Pac-12 Championship GameDay: Can Oregon Pull-Off Another UTAH MIRACLE?

Charles Fischer Editorials 161 Comments

Good gosh, I’m a mess!

So many mixed emotions as an Oregon fan. On one hand there’s the embarrassment over the conference’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis, the anger of losing to two teams a great team should never lose to, the disappointment of a defensive regression far worse than anticipated prior to the season, and the frustration of getting hosed out of an opportunity to take our frustrations out on the cursed Huskies! But on the other hand, there’s the joy of getting slotted in to the Pac-12 Championship game. So I here I sit, in this whirlpool of disappointment and frustration, and yet here we are playing for a New Year’s Six-Bowl?

I’m a muttering mass of protoplasm! Or to quote the great Ron Burgandy, “I’m in a glass case of emotion!!”

We should have earned our way past Washington to be in this game … but then so should USC have earned their way past Colorado. David Marsh noted that Stanford has the same wobbly leg to stand on for being in the conference championship as the Ducks and Trojans do. It’s a disaster, and the league could not take another week or even two to make it right?

Then again, the Pac-12 has blown it so badly already–why resort to common sense now?

Eugene Johnson

The Ducks need to stop the USC passing attack. (Even if we’re being held)

Since Oregon will be playing today in the championship, how do the Ducks make the most of it? Frankly, I do not like this match-up at all; the Trojans are going to score a boatload of points, Oregon can’t stop them, and the Duck offense will be held back (by you-know-who) from scoring as many points as needed to win. Coach Mike Bellotti said it well recently when he pointed out how USC scores their points by the air, while the Ducks have issues in the secondary and do not have much of a pass-rush. Yikes.

Can we Count on USC Being USC?

The Trojans have shown surprising heart and grit in their comeback victories, traits not usually seen from ‘SC teams. Certainly they are smarting from last year’s destruction in the Coliseum at the hands of the Ducks and will want revenge. Or are there some traditional USC emotions coming into play?

Such as hubris, bluster, arrogance and a disrespect of this 2020 Oregon team? I can just hear them now…

“How can you respect a team that lost to two lowly teams like that? We’ll obliterate them…”

There were tweets and murmurs of such sentiment already coming from Los Angeles, and I cannot help but wonder if that won’t help Oregon? If you were in the position of the Trojans … wouldn’t you feel confident? Clearly, this is the matchup at the beginning of the season we wanted, but the Trojans are much more of the team they pictured becoming than the Ducks morphed into.

Craig Strobeck

CJ Verdell tore up the Ute defense…

Can the Ducks pull ANOTHER Pac-12 Championship MIRACLE?

You remember the scenario; Oregon lost in Tempe to a team they should not have and truly limped out an unimpressive rivalry win against the Beavers last year. The team vibe was not-good, and I recall the Pac-12 sportscasters at that game in Eugene being very low-key about their predictions for Oregon going into last year’s Pac-12 Championship game the following Friday. The mood on the television set was grim for the Ducks as they spoke of things that needed to be corrected.

Meanwhile Utah had this tremendous offense and a defense that would send six players to the NFL; they were in the top-ten in the nation and were expected to make the Playoff with a win over the Ducks. I remember thinking that only a miracle is going to keep the Ducks from getting their butts kicked in San Jose. (I believe I wrote that as well at the time)

Yet Mario Cristobal pulled it off!

Can the Ducks pull it all together for one game where the defense plays like last week, and the offense is truly released? Can Joe Moorhead be allowed to surprise the Trojans as Marcus Arroyo did last year with the green light to unleash the QB run option? Can Andy Avalos come up with some blitz packages to turn the game on some key downs?

Eugene Johnson

Travis Dye won’t Duck a challenge in LA and will give it his all…

Pretty High Stakes for a COVID Year…

With a loss, the Ducks descend to a 3-3 record and most likely take a hard-pass on a bowl game. Imagine the mood in the off-season and the soul-searching that would need to take place in the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex? I don’t even want to think about the majority of Oregon fans who did not expect any major steps backwards in the reascendance of Oregon football. A loss to the Trojans would usher in a very quiet off-season, with thousands of we-love-you-when-you’re-winning type bandwagoneers ignoring Oregon football until next fall.

