12 title in the same year the Ducks lost to the 6th best team in the SEC; a team Minnesota defeated in the 2019 bowl game.

In 2019, the Pac-12 had 3 teams win 8 or more games. 2 of these teams were blown out in their bowl games. With the roster Mario had, including the 2020 NFL Rookie of the Year playing QB, the Ducks should not have won the conference title? Should not have defeated a 3L team in the Rose Bowl?

I can only hope your patience is rewarded.

ducker1

This post is very true

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Epic discussion David and Jon!

Jon Joseph

Great and spot on response, David, thank you.

I’d demure regarding Leavitt; when Leavitt didn’t get the HC gig I think he basically fired himself?

THIS is my concern. Mario has been a HC for 100+ games. He is under .500. And I do not believe he was innovative in his earlier gigs or has been innovative at Oregon?

He is a great recruiter. But is he ever going to out-recruit the ‘usual suspects?’

And is smash mouth ball going to take down a Bama when it couldn’t take down Auburn?

Oregon ‘changed the game’ on O and made the rest of CFB join in and/or adapt.

BTW, a forum is coming, thank you Charles. I honestly am not trying to get the ‘last word’ in here. I am looking forward to when we can have continuing robust, disagree without being disagreeable, ‘discussions.’

The only way Ducks fans win is when the team wins. I am not trying to ‘win’ anything here, I simply love the debate.

And I always appreciate your takes.

Jon Joseph

Drake, I more than hope your evaluation is correct and mine is in error.

I do note that among others, Paul Brown played at Miami of Ohio, Vince Lombardi at Fordham, Nick Saban and Lou Holtz at Kent State, Urban Meyer at Cincinnati, Mike Bellottii at UC Davis, John Robinson and John McKay at Oregon.

Logger29

Rational and well thought out comment. You can win with the wing-T if the execution is there and the correct talent is in place.

I like Mario as well, which is maybe why I am willing to be patient. This is a crazy year. I’m a little sheepish about how involved I have allowed myself to become with the Duck fortunes this season. The sane thing would probably have been to stick with a cancelled season.

Jon Joseph

The ACC protected itself and lined up for a $12M payday, by canceling the Clemson vs FSU and Notre Dame vs Wake games.

Clemson defeats Notre Dame in a close ACC champ game and both ND and Clemson are likely to be in the final 4.

And will anyone be the least bit surprised if the B1G, as expected, drops the 6 games played requirement for a team to play for the conference title? Ohio State in the final 4 means $6M for the conference. And in fairness, tOSU did defeat a No. 12 ranked and 6-1 Indiana team that without a change in the games-played requirement, would be playing Northwestern for the B1G title.

jrw

You’re not saying that it’s all about money, are you? :)

SoutheastDuck

Apparently Oregon is bottom 10. Seems a bit harsh, makes one question if Oregon wasn’t in the Pac12, would there be such a scathing review so soon? (hmmmm, LSU? Penn State?)

https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/30479408/oregon-quickly-goes-cfp-hopeful-spot-bottom-10

30Duck

It’s ridiculous, as you mentioned, off a dominant Championship season, LSU is 3-5, Penn State 2-5

Jon Joseph

And for LSU, 14 (!) guys drafted.

Jon Joseph

I saw that. The whole bottom 10 thing IMO should disappear. Click bait BS.

ptdduck

The last three games, the offense has scored a total of 7 points in the 4th quarter. That’s not going to cut it. Getting too conservative late in the game is a big part of it IMO. MC needs to let JoMo do his thing the entire game.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Absolutely Duck-Brother, on all counts.

Logger29

Wow, there is no end to the Husky low blow tradition. While I believe there are truly a bunch of sick dogs in the kennel, the program is going to have a red face every time talk of this season comes up. Sort of like that national title co-championship they were awarded via a sportswriters vote, certainly didn’t win it on the field.

Ok, sorry, had to get my irrational dislike of all things purple and gold. Sadly, it’s most likely a break for the Ducks.

So, someone help me out. Is there a chance Oregon reschedules quickly and plays Saturday(what’s eastern Washington up to?)?
Also, originally all Pac-12 teams were slated to play seven games with a cross over for those teams not in the championship (what’s Arizona doing that weekend?).

Jon Joseph

19 positive tests reported at UW, practice paused. And with the contact tracing requirement, I don’t know how the game gets played?

YES, find another opponent to play this Saturday. Another W, even against an FBS team could help out in the now very limited, bowl pecking order.

Jeremiah Geiger

Washington pauses football activities? If this game is canceled, Huskies win the North.

ducker1

thats some bad news.

