Oregon Football: Ducks Shock Buckeyes, Prove Haters Wrong

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Don’t underestimate Mario Cristobal or his Oregon Ducks.

For the past week, everyone from Ducks fans to mainstream talking heads did not know what to make of No. 12 Oregon Ducks‘ season opener against the Fresno State Bulldogs. While the defense was impressive, Oregon’s offense seemed kind of stale and uninspired in a game that was way too close for comfort. And very few acknowledged the Bulldogs just might be one heckuva football team.

Overall, many agreed the Ducks had a slim chance of beating No. 3 Ohio State on the road. Admittedly, I was cautiously optimistic but held some doubts.

Regardless of the chatter from all the naysayers, haters, fat heads, loudmouths and bandwagoners, Cristobal and the Ducks (2-0) proved everybody wrong, stunning the Buckeyes 35-28 for a historic win on Saturday at the Horseshoe.

Tom Corno

Oregon defensive end Bradyn Swinson sacks Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud.

My friends, stuff your worries in a sack. This is the Oregon team fans were hoping for — and it’s only going to get better.

There was no doubt that Oregon was the better football team throughout the game, despite playing without star defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux and linebacker Justin Flowe. Heading into the game, it felt like the Ducks were entering a heavyweight prizefight blindfolded with both hands tied behind their back and stuffed into an onion sack. In reality, all the doubts were part of an epic mind game of rope-a-dope and we all got suckered in. Cristobal’s team was ready to PLAY.

ESPN’s College Gameday analysts spent the majority of the pre-game show boasting about the Buckeyes. And why not? The 14-point spread suggested the game was all but decided. Plus, Oregon had never beaten Ohio State — EVER. Despite the announcers’ annoying bootlicking before and during the game (when the Ducks led 14-7 at halftime, each announcer offered the Buckeyes a 30-second pep talk!), no one, not even the Buckeyes, had an answer for Oregon’s game plan.

Tom Corno

Oregon wide receiver Devon Williams leaps for a catch during the Ducks’ 35-38 win over Ohio State on Saturday in Columbus.

Offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead‘s squad looked more dynamic. While quarterback Anthony Brown still struggled somewhat in the passing game, completing just 48% of his pass attempts, the veteran signal-caller looked poised, calm and collected in the pocket. Brown’s experience showed in tight spots and he didn’t rattle behind Oregon’s talented offensive line, which provided him with plenty of time to explore his passing progressions.

Brown, a sixth-year senior, looked like he’d been playing at Oregon for years.

CJ Verdell, who ran for less than 80 yards and a touchdown last week, played a much more prominent role in Oregon’s offense, carving up the Buckeyes’ defensive front like a holiday goose to finish with 161 rushing yards, 34 receiving yards and three touchdowns (two rushing and one receiving). And Travis Dye contributed 43 yards rushing and a touchdown, a speedy and reliable addition to the Ducks’ run game.

This Oregon team marks all the boxes. Leakproof offensive line? Check. Power running game? Check. Smart quarterback with the ability to run and make wise decisions with the ball? Check. A defensive front that bottled up talented and powerful running back Myan Williams? Check. No turnovers? Check.

All of that and Buckeyes’ quarterback CJ Stroud still had quite an afternoon, completing 35 of 54 pass attempts for 484 yards and three touchdowns. But Stroud’s youth let fly some wonky throws, including a late-game interception that likely helped seal the win for the Ducks. And how about Oregon’s Bradyn Swinson and DJ Johnson notching two sacks on the freshman playmaker? Tasty, my friends. Real tasty.

So what’s the lesson? Don’t underestimate this team. Cristobal is for real. The Ducks are legit. And right now, they are on a gravy train with biscuit wheels that’s full steam ahead to the College Football Playoff. All aboard!

Jordan Ingram
San Diego, California
Top Photo by Tom Corno

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For Football Season: FishDuck Back to Seven Days a Week!

