Ducks’ Gameplan for Stanford: Lean on Verdell & Dye

Alex Heining Editorials 18 Comments

The Wildcats trip to Eugene ended up being more competitive than most expected. Even though the score may indicate a drubbing from the Ducks over the cats, the first half was a bit ugly. Keep in mind: this is nothing to panic over. Pac-12 play will always remain competitive for the Ducks, as Oregon has transitioned to a Goliath-like role this season for the rest of the conference to try to take down from the mighty mountain top of being ranked No.3 in the country. Stanford will try to do just that this weekend.

I’d like to see a more effective rushing attack this weekend against the Stanford Cardinal. I harped on this a couple weeks ago, but I really believe this is the perfect season to be CJ Verdell’s signature year. To help his own draft capital while still pushing the Ducks to the promise land, it could be a spectacular close to one of my favorite backs to ever take the field at Oregon.

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Tom Corno

Verdell had one of his career best performances in The Shoe, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Stanford has always been a formidable opponent since David Shaw became HC, but this is still a game the third-best team in the country should dominate. It’s time for the Ducks to have another breakout game from our variety of new young stars and win big.

Stanford has always been a tough team to win big on, so sound defense complemented by a strong rushing attack again will have to be the difference maker, especially as long as Anthony Brown is still starting. I think this should be another big performance from CJ as I said earlier, but just as easily, Travis Dye could take over as that same type of player for us this week. As we’ve seen after the Ohio State game, each gameplan is fluid, and can end up feeding the hot hand between the two stellar, veteran backs.

When it’s all said and done, I believe splash plays and smart football will keep the Cardinal competitive, but turnovers and running the football effectively with Verdell and Dye will give Our Beloved Ducks a victory that extends to a multiple possession lead entering the fourth quarter.

What do you expect of CJ and Travis against Stanford? Is this CJ’s season, or will they continue to split the carries?


(Side RECRUITING note: Samuel M’Pemba just put the Ducks in his top schools via Twitter, anyone keeping up with this uber-talent’s high school career?)

Alex Heining
Los Angeles, California
Top Photo By: John Sperry

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CJ & Dye are fast, but they do not break tackles. Dye has a move or two make a defender miss, while CJ has none of that.

The interior O line is pretty good, but the O tackles are not great. And the TEs are not big hulking blockers, they are more like big WRs.

The running game won’t take off until Stanford HAS to account for all other athletes, including A. Brown running the ball.

This Moorhead RPO has some nice plays that trump the defense, but many times receivers are not open and running lanes don’t exist.

I look for a balanced RPO attack that keeps the defense guessing. This is where Brown excels.

Instead of running the ball, I look for the RBs to be receiving the ball. The spread is supposed to spread out the field.

I also think McGee has a much higher upside than CJ or Dye.


Yes. When I look at a RB, I don’t look at stats or what he does when he has a hole. Instead, I look at what he does when he faces a defender. DAT, LaMike, Barner, Tyner, Freeman all could challenge tacklers with speed, moves, power, or a combination of all that.

I have seen a little of Charbonnet at UCLA, and he looks really, really good. The guy the beavs had last year was good too.

Jon Sousa

A heavy dose of 12 and 22 personnel. Gives the defense practice against 2 TE sets. Run the ball behind a heavy front and use those TEs on play action.

If we get behind at all and need to throw the ball down field, bring in TT who can throw it down the field.

Run the ball, stop the run, pressure the QB.

Heavy doses of Dye and Verdel as mentioned. Personally I’d like to see some Benson and Seven at some point.

The secondary depth for Stanford looks like an opportunity in both the run and play action game. Heavy doses of between the tackles success will open up the down field pass game.

I’d like a RB to be the Ducks leading rusher in number of carries.


One item I hope the coaches realize is CJ Verdell deserves the rock! Travis Dye deserves the rock too!

Make AB a pass first qb and let him run second.

It is time for Anthony to hand the ball off to the guys who have been training and working towards this year their whole career. We need to let CJ and Travis shine. This is the perfect weekend to start their best season yet.

A measurable goal would be for CJ to get his average up to 100 yds a game this season.

Travis needs to get his all purpose yds up to 100 yds per game. I would like to see Travis get a few more passes coming out of the backfield.

These guys deserve to be highlighted as elite college running backs. Great article and focus. The time is now!


A QB that distributes the ball to the teams playmakers at both RB and Receiver would be nice.

We have great talent at receiver with a QB that threw 21 passes the last game, completed less than 50%, and ran the ball more than any RB for an average of about 3 yards a carry.

Improvement is needed.


Wow, a sentence which summarizes the whole problem, ‘We have great talent at receiver with a QB that threw 21 passes the last game, completed less than 50%, and ran the ball more than any RB for an average of about 3 yards a carry.’

We need to change that storyline and fast! To put even more light on the importance of the problem you point out, it was against a team which is 0-4.


Part of it was the defense couldn’t get off the field in the 3rd qtr.

As far as great talent at WR:

J. Johnson/Redd/Devon – they have proved themselves as very good receivers

Hutson – looked good when he plays

Pittman – he has been here a while, yet to make a big impact

Franklin/Thornton – super high ceiling – put them in

others: Delgado/Wilhoit/Crocker — fell off the chart or are buried so deep


I never seen a Ducks team so deep and talented at WR before. Yet, the passing game is pretty weak each game.

Much of that is the defense giving up so many yards/plays/first downs, that the offense doesn’t have the time to do a lot.

Jon Joseph

Great comment!

How can a guy making $4+M and a guy making $1+M not see this?

Santa Rosa Duck

Thanks Alex, let’s do to Stanford what they have done to us for years. DUCKS with a two tight end set and run CJ and Travis at them with some tempo as well. Plus bring in Seven from the slot with jet sweeps. First game on real grass, remember that?

Jon Joseph

The Stanford run D is soft. Exactly the plan: Run the damn ball! And get the TEs involved in the underneath passing game.

Run it like UCLA did last week. UCLA smash mouthed Stamford. The only reason Stanford was in the game was due to the Bruins fire drill pass D.


Our offense must run through CJ and Travis. To do so our O-line must perform better than last week.
I’m hoping we see a little more of young Seven also. He is exciting and explosive, another DAT!

I hope to see a better game plan of working some runs outside too. More mix to open things up.
Would be great to see CJ go for at least 20+ carries and 100+ yards. That will require controlling the trenches.
Time to show out what they’re made of.