Ducks Provide Entertainment, Suspense and Lots of Upside

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck Editorials 77 Comments

As an Oregon fan, it is hard not to be worried, and yet excited about all the unrealized upside? Perhaps the excitement comes later in the week since that was a game that never should have been in doubt, yet was uncomfortably close in the second half. While there are a number of concerns to address, I would like to also like to get the conversation started about so many areas of growth this game revealed.

Since I am working on this between midnight and 1:00 AM–the majority of the tasty topics will be reserved for my Monday article, as I saw some eyebrow-raising items on offense that I love the look of, and want to delve into during the day on Sunday. For now, the obvious is the over-use of quarterback runs that end up in linebacker-land where injuries can occur. To me, I want to see the running backs actually running the ball the most often; is that a concern to you?

After four games–we have not seen much of the Joe Moorhead offense, but have seen even less of the Tim DeRuyter defense that I read so much about. The exception and qualifier is a very big one–the turnovers. Without the secondary making scads of interceptions this season–I don’t know where we would be. Although we will not be facing freshmen quarterbacks that often in the future, I do love the anticipation we are seeing from the defensive backs. And the growth of Bennett Williams before our eyes is part of the fun of being a Duck fan!

Craig Strobeck

Look them up, see how young this defensive is!

Is that a bend-but-don’t-break defense?  Or just a soft one?

Technically, our points given up per game was 19, and the Ducks held the Wildcats to that again, but it doesn’t feel quite right. Yet it is justified in many instances when I see so many undersized and inexperienced defensive linemen putting in major minutes. Freshman Jake Shipley (No. 90) at 269 pounds would not be playing if our depth was not injured or simply so young.

I attribute the youth factor on defense to a couple “upside” items that coach Mario Cristobal will work on such as silly penalties, a bit too much hot-dogging and a focus on better technique. The Oregon defense takes turns giving up yards on the ground and then by the air, but saves itself with turnovers. While it is living dangerously–it is exciting and certainly gave us suspense. (And much shorter fingernails)

What really gets in my craw is how the team that brought “up-tempo” back to college football, keeps getting hurt by it? That is karma that shouldn’t be happening, and I am sure that the defensive coaches will prepare better because they just might see it again. Soon.

Craig Strobeck

Boy, the Ducks need to tighten up the defense…

Games like this allow you to see what you need to work on, (Such as linebackers covering running backs leaking out of the backfield) yet you still win. It will make this young team a ton better over the next two years, and I cannot help but wonder about the high upside awaiting this defense? You know, when you are not starting a walk-on or true freshman linebacker or rotating defensive linemen who would not see the field yet at the elite programs.

Oregon is not there yet, but the first step is acquiring the talent and getting these young-guns the experience. While the ducklings are learning … it is fun to watch them grow and get their wings.

Some years in the past–I would be depressed about how “the Ducks are not as good as I hoped.” This year is different, as the Ducks are not as good as I hoped for right now, but this team shouts huge upside to me like few ever have. I was in disbelief when I read of people stating in August that “this could be a Playoff year,” because I felt we had too young a team.

Craig Strobeck

The youth at Tight End such as Spencer Webb are loving all the touchdowns!

But college football overall is weaker this year and the path is there for Oregon; keep improving, keep winning and these Ducks could grow into a Playoff team and deserve it. So no, I am not changing my expectations. However I am being more patient as both the players and the coaches learn how to navigate a place that none of them have traveled before.

And I really love that cool new black helmet. Put it with yellow uniform combinations, and it is a new hit for the marketing arm of the Oregon Athletic Department.

The other sites give you “the news” while we provide fodder to consider and consequently discuss, and thus my big question to all of you is…“have your goals and expectations of this 2021 Oregon football team changed?”

Not for me!

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

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

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Kurt Rambis

For the heck of it, I compared rosters of some top teams.

Ohio State: 30% freshman, 14% redshirt freshman, 17% sophomores, 14% juniors, 26% seniors
Alabama: 31% freshman, 38% sophomores, 21% juniors, 11% seniors (Bama doesn’t have a designation for redshirt freshman)
Oklahoma: 21% freshman, 7% redshirt freshman, 24% sophomores, 21% juniors, 22% seniors)
USC: 19% freshman, 15% redshirt freshman, 20% sophomores, 25% juniors, 20% seniors (okay, I know SC is no longer a top team)

Oregon: 51% freshman, 10% redshirt freshman, 23% sophomores, 10% juniors, 6% seniors

So I see two things.

