The offensive line had a bad game. The starters were mixed around in different positions this week and nothing good seem to come from it in pass protection or the running game. Tony Brooks-James and the recently demoted Royce Freeman combined for a pathetic 63 yards on 18 carries. Justin Herbert spent most of the day confused and only completing 18/33 for 162 yards. There was no time to throw and little separation by the receivers. I remember 4-5 time WRs dropped plays of at least 15+ yards. When you have so few chances at big plays the drops really hurt the Ducks chances of keeping pace with the USC offense. I think the play calling hasn’t helped them at all either, the Ducks were extremely lucky to score 20 and keep their consecutive game streak (38 games) of 20+ points or more alive.
@SwooshMcDuck – Grade: D-
RIP to The Legend of Justin Herbert (October 2016 – November 2016). Yes, he’s a freshman. Yes, he played like one. Yes, we tried to warn you. That isn’t to say he was terrible, far from it. It does show though, just how good he can be against terrible defenses & the upside he will have in the future. The offense was just bad. Just 288 yds of total offense, compared to USC putting up 270 yds just on the ground. This was a good offense finally meeting a solid defense. They were outplayed, outmatched, and by the sounds of Herbert’s postgame comments, outcoached. 85 yards rushing? With our stellar backfield? Come on. Guys looked disinterested once the game got out of hand to start the 3rd quarter. Yeah, it looked like they quit. That attitude can spread through a team like a cancer. They look like they’ve checked out.
@JonathanAdams – Grade: F
The stats tell the story, and that story is about a confused, inept, inefficient offense. Only ran 67 plays. Five 3-and-outs. More punts (8) than 3rd down conversions (5). 2.8 yards per rush. Less than 300 yards of total offense. USC defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast put together a solid game plan, and the Trojan defense executed to perfection, using a variety of blitzes to confuse Oregon’s o-line and QB. As I predicted on Friday, USC brought Justin Herbert back to earth; let’s see how he rebounds this week against another tough defense.
@GoDucksTroll – Grade: F
Oregon had scored 20 points or more in 38 consecutive games, and they barely managed to keep the streak alive with a garbage time TD. 288 yards of offense and a paltry 2.8 yards per carry in the run game is not going to lead to a competitive game.
@JaRomney – Grade: D
*stares at mic, gets shifty eyes.* Pass.
I will go all Sunshine and Puppy Dogs for a second here: 1) I am grading them based off what I saw earlier this season 2) I freaking love seeing this defense start to play with some passion, because they had NONE in the early part of the season… Ok now back to reality: as a unit they are horrific tacklers. Now, passion can make up for lack of skill and I think that’s what’s helped the Ducks out in recent weeks. But there have been so many missed tackles and not just that but you can see a guy slow down or stop when a teammate engages a tackle… and when the tackle is broken the other defenders are there flat footed and watching ball carries gain extra yardage by the boat load. I’d pay to see at least one gang tackle, or multiple helmets on a ball carrier. There have been some costly PI/Holding calls that have kept the defense on the field too long but at the end of the day the Ducks have just not been tough enough to get the job done.
@SwooshMcDuck – Grade: F(u*k this)
Troy Dye played another solid game. He’ll hopefully be a leader and difference maker in the future. Outside of that? Schooler made a few great plays, including his interception, but by the early 3rd quarter he was jogging on coverages, arms flailing at his side, disinterested by what was happening. Go back and watch the game yourself, it was gross to watch guys just quit. Yes, they were getting their collective a**es beaten, but seeing the defeat in their body language is deserving of no “gee golly they sure tried hard” or “Boy they have heart” praise this week. Again, this is a team who has checked out.
@JonathanAdams – Grade: D
This defense has to get help from the offense, and on Saturday night they were out there by themselves for much of the game. I really liked their effort in the second quarter when they held USC scoreless for most of that 15 minutes, and kept Oregon in the game when it looked like USC was going to put up 40+ by halftime. Unfortunately the offense was unable to do anything to really pressure the Trojans, managing only two punts on 11 plays in the second quarter. USC, on the other hand, ran 29 plays in the second quarter and the Oregon defense finally snapped just before halftime, turning a 17-6 “we’re still in this” game into a 24-6 “if we leave now we can beat the traffic” game.
@GoDucksTroll – Grade: F
Clay Helton took pity on the Ducks, because it could have looked much worse. Which is saying something, since it already looked fairly awful.
@JaRomney – Grade: F
The holes were yuge. The tackling was a disaster. Not enough stamina to keep up, I have great stamina. The best stamina. Nick Aliotti often told me this. We need to build a wall. Nike will build the wall, trust me. The wall will be great, so great, so yuge. Nike will pay the $10 million a year, Tom Herman will grab it by the pu…rsey strings. Gonna be great.
