52-29? Just Like the “Good Ol’ Days!” And Time to Give Credit…

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck Editorials

Admit it…with the way the offense was scoring on Saturday with the crowd roaring and all the explosion plays–it felt like the “Good Ol’ Days,” didn’t it? I was feeling an excitement and a particular twinge with it, and realized that I had not felt that in a long time. What was it? Then it hit me: this was how the raucous, entertaining games of 2008-2015 felt, and this felt great!

And the complaints after the game were the same as that prior uber-successful era. I can still picture Nick Aliotti being roasted by the fans and sportscasters after Oregon beat Washington State in 2013 by almost the same margin (62-38). Never mind that the Cougars got hot and were incredibly tough to stop, and that Oregon was never threatened in the game and gave tons of defensive reserves important playing time. (sound familiar?)

Fans wanted blood for giving up that outrageous number of points. I could see it in Nick’s eyes in that post-game press conference, that he did not feel appreciated and he’d had enough. Oregon fans wanted perfection, and the style points that come with it. Unfortunately it turns out it was the beginning of the end with Nick, and I don’t want to see Duck fans make that mistake again.

Coach Cristobal has already explained the reason for the points given up, and frankly–I am fine with it. That was fun to watch, gave us a little game apprehension, yet things were never in doubt. A perfect entertaining Duck Day!

Whether I like it or not, I must give credit for great performance and results when due.

Critical Analysis? Then it is Time to Give Credit Where Credit is Due

The primary objective of the forum is to provide a platform where all opinions to be expressed without fear of being maligned. Our rules and rapid enforcement of them has created this GREEN REFUGE from the rest of the other Oregon sites (and the world), from all of the nasty behavior out there. This allows yours truly to do “Critical Analysis” of the team and coaching in safety, and it gives all those who disagree the same protections.

However, since I’ve been a vocal critic of quite a number of items concerning the coaching of Mario Cristobal, there is also a responsibility to give credit when it is due as well. This has been a roller-coaster year of emotions, and while it could swing another direction–it behooves me to count our blessings of the No. 7 in the nation Ducks!

— Recruiting Rescues the Ducks, because as the injuries piled up, the depth built by the incredible recruiting of Coach Cristobal has kept Oregon in the national picture. Amazingly, the majority of the most recent 2021 recruiting class will not be redshirted (as discussed here) and in many cases are making key plays to win games. I always thought of recruiting as “two or three years down the road,” yet Mario has saved the season due to his staff’s prodigious recruiting efforts of just last year.

— Cristobal is opening up to more scoring, and an attacking passing game. I never thought I would ever see the game plan that was carried out against UCLA, and yet Mario and OC Joe Moorhead doubled down on it against Colorado when they did not have to! Did you see the size of the holes against the Buffalos on simple Inside Zone plays? Oregon could have won the game burning clock and running the ball almost the entire game, but chose to score more and help this team prepare for the big games ahead. Gotta love the coaching growth!

These are unbelievable holes created no matter who you play…

— The Miracle on the Offensive Line cannot be detailed enough: over 19 different combinations of players over the season in a position where coordination is not just important, but critical to success! The center who is up for preseason conference awards goes down, and another steps in with no change in results? Rushing for an average of 205 yards a game with all these injuries? As an old offensive lineman, I would pound my fist on the table in front of you to convey how hard this is. It is simply unbelievable.
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— Burning nearly six minutes at the end of the game is a superb endgame result. Cristobal used all but 40 seconds, and scored as well. If this is applied to the bigger games later, we will all breathe easier. More coaching growth to applaud…

— Running Inside Zone Reads from the Shotgun instead of the Pistol is a move that has not been noticed (but for David Marsh) or applauded as it should be. Cristobal likes to exert his toughness by running Inside Zone Read plays often, and our success out of the Shotgun has been superb since the gradual transfer began. I assume this was a Moorhead preference (since he never ran Pistol before) and I credit Coach Cristobal for giving him that latitude.

Anthony Brown’s career day is a big step in the growth of the offense.

— The confidence gained from pushing the offense to score nearly every time is a benefit that will materialize in the last third of the schedule, as the players will gain a pedal-to-the-metal attitude. More points gives us extra slack on the days that the defense has injuries or a tough outing. (And it is our only chance to get into the Playoff and win!)

I don’t mind giving up too many points on the passing game in a game like this, as being exposed will help the team improve to face some difficult passing attacks later in the schedule (like in two weeks). It is always fun to contemplate these things and count our blessings after a win because…

“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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