Yet if the Ducks surprise everyone–they are in the Fiesta Bowl? Can you imagine the seismic shift in feelings about the team from one game? Losers or national contenders next year? These are pretty big stakes for as shaky a team as the Ducks are at this moment. Certainly the feeling of being an underdog has returned for Oregon, but can they re-work the magic again like last year?

My friends, this is why I love my Ducks; the drama of the stakes, the emotions, and the questions about it all. It is great entertainment to see just how this will turn out, and I look forward to discussing it all before, during and after today’s game. Because in this Oregon Sports Community, we are great Duck fans … no matter what.

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

Charles Fischer   (Mr. FishDuck)
Eugene, Oregon
Top Photo by Craig Strobeck

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

 

 

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Haywarduck

Oregon 40 The Doughty Donkeys 22, turnovers put them in too big of a hole to dig out of. My main concern is Tufanga, who is an incredible football player, and could change the whole game if Shough isn’t careful with this guy.

PerennialDuck

I just can’t pick against my Ducks.

41-35 DUCKS

Oregon D gets 3 sacks.

Thanks for keeping this site running Charles. I really enjoy it!

David Marsh

Attack of the angry Ducks…. the Ducks put together the most complete game of the season.

Ducks 35 Trojans 28

Santa Rosa Duck

Charles, your cup has been half empty for too long. USC has no running game, it will be an air raid all night but DUCKS win 34-28 with two Katleman field goals.

NJDuck

38-35 Oregon wins! Thanks Charles

Glen Park

I will say 41-38 Oregon. I don’t think the defense will improve enough to contain those USC receivers so I’m counting on Cristobal finally getting out of the way and letting Moorhead take the top off the offense *crossing fingers*. Go Ducks!

duckcardinal

First, let me make amends to the Pac12 Network for showing the USF v UO basketball game last night. A couple raspberries to Comcast for not having it listed, but I turned to the Pac12 National Channel, and there it was!

Alas, I must concur with Mike, CJ, FBLumber, et al. that I foresee a duck spanking along the lines of 45-24, Troy.
Charles’ reference to the possible hubris of Troy over riding the sting of last year’s beat down is the only small branch of hope that I’m clinging to as we head into some class V rapids.

deschutesduck

that was Tyler’s last game as the starting QB for Oregon

CJ

I doubt it, though I wish it were. Hate to get down on him because he is giving it his all. My guess is he starts in the Fiesta bowl……now whether he finishes is a different conversation all together.

But moving into next season I don’t see any way he maintains the job. Not unlike Camden Lewis I am afraid Shough has a bit of the case of the yips when it comes to crunch time.

His line tonight was pretty horrid, but the truth is he never really got a chance to get rolling. Only 19 pass attempts by the Ducks. Mario loved this game I bet with 41 rushes and 135 yards averaging 3.3 per attempt. It’s ugly football but I truly believe that Cristobal thinks it’s the bees knees.

David Marsh

I wouldn’t be surprised if he loses the job next year.

Glen Park

It’s still Shough’s job to lose, that being said I expect competition to replace him next season to be high. I’d like to see how Jay Butterfield has progressed so far.

Duckpop222

About the third time that Cristobal replaced him at a key moment, I had the same thought. “He won’t be the starter next year.”

Jon Joseph

HOW AB OUT A FIESTA!

I’ll bring the tequila.

How sweet it is!

CJ

Damn Jon…..you better get to bed. See you at the Fiesta!!!!!!

Maybe, we will have to see what kind of shenanigans play out I suppose.

By the way, was that a subliminal plug for AB to start in the Fiesta bowl?

DuckUp

6th PAC12 CHAMPIONSHIP IN 12 YEARS JON!
HOW ABOUT THEM DUCKS!
🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆

Krsmqn

Holy moly… That felt good. Great win Duckies!!

Drake

Defense won the game. Shough doesn’t look like the long term answer at QB. We may have issues, but we seem to have a few less than USC.

Go Ducks.

Santa Rosa Duck

Oh yee of little faith! GO DUCKS!

DuckUp

Where is Big Ducks Fan??? He’s gotta be loving this!!

CJ

I believe he is only a creature of the dawn.

CJ

Got to admit you have had some real good predictions this year. You might consider a trip to Vegas.

