Monday Analysis: FishDuck Facts, Video and Usual Blusterings

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck Editorials 63 Comments

This 2021 Oregon football team is unique among all the Duck teams I’ve followed over the  years because of all the mistakes, the injuries and yet the incredible promise of extreme upside that awaits the fans. I have not witnessed such a talented team that has … so far to go in terms of its potential. Are the Ducks No. 3 or No. 4 now, or is this polling assuming the high upside that shouts to us from every game? It gets the fans howling in delight or roaring in rage…

Now that I’ve accepted that state of Our Beloved Ducks–I am content with where we are, and salivating as I ponder where this team could be at the end of the season. It is a young team that is sprinkled with veterans in key places to make it all work adequately for now, yet teasing or torturing us about what is to become.

DeRuyter Defense Surprises All

The defense typifies this as Verone McKinley III is making big plays, yet how different will this defense be when Kayvon Thibodeaux returns? How would Oregon have done against Fresno State if Thibs had been out the entire game? (See UCLA) The play at Weakside Linebacker (I was watching for this game) was meh, yet Noah Sewell filled in the gap with his speed and leadership on the field.

Just as the defense gave up too many passing yards to Ohio State, it seemed that Stony Brook ran too easily on Oregon. Yet the box score shows that the Seawolves only had 140 yards of rushing! And while it feels like our defense is just too soft at this point–the facts show that they are only giving up 19.66  points per game. I will take that all season! My friends, this bend-but-don’t-break defense is working.

Craig Strobeck

Verone McKinley III has been on fire this season!

Again, we are doing this with undersized defensive tackles and no Thibs, who will electrify this defense when he is healthy. How ’bout them turnovers? Where would this team be without them? Finally, we have only seen a fraction of what defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter will unveil over the 2021 season. Truly, I am stunned at how well they have done considering the injuries and the massive inexperience. Whew!

The Steam is Building on Offense

Now, you know I want 45 points a game to compete with Alabama someday, but our 38 points per game is an improvement over the 33.84 points per game over the last three years. Scoring 31 points in the second half without Anthony Brown? Who saw that coming? It also shouts to huge upside in potential scoring as Joe Moorhead unleashes more of his playbook and tactics on the conference.

So many have the narrative wrong concerning the Ohio State win; they claim it is a validation of Cristobal’s physical style and emphasis. Baloney. Oregon did not win with Pistol Plunges in a phonebooth; they won the way I’ve been shouting for over the last three years–by being smarter. They ran east-west so well because it was game-planned and executed so well, and that credit falls to Coach Moorhead and Mario Cristobal. Why I have such optimism about the future, is because we have seen a glimpse of it. The days of high scoring are ahead of us, as the experienced and inexperienced players begin to coalesce in the Oregon offense.

In short? This team is still so raw…

Now the term raw refers to inexperience, but not necessarily referring to present results. We have young guns across the team that will play better with more reps, but they are playing miles ahead of what a usual newbie would be doing. The above video exemplifies how completely new freshmen are making big plays, and helping to free the veterans in CJ Verdell and Travis Dye for big gains.

They aren’t playing like freshmen, yet if they were–I shudder to think of where we would be on offense. It is damn good recruiting and coaching going on…

Mr. FishDuck…Are you Taking HAPPY PILLS?

Considering the litany of critical articles I’ve written about the Cristobal offense, I can see why you would ask that. But they don’t mix well with my tasty Oregon Craft Beer IPAs, so no. The real answer is that I’m getting high on where we are now going. For three years, I saw no indication of that, and it continued into the first game. But the Moorhead plays from Penn State are showing up more often, and his intellect has the players excited.

Craig Strobeck

The young-guns like Dont’e Thornton (No. 10) believe it. Shouldn’t we?

When the players believe? Then I become a big believer in the unfolding Oregon offense, and big kudos go to Coach Cristobal for recruiting one of the best OCs in the nation to Eugene. Ponder this, Duck fans: what percentage of fruition is the team now compared to what it will become? (70% with 30% to go? 60%? 50/50?)

That is a sweet one to contemplate my friends as….