I had to shut down the daily articles on July 20th because I could no longer work the extra 3 to 12 hours per week of certain managerial/editorial duties. (beyond the usual ones with FishDuck)

I’ve had a blast writing without those duties, and now, due to a new agreement with the writers, I can announce that we will have articles seven days a week again. I wish to thank the writers publicly for their graciousness in coming to a solution, as now I still do not have do those extra duties with our agreement, and meanwhile the writers are back having fun creating articles as I am.

Everybody is happy! So below is the new schedule through football season:

Monday: Mr. FishDuck
Tuesday: Darren Perkins
Wednesday: Joshua WhittedMr. FishDuck
Thursday: Coach Eric BolesAlex Heining
Friday: David Marsh
Saturday: Mr. FishDuck (GameDay Baby!)
Sunday: Jordan Ingram

A couple of writers could not join us as they have new projects in their lives, and cannot write for anyone at the moment–but perhaps we will see them back later.

Things rarely work out so well for all parties in agreements, but this time it has and truly….everyone wins!

Our 33 rules at FishDuck can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) keep it clean, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!

FishDuck members….we got your back.  No Trolls Allowed!

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VandownbytheriverDuck wins the Prediction Contest!

My friends, this was hard, but I first look at who won, then the point spread, then how close the score actually was to reality, then I look at the tie-breakers. Unfortunately, DrHilarius and Santa Rosa Duck did not provide all the tiebreaker information, thus disqualifying them. (Sorry!)

I was really impressed with the number of people picking the Ducks and how close they all were!

Actual Results: Oregon 35-28 and one turnover created, and two sacks of Ohio State.

Those Predicting Oregon:

VandownbytheriverDuck: 38-31 Four turnovers created, and four sacks of the Buckeyes.
Haywarduck: 52-45 Three turnovers and four sacks, but Van’s score was closer to the actual 35-28 result.
Santa Rosa Duck: 42-35 Two turnovers of which is correct, but no sacks listed.
DrHilarius: 24-17 One turnover and no sacks listed.
DCDuck fan: 34-28 One and three.
LB48: 35-31 Three and three.
NJDuck: 35-31 Three and four.
David Marsh: 35-32 Two and three.
Drake: 38-35 Two and three.
toketeeman: 3-0 None listed.
EzDucksit: 37-35 One and two.
Steven A: 30-28 Two and three.

Those predicting Ohio State:

Duck1984 35-33
CJ: 42-35
Mr. FishDuck: 38-20
GODUCKS15: 45-24
jrw: 42-17
30Duck: 41-13
ducker 1: 48-17
I Ducked: 48-17
oregon111: 48-17
NW777 45-13
DanLduck: 52-17

Thanks to everyone for playing!

More celebration at Ohio State_Oregon Football Twitter.jpg
CJ

I am a little confused here Charles. I thought I only saw one turnover in that game yesterday……the pick by Mckinley towards the end. Are you also counting the fumble caused by Mckinley but that the receiver promptly recovered? Guess I don’t consider that a turnover.

From my eyes it looks like DCDuckfan won the prediction with their prediction of the Ducks winning 34-28 with 1 turnover and 3 sacks. An extremely close prediction, as it was actually 35-28 1 turnover and 2 sacks.

Am I missing something though? Could be.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

The official stats show one interception created by Oregon and I misread a fumble recovery, thus only one turnover created by the Ducks. DC had a six point spread when the actual was seven points.

See my priority process at the top, and yes…this was very, very close.

CJ

Got it. I didn’t realize the spread overrode the score prediction. Thanks!

VandownbytheriverDuck

I still don’t get it. DCs prediction looks better. But then again, I live in a van down by the river.
Sometimes even a blind squirrel gets a nut.

Wait, I lost to a guy living in a van down by the river? We won so I suppose all is good, well done VDBTRD!

toketeeman

I predicted 3-0 Ducks, and that was for fun, of course. But you gotta admit I was justifiably getting pretty excited at the end of the first quarter!