You were spot on about USC getting stoned in the run game. They went all air raid and Slovis made 3 too many mistakes.

How sweet it is!!!!!

DuckUp

BACK TO BACK CHAMPS!! 🏆 🏆
MVP – THIBS

bearlybalanced

Back2Back Champs baby!

CJ

Thibodeaux almost singlehandedly won that game tonight. What a game. He supercharged the defense, even with double and triple teams on him.

ducker1

Thank God we pulled it off

Alex Heining

What a GAME for Kayvon. Such a dominant performance!

Duck out of Water

Oh my word!!! My heart can’t take it..

Glen Park

Omg I don’t think my heart can handle any more of these crazy games. GO DUCKS PAC12 CHAMPS!

Glen Park

Even Anthony Brown has butterfingers. What’s going on with these QB fumbles?!?!

Duck out of Water

Haha, although I do think there is a QB controversy brewing!!

Glen Park

I don’t think it matters whether it’s Shough or Brown, as long as Cristobal insists on using the pistol the offense will continue to be inconsistent and stall at crucial times.

David Marsh

But we did see a lot less of the pistol tonight.

I was getting annoyed with the empty set and a runningback motioning into the backfield… But the runningback lined up in the shotgun at that point. I know the coaches were looking to see the defense react but they really didn’t.

We were really missing the passing game tonight. The run game was on the whole decent. The pass game was non existent and allowed usc to clamp down on the run better.

Glen Park

Just need a 1st down and run out the clock!

DuckUp

LET’S GO DUCK NATION!!!!

CJ

Need a first down. Like Charles say a first down is as good as touchdown at this point.

CJ

AB all day long.

David Marsh

Shough is looking lost and overwhelmed again… 1 yard on one possession isn’t going to get this done.

CJ

Yep, and Moorhead and Cristobal finally saw it and put Brown back in.

ducker1

4th quarter blues -just pass the ball

CJ

Unbelievable! Prevent offense shows up big time and that’s all she wrote folks.

smith72

The only thing as bad as the prevent offense Is the prevent defense! 3rd and long or 4th and long – rush 3 – giving the QB lots of time to see his receivers, and it’s a first down or touchdown. Thank God we have Thibodeaux! Thank God Jamal Hill had a good game also! Go Ducks!

Glen Park

Probably the most important possession of the game and Oregon defaults to the pistol for the very first play? Instantly gets stuffed. Ugh.

DuckUp

HERE COMES PREVENT OFFENSE

DuckUp

I want to see Brown. Shough just can’t make good decisions.

CJ

Yep and yep.

He is not a clutch player. We have seen this pattern develop now where when the chips are down he can’t make a big play.

Although those first two play calls didn’t help him, that’s for sure.

DuckUp

Like the saying goes. What can Brown do for you? Obviously a lot!!

CJ

Defense is gassed. Couldn’t get two key stops on 4th down. Now it’s ulcer time. If we don’t get points on this next drive I predict SC is going to pull out another miracle win.

Are we going to see another onside kick here?????

David Marsh

Anyone else’s blood pressure go through the roof whenever we attempt a field goal?

That one by Kattleman looked very nice.

Glen Park

My blood pressure is up because Thibs is out, hopefully his injury isn’t serious.

Glen Park

Oh I see him back on the field, *WHEW*

Santa Rosa Duck

Nice to get a field goal but did we have to see the pistol? We were doing pretty good without it.

Glen Park

Kattleman is straight up AUTOMATIC. Why wasn’t he the starting kicker from game 1??

DuckUp

Seriously tho!! Why did we have to see Lewis go 1-4 before we put in the kid who’s Automatic! Katleman for HEISMAN

Glen Park

I’m not sure what’s going on with Lewis. He could be one of those guys that are fantastic in practice but when it comes to game time, nerves and confidence take a huge hit.

CJ

Any dude with the last name of Katleman and a mustache like that has my vote for playing a lot of football.

Glen Park

Sean Dollars is looking like a more versatile clone of CJ.

jrw

I would say that – ahem – Dollars is money.

David Marsh

It also helps that he doesn’t dive into a pile of defenders.

CJ

Just saw the prevent offense on 2nd and 10 to end the 3rd quarter.

Now can we extend the 11 point lead in the 4th quarter? It’s not enough to just hold it we need a score right here.