“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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DuckIt

Ducks have definitely been winning the turnover battle every Saturday, but I’m not so quick to give DeRuyter the bulk of the credit for his pedestrian play calling. In almost every one of those turnovers, DeRuyter rushed 3 or 4. That did not change from the Fresno State game, all the way through the Stoney Brook game. I would have thought once the Ducks learned that KT would not be available for the OSU game, DeRuyter might have had to rethink his game plan. In that respect, he deserves some credit for knowing his personnel and what they are capable of, but I still think he left a lot up to chance.

In the Fresno State game, had KT not been injured in the 1st quarter, KT might have gotten to the QB, Jake Haener, 10 more times. He is that much of a disruptor that he would throw a monkey wrench into any team’s offensive game plan. Rushing 4, KT had to split the double team, in order to tackle Haener and knock the ball free. On the Fresno State’s next fumble, KT’s penetration forced the RB to bounce it to the outside, where Sewell was able to chase him down. With one arm wrapped around the Rivers’s back, Sewell was able to drag him down while simultaneously, ripping the ball out with the other hand. On the third fumble, DeRuyter rushed 4, with the DT Jayson Jones having to take on two linemen. With lots of green grass in front of him, Haener scrambled, trying to pick up 1st down. He would not succeed though. As Haener dove for the 1st down marker, Flowe managed to strip the ball from him.

It was no different for the OSU game. Even though KT’s absence left a huge void in our defense, DeRuyter wasn’t about to abandon his bend-but-don’t-break, game plan. The one turnover from the game that the Ducks were able to generate, came from rushing 3. With the pocket collapsing, Stroud tried to use his legs to extend the play. Fortunately for the Ducks, he floated the ball too high for Olave, and Johnny-on-the-spot McKinley was able intercept it, to help secure the win. Two plays earlier, the Ducks rushed 5 and were able to record their second sack of the game. The few times that Ducks decided to blitz, they were rewarded.

The entire game, I was yelling at DeRuyter to dial up more pressure on the QB. Judging by the comments on several teams’ 247 Sports boards, I wasn’t alone. Many of these posters, not just Ducks, thought that Ducks were not doing themselves any favors by not blitzing more. It would have completely changed the dynamics of the game and made the Ducks appear even more dominant. Stroud looked shaky and threw a bunch of ill-advised throws in that game against Minnesota. Part of it, was due to his tendency to drift the ball too high, but the other part, besides the nerves of his first college game, should be credited to the Gophers’ pass rush. Stroud didn’t settle down until the second half.

Against the Ducks, except for the last two drives by OSU, Stroud looked way too comfortable in the pocket. He had the luxury of going through his progressions and dissecting Oregon’s defense. Whenever Stroud felt the pressure, he would trot to the sideline for refuge, not eager to pick up yards. Sometimes, he lost yards, running out-of-bounds. This was a clear indication that he was playing scared in the first half, which the Ducks failed to capitalize on, his fear of getting hit. When Stroud was compelled to on 3rd down, he proved effective, running the ball, but even then, he headed towards the sideline and appeared reluctant to take any unnecessary hits. On that same play, Manning reminded him, why he should be afraid, delivering that late blow.

While the Ducks came away with three interceptions in the Stoney Brook game, it was combination of luck and really bad throws, not due to pressure on the QB. The first two interceptions, the QB missed his receiver by a mile. The last one, should have been overturned. Wright inadvertently tripped the receiver, as their paths crossed and allowed Williams to field the catch.

My point is that on most of these turnovers, if not all, DeRuyter was not aggressive with his play calling. He leaned heavily on our DL to get penetration which is a tall order. Those turnovers were produced by brilliant effort of the Oregon’s DL and the defenders who had the presence of mind to strip or catch the ball. Whichever coach or coaches who are responsible for developing this skill and stressing the need to strip the ball from the defender, needs to be applauded. Three games into the season, the Ducks are tied for 3rd in the turnover margin. Without these turnovers, the Ducks could arguably be sitting at 1-2, instead of 3-0.