MusicDuck6

Thank you Mr. Fishduck. I would love to play along. I’m not sure where to share my predictions. Thanks. Go Ducks.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

For this week…it will be a Pinned Post at the top of the comments on Saturday’s GameDay article since the game is at 4:30 in the afternoon. The last two weeks I’ve had the Pinned Post at the top of the Friday comments.

No prizes, but bragging rights!

MaiTaiDuck

Well I agree as long as as long as these injury’s stop. Mario isn’t ever going to let us know how long any of his players will be out and good for him. I believed Oregon would win the game and I was right. Either way I’m happy which way this is headed because and especially on D these guys whether first second or 3rd string they all play with in their role.

SCs teams have always had the talent always but the coaches don’t back when the game demand them to play their position and in the scope of their D. Mario and his staff have a goal and it shows that it’s working really well. So even though I don’t like seeing our two highest ranked players and on D which totally sucks because if these two had played the Suckeye’s might have scored no more than 21 and I believe it.

So thank goodness we have a couple early easily winnable games so thib’s especially can be healed up when the games get tougher. I was surprised how well all these other defenders played their roles and really good.

RkyMtnGuy

Part of being an adult…..and a man….is admitting that you jumped the shark big time…..I had OSU in a blow out.

Not because I’m a hater – few people are bigger supporters of MC than me…..but he’s suffered from an inability to bring his offense into the 21st century……and those who thought they played vanilla on purpose in the opener had it right…..all I saw was a mediocre football team.

Now, ecstatic about the outcome and willing to eat crow lets be honest….we saw things in this game we haven’t seen for awhile if at all.

AB threw the ball down the field. Not necessarily successfully – and his receivers did have some drops – but just doing it kept the DB’s in check….the Ducks ran the ball off the edge – more time in the shotgun and less pistol…..and AB’s decision making was excellent as was the offensive line.

And the defense was awesome…strong , fast and flying around. They were pumped…..jacked up, great play calling and a scheme built to succeed …..kudos all around.

And I’ll also eat my “9-3 maybe even 8-4” prediction after the 1st game….it’s final four if they want it….good for MC and his staff and once again it’s a great time to be a Duck fan.

Former Colorado quarterback and Fox Sports Analyst Joel Klatt Gives Oregon HUGE Kudos!

THE biggest result we seen in college football…hands down.”

“That is a REAL football team.”

“Its not very often that the Ohio State Buckeyes have to line up and face someone that looks like themselves.”

“They tackled well in space; you did not see YAC and explosion plays.”

“A reason Anthony Brown played so well, is that Ohio State could not get any pressure on him.”

“Buckeye fans….you faced a team that was equally talented!”

My friends…when this stuff comes up…you just gotta soak it up and you can watch the short six minute video right here.

Gosh this is so much fun!

Fans at OSU_Fox Sports Video.jpg
ducker1

One thing we’ve learned is that past performance doesn’t mean anything–(some of the time)

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

With the Ducks under Cristobal…that has been true up to now. This will be fun to watch to see how the team adjusts to being “the hunted.”

Duckdude

Mario Cristobal: “How d’ya like me NOW?”

Red Eddy Green

The Duck relaxing in his easy chair in the Shoe. Check out his nut cracker.
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/E_B-W9uWEAQblfp?format=jpg&name=medium

That is a hoot and thanks for the referral as I made a picture of it for all-time!

And Red Eddy Green…it is great to see you post. Please keep it up and offer your thoughts! WELCOME!

Duck cracks Buckeyes_Fox Sports Video.jpg
Annie

BTW, who put the little toy duck in the middle of the “O” on the field?

Red Eddy Green
MusicDuck6

My top 5 Duck games of all time: (38 year old here…so perhaps missed some cool games before my life)

5 – Oregon Vs. Colorado. Fiesta Bowl 2002. (38-16)

4 – Oregon Vs. Florida State. Rose Bowl 2015. (59-20)

3 – Oregon Vs. Wisconsin Rose Bowl 2012. (45-38)

2 – Oregon Vs. Ohio St. Regular season road game at the Horseshoe 2021. (35-28) – This is how big I think this game was.