David Marsh

But at least they picked up more than a yard…

Glen Park

I won’t feel comfortable until Oregon pads that lead by at least 2 more TDs.

DuckUp

Onside kick? That takes some serious cajones. Smh

CJ

Helfrich called it. Gotta admit he was a cerebral coach. Him and Cristobal would make a good pair actually.

Glen Park

Helfrich was always a fantastic offensive mind, he just didn’t have the leadership qualities as a HC. IMHO he’d be one of the few guys that I would consider to be an upgrade over Moorhead at OC.

Duck out of Water

I completely agree.. this would be dooms day for the pac 12

Duck out of Water

Brown can play next year too correct?

Glen Park

Yes, this year is considered a freebie in terms of eligibility.

Duck out of Water

Shough pull the ball!!!

Ryan Robertson

I just want everyone to know that my least favorite fight song in all of college football belongs to USC

David Marsh

Florida State has a pretty bad one too.

Duck out of Water

I completely agree!!

DuckUp

Especially when in Autzen.
“This is the only song we know, and we play it all the time”

CJ

Well, I will settle for the committee if it gets it done. Nice job by both Brown and Shough on that drive!!!

jrw

Ducks appear to have a new short-yardage QB. Or is he a high-pressure QB?

CJ

Right, I was thinking it’s the pressure. He looks cool as a cucumber out there.

That run where it took all two guys could do to bring him down is telling. Dude is playing with a lot heart and that’s what’s needed in the red zone.

Glen Park

It’s the difference between talent and experience. Shough has the better talent but Brown has the experience.

Duck out of Water

I didn’t think we would have a QB controversy in the Pac12 champ game😜

jrw

Was that 4th-and-inches pass the play that will mark the beginning of the end of the Mario dive-into-the-line era? I sure hope so.

David Marsh

We are seeing a whole lot less pistol tonight on the upside.

For MC he really needs a qb sneak package for those plays. The qb sneak would get it done and he physical.

CJ

If you are talking about the pass he dropped after getting annihilated then I wouldn’t say that is DJ Johnson’s fault either. He got lit up.

On balance Shough isn’t getting it done. Whenever Brown is in the ball moves.

Glen Park

No, DJ lost it off his chest before the hit. That pass was right into his hands.

CJ

Okay, that’s a different play I didn’t see. Family is always harassing me during games making it tough to see every play.

Jon Sousa

Defensive line is getting in. Don’t want anyone to get hurt, but Slovis is definitely sore. Good to see him limping before the half… He’s feeling it. Way to go defense!

CJ

Defensive line was lights out in the first half. Hope they can keep it up.

Whatever change was made it worked.

CJ

Will we see the aptly coined prevent offense during our first possession in the second half?

If we score coming out of the half I think we win this one. If not I think we end up on the short end of things.

jrw

Travis Dye!
Sean Dollars!
Tom Snee!
Thibs!
Defensive backs!

CJ

Well said…..too much Tom Snee for my liking but the other guys I love seeing.

CJ

Yep, there it is. Knew Shough would throw some picks tonight. That’s the first.

I hope Cristobal doesn’t give him a chance to throw another and goes to Brown in the second half. I think that’s our only chance of pulling this one out.

Glen Park

We got very lucky that USC didn’t get anything out of that.

CJ

Shough is not the guy. I am totally convinced of it at this point.

Jon Sousa

…though he IS the guy that has lead the best offense in the PAC 12 all season long.

CJ

By the numbers, but not by the play on the field. There IS a difference.

Ryan Robertson

I don’t usually comment during games, BUT IM JUST HAVING TOO MUCH FUN!

Glen Park

Oregon defense is playing angry, wish I could say the same for the offense!

Ryan Robertson

Its odd… I love the scheme the offense is running, but they cannot complete passes.

CJ

Yep, that’s on Shough. Hope Cristobal makes the Saban decision and goes to Anthony Brown in the second half.

Jon Sousa

“Shough still leads the Pac-12 in passer rating and yards per attempt, and he led in touchdown passes and passing yardage until not playing last week.” 

CJ

6/11 53 yards 2 easy td’s and a pick in crunch time. Those are not good numbers. He has missed a lot throws. His running isn’t really fooling anyone anymore either.

Wish they give another dude a chance.