1. This is an absurdly young team. Even if you argue that some of the freshmen are walk-ons and probably will never see the playing field, still we have 16% juniors and seniors compared to 40% for tOSU, 32% for Bama, 43% for Oklahoma, and 45% for USC. That’s a HUGE gap in experience and leadership…if this is an apples-to-apples comparison.

2. Apparently Oregon counts both the ’20 and ’21 classes as freshmen due to the added COVID year, as we have 63 players listed as true freshmen on the roster. Do other schools classify players on their roster differently than the Dux? I know there is some inconsistency school to school – Alabama lists no redshirt freshmen and tOSU has a “graduate” designation on some players. Does this extend to what year players are considered to be in? Isn’t that an NCAA decision?


Great comparison. Oregon lost a lot of linebackers recently to the portal – 3 that I know of – I think they would be in their 3rd or 4th years.


Now add the 5 players injured at stand up end/LB + the 3 that transferred, and that equals 8 players who cannot play at 4 positions. That is a lot.


My overriding thought for the next few days is that no other foe has ruined our chances at a “natty” more than the Furd. Even back to the Joey Harrington days Stanford has thwarted our attempts to reach college football’s pinnacle. Logic tells me I should hate them more than Udub. My heart won’t let that happen.

The Fuskies remain my most hated team in all of sport. If my beloved Ducks manage to post a W next weekend I’ll breathe somewhat easier until we face Chip. After watching Iowa Sate make our coaching staff look like confused high school coaches in last season’s bowl game, I agree with many comments here that are worried about Cristobal’s in-game decisions.

Our coach has shown us all that he is an incredible recruiter, but has yet to demonstrate an ability to out coach the other sideline in real time. I keep coming back to this idea that Cristobal is using an Alabama blue print of, “Amassing enough talent can overcome any coaching blunder.” Or put another way, if you have enough top-tier talent you don’t have to make as many coaching decisions that could change the outcome of a game for better or worse……..

The big picture suggests that we are not there yet. Injuries have taken a toll, without a doubt. The upside to that, of course is that younger guys are able to step up and gain valuable playing time for future glory. But remember when we were able to play 2nd and third team players because we were blowing people out under Chip? That felt much better. Especially on defense where we knew that Nick A. didn’t have the best personnel across the board, but could scheme up a D that could come up big in clutch situations?

There’s no way I’ll be comfortable at any point in this season. But! There’s something potentially brewing in Eugene. That is undeniable. The exciting part about 2021 is that none of us have any idea exactly what the next two months have in store. I guess we just have to enjoy the ride……….


This is why I go to Fish Duck, first. This AP article title is wrong about the Ducks. Then look at the article and try to find the Ducks mentioned. And it is in KOIN’s site!!!

I’m going to blame this on COVID and a 6th year journalism student that doesn’t understand football.


I just noticed Dye looking up during that long run where the defender tried to knock the ball out from behind. I’m guessing he was watching the live video so he could see the defender approaching. If true, that’s genious!!

Jon Joseph

Way OT.

OK, the USA Ryder Cup team didn’t need me. No surprise there.

When the clinching Ryder Cup point was made today, I couldn’t help but think how far we have come as a nation..

My Dad and a paternal uncle saw combat against Imperial Japan.

I love that a Japanese-American wrapped up the 2021 Ryder Cup for the USA.

I know full well that we have unresolved social issues in America.

But compared to when old folks my age were youngsters, I was born in 1947, our nation today is far, far better when it comes to racial and gender equality.

I know it is difficult for younger folks to believe, thank goodness, but not so long ago in the south and the southwest the only people of color one saw at football games were among the folks selling concessions in the stands.

It would be nice if once in a great while we could give Uncle Sam a pat in the back for the equality we see today compared to the lack of equality in the USA when I was born.

Our nation as noted above, has far to go in terms of social justice. But my friends, we have come a long way.

I hope this is not too politic? I certainly intend to offend anyone.


Also, I dont understand why teams continuously attack in the middle of the field, especially on 3rd and long and get their 1st downs. Why hasnt Deyruter address this yet? We’re great against the run, but leave the middle of the field wide open playing 10-15yds back all the time. Its very frustrating.


Great article Charles!! I wholly agree, if Brown is getting more carries than the RBs; I honestly dont see him making it through the season. Especially the fact that DC’s know he cant hit anyone downfield and thus load up to stop the run. Im worried we’ll see Ty or Butterfield before they are ready and our season/bowl hopes are on the line; say Ucla or OSU games? Its very concerning.



