Week 4 Recap: Colorado vs Oregon

FINAL: Colorado 41, Oregon 38

LINK TO BOX SCORE


LINK TO OUR HORRIFIC PREDICTIONS 

OFFENSE

@WildKingdumb – Grade: B-
The offense, on paper, seemed to be fairly flawless having gained 508 yards of total offense.  But games aren’t played on paper.  ((Double checks, and confirms games are not played on paper))  So I am going to sound like an unreasonable fan here and say, we can do WAY better than what we saw on Saturday.  Our run game was unoriginal and if not for gritty performances by Brooks-James would have been a disaster.  The offensive line was good in run blocking for a group of young pups.  Pass blocking was an adventure.  Our pass game is pedestrian at best.  Our receivers were tasked with going up a good secondary but they were getting open.  Dakota Prukop is so much better outside of the pocket when he isn’t so flat footed.  I’m not the type of person to “call for someone’s job”, but seeing as Justin Herbert’s redshirt was burned I might like to see what he can do with the rest of this season if things don’t change next week at WSU.

@colewagoner – Grade: B
Over 500 yards of total offense, with a fairly balanced attack, and only one turnover, it’s hard to pin the loss here. That rhythm and pace that we all know and love is still missing. Obviously, the aforementioned turnover loomed large, but it lies on the play call more than the execution. With two timeouts left, you run it twice in that situation. A tie is worst case scenario in that situation. Prukop also missed an easy TD throw to Carrington, and continues to do just enough to ensure 1/2 the fanbase is ready to move on from him. Tony Brooks-James seems to be the bright spot in this offense, averaging ~7 yards/carry. Benoit went missing in this game, and that was disappointing. Seemed he would be the pace back, and fill that role where Royce is so good.

@Uoduckgirl – Grade: B
Once they showed up in 3rd quarter some great plays by Carrington, Benoit and TBJ. They fought back so that’s where the B comes from.  Prukop just doesn’t seem to have that spark.  And also can he perhaps take his gum out before the press conference?

@GoDucksTroll – Grade: D+
The offense didn’t lose us this game, although they sure didn’t help win it. Tony Brooks-James was solid, as were our receivers. Prukop missed some throws, but played the type of game that gives the team a chance to win. Prukop’s interception was as much a result of play calling as his inability to read the play and make the throw. The three and outs to start the game need to stop, our awful defense can’t handle that. 

Player of the game: Dwayne Stanford, 6 catches for 95 yards. Carrington had the TDs but he also missed making some plays, Dwayne Stanford was money when he’d get the ball thrown his way.

@SwooshMcDuck – Grade: C

With Royce sitting the game out, the rush game still managed to get 215 yds & 3 TD’s. Tony Brooks-James continues to impress. Prukop, for all that he lacks, and for all of those that hate him, still had a very respectable stat line of 22/33 293yds 2TD 1INT. He’s not Marcus. He’s not Big Play VA. But, he’s also not Lockie (sorry Jeff, but you’ve done yourself no favors). Prukop still struggles with timing and accuracy when throwing to even wide open receivers. Underthrows by Prukop look to be a regular problem now. Is it nerves? Is it the arm? Hard to say.

@Reedstrong7 – Grade: B-
Put up 38 points and 500 yards, only had the one turnover at the end.

@BigShaun – Grade: B-
The Offense clicked along fine. It seemed pretty vanilla to me this week. That may be a function of still having a relatively new QB and OC, but it is what it is. We still need to work on interior runs, but I assume that is a function of having a young O-line. Nothing will fix that but experience and time in the weight room. Except for an overthrow and an under throw (that cost the game), Prukop manages the game pretty well. he won’t win you any games by his heroics, but, as we saw, he can lose you one. He’s Trent Dilfer. Hopefully with more understanding of socio-economic issues.

@AlexHorwitch – Grade: LOL

@JonathanAdams – Grade: C+
Certainly good enough to win, despite the slow start. When they got rolling in the 2nd half they had that vintage Oregon look, for sure. The interception to end the game was obviously terrible, but if the general orders the private to attack a tank with a shovel, I’m not gonna blame the private when the tank runs over him.