Glen Park

He still lacks overall experience, especially in big games like this. That’s why it drives fans nuts, he’ll toss pinpoint passes for TDs one moment, then in the next he tosses an INT right into coverage. He needs to be more consistent in the 2nd half, particularly his decision making.

David Marsh

You should do it more… It is also way more fun when we’re winning.

David Marsh

Lots more shotgun than pistol so far on offense… Still trying to see Oregon’s offense get in complete rythem.

ducker1

I would like to see more of Brown

Glen Park

The offense has been frustrating to watch. They did take advantage of the two interceptions that resulted in really short fields but have largely missed out on possessions of typical field position. Travis Dye has been doing great but Shough really needs to convert those passes better (he’s been rather inaccurate so far).

Glen Park

I do have to say that the special teams coverage has been great so far.

Glen Park

Great start for the defense through 2 USC possessions, the DL seems to be spiting fire right now. Let’s hope they keep it up!

Glen Park

A 2nd interception by the defense, WOW!

Glen Park

That’s interesting, they put in Brown to pass for the TD

Glen Park

NICE JOB LENOIR!

Glen Park

Game time! Hold onto your butts!

CJ

At least with Helfrich calling the game tonight we shouldn’t be subjected to the anti-duck bias I have heard from several commentators in earlier games this year. At least you would hope not, but who knows maybe he is harboring some resentment……but I doubt it being an Oregon boy and all.

Glen Park

If you’re Helfrich, you’ve gotta be wondering, “Man, if I had and OL that big in 2014….”

Duckpop222

Argh, I hate to be a voice of dismay in a field of green dreams. I have it at SC 34, Our Beloved Ducks 17. I was surprised that the spread was so low at the time of the change. Why do I think we will be borderline swamped? Because our lack of a pass rush will torment our defensive backs and THIS Oregon team with THIS offensive structure and playcalling can’t win a shootout, I fear. I want to be proved wrong so I can tattoo “Pac 12 Champions” on my man parts, but there we are.

DuckUp

Oregon plays up to its opponent and wins back to back Pac-12 Titles 38-28. Go Ducks!

Steven A

Clock strikes midnight for U$C, Ducks 31-30 with a FG over 45 yds.

Notalot

This one hurts. Trojans 38 Ducks 24.

No inside rush D with too little pass defense. The CB’s and Safeties give too much space, and can’t find the ball. A victory will pleasantly remind me of Utah.

Will these Ducks ever OVER achieve expectations? This is like a reverse Limbo, because the bar gets lower every week. WUNY.

ptdduck

Must be aggressive on both sides of the ball to have a chance. If we rush 3 and drop 8, it’s going to be a long day. On offense we really need to attack them in the passing game. We cannot afford to dig ourselves a hole the first half.

This is a huge game for Shough and for next year. Assuming we win and go to a bowl game, we get much needed extra practices.

ducker1

I predict that The Ducks will still will only put together 2 quarters and USC will put down 3.

USC 28 Ducks 21

Hope Im wrong.

CJ

Lot of optimism below, great to see. Last nights game was the best Duck game of the season between Mariota and Herbert.

Alas, I am not as optimistic as many of you….I see the Trojans laying a 3 touchdown beat down tonight with a score of USC 49 Ducks 28. Slovis will have many long ball big plays as we continue to see minimal pressure and porous secondary coverage. We will also see Shough throw a few more picks. Speaking of picks it turns out that missing on Hufanga was bigger than I originally thought it would be.

Of course I hope this prediction is reverse psychology, but it’s time for me to get real about this seasons team.

FGLumber

Predict USC 35 Oregon 21. Need a better pass rush and DB play if Oregon is to win.

Mike West

I believe the difference in this game is the amount of explosive plays each team has, particularly for touchdowns. USC handily wins that battle, and thus the game.

USC 38-28

David Marsh

For those who missed it lastnight the Herbert v Mariota game was amazing. Mariota looked as close to vintage Oregon Mariota as I have seen him in a long time. Some rust he still needs to shake off but he looked good.

The Raiders’ defense was aweful which let Mariota down but Herbert ripped through it and also looked good. Herbert looks like an NFL all-star in the making. He also tied the most touchdowns for a rookie quarterback and he still has two more games to play.

