Week 2 Recap: Nebraska vs Oregon

FINAL: Nebraska 35, Oregon 42

LINK TO BOX SCORE

LINK TO PREDICTIONS

 

OFFENSE

@SwooshMcDuck – Grade: B
Spectacular. Solid. Ineffective. All of those phases as the game progressed. Herbert’s pass to Schooler for the touchdown is one of the best throws I think I’ve ever witnessed in person. Freeman came out of the game limping before halftime & never quite regained Rolls Royce status after that. Rumor was Herbert was having his throwing hand iced on the sideline between drives after halftime, & judging by the throws in the 2nd half of the game it seems to be true. Passes were behind the receivers or just off. The crispness that was there in the 1st half was gone. Still 566 yards of offense is nothing to be mad about.

 

@JonathanAdams – Grade: B
First half: Willie is Chip 2.0! Herbert is Marcus 2.0! Autzen jumbotron gonna need a third digit!

Second half: It smells Helfrich-y in here.

 

@BigShaun – Grade: B-
The offense hummed in the first half. Herbz had 3 bills through the air and a couple TDs, Royce had about 70yrd and a couple TDs, one where he thought he was superman. Everybody was swag surfin’ their butts of. Then, halftime happened.

The offense came out very flat in the second half. The word is that Herbz hurt his throwing hand. I never saw him ice it, but people say he did so I will have to believe that. With the passing game kaput, the corn cobs stacked the box and it was Royce for two yards in a cloud of dust, over and over. From home it got a bit concerning because we didn’t know about Herbz and the play calling looked suspect. I’ll have the give the benefit of the doubt for now. the bully package seemed successful until it got predictable on the deep shot into triple coverage. Chalk that up to some growing pains of new staff and a new package, in my opinion.

Overall, the offense flashes but fizzled. As such, the grade reflects it.

 

@NoNattyForYou – Grade: B-
Let’s start with the good. They scored 42 points. Herbert looked like a 1st round QB (for a half). Royce had a great game once again, and provided he doesn’t get hurt will probably get close to 1800 yards this season. The bad? Anything and everything in the second half. What a pathetic display. The O Line deserves special mention here, as they got mauled by a bunch of 270 lbs farm boys on the second half.

 

@PatronusIsOtter – Grade: C+
The Oregon offense put on a show that would make Robert Louis Stevenson proud. At half, Oregon had 409 yards of offense, 16 first downs, and 42 points. They were averaging 9.1 YPP and looked nigh unstoppable. Justin Herbert was 21-25 for 313 yards, 3 TDs, and a passer rating of 228.8. Pretty solid. Then we hit halftime and I’m really unsure of what happened in that locker room, but I think someone Monstar’d the Ducks offense. The Ducks finished with 566 yards of offense, 22 first downs, and.. 42 points. They couldn’t convert on third down, they couldn’t sustain drives, and it certainly didn’t seem like it was anything Nebraska was doing differently. This second half was a head scratcher, I guess we’ll see.

 

@GoDucksTroll – Grade: B
Excuse the less than original take, but this was a tale of two halves. In the first half the Ducks were on fire, in the second half the run/pass ratio was about 3:1 and the team stalled out. Let’s look at the positives, and that is that we have the best running back in the country, a solid offensive line, and a QB who throws darts. The negatives are that the WR and TE groups are short of experience. We have guys there that can make plays, but it’s going to be a nerve wracking season.

 

@JARomney – Grade: B
First half was about as good as it gets. OREGON WAS BACK, BABY! The second half offense resembled something that used to be used as a means to get prisoners to talk at Guantanamo Bay. Almost 600 yards of total offense, and Yung Herbz spent the first half looking like the next Oregon player to get an invite to the Heisman Trophy ceremony. Then…. Willie saw all the red and thought he was back at USF, and was playing SMU? Tortuous. Hopefully Willie and the offensive coaches walked home and thought about what they did after intermission.

 

@DMDoubleG – Grade: C-
42 points in the first half: good.
0 points In the second half: bad.

Not much more to say about offense. The play of the receivers was again encouraging, considering that was perhaps our lone weak spot on offense going into camp. While it is still our weakest area, it clearly is a group loaded with ample talent. Charles Nelson looks faster every week, and has clearly become a leader within that group.

Not sure what the problem was in the second half. Was the play calling bad? Was the execution bad? Was the Nebraska defense good? D, All of the above? Probably D. I would need to rewatch with an objective eye, rather than one expecting heartbreak.

 

@UODuckGirl – Grade: A-
Ok, I know this might seem generous to some but they DID score 42 points in the first half so that counts for something. I don’t know what happened in the second half. I heard a rumor that Tag was trying to take it easy and save up everything for Pac 12 play? I hope that’s true, the play calling or should I say play call (Herb to Royce) was off. Herbs was soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good. Oh congrats to Schooler on his 1st TD!!!