Jon Joseph

Dumb and dumber?

How about CU? 4-0, 3-0 in conference. CU’s opponents to date are 8-10; SC’s are 2-10. The Committee in its ‘wisdom’ has SC ranked 15 and CU 21.

If both CU and SC win on Saturday, CU is out of the conference title hunt. CU did not get to play the Trojans, substituted San Diego State instead, because SC Covid-canceled its game vs CU.

Karl Dorrell? How many of us, including moi, mocked this hire? CU has a guy who played safety last season playing very well at QB and a RB who is rolling up yardage. Dorrell is making Michigan State’s $5M hire of Tucker look even more senseless.

Pre-season, would any of us have believed that CU would have a chance if it played Oregon? This game could be played a week from Saturday. Based on the records, the Oregon/CU game would likely be played in Boulder?

So, a 5-0 CU doesn’t get to play for a conference title, but a 3-1 UW does?

Playing with divisions in 2020 was simply a stupid decision.

30Duck

The B1G is going to save Ohio State. Ordinarily, I’d say that changing a protocol as soon as it is activated is by definition, wrong. But. this is Ohio State, and not only is its BiG Championship in trouble, there’s a spot in the Invitational waiting for the Buckeyes if they can only get there.

What is the Pac-12 going to do about its Championship?

Jon Joseph

Follow the $, and the ACC.

More proof positive that this is the Doc Soda Pop Invitational masquerading as a ‘playoff.’

Jon Joseph

If both SC and CU win, Jon Wilner suggests there is no reason why the conference should not allow these 2 to play for the conference title. I wholly agree.

BigDucksFan

Now you don’t think Washington would cancel because of the virus and then all of a sudden get better for the week after, do you ??

Jon Joseph

Great take David. But, is anyone on the coaching staff paying attention?

Oregon is a public university, right? So, how about the state equivalent of a FOIA demand to find out who is running the offense; who is calling the formations and the plays? Who is it that refuses to observe the obvious?

David Marsh can see this, guys making millions and hundreds of thousands of dollars cannot?

David and the majority of us fans can see that the pistol is firing blanks. The coaches can’t see the same? The coaches expect a different outcome doing the same thing over and over?

I’m baffled as to why anyone believes this coaching staff is going to learn from Ls to, and close wins against, outmanned opponents.

Frankly, I’ve seen enough to know that it is not going to improve. So, how about the Ducks hire a now functional and rehabbed Sark? The man knows the conference, can recruit and is calling plays for the #1 team in the country; plays that are out of the 21st and not the 19th century. Of course, as an assistant at Bama is already making close to what Mario is being paid. So UO might have to step up from being the penultimate HC pay cheapskate in the conference; do it! Personally, I’d rather see Sark paid than see Mario’s pay bumped with an increase in Mario’s buy out.

IMO, the hiring of Sark would not result in the loss of a single recruit. It would cement the commitment of skill players who might be wavering.

Mario could not be a better man. He is an outstanding recruiter of HS talent. But he is 51-57 as a head coach and he is NOT going to change his approach to the game. Yes he went 12-2 with a 1 point Rose Bowl win over a 3 loss team. But this was with the ‘NFL Rookie of the Year’ playing QB; a player he did everything he could to keep under wraps.

Again David, what a well written, cogent, spot on article. And I mean NO offense to you when I say that I am tired of reading the same thing over and over again without minimal, let alone significant, change on the field of play. I do not see our patience being rewarded now or in the future. I see recruiting like a Tennessee recruits, with the same on-field results.

I have no desire to ‘go dark.’ But The Emperor is passing by, and he is naked.

Jon Joseph

I think it’s odds on that the UW is canceled and there is a very good possibility that Oregon could play CU a week from Saturday?

With the Michigan/Ohio State game called off due to a Covid outbreak in Ann Arbor, anyone up for Oregon playing Ohio State Saturday? If not Ohio State, how about a game vs a MW team?

I am hoping that CU defeats Utah and UCLA takes down SC so that CU with a much better SOS, gets to play for a title?

If the above happens, UW would play CU in Boulder for the conference championship.

Who knew!

CU had every excuse in the book to be winless to date; the coaching this season at CU has been exemplary.

jrw

Well, the emperor, clothed or not, may be with us for a while, if John Canzano is to be believed (always a chancy proposition). He says a contract extension for Mario is being negotiated as we speak.

Canzano cites a source within the Oregon program, with the columnist adding, “everyone I’ve talked with believes a long-term extension will get done.

Jon Joseph

I think this is the way it will go down?

As I asked previously when folks were excusing this season’s performance, for those urging patience, what will be a satisfactory record for UO in 2021?