The other positive takeaway is that Oregon’s DL is solid. From reviewing these games and highlights, they more than held their own while often finding themselves outnumbered. It’s either that, or the Ducks have been playing subpar, inferior O-lines so far. Still, I’ll feel a lot more confident once KT returns.

A 3:30 Right Coast time kick off!

I may be able to stay awake until the end of the game?

Fantastic as is being on ABC.

Annie

Wish we’d have some 12:30 start times for home games!

David Marsh

Because Oregon is ranked No. 3 we get to be on ESPN.

Because Arizona is a hot garbage at 0-3 we get a 7:30 time slot.

Blame Arizona for that…

Drake

It does seem that the offense has upside potential. Quick passes to playmakers, a QB that runs, and better accuracy on mid level passes seems like a recipe that opens up the running lanes, and play book.

AB may have some limitations to his game, but makes good decisions. I don’t think we have seen the best of AB, or Moorehead’s offense just yet.

Defensive injuries have certainly hurt. However, this has allowed some young players to get very valuable experience. That experience pays nice dividends going forward.

We need to get healthy on defense, and be more consistent on offense. The potential to be very good is there.

Being 3 – 0 and ranked as a playoff candidate is exciting. Every game is a championship game from here on out.

Steven A

Same for Fresno State and they at least get a New Year’s bowl game.

Ducked

“Win out and you’re in.”

It sounds so simple, but it would be an amazing accomplishment for a team so young and inexperienced that is also dealing with extensive injuries to key players.

Is AB hurt? Does anyone really know? I swear I saw him limping at the end of the first half and he never returned. The way Oregon is so closed mouthed about injuries he could have re-torn one of his two repaired ACLS and we wouldn’t find out until moments before kickoff on Saturday. Certainly hope he’s ready to go, but if not, the snaps that Thompson got on Saturday may prove to be invaluable.

For those concerned about Oregon’s lackluster first half performance against Stony Brook….. how could there not have been a letdown? Beating Ohio State in Columbus at The Shoe was clearly the biggest non-conference win ever for the Ducks, better than Oregon’s win over Oklahoma at Autzen several years ago, which pales in comparison.

And then coming home the very next week to play Stony Brook? When I looked at the Ducks’ schedule for 2021 and saw Stony Brook, I immediately looked it up because I had seriously thought it was a women’s college.

Running the table will be a huge challenge. It’s a long season and the schedule gets much tougher after this week’s home game against Arizona. Road games at Stanford, UCLA, Utah and Washington are all potential stumbling blocks.

But if the Ducks need any additional incentive, being ranked No. 3 in the country means……

“Win out and you’re in.”

David Marsh

For me I have to just keep reminding myself how young this team is… remember last year this team was the youngest in the country… and because of the scholarship extensions from covid (and a short season) they didn’t get any older compared to other teams. They are really working on building up that leadership.

Then sidelineing some of that leadership due to injury has hurt. No matter how supportive an injured star player is on the sideline they are still not on the field.

Nate H. is much like AB, not an Oregon recruit, but on scholarship. I can agree both could be replaced by a recruit, and we would see an improved upside.

I think both of these guys are smart players and can play some good football. We don’t always need the most talented players, just smart, good decision makers. This is what we are seeing on the field. We actually might just have the perfect balance of extreme talent, and those who have worked their tails off to get on the field.

I do want to see what the Oregon defense looks like with Thibs back on the field. A very good FSU was dumbfounded on what to do with the guy.

David Marsh

Just looking at Nate H’s physical stats and it would be plausible that he would be scholarship elsewhere. Oregon has hit a new height in recruiting and it is trickling down to the ability of our walk-ons. If you want to walk-on at Oregon you are going to need to be a bigger, better, and faster play than other schools and even be worthy of a scholarship if you were at another school.

Oregon has picked up some nice walk-ons from the state of Oregon in some low three-star recruits. These are project players that may see the field come their junior or senior years.

It is a testament to the depth created at Oregon… though I wouldn’t mind seeing some of those scholarship players playing linebacker.