I was trying to find the most interceptions by a Duck team in a game. I found a lot of individual and some team stats, but not that one. Anyone have a web page of all football stats for the Ducks that include individual and team records?

Jon Joseph


  1. Alabama – SEC vs 9 Notre Dame AL at 8 Arkansas AL
  2. Oregon – Pac-12 vs 10 Florida AL at 7 Cincinnati AAC – Gators, buy some long underwear
  3. Penn St – Big 10 vs 11 Ohio State AL at 6 Iowa AL
  4. Oklahoma – B12 vs 12 Coastal Carolina – Sun Belt at 5 Georgia AL

4 SEC – 2 of 3 AL with 1st round home games
3 Big 10
1 Pac-12
1 B12
1 Sun Belt

Wonder why the SEC wanted 12? I object to the proposed format that would give Oklahoma and not Georgia a bye.

3 teams in, but I don’t think the Big 10 would be happy with all of the B1G vs B1G games.

Another problem — If this was the final bracket, and it likely couldn’t be, it would potentially have Ohio State and Penn State matching up for the 2nd time in 2021 in a bowl game.



Better play from the edge players – they are not doing well in both run support and pass rush. Lots of injuries, but the depth has to step it up.

Along with that, I want the recruiting of edge players to get a whole lot better.

And since they are not playing well, get some help from blitzers to put more pressure on the QB. SEND THE HOUSE

Jon Joseph

AP Poll –

Ducks have a W over 18 Fresno State

UCLA moved up 4 spots to 20.

ORV: 34 ASU/ 40 Oregon State

2-2 Clemson at 25 – Come On Man! Among others, how about 3-1 Texas?

What a great question. One we repeatedly heard from 2 Stanford grads sitting in the broadcast booth last night.

It kind of feels like Oregon deserves to be #3 more than Oklahoma deserves to be #4? A+M 15? Auburn 22? Clemson 25?

After seeing Texas score 58 vs Rice and 70 vs TX Tech, + with wins over TX and 15 TX A+M, perhaps Arkansas should be 3?

There is so much ‘preseason hangover’ in both polls.

Lots of fun to debate but the rubber doesn’t start meeting the road until the 1st PO Committee Poll, a/k/a ESPN Judgement Day, on 11/2.

Watching the Ducks? I’m beginning to refer to the little blue bottle at my side as ‘Mario’s Mylanta.’

I would argue we are going in the wrong direction since we beat tosu. The win against FSU looks better, and we can hang our hats on the tosu for the rest of the year.

The problem is the play since those games. Stoney Brook and Arizona, hopefully, have been a wakeup call that it won’t be easy the rest of the way.

It looks like our biggest challenge might be against the rodents. The beavs actually look like they have a pretty favorable schedule until they come to Eugene. Might be a dandy game, for it all in the Pac-12 north.




Im watching Herbert vs the Chiefs and wondering WTH is wrong with the offensive minds at Duck Central?.


Right on…Who predicted this Summer that our Ducks would be 4-0 and #3 in the country with this young team? 60 plus Freshman. Step by step, North, Pac12 champions, anything else is gravy.


Nail biter for sure. I must admit Charles makes a persuasive case that the Ducks need to grow into a more experienced, efficient, and effective Team. Youth and inexperience have reared their ugly head.

BUT I have concerns about:

1) Line play, both O & D: they are not ready for prime time at this point and they need to get better soon.

2) QB accuracy in the vertical game—especially after seeing DTR and the furd QB and the guy at OSU all make big, accurate throws. I want some of that.

3) Needless penalties and excessive showboating: It tells me these players need to gain some maturity along with experience. Where’s the so-called culture I keep hearing about? I don’t want us to field a team that behaves like a gang of thugs. And don’t get dragged into a situation. Walk away so you get to keep playing. The coaches have to control that.

We can’t count on turnovers and especially interceptions every week, but while I’m on the subject, hats off to Wright, McKinley III (a real ball magnet that guy), and Williams for that last one, taking it all the way to the house.


Yes, I agree. And I clearly recall the ESPN commentators repeatedly saying (at least 3 times): “Oregon is NOT a number 3 team.”

Jon Joseph

What do you expect from 2 Cardinal grads?

That started getting old early.

But echoing Charles inquiry above, it is an an annoying but legit ask.

In this crazy season to date, why not #3?

Thank goodness Ohio State blasted Akron yesterday, and Fresno did not choke against UNLV.