Has Mario earned a significant bump in pay? Perhaps? But if the team continues to flounder n 2021 and 2022, a bump in pay and an extension means a higher buy out for Mario and the assistant coaches.

Also, while somewhat of a long shot, Mullens could be the next AD at UGA?

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Great post and it is not dark; it is negative, but 99% of the negative written on this site is fine as they are our opinions and they follow the rest of our rules.

Perhaps my definition of dark is different, but one way of saying it is, “I really don’t want to read that…”

Whereas yours is quite logical, well written and makes a number of great points. (That I agree with)

Thanks Charles. And BTW, I hope my analysis of Mario’s HC ability is WRONG!

30Duck

It would be great if it was, but it’s hard to see a flaw in your findings. Mario would have to undertake a dramatic change for it to look any different. In a way, for as much as we laugh at what Helton is doing at USC. What is Mario really doing here?

Not being Willie T helped him a lot, and as you said, he’s a great guy, who has assembled a great staff, and is recruiting like crazy. But getting all that talent is going to make us crazy if he can’t/ won’t alter his grand design.

I’m with you on Sark. I don’t see a downside to what he would bring if he took control.

Jon Joseph

Thanks 30.

Sark turned down CU and MS ST, but unless he is sure he will follow Saban at Bama, I think he would take the Ducks job?

If he did take the job and did a good job, which I would expect, the Bama job would still be in the mix.

Man, I’m not certain I’d want to be the guy following Nick at Bama?

jrw

The short-yardage pistol fetish is going from annoying to infuriating to…really kinda weird. The coaches aren’t stupid. They watch the film. So, what is it that keeps them chained to this failure? I don’t get it, not one bit.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

So many times a simple snap under center with a QB sneak would easily get it…but we cannot do that!

jrw

I have this daydream where Shough, instead of handing off to a suicide mission, pulls the ball and takes off. There would be acres of green grass ahead of him.

ptdduck

It exasperates me to no end why we don’t have a QB sneak in the playbook.

Jon Joseph

SEE: The Alamo Bowl vs TCU?

Jon Joseph

Maybe not stupid, but definitely stubborn. Are these the same?

Santa Rosa Duck

Who makes these decisions? When Travis Dye is gaining healthy yardage, to pull him and go to CJV in the pistol, is that Moorhead or Christobal?

Jon Joseph

3-1 = a division title. 3-1 with a home L against Stanford. A bad spot W against Oregon State. A 21 point comeback against a bad Uah team. And not a single road game.

BRUTAL!

Jeremiah Geiger

Just a reminder guys that this Saturday is the annual Army-Navy game.

GO ARMY BEAT NAVY!

Santa Rosa Duck

Go Air Force!

Jon Joseph

Being played on campus at Army, for the 1st time in decades.

Army -6.5 may be worth a look?

Jon Joseph

BTW, 1 of the 1st things a Plebe at West point is taught: No Excuses!

30Duck

Yeah, NO. GO NAVY! It’s pretty much been like Oregon- Washington. Navy has won 17 of the last 22, with a 14 game winning streak between 02-15. Army wins just enough to make it a “rivalry”.

Jon Joseph

30, I’m coming with my picks tomorrow. As of now I like Navy +7. Navy has played a much more difficult schedule than Army and defeated common opponent, Tulane, that Army lost to.

Jeremiah Geiger

Beat the Huskies!!!

Jon Joseph

Looks like the Huskies is taking an L vs COVID?

30Duck

David, as you said, we’ve all seen this to be true. What makes it confounding is that should Mario check out the stats to see how the Ducks are doing he would see that they are leading the conference in Total Offense, and Scoring offense. They also are last in turnover margin.

This I’m afraid will keep Mario on track. Just clear up the TO’s, and his PO is humming. I don’t know what is going to convince him to make any significant change. He’s gone after dynamic play making recruits, but what will he do with them?

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Leading the conference is lame when you’re scoring only 34 points a game. For nine years of running the Shotgun at Oregon from 2008 through 2016 the Ducks averaged 43 points a game.

We could do that again as we have the talent….

But, TIP. This, is the Pac-12.

Haywarduck

Oh the much vaunted, by Cristobal, dominate the line of scrimmage, and beat the other team into submission. The problem on the third down against CAL, and many pistol plays, the tackler is coming from the edge. Our receiver missed his block, the tackler came around the edge, and by the time the RB made it, almost, back to the line of scrimmage, he was tackled.