WiseKwacker

A couple of random thoughts after the first 3 games:

  • It’s great to be 3-0 at this point. I didn’t think it would happen. With a pretty weak conference, the Ducks are set up for a run at the CFP.
  • After all the worry following the Fresno State game, it’s now clear that the Bulldogs are a much better team than most of us thought at the time we played them. (That UCLA game kept me glued to the TV beyond my proper bedtime. Helluva college football game.)
  • After all the joy following the whooping of The OSU, it now appears that the Buckeyes might well have been overrated. Time will tell, but it certainly looks like we got lucky and played them in a down year for them.
  • That first half against Stony Brook was just plain disappointing; no other way to put it. As brother Aliotti said during the PAC12 Network halftime segment, the team needed a wake-up call from the coaches in the locker room. Seemed like maybe they got it.
  • While I certainly don’t like to see Anthony Brown get hurt–or even dinged–I think that mishap had a silver lining. If Brown had stayed healthy during the first half, he likely would’ve played throughout the third quarter. Thompson MIGHT have gotten to play a few series in the 4th quarter, and Butterfield likely wouldn’t have gotten in the game. (I’ve seen that pattern over and over in years past through various head coaches, who get conservative until the team has built a huge lead.) Since this was the first actual game experience for both young QBs, it’s a bit of “insurance” in the event Brown DOES get hurt sometime down the road.
  • The offensive line is still a work in progress.
  • While the Ducks are (in my opinion, at least) the most talented team in the PAC12, I’m expecting at least one “stumble” during the course of conference play. The Ducks are still a relatively young team and I think it’s nearly impossible for a coaching staff to keep these kids focused and hungry every single week. Hope I’m pleasantly surprised on that one, though.
SeattleDuck

It feels like Jake Haener is taking out his frustration of UW on the rest of the schedule lol

Haywarduck

Haener and Purdy from Iowa State remind me of recruits we use to bring in. 3 star recruits who just know how to play football. I love watching those guys play football!

DanLduck

What about BYU? They keep beating Pac12 teams, we may have to play them for our championship! lol

silverflurry

“OUR ugly win looks better than your pretty loss”

— Brentson Buckner

Coach Eric Boles

I would like to argue that it’s the sweet combination of both physical line play and creativity. There were several spots where the Duck’s OL handled the OSU DL.

My favorite part of the offense is the incorporation of both pistol and shotgun alignments. The shotgun stuff is way up, and I know that’s a welcome sight for many.

The fact that they’re using both stresses defenses even further. It allows the offense to keep changing the point of attack. It really opens a lot of things up, being able to use the strengths of each alignment. I’m really into it.

I also think seeing the full differences between Coach Arroyo and Coach Moorhead’s offenses, I think it’s clear he’s not telling the coordinators what to run.

Side note, because you all know I do like the pistol, has anyone noticed Michigan riding it to the tune of 350 yards rushing per game?!

silverflurry

I would like to argue that it’s the sweet combination of both physical line play and creativity.”

Couldn’t agree more. Oregon put helmet to helmet, opening gaps and turning defenders like a swinging door.

silverflurry

“… they claim it is a validation of Cristobal’s physical style and emphasis.”

Ah, I was narrowly responding to this.

I guess I get the feeling from watching Urban Meyer. Every coordinator under him, no matter where they came from, ran his offense. This was like a pretty decent change in style as soon as coordinators changed.

Oh yeah, we’ve had this talk a few times about what all can be done with it, and Michigan does a few things.

UtahDuck

Here is my worry going forward.

I wrote a pretty long and fervent comment days before the tOSU game about how this isn’t likely the oline that cristobal and mirabal envisioned. Namely due to medical retirements and injuries. Then the tOSU game almost made me feel like I need to eat crow. OSU has typically one of the best Dlines in the nation has about a half dozen superstars in the league and is always good and our oline manhandled them like what gives.

Then oregon puts up a pitiful offensive line performance against stoneybrook. We didn’t put up nearly the yards on the ground that we did against osu, and against stoneybrook we allowed 3 sacks and 5 tackles for loss. Against tOSU we allowed 1TFL.

I haven’t done review on stoneybrook but i think it was apparent in how they achieved this vs tOSU. tOSU thought they could strait up beat our line, they limited their stunts and rarely had blitz packages. It was poor defensive play calling from the tOSU staff. The only TFL came from a corner blitz.