@jaromney – Grade: B?
The absence of Royce Freeman was probably a factor, but didn’t feel overly impactful. I’ll still mention because I like to blame injuries for shortcomings, I do that… In years past Oregon could roll out of bed and put up 500 yards of offense. In fact, I think they kind of did that on Saturday? Just a very (boring? Clunky?) 508 yards. Nice enough balance through the air (293) and the ground (215), I guess? Maybe? NO OF COURSE NOT THEY LOST TO COLORADO. Some have mentioned that CU had a “top 20 defense” but this is September, stats are rather meaningless to this point. The passing game leaves something to be desired and if you don’t believe me check Darren Carrington’s subtweets to Dakota Prukop or refusal to speak with the media after Saturday’s game. Also, you know times have changed when Colorado throws a legitimate shutout of the Oregon offense in a contested fourth quarter.

@MambaSquatch – Grade: (Not Given)

@jdamis – Grade: B-
Call me unimpressed overall. Really vanilla play calling, Prukop was inconsistent, and it felt like there was maybe a bit of hangover from last week while maybe not taking Colorado seriously. I know there’s much debate on the last play call, but I think Oregon should’ve just ran it three times there.

DEFENSE

@WildKingdumb – Grade: D
As I tweeted in the first quarter on Saturday: We are committing the SAME mistakes were week 1, week 2 and week 3.  Colorado watched all of our games and just “copy and pasted” their game plan from those games.  Get in 3 & 4 receiver sets, forcing Oregon into a Nickel defense (5 defensive backs and only 2 linebackers), and run the ball from that formation up the middle.  Colorado ran for 260 yards (5yrds per rush) with their quarterback (in his first start) rushing for 135 yards.  The only time Oregon “stopped” Colorado was in the third quarter when the Buffaloes went away from what was working.  I think our DBs have played really well and got caught by some perfect passes on Saturday.  I feel our D has more spunk than last year and I feel Hoke has improved the unit.  But missed tackles and an inability to shed blocks made for a disgusting day giving up over 600 yards of offense (before kneel downs at the end). 

@colewagoner – Grade: D
Short of a promising 3rd quarter, which saw two three and outs, and two turnovers forced, Colorado did whatever they wanted. The one bright area from the defense was said 3rd quarter and that allowed Oregon to get back in the game, and ultimately take a lead. This was when the offense was clicking too, and that’s no accident. It started and ended there. The final touchdown for Colorado, there is simply nothing you can do there, it’s just a brilliant play.  When a backup QB makes his first start, on the road, and has almost 500 yards of total offense, it’s eye opening. 21 carries for 135 yards, from a drop back pocket passer, and allowing 50% conversion on third down is not going to win games in an offense minded conference.

@Uoduckgirl – Grade: C
Would’ve been D but we did get two turnovers so there’s that and made some huge stops in 3q. Tackling needs major improvement.


@GoDucksTroll – Grade: D
I was thinking F. No QB starting his first game should be passing for 333 yards and running for 135 more. Most of this defense can’t tackle or shed a block. It looks like one of those old time-y electric gridiron games where the players just randomly move around. The only reason I didn’t give them an F is because there were some plays made, including interceptions by true freshmen Schooler and Dye. Dye also had a critical sack on 4th down, while missing several tackles throughout the game. I also have to mention Reggie Daniels, who has been less than stellar for the last year and a half. In the the third quarter he was everywhere, I couldn’t believe that it was Reggie Daniels. He played amazing in that quarter, it’s what sparked the comeback. Need to look at the bright side, because this defense is incredible in how awful it is. 
Player of the game: Reggie Daniels.

@SwooshMcDuck – Grade: F
If there were a grade lower than F, I might give it. F-? There are too many things to cover here so lets point out the obvious. The middle continues to be wide open. Safeties are playing horribly. DB’s are struggling to cover even the easiest of crossing routes. Tackling is bullsh*t. This one armed swing and pray you snag them sh*t has gone on too long now. Giving up 3rd & Long after 3rd & Long is now simply commonplace for the Ducks. WE DIDN’T GET A DAMN 3 & OUT UNTIL 3 MINUTES LEFT IN THE FREAKING 3RD QUARTER!!!! On the positive side, the defense did win the turnover battle & lessened the penalties, BUT (Stephen A. Smith voice) all of that is pretty much negated when you give up 593 yards of total offense to a team being lead by a backup QB.

@Reedstrong7 – Grade: F
Gave up 41 points and almost 600 yards to Colorado with their backup QB. Do you miss Don Pellum yet?

