Oregon Football: Ducks’ Victory Lacks Championship Taste | FishDuck

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Better buckle up, Ducks fanatics, this generally is a bumpy journey.

If there’s anything else I’ve realized over the process Oregon Head Coach Mario Cristobal’s tenure so far, it’s that his groups are loaded with ability however they aren’t going to run away with each recreation prior to halftime by way of racking up online game stats. Cristobal delivers hard-nosed, smash-mouth, sluggish grind soccer.

The video games are going to be hard-fought and shut. Sometimes, too shut. It’s an bought style that many fanatics aren’t used to. And in the event you watched as of late’s recreation, you most likely nonetheless have heartburn.

Regardless…OREGON FOOTBALL IS BACK, BABY!

Despite an “unhealthy” air high quality index (162) because of wooded area fires within the Cascades and a resurgent COVID-19 delta variant, my feeling was once natural pleasure and pleasure gazing fanatics pack into Autzen Stadium on Saturday to peer the No. 11 Oregon Ducks’ season opener in opposition to visiting Fresno State.

My pleasure briefly gave method to anxious bewilderment for many of the recreation. Yes, Oregon pulled out a nail-biter victory over the Bulldogs, 31-24. Most of Oregon’s offensive efforts hiccuped and spazzed with first-game jitters. And sure, each group’s season opener is sure to have problems — Oregon isn’t any exception. But the Ducks’ efficiency raised a large number of questions for me, specifically, is that this group a countrywide identify contender? Pac-12? And the place are Joe Moorhead and CJ Verdell?

The Ducks (1-0) jumped out to a 21-3 first-half lead over the Bulldogs (1-1), scoring two touchdowns as the results of a few large defensive performs, maximum particularly a pressured fumble by way of Kayvon Thibodeaux.

If we realized anything else as of late, it’s that Thibodeaux is the anchor of Tim DeRuyter’s protection. Oregon’s celebrity defensive finish is a drive to be reckoned with for any opponent, together with No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes subsequent week. The Ducks’ protection general regarded beautiful forged too, notching 3 fumble recoveries, 4 sacks and 8 tackles for a loss at the day, which most probably had been the difference-maker on this too-close-for-comfort matchup. There had been some problems within the secondary, (the place was once everyone?) however I’ll settle for a bend-don’t-break philosophy.

Thibodeaux’s absence from the Ducks’ defensive entrance was once evident, permitting Bulldogs’ quarterback Jake Haener a number of time to dink and dunk proper down the sphere to take a 24-21 lead early within the fourth quarter. Haener went 30 of 43 passing, throwing for 298 yards and a landing. At instances, the previous Husky made it glance too simple.

On offense, Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown didn’t fare as smartly within the passing recreation, finishing 15 of 24 (62.5%) passes for 172 yards and a landing. In reality, the Bulldogs’ offense no doubt outshined the Ducks, completing with extra general yards (373 to 358) and primary downs (23 to twenty). However, Brown made probably the most have an effect on on his toes, together with a 30-yard game-winning landing scamper.

Don’t get me flawed, I’m thankful for the “W.” But a few issues about Oregon’s debut efficiency caught out to me. Firstly, CJ Verdell isn’t being applied as Oregon’s every-down energy working again. While Verdell completed with 18 carries for 74 yards and a landing, he was once in large part absent from the Ducks’ working recreation within the first 1/2. Why?

Secondly, the place is offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead‘s dynamic schemes? Sure, there were lots of zone reads and some successful rushing plays, but the offense fizzled, backfired and stalled out — like a broken-down El Camino in your weird neighbor’s entrance backyard. Am I lacking one thing? I anticipated some fireworks and were given most commonly smoke bombs, sparklers or even a couple of duds.

Look, I’m pleased with the victory, however the taste is off — I’ve some questions and a number of issues because the Ducks head to the Horseshoe in Columbus subsequent Saturday. Can you cross me the Tums?

Jordan P. Ingram 
San Diego, California
Top Photo by way of Scott Kelley

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