The Ducks need to keep on winning and hope, in conference, that UCLA keeps on winning.

And at least a few style points on O would not hurt the playoff cause.

As good a game as Moorhead called in Columbus, he seemed to be MIA in the other 3 games?

Hide the O except against top 5 teams?

I’m not certain, but I think Verdell and Dye are better running the ball than is a dinged up Brown?


One big takeaway for me? Little brother is real this year. The Duck run defense we saw last night is gonna be shredded by the Beaver wearing #4…

If we allowed Arizona to rush for 200+ yards, I shudder to think what a running team can do. The Beavs simply pounded the rock down the throats of the university of spoiled children last night.


Technically Oregon St is older by 6 years and has almost 8000 more students.

Jon Sousa

Something I’ve been thinking ever since DAT put the moniker on them.


Don’t forget Charbonnet at UCLA.

Jon Joseph

100+ , again, for Charbonnet, yesterday. And Brown is also a very good RB.

Not certain that I’m not a guy in a glass house throwing rocks? But man, that UCLA pass D is porous.


I’ll say it, Cristobal history at Oregon managing qb’s is questionable at best. I am not talking about starting AB over the freshman. His management of their play as Ducks is suspect.

We had the NFL rookie of the year, and he wasn’t all world while playing for us. Now we have a qb who isn’t the best passer, but why run him more than allow him to pass, and run him between the tackles into LB’s?

We need a passing attack, and we don’t have one. There is very little vertical passing and opposing teams are going to begin to realize this and take advantage of us.

It isn’t just being innovative that wins games, it is being able have a diverse set of abilities. We need RB’s who, are used, and can make yardage. We need a passing attack which is feared. We have the RB’s but we don’t use them, and our qb isn’t getting it done.

Going forward if the RB’s don’t get more touches at running than the qb, we will suffer. If our qb doesn’t start throwing more than running we will suffer, end of story.

Maybe Cristobal is faking out the upcoming opponents. If so he is doing a great job, but we need a qb who can be a threat throwing the ball. I think we have the WR’s, we just need somebody who can get it to them.

David Marsh

I think Browns time as a starter might be more limited. I predicted (somewhere anyways) that Brown may lose his job by game six.

Even though Thompson only threw th ball three times and all for incompletions it is clear who the better passer is and who holds the keys to the next level of this offense.

Brown is a bit too happy on his feet and too eager to run. Sometimes it pays off but last night it resulted in a lot of runs for only a few yards.

Having Thompson in…. Even just for four reps with 30 seconds on the clock may tell us a lot about the thought process going on with the coaches.

Browns leash is getting shorter and I think Thompson may get more chances sooner than we think.


I would be good with Butterfield, throws a beautiful ball. We need a passer first, runner second. Right now we have the opposite.

Agree we might see another players sooner rather than later. My prediction, next week is <170 yds. passing and that won’t get it done, longterm.

AB is giving it his all, but we need a qb whose ability is to get it to the playmakers, not try and be the playmaker.

Jon Joseph

Excellent call.

And in fairness to Brown he may be dinged but he isn’t all that running the ball and he made some bad RPO decisions last night.

David Marsh

I also feel he just didn’t read the field all too well. He often had open recievers that he just didn’t realize were there.

Brown is really trying to do too much. He needs to settle down. Many of his problems are similar not what Shough had last year.

Not waiting for the pass game to develop and just taking off. Granted… Last night the o-line played pretty badly. However, Brown could extend the play with his legs laterally rather than moving off straight into a quarterback run play.

Jon Joseph

I recently compared Brown and Moorhead to McSorley and Moorhead at PSU.

But McSorley was far more athletic. And he had far more freedom on O than JM is giving Brown.

I’m not certain that JM’s play calling doesn’t reflect Brown’s ceiling? I believe, sans Ohio State, that his play calling has been suspect?

I do know this, Oregon may go 13-0, but I don’t like the match up against the Georgia D, or trying to keep up with the Bama O?

No disrespect intended toward Mario et al, but it seems to me the Ducks continue to play not to take the L?

This kind of ‘strategy’ will catch up with you.

Thanks again David for your spot on article regarding CFB chaos in 2021.


No, my goals and expectations are still pretty much the same. I was swayed a bit by the win at tOSU, but the past two games have reinforced my thinking coming into the season.

That thinking is that we are too young and inconsistent in too many positions to be serious contenders this year. One (or maybe two or three) of these PAC12 teams coming up over the next several weeks is going to knock us off due to the inconsistency we have all observed.