@BigShaun – Grade: D-
I still like the fire and edge the guys are playing with. Saw some sacks today. Not seeing a lot of pass break ups and anticipation. I feel like these guys aren’t expecting whats coming. Like they aren’t spending enough time with film or they aren’t being properly told what keys to look for. Something. 3rd and Long defense is an abject disaster. There is no way around that. But, we all have eyes. I’m conflicted. I like the fire and effort, but the results say everything is still a wreck. Just a firey, errorty, disaster.

@AlexHorwitch – Grade: ROLF

@JonathanAdams – Grade: D-
Not an F only because they forced a couple of turnovers to keep the Ducks in the game in the second half, and because they somehow forced a 3-and-out to get the ball back late in the 4th quarter (after Oregon punted from the CU 40, which I’m just not ready to process yet). This trend of being terrible at the end of the first half and the start of the second half is surreal. For the fourth straight game the opponent scored on their first drive of the second half. Awful.

@jaromney – Grade:B(ad)
I don’t know how to truly and fairly grade this group. It’s not good, we knew it wouldn’t be good. They linemen don’t fit the scheme. I’m not going to get too heated they’re asked to play in a scheme that doesn’t fit their body types. That said, woof. A 300/100 yard performance from any opposing QB is bad, but for a kid in his first start? But here we are and Steven Monteziasosopo just got 8 more yards on a quarterback draw.

@MambaSquatch – Grade: (Not Given)

@jdamis – Grade: F
It felt like the defense was taking small steps forward each week, and then took about six steps this week. Not sure if they overlooked Colorado or if they really have that far to go still, I think it might be somewhere in between, but that defensive performance was BAD.

SPECIAL TEAMS

@WildKingdumb – Grade: A
WE SHOULD HAVE GONE FOR 2… ok, I kid… sorta…. Not really.  The yo-yo that is Duck fans probably loved this conservative approach, then cheered like hell after the gutsy fake punt.  I for one was ok with these calls.  I think the unpredictability of the play calling IS Oregon football.  That being said I think the call to punt in the 3rd and 4th quarters was the correct call.  Would have loved to see more from Punt returns but Colorado’s unit was great in coverage. 

@colewagoner – Grade: A
The fake punt had shades of Chip! If we would’ve went for two more often, or at all, we may have won?



@Uoduckgirl – Grade: C –
Got the PATs but no big returns.

@GoDucksTroll – Grade: B
They decided to not risk the two point conversion, that was interesting. Our return game, however, wasn’t interesting. Apparently Charles Nelson is too much of a fumble risk to return punts, and it didn’t matter since we only forced one punt anyway. Punting was decent for a change and Matt Wogan destroyed some footballs on kick-offs, as usual. 

Player of the game: Aidan Schneider. It’s not too long ago that the entire Oregon fan base would get a migraine when the kicker who shall not be named was trotted out there. It’s nice to have Schneider.

@SwooshMcDuck – Grade: B
Hey, we kicked PAT’s!!!!! Also, is Helf gonna be gunshy now about PAT’s? You heard the boos after that first TD.

@Reedstrong7 – Grade: B
Not really a factor in the game considering Colorado never punted and Oregon only punted once.

@BigShaun – Grade: B
Well, there was nothing special about them. Which, in itself isn’t a bad thing. The only time you talk about special teams is when they make a huge play and a boneheaded play. I’m okay with not hearing a lot about them for a week.

@AlexHorwitch – Grade: Ha!

@JonathanAdams – Grade: B+
Not an A because they didn’t do anything spectacular, but they were very solid. We have good kickers, which is never not going to be weird.

@jaromney – Grade: D
Hello children, what was your favorite Oregon punt in Colorado territory? Oregon really punted twice on the CU side of the field. Including on 4th and 4 from the 40 in the fourth. These aren’t your two fathers Oregon Ducks, I’ll tell you what. But hey, they didn’t lose the game on failed two point conversions, so that’s a plus.

@MambaSquatch – Grade: (Not Given)

@jdamis – Grade: B+
Aside from some penalties, I think special teams was fine.

COACHING

@WildKingdumb – Grade: C-
I always try to remind myself when something goes wrong on the field and I get angry: Do I hate the CALL or do I just hate the RESULT? 

Let’s look at the end of the game.  Oregon gets the ball after the overturned spot/punt with 2:57 left in the 4th quarter.  Oregon has 2 timeouts and start the drive at their own 42.  1 & 10 they throw for 10 yards and a 1st down.  Then they run two more times for a first down (Prukop’s first/only run of the day).  Next play Colorado drops a game winning INT.  Then Prukop is then sacked for a loss of 6, the clock is now at 1:43.   Its 3rd & 16.  Pru throws deep to Carrington and its Defensive PI.  Now its 1st & 10 with 1:35 at the Colorado 26.  Oregon runs for 3yrds.  Pru throws to Stanford for 19 yards down to the 7 yard line and a 1st down.  Clock is at :54 seconds.  Oregon still has 2 timeouts and on 1st down Prukop throws the fade in the end zone for an interception.  Game over. 