The O-line didn’t have a chance to dominate. The tackler had the time to come all the way from the edge, and make the play before the RB even came close to the line of scrimmage. There could have been a 6′ hole in the line of scrimmage, he wouldn’t have gotten there. At what point is Cristobal, or Moorhead going to see this on film?

Not only is the tackler, often, coming from the edge, there is opportunity because of this. When the defense is committing this much to one area, other plays become extremely effective. All of this is coming from a neophyte who knows little about football, other than what is obvious to anyone watching on tv.

As far as turnovers, I completely agree. The interception against OSU, in the 4th, was a critical mistake. The fumbles against CAL were the daggers into our hopes to win the game. Great teams don’t make those mistakes.

Last item, which has been brought up, is why is the D-line lining up a yard behind the line of scrimmage? Again, a neophyte, looks at other teams and they line up much closer, and our tactic makes no sense. I really want to know what advantage this give us over other teams?

The shooting ourselves in the foot involves lining up too far back with our RB and too far back with our D-line. Our track team doesn’t line up behind the starting line, why does our football team? Altman doesn’t make his players shoot free throws from the top of the key, does he? Golf allows you to tee off a golf club length behind the tee, but most people are smart enough to line it up as close as possible to the tee markers. I wonder where Cristobal tees off, I really do?

Annie

Who was the DC, from Canada, I think, who had the defense line up two yards off the line? He was here only a year, as I recall.

30Duck

Rich Stubler, 96-97.

Jon Joseph

Playing off the line makes sense in a league where the field dimensions are much larger than in CFB and the NFL.

Haywarduck

I love the fact that the Canucks took our game and made it theirs. They indeed have some quirky rules. I can imagine the boys that made them were downing some good beers, or more likely whiskey while laughing about making the American game better. ‘We’ll make our fields bigger and have more players!’

Jon Joseph

The national game of Canada? LaCrosse, and not ice hockey.

Up north, they have plenty of open spaces and room for big fields.

Apologies to QuackCanadian.

Haywarduck

Stubler, maddening to me to see this happen. Not as much as our DB’s lining up way past the first down markers on third down, but close. As a novice somethings just don’t make sense, which doesn’t always make me right, I admit.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

I completely agree that the edge rusher or read-key defender can often catch the running back or even cover both the RB and QB in the mesh and that does not happen in the Shotgun.

It is a major issue of mine for a long time….(as many of you know!)

Jon Joseph

On the down-low: I must admit that when it comes to teeing the ball up, on occasion, I do line up offsides.

But neither I nor my grey, grey beard playing partners can see worth a darn, so it rarely gets called.

This begs the question: “How many Mulligans do you want to give Mario?’

Haywarduck

I do too, but it because the courses I play, sometimes, are so lousy it is nicer to hit the ball offsides.

For Mario it is more like he is giving away strokes, because he seems to think he can still beat the opposition when at a disadvantage, no mulligans needed. It is time for Mario to stop giving away strokes!

Jon Joseph

Hayward, to clarify the nomenclature.

Mulligan, second tee ball on the 1st hole after the 1st tee ball has been shanked, sliced, duck hooked, topped, drop kicked, whiffed, etc.

Shapiro. 2 tee balls off the 1st tee; play the best one.

Moochie, teeing it up in front of the tee markers.

Bolt, what you do, ala Judge Smails, when its time to collect the bets

BigDucksFan

“It is time to end the failed pistol offense and set Joe Moorhead free.”

Which begs the question of who is it that is pushing to use the pistol formation ??

Fumbling the ball is caused by bad coaching. 

Ask yourself, why do some teams have a bad record when it comes to turnovers and others have a good record ?? It’s all about the teaching technics used by the coaching staff. 

Telling a team to not have turnovers is not the way to get the job done. A show and tell experience with much repetitive practice must take place to reduce turnovers. Consistent monitoring during practice must also be added to have a good take away ratio. 

Is this coaching staff doing all that ?? They haven’t done a great job of it so far this season. 

One interesting thing that Cristobal he has shown us is that high level talent must have high level coaching in order to succeed.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Who is pushing the Pistol? Well Moorhead never used the Pistol until he came to Oregon…

BigDucksFan

I’m really beginning to wonder if Cristobal is the one to get us to the promised land.

Jon Joseph

I do know it took Moses 40 years to get there. And he was a coach with a pipeline to the Big Guy.

So, how about a Natty in 2060? If lucky, I’ll be watching the game with the Big Guy, and on the biggest of screens?

BigDucksFan

I’ll be watching the game also but maybe from a different angle.

Jon Joseph

Now that’s a ‘dark’ take.

But the audience will be on fire.

EzDucksit

Gets hot there, be careful what you wish for BDF, lol.