Both Fresno state and Stoneybrook created pressure by stunting one side of the line and adding in unique blitz packages. This oline can not pick up and call the correct protection and I really think teams will take advantage of this moving forward. I don’t think this is a big concern for most of our games but stanford, Cal, UCLA and UW have enough outside talent that this is something to watching moving forward.

To note this isn’t just a Forsyth and the center not calling the right protections either. George moore had an egregious rep that led to one of the sacks against anthony brown. LT moore had either an Lb or CB lined up in 5 technique while the defensive end was (from the angle) in a two tech possible three tech. Instead of pushing out to cover the 5 tech and allow Bass to cover his man Moore moves into aid him this allowed the 5tech a free blindside rush to the qb. As the blindside tackle this is something you can never allow to happen, even if Bass gets beat he will slow down the rush from the lineman enough for brown to account for it.

This rep alone should designate Dawson to start at LT. I don’t care if it is the smallest DB you play 160 pound db with a free rush off the blindside can easily cause damage to your QB.

The rest of this team has some struggles but hopefully recovering some of the players that were out injured will help. Brown, Funa and Thibs all back will help out in our both run and pass rush. Our DB’s will get more used to the defensive scheme and shouldn’t be an issue. Also when you add that we have played the number 4-5 passing offenses in the nation it makes sense that they have gotten torched a bit. I’m also not worried about any of our skill positions. I hope Brown is fine, because while he clearly has deep ball accuracies and physical limitations he is a really smart player, he easily makes the right read over 90% of the time and that is something no freshman can do.

UtahDuck

no argument that the stoneybrook dline coach has really schemed them up. and a missed blitz from the flat I can excuse but the blitz from the 5 tech is just baffling.

And truthfully they have had three Oline coaches during cristobal’s entire tenure. Cristobal, Mirabal and a graduate assistant(currently Kirk barron)

CJ

Always enjoy the in depth analysis you provide. Thanks for articulating these issues.

Definitely baffling that we can stand up tOSU and run for 260+ on their home field, but can’t keep Stony Brook out of our backfield…..at home nonetheless.

Likely a combination of a better scheme from Stony Brook coaches but also less effort by our O line who likely unloaded all the gas they had the previous weekend.

Consistency will be the achilles heel of this young team, but I agree with Charles’ article that the upside is there. I am prepared for a stumble this season though.

jrw

At the risk of repeating myself, the 7 points and 140 rushing yards given up to Stony Brook were without Kayvon Thibodeaux, Dru Mathis, Justin Flowe, Mase Funa, Adrian Jackson, Bradyn Swinson, and Keith Brown.

Sure, it was Stony Brook, but next man up and DeRuyter’s guidance are paying off.

EzDucksit

As time goes on, they will gain experience. We shall also return some of that lost and dinged up talent. As far as the O Line goes, that is talent that has been together for 3 years, needs some coaching up.

Santa Rosa Duck

Mr. FishDuck, what have you done with Charles? I am getting concerned. Our DUCKS look to me like they are steadily improving even with a very young team. I would like to see more Seven McGee, perhaps kickoff and punt returns.

So who is our starting QB against Arizona?

jrw

All the post-game chatter indicated that AB was going to be fine. If so, it would be shocking if he did not start.

Jon Joseph

Great wrap-up of the early season.

If anyone told you that after 3 games Oregon would be ranked #3 in the AP Poll would you have believed it?

OT – UCLA is 0-5 in its last 5 games as a ranked team vs unranked.

Fresno QB Haener wanted to go to UCLA but UW, back when it could do so, blocked Haener’s in conference transfer.

silverflurry

Do not get on Fresno State’s bad side.

https://twitter.com/FresnoStateFB/status/1439494434366783493

DanLduck

Lol

Jon Joseph

Thanks Charles.

Great look back at first 25% (hard to believe how fast a CFB season goes) of the regular season.

Like most CFB teams and especially teams as young as these Ducks, there have been ups and downs.