Punt team has under-performed all season, and if they are doing their best then so be it, you have to change your execution or planning to help them succeed. We have been consistently losing the field position game all season. A way that’s happening on the offensive side of the ball is with the extremely poor judgment on kick returns. We are just not getting returns that justify taking the ball out of the endzone. So poor returns, poor defensive field position and a missed PAT just seem to keep happening week after week.
@SwooshMcDuck – Grade: B
They get a passing grade this week simply because for this game, Ian Wheeler came to kick. It’s too bad Oregon seemed to squander away almost all the good work he did in pinning USC back towards their own goal.
@JonathanAdams – Grade: B-
B-. They got fooled on that trick punt return in the 1st quarter, and didn’t do anything exciting on kickoff returns. And Taylor Alie is no Nate Costa. On the positive side, Matt Wogan continues to be a touchback machine, and Oregon’s lone score in the first half was a direct result of a great punt by Ian Wheeler than pinned USC on their own three yard line.
@GoDucksTroll – Grade: C
Ian Wheeler had some nice punts, the first time I’ve had anything nice to say about him this season. Taylor Alie muffed a snap on an extra point. Nothing exciting going on with the return game.
@JaRomney – Grade: B
Listen, no one loves the special teams more than me. The things they did were thingy. So thingy. I loved it.
Now you may ask, “dude you just gave the offense and special teams bad grades why are the coaches only getting a C?”, well here’s why. WE DON’T KNOW WHAT THE COACHES ARE TELLING THE PLAYERS TO DO IN PRACTICES, MEETINGS, PREGAME, OR IN THE HUDDLE SO WE CAN’T KNOW IF THEY ARE GENIUSES,MORONS, OR JUST FLAT BEING IGNORED. So we have to look at the product on the field.
I see a lot of amazing athletes on offense who can’t seem to hold on to passes, get separation, or simply block downfield. Are the coaches teaching the players these things? Of course they are. Is it happening in games? You tell me. On defense I see a broken record of missed tackles and penalty flags. In the beginning of the year we saw big play after big play ending with the other team celebrating in the endzone and the Oregon DBs with their hands up in the air, jawing at one another, you don’t see that anymore. Is the defense still getting beaten? Yes, but they changed up the scheme and gave playing time to guys who knew what to do and where to be.
I remember after playing UC Davis, Dakota Prukop was interviewed postgame about mistakes that had happened and he responded, “The only mistake you cannot correct is a loss” (he says it again HERE at the 4:25 mark). And Duck fans have gotten so used to being able to cover up mistakes (i.e. hemorrhaging yards, time of possession, plays for negative yards… under this staff and others) because they won, well that perfume is gone. Is the philosophy ANY DIFFERENT than under Chip Kelly? We don’t know, because we aren’t in the building. I don’t understand what’s happening between “good practices” and “bad Saturdays”. I know last season we were a handful of plays away from 11-1 but also a 6-6 record. At the end of the season we will find out who is still in the building and who is not. I believe in the Oregon program as a whole… “Fa’afetai tele lava [thank you very much]. God bless, and Go Ducks”.
@SwooshMcDuck – Grade: Is there any?
Herbert said himself after the game that the team wasn’t prepared for what they were faced with. That right there is inexcusable. 9 games into a season with a 3-6 record and yet every week, things don’t seem to improve or even make the necessary adjustments towards overall improvement. That’s 100% on coaching. This “we had a great week of practice” stuff isn’t fooling anyone anymore. Oregon is now staring into the abyss of needing to run the table to become eligible for a bowl game. That’s not going to happen. Not with the current attitude displayed by certain players on the field. At this point, escaping the Civil War with a win will be considered a high point of the season and a moral victory. Gross. We all deserve better. Sorry if this recap feels half-assed and mailed in, but it’s hard to find inspiration to write about gameplay that resembles those very things.
@JonathanAdams – Grade: F
I want to talk to you about something I call the “halftime sandwich.” The most delicious halftime sandwich–the Dagwood, if you will— is when your team scores to end the first half and again to begin the second half without the other team getting the ball. It’s a two-for-one and it can completely change a game. The opposite–the veritable three-decker toadstool and sauerkraut sandwich with arsenic sauce–is when your opponent does that to you. Well, Oregon has been forced to eat this disgusting concoction FIVE TIMES this season. Once or twice is just bad luck, I guess, but five times takes a special blend of clock mismanagement and some sort of weird de-motivational speech at halftime. Like, what are they doing in the locker room for 20 minutes? Because letting your opponent score on their first possession after halftime seven times in nine games speaks to a staff either unable or unwilling to make adjustments.
@GoDucksTroll – Grade: F
The Oregon staff was out coached by USC’s. This team has some combination of being short on talent, suffering from bad play calling or has completely given up. All of that is on the head coach.
@JaRomney – Grade: F
Hillary Clinton did Benghazi. Mark Helfrich lost the Alamo. Mark set the country back further than I’ve ever seen. Let’s make Amregon great again.