Then don’t forget the best Oregon recruiting class in history and securing Mario Cristobal’s contract (again, is there anyone out there that Oregon can get right now that would be better?)

It is a good time to be a Duck right now. A Pac-12 Championship would make it even better.

Go Ducks!

Duckpop222

Watching it last night, I called it a three-hour recruiting film for the top QBs to come to Oregon.

deschutesduck

It was nice to see a healthy Mariota playing again, although it felt weird rooting for both teams

Glen Park

It was really great to see two Oregon QBs putting on a show. Herbert is going to break the rookie records for most passing TDs and Marcus just gave the Raiders a real conundrum on who should start once Carr comes back to injury. He’s executing precisely the kind of offense that HC Gruden wants to run long term in Las Vegas.

Jon Joseph

OT – Sunbelt champ game COVID cancelled so SB Over 54.5 bet that I loved, is off.

Tom Rinaldi is leaving ESPN after 19 years to work for FOX. I’m hoping against hope that FOX could be the Pac-12 new media rights deal savior? But for this to happen there would have to be numerous 9AM Pac-12 kick offs.

David Marsh

In a non-COVID year a 9am kickoff wouldn’t be the worse thing… for the players and potentially fans.

For fans it would require getting up early but I think doable, especially depending where the game is located. To many fans it would be better than a 7pm kickoff and having to drive back in the dark. So it is kind of a toss up which is better or worse depending on who you are. College students certainly wouldn’t like a 9am kickoff because most don’t want to be in the waking world till after 10am. Though distance wise they are close (unless you’re UCLA and your stadium isn’t on campus) and shouldn’t be too impacted by it.

If 9am kickoffs are required for money to flow into the Pac-12 coffers then it is what is left to us. Having some games featured as the “Big Noon Kickoff” would be a good thing for the PAC and gets lots of needed eyeballs on our games.

Jon Joseph

To all of the above excellent comments regarding a new media deal, the conference has to be flexible or the conference as we know it will not make it as a P5 conference.

Something has to be done to have at least 1 ‘viewable’ broadcast time once a week. I definitely do not want to see the conference go the way of the MAC with the majority of games being played during the week.

Once ESPN goes all in in 2024 with the SEC, SEC games will be on ABC and the ESPN networks from Saturday CFB dusk to dawn.

The Pac-12 has painted itself into the media corner table that is situated directly next to the kitchen door. It will take creativity (from Larry?) or new alignment for the ‘big boy’ Pac-12 teams to get back to at least, the children’s table.

This conference in the $ ball sports has fallen so damn far. Oregon stepped up with Mario. But Wazzu, Arizona, Oregon State? How about Arizona joins whatever basketball conference Gonzaga belongs to and WSU, OSU and others that cannot afford to be in the P5 go to the G5?

I know I am a ‘broken record’ regarding this ‘stuff’ but the P5 CBB and CFB is big business and the Ducks cannot fly when having to carry one half or more of the conference teams.

The Ducks is the ‘rain makers’ in a conference where few other teams can make rain. Most partnerships in this situation do not survive.

30Duck

In the middle of the night, in a not too distant future, Oregon & USC need to pack up their moving Vans and join the Big 12. I think they would be happy to have us. Washington can stay here and fend off the Beavers and Cougars. Oregon is carrying the Pac-12, and not getting anything for it. The Ducks need to be in a position where it can compete for national championships or apathy will set in. Sysaphus can only push his stone up the hill so long.

David Marsh

Other side of it is because of that Knight money Oregon has been able to weather the drought of money and carry their program.

It does give Oregon more flexibility than a majority of teams across the country.

Jon Joseph

Unfortunately, something like the above new conference shuffle is the way it has to go.

Right now I’m rolling the Latrobe rock and getting ready for a late night before I see Larry hand the trophy to the Ducks. It is only fitting that Larry, the bandit, will be wearing a mask.

Annie

I know the early morning games would be a hardship for many, but I would much prefer 9 am kick-offs to anything after 6 pm.

duckcardinal

Have often thought that FOX could work it’s BIG relationship well with a Pac12 deal. Kind of a legacy package and we might even be able to reclaim the Rose Bowl to wrap into the whole package.

Add in first cousin status for the Big12 and we might have enough juice to blunt the SEC/ACC darlings of ESPN.