 

 

DEFENSE

@SwooshMcDuck – Grade: B+
I want to give out an “A” grade, but there are still a lot of mistakes being made on coverages & tackling. Outside of those mistakes, OH MY GAWD WE HAZ A DEFENSE! Actual takeaways! I remember those fondly in the games of my youth. The offense handed the defense a huge lead to protect & then went to bed. The defense wasn’t perfect, but it was good enough to get the job done when it counted. (I believe ya boi Swooshy said the key to Oregon winning was stops in critical situations & being able to slow down Nebraska’s offense just slightly, leading to a dramatic shootout. But that’s none of my business. *sips tea*) Thomas Graham Jr. looks like he could be a legit stud even as a Freshman. He was rarely out of position on Saturday & showed great athleticism & instincts. He along with Troy Dye could actually form the secondary into something formidable.

 

@JonathanAdams – Grade: B
At first I was super-excited that Oregon held an opponent under 400 yards of total offense for the second straight game, but then I found out they did it in three straight games in 2014 under Don Pellum and that really mellowed my optimism. Nebraska’s first two possessions of the second half were 2016 all over again, with basically no resistance as the Huskers needed just 12 plays and 4:06 of game time to cut Oregon’s lead in half. But unlike last year, they adjusted and made a bunch of big plays to save the day while the offense was busy punching themselves in the face.

 

@BigShaun – Grade: B
If you would’ve asked me 2.5 weeks ago if I thought the defense was going to be my bright spot in week two I would have laughed at you for a really long time and called you all sorts of synonyms for the word dumbass. But, here we are. WATTBA.

(4) picks – (2) by the new star, Thomas Graham. I’m sure you all hang on every word on my twitter feed and so I know you’re familiar with my repetitive attempts to mention him. I’ll be honest, my arm is pretty sore from my self back-patting here. It was a coup the way Taggs and Co was able to salvage anything from the last recruiting cycle, and Graham may end up being the gem of that effort.

I’m also very impressed by how, when he’s got fresh legs, Scott controls the center. Kid will be a beast after a couple years with Coach O. Ugo made me want to grow some hair so I could pull it out and then HE TOTALLY REDEED HIMSELF. And number 11 on D is a beast off the end.

I’m stoked for what Leavitt and crew has this team doing and the improvement they’re showing.

 

@NoNattyForYou – Grade: B+
The defense played better than the offense. They continue to look organized (besides the busted coverage TD) and more importantly everyone is trying. Springs still sucks, and the MLBs (*cough* Apelu *cough*) just aren’t PAC-12 caliber. Scott is going to be an absolute beast on the defensive line come next year and gave Nebraska’s line problems all game long.

 

@PatronusIsOtter – Grade: B+?
Look I don’t really know if the defense is any good still. Nebraska had 361 yards of offense, had 19 first downs, went 2-2 on fourth down and held the ball for almost 30 minutes. They were 2-14 on 3rd down which looks great but Oregon really didn’t put them in a ton of really long yardage 3rd downs. Troy Dye had 11 tackles and a sack, Thomas Graham had 2 picks and contributed to a third which Tyree Robinson ended up with. Ugochukwu Amadi also had a pick. The big thing is that Oregon’s offense did the defense no favors in the second half and put Nebraska in good field position time after time but the defense, even giving up 21 in the second half, saved Oregon’s bacon in a big way.

 

@GoDucksTroll – Grade: B
The Ducks gave up 35 points to Nebraska, a year after our awful defense gave up… 35 points to Nebraska. Despite that stat, the only that really matters, the performance was infinitely better. Nebraska was held to 2/14 on 3rd down. This, and the Southern Utah game, are the best third down performances since Nichols State. That was back in 2012. I’m serious, I went through every box score. Jim Leavitt knows defense, just like he knows the sweet and refreshing taste of Pepsi Cola. Also, four interceptions! FOUR! That’s a season’s worth for a Brady Hoke defense. Thomas Graham Jr, who I praised last week, came up with two of them and assisted on another. Between him and Troy Dye we’re seeing some special players. This isn’t a great defense, but the improvement between last year and this year is all we can hope for.

 

@JARomney – Grade: B
35 points allowed is only a good feeling after you’ve spent two season getting Pellum’d, only to see some dude from San Diego State come in and make the defense even worse. But… If Oregon allows 361 yards of offense, as they did vs Nebraska, they may just find themselves in a bowl played before December 14th! The Ducks picked off Tulane University legend, Tanner Lee, 4 times. 4! I think that’s 4 more interceptions than the team had the entire 2016 season. And hey, holding Nebraska to 109 yards rushing in 29 carries is like actually pretty impressive. Honestly, I can’t even make a snarky comment about that. The offense did the defense no favors in the second half.

PS-Thomas Graham, hell yeah.