Brown had what I think was his worst game for us yet last night. He seemed a bit out of sorts most of the night and wasn’t seeing the field well. I think someone stated it below and I agree… must be quite frustrating to be a wide receiver on this team. They just are not getting the opportunities they deserve. Donte Thornton…..c’mon throw the ball to him and give him some more chances to prove me wrong in my thinking that he is a major college football star in the making.

Then at the end I was completely flummoxed by decisions to keep Brown in, run McGee between the tackles instead of Benson or Cardwell and then keep having Thompson throw it downfield. I understand giving some reps but do it a bit sooner in the game. That was weird and sort of bush league.

Glad we won again but it wasn’t our night……the Beavers took the honors in the state of Oregon last night. Hopefully next weekend we take them back and balance is restored to the force.

Last point. Anyone else notice this style of play or maybe something I can’t put my finger on is sucking the air out of Autzen Stadium? Attendance says it was 50k, but it sounded like 15k on TV.


Regardless of what happens this season – win the title or fail to make the playoffs – the Duck will be much better next year and the year after. The pieces are all there, it’s just that right now a lot of the pieces are injured, 19 years old, or inexperienced. Or any combination of those three.

In the meantime, what youth, inexperience and injuries give you is inconsistency; the team plays up or down to the opposition, commits stupid penalties, goes in and out of focus. So, each game is its own little world that bears no relationship to the other games…I mean, last night vs. Ohio State? Two different worlds.

Buckle up, it will be a crazy season.

J Duck

Up-tempo: Must admit, that crossed my mind. Watching a lot of other games in the dreadfully long day leading up to the stupid 730 pm kick off, I saw great up-tempo, and wondered why we don’t now. Then during the game, I thought it again…using it against us, and not using against them. >>sigh<< Just not Moorhead and Cristobol’s thing I guess?

Youth, yes. And KT and Flowe healthy? Who knows how that would help…but DeRuyter has a great track record. I think you are right, Sir Charles, HUGE upside on this team. Are we a year out still? Good point Charles. AB still doesn’t seem accurate past 15 yards most of the time, it’ll be TyT Time next year. That said, I could see us winning out this year and given the the Top 24 this year (#2-25) we could even win a semi again like in 2014. Bama is beyond top 25. I think ‘Bama beats GA in the SEC champ game by 21, wins the national semi by 35, and the natty by 30. It’s Bama and the rest right now.

I’ve been way off last couple predictions…the announcers were SUPER annoying last night, but correct in saying we did not look like the #3 team in the land. But…Oklahomie has not looked #4, if even top-10. Clemson is 2-2. #7,9, and 14 lost (and other, lower top-25 schools, except for #12 Notre Dumb beating #18 Wisconsin, to schools they should have beat). Penn St #6 but not that impressive really. So…doing my Stanford prediction now:

(I know, I said above we COULD win out this year, up to the playoffs at least…)
Week 5: Interceptions: We’ll have 1. Sacks, none. Passing yards…88. (Brown will throw his first 2 picks of the year, and lose a fumble). Score: Stanford 38, Oregon 16. (Bright spots…kicker, punter, kick-off coverage, all weaknesses in recent years).

And yes, that uniform was SICK. Helmet especially. I’ll save my rant about undisciplined play (and show-boating) for later in the week, chalk it up to youth perhaps, coaching…maybe.

Jon Joseph

Hats off to Mario. But he doesn’t make it easy on the fans.

Stanford hung in against UCLA yesterday only because of Bruins break downs in coverage.

I do not believe that the Cardinal has the style of game to win next Saturday? But I also believe the game will likely go into the 4th Q?

It was good to see a lot of fans in Stanford Stadium.

I think Ole Miss at Bama is going to be a very interesting game? The Ole Miss D is much improved and the Bama run game isn’t close to what it was in 2020.

The Ole Miss QB from SoCal (sigh) and the passing game makes Ole Miss very dangerous; a threat to score from anywhere on the field.

And Lane will not be afraid to sling it.

I also think that if the QB is healthy, Arkansas will not be an easy out for UGA? And I think the UGA/Florida game will be very competitive.

Today, it’s hard to understand why SC went with Slovis and let Daniels get away?


Pretty sure the freshman receivers won’t be spinning the ball on the turf anymore.

Jon Joseph

What spun more? The ball or the head set?


Thank you Charles for your positive upside of yesterday’s game. It’s hard for me to do. 3 of our games have provided this uneasy feeling of “Why are we looking so ugly?”