(Drum Roll……..Wait for it…..Kenny Wheaton’s gonna score?)

1 – Oregon Vs. Washington. Regular season game at Autzen 1994. (31-20) – This started it ALL!

Honorable mention:
Oregon St. Vs. Kansas St. Fiesta Bowl 2013. (35-17)
Oregon Vs. Auburn. National Championship 2011 (I know…..It devastated me too, hence honorable mention 19-22 – Still an epic game to watch, and just a freaky non-tackle away from overtime – where I believe the Ducks would have won)

Ducked

I’d switch number 3 and number 4, otherwise right on.

MusicDuck6

I thought about that as well. The first Rose Bowl victory in 95 years was the edge I gave to that game.

David Marsh

For what it’s worth here are my current Pac-12 Power Rankings

  1. Oregon(2-0) – Best win.
  2. UCLA (2-0) – Second best win.
  3. ASU (2-0) – Haven’t played anyone yet but haven’t lost either so that’s something.
  4. Colorado (1-1) – Played Texas A&M close and lost it at the very end. This team is heading in the right direction. Probably better than ASU.
  5. Stanford (1-1) – Looks like they may have figured out their QB problem. They could be scary.
  6. OSU (1-1) – Loss to Purdue hurts but they weren’t bad and they dealt with Hawaii.
  7. Utah (1-1) – Lost to BYU and struggled with Weber State for too long into the game.
  8. Washington State (1-1) – Better than expected but we’ll have to see just how good.
  9. USC (1-1) – Didn’t look good against San Jose State and got demolished by Stanford. Could this be the year Helton is fired?
  10. Cal (0-2) – Two losses but at least made it close. Still not good.
  11. Arizona (0-2) – Bad but still have scored more points than Washington.
  12. Washington (0-2) – Have scored 17 Points all year so far… and LOST to an FCS school. This is where Washington belongs until they prove otherwise.

This early in the year we clearly have a top two teams in the conference… but after that it gets pretty murkey. Stanford’s showing yesterday was something else against USC and is currently the only conference game played. We will see how this progresses.

UtahDuck

Hey David, a few points to ponder? is there a particular reason you have WSU up so high? they only have a win over Portland state and lost to a pretty bad Utah state. I also feel the same could be said about Utah. Also while it wasn’t a blow out win USC was never really in doubt to lose to SJSU.

30Duck

AP Poll: Oregon moves up to No.4, Ohio State drops to No. 9, UCLA, No. 13, ASU, No. 19

oregon111

The difference between this game and losses in big games in the last decade or so is…

This time, the Ducks have O linemen and a D front 7 who can compete with the big boys.

Compare yesterday to games in the past such as:

Ohio St – the two previous games with them
LSU – 2011
Auburn – 2010

This time, the other team had the better skills players are far as WR/CB/RB, but the Ducks pulled it out because they had big boys who could play.

EzDucksit

Lots of players with heart coached up to keep their heads in the game. When players did not play, got hurt, got beat, stalled out, they reached insides themselves and made the right plays at the right time. Shout out to CJ, OL, AB, RCVS, Defense, STeams, DJ Johnson (for making plays both ways). Coach MC, Coach Moorehead and Coach DeRuyter for calling a solid game on both sides of the ball.

Ducks, to reach your goals you won’t be able to take ANY games off. Let off the gas pedal. Or be found “Resting on ones laurels”.

Good Luck and Best Wishes on the rest of your seasons, Ducks. I will be ONE of many, cheering you on to that elusive but attainable goal, a College Football National Championship.

DrHilarius

tosu beat us in the natty w/their THIRD string QB. i remember thinking of Lockie and being in awe of other teams’ depth.

WE just dominated tosu w/our 4-8 string linebackers and D line. THAT is how you win the championship.