Haywarduck

This season harkens back to the days when we could almost win any game, but definitely lose any game. We were underdogs and it was tough, but exciting.

What happen last year was taking advantage of something that was there all year. When Herbert took off, those runs were there in just about every game. It wasn’t some miracle, it was just a miracle we took so long to take advantage of the opportunity.

I think we see the same opportunities on defense. A blitz package with Happle and or Noah will work. When the O-line focuses on Thibs, like they have, create more stunts and blitz packages. Make them pay for focusing on Thibs. A couple sacks by Thibs, and or Noah and Slovis is a different QB, the whole turnover ratio is ours!

On offense the TE has been an effective weapon all year, and really an underutilized weapon in the Oregon offense. It is time to punish the defense with our big TE’s. We have four guys, and my favorite DJ Johnson, who can change how the defense plays. Get the ball to our TE’s and let them pound the rock for extra yards. I want to see Cristobal punishing tendencies go to work at TE.

We can win this game and there are obvious areas where this can happen. We just have to make those changes or shifts in how the game is called and executed. It is time to let it all hang out and play with reckless abandon!

David Marsh

TE play was absent against Cal and OSU in ways it really wasn’t in the first 3 games. Well the TEs were used as blockers but they need to be used as receivers to really break the game open. Again… I think so much of that is the use of the pistol that really requires the TE to be a blocker to block a defender who is trying to crash down from the backside of the line of scrimmage.

Jon Joseph

From the outhouse to the penthouse? From Lodi to Carnegie Hall? From the agony of defeat to the thrill of victory? From gumbo in Shreveport to a Fiesta in Phoenix?

What a break and what an OPPORTUNITY for the newly minted Mario and the Ducks. As you so noted in your excellent take Charles, the team has the potential (a very scary word) to grab a significant win in a very insignificant season, Play D like the team did versus CAL, combined with the at times frustrating but yet efficient O we have seen this season and this Trojans team can be beat.

One would think that SC is fresh out of fairy dust? Consider, this is a team that struggled to take down an Arizona team that ASU put 70 up on. A team that beat ASU at home only because the ball bounced in the Trojans direction. A team that had already played 3 games when it played Utah in SLC, a Utah team that had yet to play a game. A gift wrapped win against a Cougars team that served up more turnovers than a bakery. And of course, the UCLA game could have gone either way?

In many respects SC’s wins over UCLA was very similar to the Ducks 2020 defeat of the improved Bruins squad. This is far from a Pete Carroll vintage Trojans team. The Trojans run game is suspect and the Trojans best RB is out of tonight’s game.

If I’m Avalos, I’m rushing everyone from the safeties forward against Slovis. Yes, this will result in coverage busts and deep ball completions, but if Slovis is comfortable in the pocket he will hit deep balls regardless. If I’m Moorhead and allowed to do so, I’m going out of the shotgun and going 4 wide. I’m spreading the Trojans D out and giving Shough lots of targets and good lanes to run through. I’m definitely getting Dye into the passing game.

What do the Ducks have to lose? Nothing. Either go 3-3 and to Shreveport to play a ‘no win’ game against G5 Army, or go to a NY6 money bowl with the chance to finish in the AP top 15 or better.

Let it ALL hang out! Put the pedal to the metal and should the Ducks get a lead, do not slow down, keep on trucking. If you play small ball, play not to lose, play to keep the ball out of Slovis hands the loss may well be close but it will be a loss.

Most of all. Tell the players to relax and have FUN. No one saw this opportunity coming so just Go For It!

Great take Mr. FishDuck. I plan to have a bottle of No-Doz next to my 6 pack of Rolling Rock and make it to game’s end on Saturday morning on the Right Coast. (Which is definitely the Wrong Coast when it comes to the time of kick offs.)

GO DUCKS! And hats off on getting the Mario deal down.

PS – And someone have a pie ready to plant in Larry’s face when he hands over the trophy.

Jon Sousa

Pie Plant will never happen. Coaches will demand respect for authority.
Pie Planting is thing of fans and effigies…. alas.

Jon Joseph

Even with a mask on Larry to deflect the whipped cream?

BTW, if not for the site rules that I fully support, I can think of other ‘things’ I’d rather seen thrown in Larry’s face.

