What I’m Watching For: Fresno State GameDay!

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck Editorials

The wait for the 2021 season has not been that much different than prior years … it just feels that way. We are all so anxious to see how the team will perform after an under-performing 2020, (hampered by COVID restrictions) not having a full team present for 2020 games and finally–now having full fall and spring 2021 camps with the new coordinators installing their own schemes.

So many questions to answer, so much drama to unfold over the next four months … and it begins!

(As any Duck fan knows, Oregon is highly entertaining to watch, but the wait for the first game can be interminable. I’ve found the wait a little easier with some fun sports-themed games and seeing the Oregon Duck football Vegas odds for this game against Fresno State and the rest of the Ducks schedule.)   

What I am Concerned About….

Fresno State has a superb pass rush, and was third in the nation for sacks and averaged over four sacks per game last year. That is impressive and add the four that occurred in the UConn game among their 10 tackles-for-losses and it indicates that our offensive tackles are going to have a good opening test. George Moore has been with the team longer than the equipment manager and Steven Jones played a ton last year, thus considering all that experience–how will it match up?

Something I did not realize when I searched for, found, edited and installed the photo at the top of the page was who the receiver was? It is one of the best current receivers in the NFL, Davante Adams, who is now catching footballs from Aaron Rodgers with the Green Bay Packers. On that day in 2012, you had Derek Carr (NFL QB) throwing to a future NFL star? It is a good thing that Ifo Ekpre-Olomu was in his prime and defending the star wide-out on that play and others. (The touchdown was thwarted by Ifo) 

Trikweze Bridges in long in his 6’3″ length, but short on experience.

Boy do we need an Ifo this weekend! No matter how you spin it, we have a very inexperienced corner starting opposite Mykael Wright(in Dontae Manning or Trikweze Bridges) and I noted that the position was listed as “Boundary Corner” which perhaps means a little less field to be responsible for in certain coverages? In my experience, the name we give a new corner on an opposing team is “toast,” and I’m crossing my fingers this week and especially in week two in “The Shoe.”

The Difference in Team Talent is…..MASSIVE

I checked the recruiting of Fresno State versus Oregon over the last four years in the Rivals database. What you see below are the total number of 4/5-Star players who have signed with both teams.

Oregon:   57

Fresno State:  1  (That’s right, ONE)

Do you think they are making this out to be a David-versus-Goliath matchup? I hope the Ducks do better than the aforementioned comparison… Even their starting quarterback Jake Haener, the transfer from Washington was originally a 3-Star from Rivals. So I expect to see a bunch of two and three star players coached up on the Bulldog sideline.

Just looking at the talent disparity–this should be a blow-out. If it is not, then the differences would have to be on the coaching side of it? But let’s hope for the best here that the outcome turns out the way the talent matchup appears.

Whichever No. 13 is playing…

What Else am I Watching For…

–The offense; is it running smooth and is there innovation or more A-Gap Pistol-Plunges? What is the balance between running versus passing? What is their game-plan against the Bulldogs and is it working as it should?

–If there was a game (besides Stony Brook) that Oregon should have a decided advantage in the trenches–this is it. Are we seeing it?

–What kind of Blitzes are DC Tim DeRuyter using? Fresno State quarterbacks were sacked an average of four times a game last year against Mountain West competition, and I have to think that Kayvon Thibodeaux is licking his lips in anticipation?

–Of course we are watching the play of quarterback No. 13whoever is wearing the number while playing!

Just like last year–we run a GameDay thread in the comments below where we discuss things before, during and after the game because…

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

Charles Fischer   (Mr. FishDuck)
Eugene, Oregon
Top Photo by Kevin Cline

New 2024 FishDuck Publishing Schedule….

During the off-season the FishDuck.com publishing schedule will consist of articles on Mondays and Tuesdays. Do keep checking as new articles could be published during the week when a writer has something to say.

In mid-August of 2024, we will go back to the seven-days-a-week of articles during the football season as we did in the football season of 2023.

The Our Beloved Ducks Forum (OBD) is where we we discuss the article above and many more topics, as it is so much easier in a message board format over there.  At the free OBD forum we will be posting Oregon Sports article links, the daily Press Releases from the Athletic Department and the news coming out every day.

Our 33 rules at the free OBD Forum can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) do not tell anyone what to think, feel or write, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!

OBD Forum members….we got your back.  No Trolls Allowed!