Ducks Jump to No. 4 in AP, Coaches Polls (Press Release from Oregon Athletics Communications)

EUGENE, Ore. — On the strength of Saturday’s historic win at Ohio State, the Oregon football team moved up to No. 4 in both the Associated Press and USA Today AFCA Coaches polls on Sunday morning.

The Ducks were among the biggest risers in the AP poll, jumping up eight spots from No. 12. Oregon moved up seven spots in the coaches poll from No. 11.

It is the first top-five ranking in both polls for Oregon since finishing the 2019 season as the consensus No. 5 team in the country. No. 4 is UO’s highest AP regular-season ranking since coming in at No. 3 in December 2014, and the Ducks are in the top five of the coaches poll in the regular season for the first time since September 2015.

UO is the highest ranked Pac-12 team in the AP poll, and one of two in the top 15 along with No. 13 UCLA. Arizona State is also in the top 25 at No. 19.

Oregon’s win over then-No. 3 Ohio State on Saturday was the program’s…
» First-ever win over Ohio State.
» Sixth-ever victory over a top-three team, and first since 2011.
» First road win over a top-five team since beating Stanford in 2011.
» Ninth all-time win over a top-five opponent.

Mario Cristobal at OSU_Fox Sports Video.jpg

4 spots in the playoffs, going the right direction, just keep it up!

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

The path is now simple; win out to get in. If we keep winning–they can’t drop us. No easy task, but it isn’t for any other team either.

Get it done Ducks!

NW777

Being on the National stage at Noon ET, instead of 10pm ET is a good thing, too.

CJ

Yep, I personally really like the 9AM start myself. Seems like the players didn’t mind either.

Hey Charles, do you thing the fact that Fresno State crushed their other two opponents helped the Ducks ranking?

I think they are a lot tougher opponent than anyone gave the credit for. They play UCLA next weekend, and I think that is going to tell us a lot about both those teams.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

PittDuck!

Truth? I have no idea as I am just guessing like everyone else!

Tandaian

Having Fresno St. win the Mountain West or at least play for the Mountain West title would help strength of schedule. Need Colorado, ASU and UCLA all to do well the rest of the way. To help the Ducks strength of schedule UCLA needs to go win every game except against us, ASU beat everybody except Oregon and UCLA and Colorado to beat everybody except Oregon, UCLA and ASU.

It would be very helpful if the Pac 12 was top heavy this season. However, if the Ducks go undefeated, it won’t matter. No team has ever missed the playoffs going undefeated.

Santa Rosa Duck

KT out
Justin Flowe out
Dry Mathis out plus surgery
Mase Funa out
Treven Ma’ae out
Keith Brown out
Cam McCormick out

Sure glad we play Stony Brook next week to give these guys time to heal.

jrw

Being a linebacker at Oregon is now like being the drummer in Spinal Tap.

Quackanadian

This is a very underrated comment! Love it!

DanLduck

So the biggest improvement really is between week 1 and week 2!!

I love being wrong! (please don’t tell my wife I said that).

I believe I have come dead last in score prediction 2 weeks in a row! Awesome.

Clearly an impressive win, with improvements in all the needed areas.
Coaching, O-line, game management, and more. To me though, the most amazing thing about this win, is how much better we can be in several areas.

I’m not being critical. Just observing. Before this game I thought it would take KT and a perfect offense performance by AB along with some lucky bounces and fortuitous calls from referees for us to win.

This was one of the best team performances I’ve ever seen. The game plan was excellent by the coaches and played famously by the players.

I guess my point is that as great as this win is, we have yet to play our best game with all our best players. We have not peaked yet. That is so awesome!!

olcodgerduck

Holy Crap! We just beat tOSU!! I had to work yesterday, so didn’t get to finish watching the game until a few minutes ago, but I was still talking to the team via the TV, like I always do. LOL!! About half way through the 3rd quarter I realized we might have a chance to win, and so my message to the team was “Get an interception! Get an interception!”.

So, when McKinley III pulled it down, I was jumping up and down on the inside in a sleepy sort of way!