The Vanilla Offense AND Defense breeds overconfidence which you see in unsportsmanlike actions on the field. Too much angry “postering” – too many penalties. Those attitudes don’t have any place in any culture!

The Vanilla decision by coaches is stating to other teams that “We can beat you with one hand tied behind our back.” This is disrespectful. Any red blooded male will take umbrage at being disrespected.

As I wrote last night over confidence breeds underperformance! Third quarter dominance by Arizona is a sign of weakness that may hurt Oregon in the future. An athlete should compete every play as if the score is 0 – 0. Anything less is unacceptable!


The Ducks will be hearing the song “Hit me with your best shot” from Pat Benatar all season. But so will GA, AL and every other team in the top 10. GA and AL crushed lesser opponents. The Ducks looked baffled at times and the score doesn’t reflect the overall feel of the game. They didn’t look like a #3/4 team trying to keep their ranking and unbeaten season alive but rather a team that’s at times confused and other times well oiled. I give the D big kudos for hanging in there since the O left them out to dry so many times.

Sadly until some changes are made this is what we’ll be seeing all season. Is it me or does it look like the coaches want AB to get hurt so they can put TT in? I hope not but it sure looks that way. Another thing to ponder is how hard is it to quiet your own crowd? There were times when you could here a pin drop. That’s just not right.

I know the teams young but I still don’t get why Verdell hardly sees the ball against a poor run D? And is there a QB on the team that can hit a WR in stride? If so pad him up and put him in. There was some baffling plays called last night. Not sure why.
Morning rant over.


We have talented lineman, but, as of yet, they are not warriors. Warriors don’t get beat by 0-3 teams repeatedly in critical situations. These guys need to go to warrior camp. They have talent, but they need to learn how to fight and dominate at all times.

As far as AB, does Moorhead and Cristobal want to put another qb in and just allow Brown to become our starting RB? I know we asked for our qb to run, but that was as a secondary weapon. Our offense is using our qb as the number one choice to run the ball, flat out crazy.

It is obvious QB can’t pass effectively and run the ball so there is only one option, make him a RB if the coaches love seeing him run so much. Put in another qb to pass. I have been predicting decent passing number each week. No more, my prediction for next week, is 170 yds in the air.

Also since when was a qb suppose to run the ball more than pass, 10 passes and 12 runs? No RB had more runs than AB, and our running game was poor too, we got beat in the running game and the passing game last night.

We won two statistics, the turnover statistic, and the final score. In the coming weeks we can’t count on that to happen in such lopsided ways. I love this teams potential, but from what I saw this team isn’t a playoff team. Cristobal’s in game coaching continues to dumbfound me.


AB made this a frustrating game to watch. His passing was very erratic, and he made poor decisions on when to keep the ball and run. That won’t get it done against most of the teams that remain on our schedule.

After watching this game, it is probably unrealistic to go undefeated if AB doesn’t improve.

It must be frustrating to be a wide receiver on this team.


The quarterback position is a problem. Anthony Brown is serviceable at best, a better than average runner but a clearly limited passer with no ability to stretch the field or to deliver the ball on deeper sideline routes that require some zip on the ball.

When I see Jake Haener deliver clutch pass after clutch pass for Fresno State, while barely able to stand up and in excruciating pain, I immediately think how much better offensively Oregon would be with him at QB and how much happier the Ducks’ talented group of receivers would be. Receivers want to catch the ball, not be spectators.

Drake, I agree. Without significant improvement in QB play, from Brown or Thompson, I can’t see the Ducks going undefeated in PAC-12 play.

Jon Joseph

DTR did the same vs Stanford yesterday as Haener did to UCLA.

2 tough dudes.


Have to agree. But AB would have had a better game if our O Line wasn’t performing so badly. That’s a big problem whether you run or pass.

Kurt Rambis

Such mixed emotions. Can’t see live games, as I’m overseas (this one started at 3:30 a.m.), so I’m reduced to watching extended highlights on YouTube. I got used to the Chip Kelly years, where we would paste lesser teams 58 – 7…but then too often not have the horses to beat an Ohio State or Auburn. So while I miss those ridiculous scores in games like this, I also have hope that Cristobal’s crew will have us in line to win when it counts – Rose Bowl, CFP, etc.