As we see here Oregon was moving the ball through the air.  The pass game was “clicking” as they say.  There was single coverage on Carrington and it was a bad throw.  Plain and simple.  Prukop connects on that, and people like @SwooshMcDuck are writing ‘think pieces’ comparing Prukop to Mariota.  As a Seahawks fan I get how painful throwing an INT in the end zone is, but this was the “correct call” in my opinion.  The throw should have been wide/deep, if its incomplete you stop the clock and you can run the ball on 2nd and 3rd down and stop the clock both times with your final two timeouts allowing for a field goal attempt with :01 on the clock.  This is a good coaching strategy.  The RESULT of the call just didn’t work out. 

Now defensively getting burned by the same plays again and again is maddening, I feel like it’s up to the players on the field to MAKE A PLAY.  On a long enough timeline you can say missed tackles IS a coaching issue.  I think four games into the season the play on the field has been uninspired and undisciplined and THAT falls on the shoulders of the coaching staff. 

@colewagoner – Grade: D
I’m one of the last people to call for a coaches head. It’s a tough business, I’m sympathetic, and I’m somewhat of a realist. I always ask myself “Who can we get?” It’s easy to fire someone, it’s not easy to make the correct hire. There are so many variables in play, and I think it’s lazy and ignorant that as soon as things begin to dip, “Fire Coach” is the first thing out of everyones mouth. All that said, for the first time, I thing a regime change could be positive thing for the program given the current situation. Attendance is down, recruiting will continue to suffer, and my Twitter timeline will stay being insufferable. Phil needs to open the pocketbook and camp outside Tom Herman’s house starting tonight. As an addendum, I live two hours from Lane Kiffin, and am willing to gauge his interest.

@Uoduckgirl – Grade: F
I’m super pissed off about the coaching. I’ve been a duck fan for 23 years. I’ve been through many tough seasons. Playing teams that were better but we always lost with pride and played our hearts out. When Chip was there I remember feeling he will pull this out even when we were down. I would know Chip will fix this. Never a doubt. Same with Aliotti. I believed in him. I have tried to be supportive of Helf. I’m sure he’s a nice man. But how he didn’t go for it on 4th down with 5 mins left and how he allowed the fade at the end is just mind boggling. I don’t care what anyone says you play it safe and run. If that didn’t work you kick the FG and go into OT. I also didn’t like his post-game comments.

I had a hard time literally watching the game due to the PAC 12 feed, delay and it would stop working for chunks so I missed a bit of play time to evaluate. I stayed informed by the Twitter feed.

We lost this game because this team does not appear to have leadership or chemistry and the play calling is just mind boggling.

I’m sad for my Ducks. I love them and that will never waiver. I’ll still watch next week when I’m sure it will be on at 10:30pm my time. I will always bleed green and yell O but we have a long road ahead to get back to where we used to be. And I don’t mean back to Natty / elite. I mean back to the team that win or lose they did so united and fans never doubted they did the best they could.

Keep calm and quack on Duck fans.

@GoDucksTroll – Grade: F
I’ve been a supporter of Mark Helfrich since he was hired, but it now looks like I was wrong. I can still hope that the Ducks rattle of eight wins in a row and play in the Rose Bowl. Realistic me knows that this is very unlikely. Helfrich’s job hinges on how the season plays out. This is more than a fade to the end-zone on first and goal, this is getting out-coached by a guy who had been 2-25 in the Pac-12. The big question becomes if this team can recover and if they can’t what’s the magic number of wins for Helfrich to keep his job?

@SwooshMcDuck – Grade: D-


Is it play calling? Is it a bad QB? Is it both? The offense can’t seem to get out of it’s own way sometimes. Sure, fade routes are great when they work, but with a QB with a propensity for under-throwing, is a end zone fade the best idea? Also, WTF is with the crap run plays on 3rd downs and then punting it away IN COLORADO TERRITORY? Holy white flag Mark! I don’t know if Helf is oblivious to the issues or is insane in feeling repeating it will garner different outcomes. There’s a pattern happening here and it’s not pretty. Hoke, who knows. I said last week the defense looked better than last season, and that wasn’t saying much. This week? Sh*t, it’s like having a recurring nightmare. It’s a year later, a different coach, the same issues. Did we not recruit right? Are they not being coached? I thought coaching meant putting players in the best position to succeed? I ain’t seeing it. I’m not ready to advocate for a coach’s firing, but Helf is on the hot seat now, with the fans, if not with the administration. Boosters & fans are only as generous as a team is successful. They won’t let the coffers dry up before they dump what ain’t working.