I’m so proud of the way our team played the whole game. They knew what they were doing, never showed panic, and put a thumping on tOSU!

I can’t wait to see how our Ducks respond to the other challenges to come this season!

Go Ducks!!

David Marsh

I was chanting turnover for most of the day.

I will say those Ohio State recievers are really really good. They caught everything thrown their way.

I had to keep telling a friend that they will get their points, which they did, Oregon’s job was to make them work for it.

That… And get a few more points than them.

Bob Rodes

A program-defining win. Congrats! Keep rolling.

silverflurry

Got Stony Brook right where we want ‘em. Almost feel sorry for the bast*rds.

David Marsh

In truth… yesterday, I was feeling much like the fans of those FCS teams feel … We were walking into Columbus to get beat and collect a pay check.

But I was really happy with the result yesterday.

Now… With Stony Brook… I was them to come, get beat, and collect their pay check.

It will be a great game for players who are recovering and the reserves. I do expect to see some of the young quarterbacks play.

Tandaian

Great win, I just hope we don’t find a banana peel to step on. Ducks can afford to lose 1 game, but it has to be the right game. Doesn’t help the Pac 12 is already down to only 3 undefeated teams.

CJ

This quote from Ryan Day summed up the game: “I have to figure that out. It looked like they were in some kind of a crack scheme, where the guy covering the guy who is (blocking) the linebacker has to replace and that didn’t happen. It happened too many times and it needs to get fixed.”

The fact that he is saying “I have to figure that out” after the fact is testament that Moorhead was in fact playing high level chess and that Cristobal filled his role as CEO of the team. Balance was realized in the force.

One word sums up that game yesterday: CRACK!!!!

Moorhead had a masterful checkmate plan to tosu’s man defense. He had been there before and had the experience. Seal the edge with crack blocks from both TE’s and receivers. Body blow up the middle to fool them into complacency, then pin them on the edge in the red zone and ensure we scored TD’s not field goals or were needing big plays on 4th down to get into the end zone.

Deruyter’s scheme was less obvious and more visceral, especially due to the injuries. Looked to me like once he knew they were down all the big guys, he said to Mckinley and the D-backs “keep everything in front of you, no matter what”. For the most part they did and we didn’t see any 50+ yard explosion TD plays. This forced tosu to execute at a high level on 3rd and 4th down in the red zone with a nervy freshman QB. His nerves weren’t always up to the task and guys like Bradyn Swinson, Noah Sewell and world beater Verone Mckinley brought the heart and soul on those crucial late down plays.

As far as haters go. I would personally like to say that I believe none of us on this forum ever hated or hated on MC, Brown, Moorhead etc. We have definitely been critical of the scheme though i.e. it was never personal. We have been concerned that Moorhead was not being allowed to play chess the way we thought he could….yet I think it was proven he was allowed to yesterday (camera’s don’t lie).

I think a lot of what we were wanting manifested in the offensive game calling yesterday. Brown threw the ball 19 times by the half and many attempts were on 1st and 2nd down. I think those early play calls helped open up the run game allowing Verdell to break a 77 yard run in the second half on what I believe was a 2nd and somewhat long play where tosu was likely expecting pass.

Brown, while not entirely accurate, was the heart and soul of the team. A game manager. A guy who made the players around him better. The intangibles. Heart, will, poise and cerebral play over skill, strength and speed. The stats weren’t there aside from one…..the final score.

In conclusion….yeah I will happily eat crow but at the same time as a fan base I think it’s important to look critically and voice those opinions. While highly unlikely, is there a chance that some of our criticism’s reached their mark? Or is it the more likely scenario that what we observed was also what the coaches saw and that they are making the necessary adjustments to right the ship and what we saw in the shoe yesterday was said ship beginning to right?

smith72

I can agree with critical civil discussions is not hating. This website has been a troll free haven! Nice analysis CJ!

