2021 Duck Football: The Most Entertaining Oregon Team EVER?

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck Editorials

Is this the most mysterious Oregon football team you have ever followed? So much talent, yet so much of yet unrealized. Coaching errors that are egregious, but some great coaching that brought about victories seen in the national spotlight. Key players hurt, but new stars are emerging … and I am trying to figure out seven games games into the season what the real upside of the players and coaches is?

This is like the preseason, as I have no idea.

This has been a most maddening, and yet exhilarating season unlike any we have had. Just when some of us give up on the coaches–they win an unexpected big game. Just when we are feeling secure about winning–we are back to biting our fingernails. I cannot recall any season like it in the decades of watching Oregon football, and while I would like some stability–I also want the upside potential present as well.

As any Duck fan knows, Oregon football is fun to follow, but the wait until the games can be interminable. I’ve found that the wait a little easier with some fun sports-themed games and I enjoy how the PointsBet sign up bonus details allows me to get a little bit more juice out of my gaming action.

I was pondering this with a Duck-Buddy and we harkened back to 2001, twenty years ago, when the Ducks finished No. 2 in the nation. The Ducks had six games decided by a touchdown or less as Joey Harrington brought us back from behind to win those tight games in a championship year. I am not suggesting that Anthony Brown is the same as Harrington, but both years are marked by games more difficult than anticipated.

That Fiesta Bowl year was tough on the heart, but entertaining as heck.

Anthony Brown has run for the game winning touchdown three times thus far.

Anthony Brown has taken the brunt of the criticism, and certainly against the Bruins it looked like he won the game for the Ducks, and then it looked like he may have lost it for them. Isn’t that a microcosm of this team in 2021? Between injuries, coaching decisions, mistakes on the field offset with the brilliant plays we can hardly believe. You cannot say that they are a great team, but yet you cannot count them out either.

That is the 2021 Ducks, and I just have to adjust my attitude and enjoy the ride a bit better.

This is a team that could lose some more games, or could win-out, and in a crazy year–even end up in the Playoff still. I cling to that hope after the good games, and then–you know what happens next as you have lived it, as I have. Crazy year, but when it comes to your passions about the Ducks–this is no time to Dye.
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We cannot ignore the job of the offensive line this season.

Some Unique Season Stats for the 2021:

–Cristobal is stuck at the number 34 for points being scored. His teams over the three year period prior to this year averaged just a touch under 34 points per game, which is the same in seven games of 2021 with the last game scoring….34 points. Enough to win with? (The 2001 team averaged 34.30 points per game!)

–Oregon has forced a 4th quarter turnover in six out of seven games. Wowsa, as that is what wins games!

Yours-truly was critical of the running game under Cristobal in prior years, yet in seven games this year Oregon is averaging 197.6 yards per game with the star tailback out, and a patchwork offensive line. That really is darn-good run blocking that should be acknowledged.

–For the season the Ducks have averaged a conversion rate of 46% on third down, and for fourth down it is 45%!  

This is no time to “Dye” on the Ducks.

Projecting Out–Questions to Ponder:

Can Anthony Brown improve enough to throw downfield with fewer interceptions? If he can–what is the upside of this offense? What will it take on offense and defense to become a Playoff team in your view?

I look forward to discussion with you about these questions in the OBD forum because…

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

Charles Fischer   (Mr. FishDuck)
Eugene, Oregon
Top Photo by Tom Corno

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