I wrote those words up in the title in the first month of Mario Cristobal‘s first season in 2018, and wrote them again in an article last year, that you would think was written right after this last game with Stanford. Same issues, same underperformance and same game management. Steward Mandell quoted my final line of that article for one of his articles, and it got hundreds up-in-arms on other sites because I was not a boot-licker for the head coach.
When he does well, like landing the best recruit in Nebraska as he did yesterday–I say so. But when he loses another game to an inferior foe as he did in 2018, 2019, 2020 and now in 2021–he deserves some grief. Yet what we see on the field is not matching the recruiting or even the full potential of the players, especially on offense. This is an especially difficult time for a devoted Duck fan, because our hopes and dreams for this team are obviously not going to happen.
But I remain a steadfast fan no matter what, as we have certainly had much worse that this. (But the torture of the potential…) There are too many problems to list and frankly–I think so many of you did an outstanding job pointing them out in the GameDay thread. (Which had over 160 posts–cool)
“The Officials Alone Took the Game Away”
Yes, I get that when referring the final drive concerning Brandon Dorlus, Kayvon Thibodeaux and Mykael Wright. But I was hot in the first half, as I do not think the tight end of Stanford had complete control of the ball on the first touchdown before going out-of-bounds. Yet it was a Cardinal score regardless? Then the 4th down attempt by Stanford that the Ducks thwarted by a bad spot from the officials? Whew!
Bottom line? This is Pac-12 officiating and this is not the first time a tight end from Stanford benefited from a bad call while rolling out-of-bounds in the end zone. (Think 2012) It is par for our course in this conference…——————————————————————————————–
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Now I Gotta Admit–I was WRONG
When I am right, as I was about Cristobal and the Oregon offense–I will crow to your highest tolerance level. But I was wrong about Anthony Brown, as I thought he would be much better than what we have seen over five games. I am aghast at how inaccurate he is at throwing passes to crossing receivers that end up behind them way too often. His decisions in the option game and which blocks to follow have cost us points in prior games, but was another factor in losing on the farm.
All of his critics were right, and I was wrong and am ready for the Ty Thompson show. We have already ruined our year, so we might as well take our lumps now with his learning curve and build for the future.
You have seen me write often over the years that, “greatness and weakness emerge early,” and weakness that emerges early never turns into greatness–you put a ton of work into coaching them up into being merely average. This is true in business and sports, as managers can’t send Dodo Bird salesmen to Eagle school, as it doesn’t work. You gotta find Eagles up front and give them the time to grow. (Reps) Brown has been given his chance and will not reach the upside this program needs.
Did the Ohio State Win Mess-Up the Personnel Path?
Did the coaches go with “experience” in a sixth-year quarterback who is inaccurate, and veteran receivers who don’t get open? Or was the plan to play them until they lost to Ohio State, and thus the justification for “change” was present? With the win–the veterans remained in place, and perhaps stymied the progress on offense that could have begun with the young-guns? I am also ready for Dont’e Thornton and Troy Franklin to have major playing time and thus between them, Thompson and the two freshmen tight ends–it would be inconsistent now, but exciting later?
If Verdell is out for a while and we have to rely on the passing game–yikes. Make the change now please!
Although there is learning that needs to take place in the coaching suite, aren’t there a ton of coaches now on-staff as “quality-control” and serve as consultants to the program? Do they give Cristobal game-management advice? Does he listen?
Oregon Will Not be a Championship Team Until we see Championship Coaching
The worst part of this is not losing a game, as you will run into a hot team or have a bad day. We are seeing consistent underperformance, and the Ducks would have lost to any number of mediocre Pac-12 teams on Saturday. We just happened to be playing Stanford on that day, as they were not an impressive team to me. The Cardinal were a classic .500 team that Oregon routinely loses to under Cristobal in each year of his leadership. There is no shame in losing to a great team, but on Saturday–Cristobal should be ashamed of himself, and not his team.
Can this team turn around and become great? Absolutely, as the upside I gushed about last week remains with both the players and the coaches. But when I think of my axiom…“greatness and weakness emerge early,” … how do you apply that to Mario Cristobal and his staff? Yet conversely, we cannot forget the incredible victory in Columbus; so how do you sort this all out?
“Oh, how we love to ponder about Our Beloved Ducks!”
Charles Fischer (Mr. FishDuck)
Top Photo from Tom Corno
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Charles Fischer has been an intense fan of the Ducks, a season ticket holder at Autzen Stadium for 35 years and has written reports on football boards for over 23 years. Known as “FishDuck” on those boards, he is acknowledged for providing intense detail in his scrimmage reports and in his Xs and Os play analyses. He and his wife Lois, have a daughter Christine, reside in Eugene Oregon, where he was a Financial Advisor for 36 years and now focuses full-time on Charitable Planned Giving Workshops for churches and non-profit organizations.
He does not profess to be a coach or analyst, but simply a “hack” that enjoys sharing what he has learned and invites others to correct or add to this body of Oregon Football! See More…
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