I Absolutely appreciate Coach Cristobal and everything he is doing at UO!

toketeeman

As far as haters go. I would personally like to say that I believe none of us on this forum ever hated or hated on MC, Brown, Moorhead etc. “

Absolutely agree. Frankly I think hinting at this in the article’s headline was a bit inappropriate.

oregon111

I have hated a lot of the offensive play calling since 2018.

toketeeman

Brown passed at only 48%, but he did suffer at least two bad drops that need to be cleaned up . . . and our receivers also seemed to have much difficulty getting open as well.

CJ

Yeah, I counted at least 3 maybe 4 drops. There were a couple the week before too.

oregon111

I think OSU played a lot of man to man, while Oregon played a lot of zone and let them catch the ball for short gains.

I would like to see a real analyst dive into that topic and write an article on it.

MusicDuck6

While Brown had a low completion percentage, I really liked the decisions he made, and how quickly/decisively he made them. He had one bad choice all game, and was fortunate that the defender dropped the interception. If he can keep making those decisions without thinking about it, the accuracy of the throws will keep improving, and the receivers will expect the ball on time and on target limiting the drops.

NW777

I noticed several plays where he was about to be hammered, but he threw to an open guy. Seems like he has great pocket awareness.

CastawayDuck

Great post CJ. I totally agree!!

oregon111

I have been a vocal Brown supporter since I watched him play the end of last season. Brown executes his assignments, except for not being super-accurate on the deep balls.

Oregon could have easily lost the game due to too many dives up the middle. I hope that play soon becomes like the ‘change up’ in baseball – a pitch to fool the hitters when they are expecting a fastball.

The DBs were the weak link in that game. Hope that gets fixed real soon.

WiseKwacker

I don’t consider myself a naysayer or hater. I’m an ardent Duck fan, but I was definitely skeptical of the Ducks’ chances entering this game. Looking back, none of us can say for certain whether/how much the coaching staff was holding back in the Fresno State game, or the players were looking ahead to this game. Regardless, this didn’t look like the same team from the week before.

Although I didn’t add my comments to the FishDuck article about the Ducks’ offensive line earlier this week, I was definitely among those questioning how Oregon could hope to run effectively against The OSU if they couldn’t against Fresno State. WRONG! And, frankly, I was also concerned about the O-line’s ability to pass protect after that first game as their leaky blocking had a lot to do with Brown’s shaky passing that week. WRONG again. If I’m not mistaken, Brown didn’t get sacked once…and he hardly got “hurried.” Just a great performance by the offensive line. (And it was good to see local kid, Dawson Jaramillo, get some extensive playing time.)

The other thing that jumped out to me in this game–during those critical time-out moments with the game on the line–was the realization that Coach Cristobal has transitioned to Mike Bellotti mode. The thing I admired about Mike was his transformation from offensive coordinator to CEO. He hired great offensive coordinators to run his offense, and then stepped out of the way to let them do the job. Joe Moorhead was definitely calling the shots in those sideline huddles yesterday.

Finally, I’ve just gotta share my love for D.J. Johnson. Last year, he stepped up in a big way when so many tight ends were unable to play. This year, he has slid to maybe #5 on the TE depth chart. So, yesterday, he steps up for one of the biggest receptions of the game. Then, he comes in and makes a sack on the game’s final play. That kid is flat-out “a football player.”

Haywarduck

DJ Johnson is the type of player you can’t quantify his positive impact. When a guy is an elite blocker, you don’t see it. One catch mostly goes unnoticed, as the season progresses. One sack won’t show up in the long run.

Too may times players are jumping up and down and pointing at themselves, you then have DJ just showing up and executing and the players notice, and begin to become a team. There are often rumblings about man I could have done that better, and then you have DJ just going in for one play and quietly getting it done, again you have the players notice and move more toward becoming a team.

Players like DJ are the heart and soul of great teams. Players like DJ are why this team has a chance to be special!

CJ

Exactly Wise and Hay!

DJ Johnson is TEAM to the core. That is contagious. It’s the intangible kind of thing that separates good from great teams. A selfless willingness to do whatever it takes.