So, so hard to have everything align when you have kids spending 2 – 4 years in school. You have a great O-line, but a green QB. Then the QB matures and all the top O-lineman have graduated and you’re breaking in a whole new crew. Great D, mediocre O…then the O gets it together and your defensive leaders are trying to make squads in the NFL.

We’re seeing that with Clemson this year – so many losses of great players they had over the past 2 – 3 years, and now they’re tumbling back down to earth. Oklahoma and Ohio State have struggled. Alabama seems to be the one exception, as Saban always has a whole passel of five-stars replacing their NFL draft choices. But we ain’t Alabama (and no one else is, either).

So it seems to me we have a lot of youth on D that has talent but hasn’t put it all together yet individually or as a group, a QB who is mature and steady but comparatively limited in ability or upside, very young receivers/TEs, an O-line that’s still figuring it out somewhat, and mature, talented RBs. Plus new system/coordinators. Strengths in some areas, weaknesses in others. So the inconsistent results probably shouldn’t be a huge surprise.

This year, we’ll be limited by youth, inexperience, and a QB who’s steady but unspectacular. Next year, we’ll have an experienced O-line and receivers/TEs and a much more experienced D, along with hopefully a full year in the offensive and defensive systems…but possibly be breaking in new RBs and a brand new QB with probably much more upside but very little experience – and we’ll be without Thibodeaux.

Would love to get to the same level as ‘Bama and OSU in terms of having a constant pipeline of top-level talent to replace our losses. Hopefully that’s headed in the right direction.


2022 is looking like another top recruiting class. Cristobal keeps stacking those up, we will be the west coast ‘bama.
You are so correct, what we are seeing that we don’t like is a result of youth. That will improve. Also, we just need to keep improving week to week. We want to be playing our best from Nov on.

Steven A

Does anyone know who hacked Charles’ Fisduck account and is posing as him? It’s good to see that Charles’ IPA is half full this am.

This team is baffling. Again, playing to the competition.

The Clemson L actually gives us back the ability to have an L and still make the playoffs as the ACC is now out and in time I think the Big whatever their number is will have a 2 L Champ.


Here’s a little tidbit—105 of the Ducks are freshmen ,RS freshmen and sophomores
very young team.. Things to ponder..

Kurt Rambis

Need a little clarification on this one. One hundred and five of the Ducks? Huh?


Is that because the NCAA gave student athletes a gimme year? This would be Thibs third year here. Some the super seniors are on their fourth or fifth years, covid created a lot of confusion. But any day at any time the unexpected can happen and knock you into reality. Bowling Green vs Minnesota, North Carolina State vs Clemson and ORS vs USC in LA, who would have thunk it?

Jon Joseph

There are a lot of 6th year guys playing in 2021.

Roster size is likely to be expanded for 2022? Now many 5* transfers will Bama sign?

Kurt Rambis

Ah, you’re counting walk-ons, etc. Never mind…

J Duck

Don’t forget, with Covid, now you can have 5th year freshman, and 12th year players, or something like that is seems :)


True, but its still all about playing time and quality experience. Iowa state was a great example in last years Bowl Game.


Thoughts on why SO few Jrs and Srs?


Covid for 1,transfers and move ons. Our roster is still the youngest of all the top 10 teams.
I might add the we also have juniors and seniors that havent seen game time much also.
There’s an old saying that you are what you eat or. .you are only as good as who you practice against. Our practice squad is a glorified high school squad.
The bottom line is that we are still very young percentage wise. I will say Im not happy or have been happy about Cristobal’s in game coaching. Personally I dont see him as a good strategist. hopefully Im wrong—GO DUCKS!!

Jon Joseph

Thanks Charles.

Hats off to David Marsh and last week’s article that hit nail squarely on head: This Is Chaos!

The O in Oklahoma? Where have you gone? [Thank you W VA for the cover and taking me to 6-1 for the season.]

Clemson? The ACC’s top 2 playoff candidates are: Boston College and Wake Forest?

Brian Kelly surpasses Knute Rockne in wins at Notre Dame and his team decided to play like one of Knute’s teams, instead of stumbling around.

As a number of folks predicted on FishDuck, the Beavers blew out the Trojans in LA. And I thought SC might have a chance in South Bend?

UCLA had 3X more 1st downs than did Stanford; yet, the game was in doubt until late into the 4th Q.

Both Michigan and Michigan State had very, very, close calls. Rutgers easily covered against the Wolverines and easily could have won the game. The Fighting Frosts took Sparty to OT.

Wasn’t that basically the same Iowa State team that routed the Ducks in the Fiesta Bowl? Baylor, not Iowa State, is 4-0.