 

@DMDoubleG – Grade: B
Look, we’re not Alabama. You can’t aak/expect perfection from your defense when your offense is giving you nothing back. Even so, the D stepped up and MADE PLAYS when it mattered most — something this team had been sorely missing over the last few seasons. The whole second half I kept saying “man, we could realllly use a takeaway right now,” and then boom! Another interception. The front 7 looked again like the strength of the defense, while the secondary showed continued improvement. While many came in skeptical about DB Thomas Graham, I think he answered any questions we may have had. Long story short: he’s a talented freshman. He made some freshman mistakes, but he also made some huge veteran plays. We’ll take it.

 

@UODuckGirl – Grade: A+++
The defense was amazing! Especially Moi / Umadi to save the game in the 4th. I have a bad feeling if that had not happened, Corn Nobs score, we go into OT and we are all eating humble corn pie for dinner instead of delicious Track Town. Defense stepped UP and holy Graham with the tackling. This guy is so so good. So I think this answers all the doubters about our Defense….right?

 

 

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

@SwooshMcDuck – Grade: C+
There was nearly zero return game on Saturday as Nebraska focused on neutralizing Oregon’s returners. Schneider, all glory be to the ‘stache, was 6/6 on XP’s & 0/1 on FGA’s.

 

@JonathanAdams – Grade: D
29 total yards on four kickoff and punt returns, lousy second half punting (three punts, none of which went more than 39 yards), and a missed field goal. Gross. Not an F because they discovered that it is not, in fact, against the rules to attempt PATs vs. Nebraska.

 

@BigShaun – Grade: C-
Fumbled kick and missed FG.

 

@NoNattyForYou – Grade: D
HOW HAS OREGON NOT FOUND A KICKER YET?

 

@PatronusIsOtter – Grade: B
Nothing super special went on here, Adam Stack got the start at punter and managed 37 yards per punt and had a long of 43. Trusty Aidan Schneider let me down and missed his only field goal attempt, but made all 6 of his PATs. Could kind of give the special teams an incomplete for this game, it feels like they didn’t really have an impact on either side of the ball.

 

@GoDucksTroll – Grade: C
I was going for the D grade, thinking about a rare Aidan Schneider miss and lack of return game. Then I remembered that we converted all of our extra points and held Nebraska’s return game in check.

 

@JARomney – Grade: B (?)
LOL I only notice special teams play when it’s terrible, so I’ll give it a ‘B’ out of laziness.

 

@DMDoubleG – Grade: C
Not the best day on ST. Not the worst day. You pass.

 

@UODuckGirl – Grade: No Grade
I can’t remember for some reason anything standing out about ST. I know Schneider missed a field goal but that’s all I recall.

 

 

COACHING

@SwooshMcDuck – Grade: B+
This one is hard to grade not knowing if there were injuries to both Freeman & Herbert significant enough to cause Willie T to change up the gameplan that had worked so flawlessly in the 1st half. If so, I can see how Willie played to simply not lose. A risky gamble for sure, given the recent history of Oregon’s defense & their ability to protect any lead, no matter how big. He gambled big & he won, this time. Coach Leavitt’s defense is showing signs of life & confidence. Things that haven’t been seen since 2014. If only we can find someone to teach tackling though. Ugh.

 

@JonathanAdams – Grade: B-
We got Willie Swag-gart in the first half and Willie WhateverTheOppositeOfSwagIs-gart in the second half. Dude got tight, it happens. My 2016 PTSD kicked in during the 4th quarter when, by my count, they could have milked at least a minute more off the game clock by waiting until the play clock got closer to low single digits before snapping the ball. And if you think that doesn’t matter, please watch the 4th quarter of 2015 UO-WSU. (Hahaha just kidding. I don’t want your eyes to start bleeding.)

One last quibble: when it’s 3rd and 3 and you know you’re going to go on 4th down, RUN THE BALL ON 3RD DOWN! You can’t keep saying how your running backs are the best in the nation and then throw the ball on two straight plays when you only need three yards.

That first half, though, was something else. I wasn’t sure we’d get that version of Oregon at all this season, so to see it in the second game really says a lot about how well the coaching staff has performed in their nine months in Eugene.

 

@BigShaun – Grade: B+
I’m stoked Taggs stuck up for Herbz and got that unsportsmanlike call. Having a coach with emotion is refreshing. The defensive coaches, if they keep this up, may be up for saint hood after the miracles they have worked in the first two weeks. It’s incredible. The offense faltered in the second half and the playbook seemed to get somewhat thin as well. But, we still got the win and the team battled the whole way. So, for now, I don’t have to remember the Alamo. I think things against Wyoming will go a little more swimmingly.