I think Brown brings a similar mindset as DJ.

Annie

Loved it!

One game at a time, Ducks, one game at a time.

ducker1

Im still in STUN mode, the biggest takeaway was that Cristobal let Moorhead run the O.

The D looked really good for the most part.

Long yardage passing is still weak
.
I thought tOSU would shred CJ

Line play was better than I thought it would be

Most importantly WE GOT THE WIN!!!——GO DUCKS!!

Duck Phan Phil

Sure I was one of the few sunshine pumpers repeating the “there is hope” mantra. But after the Fresno st game, which followed last year’s UGLY losses vs Iowa St, Cal and the Beavs, even I was dubious. And I thought it’d take a completely different game plan than we’d seen.

My biggest thought was we needed drastically improved O-Line play, and boy did we get that. Something—and I have no idea what—clicked in the fourth quarter of Fresno st and continued into Ohio st. And the ability to run the ball enabled us to pass,.

The biggest eye opener was this was the game plan we’ve been seeing, with pistol sets, runs bw the tackles and a dearth of downfield shots. There were some wrinkles, but nothing drastically different than what we’ve been trying to do.

There’s no arguing with the magnitude of this win, but there is room for improvement. This was an eminently clean game in regards to execution, turnover, penalties and mistakes, but we still completed 48% of our passes and averaged 6.7 yards per attempt: not good numbers. So the critics who say we need to score 42+ points, stretch the field more, and that AB may not be the answer .. they’re not necessarily wrong when it comes to making the changes that will allow us to maximize our potential and join the elites.

But one thing I’m inclined to do is acknowledge that MC and JoMo know what they’re doing. They have a plan, and yesterday showed me it’s a plan that works. Even MC said after the game that we’re not there yet. So I, for one, am going to give up the armchair QB role, settle back and enjoy the ride.

Haywarduck

I keep looking back at 2019 when we destroyed a team in a second game. We destroyed tosu, when you consider the point spread. We also didn’t play well in our first game much like 2019.

In 2019 we had a great season. We won the Pac-12 Championship game, the Rose Bowl, but we blew it with an upset loss against ASU.

We should win every game going through the rest of the season. The UCLA game looks the most daunting, but these Ducks seem to rise up to big games. The question is can they beat the Colorado’s, and Utah’s when they are favored.

It’s going to be an exciting season. This team just set itself up for a run to the playoffs. All they have to do is when games they will be favored to win. They also need to prove they won’t lay an egg when an underdog gets it going.

I didn’t really expect this win, but now I don’t know what to expect going forward. Can they make that next big leap and play dominate football each week? I predict they will, gonna be a great season, Go Ducks!

rden

Life comes full circle.

New Year’s Day, 1958. Happy-10-year-old me sat on the couch and watched the Rose Bowl as MY Ohio State Buckeyes beat the Oregon Ducks.

Yesterday. Ecstatic-old-man-me sat on the couch and watched the Horseshoe as MY Oregon Ducks beat THE Ohio State Buckeyes. 

What a day!

CJ

Great story here. Loved reading your post. One of the best.

Steven A

Yes, we were treated to a top 5 all time Duck game. Hopefully, the mind set from here on out is that they are playing in “the Shoe” against OSU every week and the injury bug has run it’s course.

30Duck

I usually roll my eyes when somebody makes a prediction, then says, “But I hope I’m wrong” But wow am I glad I was wrong about the Ducks and the Buckeyes!

On Friday, on, “Keyshawn, J Will & Max” former Trojan WR, Keyshawn Johnson was allotted a few moments to talk about the Oregon-Ohio State game, in a very rare moment, Keyshawn didn’t have much to say, summing up his thoughts with, “Oregon ain’t gonna do anything”

Well, Keyshawn Oregon did do something, a wire to wire win over the Buckeyes. Meanwhile your USC Trojans lost, 42-28 to Stanford. Fight on!

I hope the game the Ducks played was what Mario has been looking for.