7 top 25 teams lost and a lot more could have lost.

So Charles, and David, spot on! The Ducks performance is baffling; like riding a roller coaster.

But a W is a W, especially in this chaotic season. Especially an in-conference win.

Puddles, just keep on a keepin’ on! And please, pass me the smelling salts!


Oregon won. UCLA won. USC lost. Good night all in all.

Couldn’t agree more with your perspective on this one, Charles (except for the helmets). Watched most of the game on near-mute because of the announcers, who sounded like they just moseyed in from a sewing circle, Gilmore in particular.

How is Kris Hutson not a pile of ash after that dressing down? Love to know what he said to Cristobal on camera.

Jon Joseph

Oregon State’s 1st win vs USC in LA since 1960! I believe that was the season Terry Baker won the Heisman?


And Rich Brooks played on that 1960 OSU team (as per Brooks’ tweet).

Jon Joseph

Great stuff, thanks. Was The Great Pumpkin the Beavers coach?


I had to look that one up–it was Tommy Prothro.


The bounty on the Ducks head is high-very high.
They say the mark of a great teams is that they always find some way to win and the Ducks did just that.
I am concerned about the line play and the linebackers though, hopefully that will improve soon.


Good ponder points Charles.

I thought AB was hurt in the second half, particularly the 3rd quarter where he missed some reads and the O couldn’t even move. That lack of pressure by the front 7 did pick up a bit in the 4th quarter when it was needed, but lots of what you say is masked by all those turnovers which won’t happen against and elite team.

Seven McGee showed some flashes of brilliance and the tight end play in the first half was solid.

Anyone else think the colour commentator was a little judgemental on Mario being to intense while reaming out Hutson on the sidelines at the end of the second quarter for his ridiculous ball spinning techniques? I have seen Saban yell at players while up 60 on Wofford for missing assignments on simpler things.

As for Arizona, these kids are all mostly still 3 stars and up with youthful pride. They are still D1. So what if they pooched the bed and lost to an FCS team the week before? There are no gimmies in the transfer portal world of College Ball anymore. You have to show up and Arizona did. Without the turnovers, this game is close.


Jon Joseph

Great take Quack.

Saban is covered in CFB media scrutiny Teflon.

With the way this season is going, I will not be surprised if Ole Miss gives the Tide one heck of a game next Saturday. Will Lane be his 1st assistant to take down Nick?

Last night’s color commentator grew up in an age far different than when Woody Hayes and Bear Bryant were coaching.

And far different from when this old grey beard played ball. If your coach wasn’t yelling at you, something must be wrong with the coach?

The young men and women playing today are allowed to make all the $ they can earn, which is righteous.

But at the same time treating them as kids whose self esteem must not be injured? That’s male bovine excrement.

CFP players are in the bloody pulpit.


I thought AB was at least in pain, if not actually playing with an injury–something like a pinched nerve maybe? (Assuming that’s not considered an injury.)


Soft pass D giving up huge chunks underneath and a surprising lack of a good pass rush.
Time of possession was lopsided….the wrong way. Found a way to win but not in an impressive fashion.
Things only get tougher from here.
Kudos to the Beavs.


For a while as the game was going on I worried that I was going to pay for taking such delight in Clemson having lost to North Carolina State. Fortunately, my chortling went unpunished, and now that it’s over; Oregon reminded me a lot of Alabama in that one.

Over the run of Saban’s reign, The Tide has won a lot of games just like that. You’ll look and see the score as the game is playing out and see that the other team is hanging around, you don’t really think that Alabama is going to lose, but it’s closer than you expected, then you see the final score, and a lot of times it was because of turnovers.

That definitely wasn’t a pretty game. But I don’t put it in the “winning ugly” category either, In those nothing goes right for the Ducks, and they escape with a win. “Turnover’s, Baby!” Nothing has a more demonstrable effect on the outcome of a game than does the turnover margin, and that ended up 5-0, Oregon.

There’s definitely stuff to work on this week before the Ducks go down to the “Farm” and take on the Cardinal, the first being I don’t want any more games where Brown ends up with more rushing attempts than does Verdell. But, I’m confident that the newly 51 year old, Mario and the coaches will address that and other issues during the week. How ’bout them, Ducks!

Jon Joseph

Yesterday the Tide won its 100th game in a row vs an unranked opponent.

This is impressive. This is a record.

Bama under Saban does of course have close games. But Bama rarely plays down to the level of inferior competition.