30Duck

Ah yes, last night as we were waiting for the Ducks & Trojans, the basketball team took care of its business, beating the Dons, while two former Ducks dueled in the desert.

I don’t know what’s going to happen in this one. So far, SC has been smart and saved their big plays for the end of the game, while the Ducks do their damage at the end of the first half. An adjustment there could be huge for the Ducks.

I’ve heard that the teams are better able to see through the distractions than are the fans, to focus on the game itself. We certainly hope that is the case here. The Ducks have had the Trojans’ number lately, and hopefully won’t need CJ or Travis to rush for 315 to get the win. But win they will. 37-35, 271 yards and 3 TD passes for Shough.

Jon Joseph

Love this prediction! I do sense a shoot out coming. Down 18, SC will keep on competing. The Ducks may have to do the same in this game.

I’m going Ducks 43 – SC 35.

30Duck

It was all about the D for the Ducks in this one. USF came in averaging 40% on 3’s. They shot 23% against the Ducks, 37% overall. To be fair, the Ducks were even worse on 3’s, 21%. But overall, hit on 45%.

Marcus finally looked like the Marcus we remembered, gained nearly a 100 yards on the ground, and his first TD pass was a thing of beauty. But it was Justin who got it done. His 53 yard pass was just a bit short, or he would have set a new record for rookie TD passes. But he’s got 2 more games to set the new record. And how about his effort in getting the winning TD! The Chargers are 5-9, thisclose to 8-6. Marcus, the highest paid back-up QB, opened up a lot of eyes. Who knows, we might have just seen the first of what will become 2 showdowns a season between Justin and the Chargers & Mario and the Raiders, or Mario could get a starting job with another team.

BigDucksFan

Great game yesterday between two great Oregon QB’s. Just think what Justin could have been, had he had some good coaching during his time at Oregon. So good to see MM play like that again.

As far as the Ducks vs USC, well I saw this coming early in the year and talked about it. However, back then, I thought the Ducks would have a much better football team then they have now. I don’t think its going to be pretty to watch tonight.

Jon Joseph

Yeah, that was fun! I note that Justin’s NFL receiving corps is a tad better than the group he had to toss the ball to in Eugene.

BigDucksFan

Yea, I keep hearing that, – – – however . . .

Jon Joseph

Hey! This isn’t the SEC, we know which group of WRs is paid more, no?

BigDucksFan

It’s true the Chargers WR’s don’t take a season off like the Ducks WR’s did.

In hindsight I really have to say that was a fun game to watch yesterday.

30Duck

And those were back-up receivers for the Chargers. The TE was the starter, but Keenan Allen was pretty much dead man walking with a hamstring issue and Williams didn’t even play. The future is indeed bright for Justin and the Chargers. Another great era for the Chargers with a Duck at quarterback.

BigDucksFan

Totally agree 30Duck

Quackanadian

They can pull it off. They just need one game where the D line gets some pressure and a the D forces a few turnovers, combined with a solid outing from Shough.

Cheers!

Jon Joseph

Have the Molson’s ready you hoser! (Along with the snow shovel, eh?)

Notalot

My Duck pride swelled during last year’s Utah game as feelings of relief washed over me. The Ducks offense was multi dimensional and the defense played smash mouth shutdown inspired football. Outstanding!

I hope Tyler Shough was watching legacy Ducks MM and Herbs battle last night, and moreover that their play inspires him to greatness tonight and moving ahead in his career. What a game those two former Ducks played showcasing Oregon Football greats to America.(BTW, this morning’s NBC TODAY SHOW mentions Herbert’s victory saying “may have cemented Rookie Of The Year” and showing the final between the legs TD.

Following the loss to the Beavers this season I resigned my feelings to “wait until next year” (WUNY). But, I must admit that my insensibilities concerning Duck Football have returned as I hope they roll over the Trojans tonight with a resurgence like we saw last year against Utah.

With any questions about Coach Cristobal’s future out of the way, COVID relief on the way, a new brace of Duck talent signed waiting in the wings, and home state pride on the line for the Califlock added to the challenge of strapping it on against USC - which Ducks team will we see tonight?

Will we see any two-back sets and more shotgun?

[not sure what’s happened to the formatting]



Jon Joseph

Like you brother Brent, the formatting is fired up!

Pm

GO DUCKS !!