But preseason, what were the odds that heading into Week 4, Oregon would be 3-0 and ranked #3 in this week’s AP Poll?

Using the AP Poll, under the 12 team (likely not to pass) PO expansion proposal, Oregon would be the 2nd seed.

Ducks would be idle in the first round, preparing to meet the winner of the game between 10..Ohio State at 7.Texas A+M.

With its loss to No Arizona on Saturday, Arizona likely eclipsed Kansas as the worst team in the P5? So the schedule again offers more time for injured Ducks to get healthy.

Interesting that you mentioned Bama and points. The Tide put up 31 in The Swamp and almost lost to the Gators.

It’s so very hard for any team to win every 1 score game.

On a national note, the press loves them some Georgia, but don’t sleep on 11.Florida.

Florida defeated Georgia last year and gave Bama its toughest game of the season in the SEC champ game. (And don’t rule out Dan Mullen as a dark, dark horse candidate for the SC job?)

I don’t think its a fait accompli that the Dawgs will be sippin’ the cocktails at the end of the World’s Largest Cocktail Party?

If I’m right about Florida and Oregon keeps on winning, the Ducks could be ranked right behind Bama? Wow!

But, even though it is a short season it’s a long way to Las Vegas.

Thanks again Charles. Go Ducks! Keep on a keepin’ on!

Thanks Charles It’s great to be back on FD!

30Duck

Tis indeed a strange season. How good is tOSU? Oklahoma beat Nebraska, and the Ducks jumped them based on their dominating win over Stony Brook. Clemson got Uiagalelei and the offense is sputtering, so how impressive was it that Georgia held them to 3.

Alabama usually has a game they pull out at the end. Was the game @ The Swamp that one, or does losing the Heisman winning WR, the first round RB and QB, and a bunch of other 1st rounders, finally roll back the Tide? LSU isn’t the LSU that won the championship a couple of years ago, so beating them didn’t say THAT much about UCLA. Fresno State beat the Bruins, but now the less than sparkling performance that the Ducks put on and beat the Bulldogs has a bit more luster.

The last time USC went with the interim coach, the players loved him, but SC sent Ed O packing; he ended up at LSU and won the championship. What are they going to do with Donte Williams?

And Bama just had a big time scare of its own.

The Tide will blow out So Miss at home.

But Bama then faces an Ole Miss team that is much improved on O; a team that last Saturday blew out Tulane at Tulane. OK barely defeated Tulane in Norman.

Ole Miss will be followed by a trip to A+M.

Great call regarding what may be a change in the strength of CFB in 2021?

Perhaps we won’t have a PO with nothing but the usual suspects?

DanLduck

Interesting turnaround for many teams, last year vs this year (so far).
UM, MSU were terrible.
Colorado and UW looked good.
Complete reversal this year.
I’m sure there’s lots more examples.
Covid was a real problem for many teams.

Also, extended eligibility, the transfer portal, may have a way of equalizing many teams and leagues. The AAC has more top 25 teams than Pac12 for example.

It should be interesting to watch this going forward.
Go Ducks!!

David Marsh

I dont think Mullen leaves Florida for SC….

In truth I don’t see any big name coach going to SC. Most are mid-western guys who coach good mid-western teams, they are not a cultural fit for LA. Then there are these Southern guys who coach southern teams… again probably not a good fit for LA. Especially when SC is in need of a multi-year rebuild. That is the problem where SC is at right now… it will take 4 years just to get the program heading consistently in the right direction.

They might just opt to keep Donte Williams, especially if he keeps winning. Granted.. I think Oregon State is going to be a nasty surprise for the Trojans this week.

Haywarduck

I still can’t understand why Jack Del Rio, who said he wanted the job last year, isn’t on the list of prospective candidates. Who was the last successful sc coach, an NFL reject head coach. Del Rio isn’t just an NFL reject head coach he is an sc legend.

They also tried to hire him when PC left. At the time he was a successful head coach in the NFL and it didn’t make sense.

I hope Bohn keeps messing up with the hiring of head coaches, because he has done it on repeated attempts.