 

@NoNattyForYou – Grade: F
If Lee manages to not trip over his own dick, I (and I assume a lot of others) are calling for Taggart’s head. If we’re gonna blow 4 score leads in big games, we might as well do it with a coaching staff that keeps us off probation. The whole 2nd half was an abomination from both a strategic and play calling standpoint on offense.

 

@PatronusIsOtter – Grade: B
It was alright. I am somewhat concerned about the play-calling the entire second half when Oregon was up big and it seemed like #Swaggart decided to drop all of the swag. Playing not to lose is a surefire way to be in close games and probably lose more than you’re going to win. Oregon played not to lose a ton last year and well, we all know how that ended up. Willie needs to keep his foot on the gas, and it seemed like he had zero interest in doing that this game. That won’t fly against USC, Washington, or Stanford. Punted on a couple 4th and 1 or 2 yards that I wish he had attempted to convert also, but I’m much more puzzled by the second half play-calling.

 

@GoDucksTroll – Grade: B
We can criticize Willie for getting all conservative and almost blowing a 28 point lead. We would have criticized him even more if they kept passing and blew a 28 point lead. I can’t fault him for running Royce Freeman up the middle. An ugly win toward the end, but 2-0 sounds pretty damn good to me. Going to need more energy going forward.

 

@JARomney – Grade: B-
Leavitt and company acquitted themselves well enough. He isn’t exactly working with blue chip talent out there, yet. Again, the offensive staff better be walking to and from practice all week. When you’re the hot knife going through butter, don’t put the knife down. The second half resembled a high school basketball game in which one team is so overmatched they just hold the ball for minutes at a time, hoping to win like 8-7.

 

@DMDoubleG – Grade: C
Clearly, something in the second half just wasn’t there. Getting shutout against an average-at-best defense is inexcusable. The only reason we won this game was because we built an ultimately insurmountable lead in the first half, and got some very fortuitous bounces on defense.

 

@UODuckGirl – Grade: A
Love it and Leavitt! D was obviously on fire! Offensively again not sure exactly what the plan was and I am not on the staff so I am not going to speculate and just hope that they are saving it all up for Pac12 play. Still scored 42 points and won the game so they #didsomething right!

 

 

OVERALL

@SwooshMcDuck – Grade: B
Oregon did just enough to squeak out a win over an “okay” Nebraska team, but lets hope this isn’t a sign of things to come. This game gave desperately needed confidence to the team on both sides of the ball & showed them they are capable of hanging in with tougher, larger competition. We need this Oregon team to show up once conference play starts. Ride the wave & Swag Surf into Laramie now.

As an aside, I’m going to be taking a self-imposed hiatus from social media for a little bit for my mental health & just a chance to decompress. During that time I’ll also work on my use of the Oxford comma, I know you’re reading this Jordan! Never fear, I will return with more terrible takes & predictions. In the meantime, others will fill in for me or maybe not at all. We’re a low budget operation & talent like mine isn’t cheap to replace.

 

@JonathanAdams – Grade: B
This was the football equivalent of sleeping though the final exam but still passing the class because you aced all the quizzes and did every single extra credit assignment.

 

@BigShaun – Grade: B
Overall, I continue to be impressed with the progress of the team, both in the field and off with overall culture. Taggs and crew has the team bought in and we see glimmers of improvement in all facets. I’m still very satisfied when I view this from the 1000ft level.

 

@NoNattyForYou – Grade: C
Got the W, so in the end that’s all that matters. Taggart better get his shit together this week though, because losing to a FCS team in week 3 won’t be a good look.

 

@PatronusIsOtter – Grade: B+
Oregon won the game, Oregon would have lost this game last year. That’s really all that needs to be said. Oregon needs to clean up the penalties, another 12 for 103 yards. You can’t beat yourself against teams that are better than Nebraska, which is most of the Pac-12 and maybe even Wyoming. Oregon beat an opponent they should have beat at home in a game they controlled from about 2 minutes in. Onto Wyoming and Josh Allen.

 

@GoDucksTroll – Grade: B
Not the prettiest win, but we saw the potential this Ducks team has. I was thinking this is an 8 or 9 win team going into the season, and this is what they’re looking like.

 

@JARomney – Grade: B
It was fine. Oregon may not be back (they aren’t), but you could see from the jump they have better athletes than Nebraska does. They won, they should have, it just shouldn’t have been that close. This is a rebuilding year, so beating Nebraska on the road in Lincgene, was a positive building block.

 

@DMDoubleG – Grade: C
This was perhaps the first time I’ve ever watched my team hold a 14 point lead that felt like a 7 point deficit. Is Nebraska “good?” Probably not, no. They will almost certainly be in the bottom 6 of teams we will play this year. But a Power 5 opponent is a Power 5 opponent. They have 5 National championships. Obviously, the recruit well. This win may not have been pretty, but in the end, that’s all it will go down as: a win.

 

 

#GoDucks

 

 

 

 

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