@Reedstrong7 – Grade: A+++
Please give Mark Helfrich a 10 year extension immediately.

@BigShaun – Grade: F-
Let me preface this with, as recently as just before game time I was on the “lets give them time” bandwagon. I’ve fully abandoned that ship and the Mark Helfrich ship altogether. The kids have no discipline and that is a direct reflection of their coaches. We are next to last in the FBS in penalties per game. Kids aren’t where they are supposed to be on plays. Lubik and Hoke so far are turning out to be meh hires. This all has roots back to the HC. He sets the tone for the team. And so far the tone has been very Mike Riley. Very Aweee, Shucks.

I like Helf as a person. Seems like a great and genuine guy.  I just don’t think any longer that he is cut out to be Oregon’s HC. The guy is terrible at clock and momentum management. Oregon, the program, deserves better than 9-4 every year. And that seems to be his ceiling without a GOAT QB.

@AlexHorwitch – Grade: THIS GIF

@JonathanAdams – Grade: Is there anything worse than F?
The interception in the end zone was a bad play call. Not because it was a fade route, or because I’m second-guessing a play after it failed; it was a bad call because even if it works it’s still terrible. If Oregon scores on that play, Colorado gets the ball back with 50-ish seconds on the clock and all three timeouts, and Oregon’s defense is almost certainly not stopping the Buffaloes in that scenario. Like, an actual buffalo would have been easier to slow down than Steven Montez on Saturday. Oregon had two timeouts and was in chip-shot field goal range — it was milk-the-clock time, not oh-my-god-we-have-to-score-right-freaking-now time. Every kid playing Madden on his PlayStation knows what to do in that scenario.

Hey Mark Helfrich, you know who else was always in “attack mode”? The captain of the Titanic.

@jaromney – Grade: D
Weird punts aside, we now have a developing trend. Oregon opponents have scored a touchdown on their opening possession of the second half in all four games this year, and they’re looking increasingly easier. Listen, when you lack the depth and talent the Oregon defense does, just spot them the 7 and let the defense get a little more rest… Throwing the ball on first and goal from the seven with two timeouts in their back pockets also felt different. Fades are dumb and bad, they should be abolished from the sport, they never work. Unless of course you’re Nebraska playing Oregon and they suddenly do. 

(When does the Acro & Tumbling season start?)

@MambaSquatch – Grade: (Not Given)
For the first time in a very long time, I don’t know what Oregon Football’s identity is.  It is baffling.  So as far as a recap on this loss, I don’t have much analysis.  Instead, I want it to be known, that I was one of the last Mark Helfrich apologists.  I really wanted him to work.  I like the guy.  Was it a denial thing?  Probably. But I am now beginning to think a change is imminent.

Helfrich has stated he still believes this team can be great.  Yes, the conference championship is still attainable. But as of now that seems like quite a stretch from

even the most optimistic of Ducks fans.  Entering week 5, heading to Pullman as a 1 point favorite to a team that dropped a game to an FCS school.  Oregon’s problems are no longer a secret.  The Oregon Ducks, once the most feared team out west now has a conference of teams that can smell the blood when they see Oregon on the schedule.  If that is the new identity of the program, it is time to go in a different direction.
Now we fans find ourselves in a bit of a conundrum.  If UO rallies and saves the season, what exactly does that mean? 8-4? Good enough to keep the coaching staff in place.  Not good enough for the fans when we consider the skill on the offensive side of the ball.  
Times have changed as the Ducks appears to be no better than a .500 football team.  Prove us wrong, coach.
Go Ducks

@jdamis – Grade: F
I laughed as I typed up the word coaching, because I’m not sure how much at this point really takes place. This did not look like a team that took Colorado seriously enough for the first quarter and a half. I was pleased to see them play with better energy in the second half, but by then it was too little, too late. Also couldn’t believe they decided to punt in Colorado territory not once, but twice while trailing. I considered taking an average of the three phases’ performance, but they lost to Colorado.

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