Anyone hear Eric Bieniemy’s comment of going to sc? He basically said no way, Bohn fired him from Colorado when he was the OC, and he is now one of the hottest candidates out there.

Agree some of the midwestern candidates just wouldn’t fit in at sc.

David Marsh

The difficulty of looking at an NFL coach is’t whether they can coach or not… but whether they want to recruit. SC has the potential to out recruit everyone in the Pac-12 but it isn’t a slam dunk anymore. The logo itself won’t bring in the talent needed to bring the program “back”.

So whoever they hire will need to want to recruit and be an active recruiter. Williams has that ability but the next test for him is how well does SC do against Oregon State? I think WSU showed off just how bad they were against SC. Jonathan Smith isn’t going to be so easy.

Ducked

And Del Rio is from Hayward, too…..right? Go Farmers!

DanLduck

SC has the players. Their recruiting classes have still been better than most. They need good coaching. I can see a quick turnaround with a new HC.

But they do have some work to do. But winning will change that in a hurry.

Ducked

Mick Cronin at UCLA…. Midwestern guy from Cincy seems to be doing well, and after taking the Bruins to the Final Four last season the naysayers concerned about him being a cultural fit in LA are on the bandwagon and singing his praises. Winning seemed to assuage their concerns. I trust it would work the same way with Mullen.

oregon111

This team is pretty good, but has some shortcomings.

  1. Lack of a pass rush from the edge players not named Kayvon.
  2. Verdell can’t make anyone miss a tackle.
  3. TEs not physical enough to block bigs except for DJ
  4. Too many injuries at linebacker – on the inside its now Noah and a fill-in who isn’t very great
  5. Some dropped passes and some inaccurate balls from A. Brown
  6. Still no kick returns worth mentioning

I think if many of the injured come back to the playing field, the Ducks could win out and make the playoffs and maybe surprise some people.

The ‘key’ is to discover another edge rusher other than Kayvon. I think it might be DJ Johnson.

The other key is for the cornerbacks to defend passes and not give up easy first downs.

Moorhead can design and call plays that work to the strengths of Verdell and Brown.

As to what the potential is, we saw it vs Ohio St. But the pass defense was missing in action. Stanford will be the next test.
Shut down Stanford and move the ball on every drive, and the Ducks should be playoff-worthy.

The interior D linemen are better than people are giving them credit for. Faliou and Scott were up and down a lot. Today’s players are far more consistent and Dorlus is turning into an All pac12 type of player. These guys are making plays, and not just filling gaps.

Extreme upside is a national championship. But they have to continue to improve to do that.

ducker1

My big concern is that we let SB sack our QB 2 times, and.. its way too early to have so many injuries.

The O is starting to look good -outside of some bad line play.

Fortunately, the next two games should do just that. Arizona is bad, Ducks opened at -27, KT should be back, it’s at home, this should be cover the spread + for the Ducks, then next week it’s off to the Farm. We hate U-Dud, the Beavs are the annoying little brother. But in terms of rival, it’s been Stanford the past 12 years.

In the last 12 years, Oregon & Stanford are 6-6, 3-3 @ Stanford, 3-3 @ Autzen, and no team has caused more damage to a Ducks’ season than have the Cardinal. Toby Gerhart, Kevin Hogan, Zak Ertz, an odious triumvirate for eternity.

oregon111

An idea for a great article – would be – what would it take to beat Alabama? And how close are the Ducks to getting to that point?

I think the D is close, if they can find another edge rusher. Maybe A. Jackson?
The O is getting closer every game.

By extreme upside, I meant that everything would have to line up perfectly and Oregon getting every kind of break in the game.

Oregon came close to being that good in 2007, 2010, 2012, and 2014. This 2021 team might be better than all of those teams?

For a quick reality check: Washington looked great in 2016, but had zero chance vs Alabama and could not do anything on offense.

smith72

I did see Verdell on an a gap play show patience when it was stuffed, take a slide step to the right, then accelerate for a long gain!

I think this year he adds this skill and becomes a great back. I also like our depth at running back. Dye is a great change up. Thunder and lightning!

Benson, Mcgee and others can relieve these two which will keep fresh legs for all