Week 4 Recap: Arizona State vs. Oregon

OFFENSE

@BigShaun Grade: C-

You ever have one of those days where everything just looked out of sync? That’s how I felt watching the offense on Saturday. There is no way to know if it is coaching or lack of player execution, but the offense looked wholly unprepared for the constant blitzing of a Todd Graham team. Herbz looked frazzled at times. That may be attributable to his relative youth showing through. It may not be. But it was prevalent. If I had to pick one play to represent the whole game for the offense, it was the botched hand-off on the zone read to Royce that resulted in a fumble. The whole play was a clusterf&$k. Overall, I would say that this may be the worst game Herbz has played against a team that doesn’t wear purple and smell like dog crap. He overthrew several balls. I felt like he was trying to force the deep ball. But that also may be because there aren’t many middle pass routes in the playbook. I don’t know enough of about the Gulf Coast offense yet to be able to have formed an educated opinion.

I feel like it would be remiss not to say that the game may have had a different outcome if the receivers had not exchanged the stick ‘em gloves for the kind that apparently repel footballs. Herbz put multiple balls on the money in only a place where his WR could make the grab only to watch the ball fly off the receiver’s hands like thing where you put two magnets together that are polar opposites.

The offensive line play took a step back this week in a big way. It was frustrating to watch Royce not be able to get to the second level of the defense consistently.

Offensively it was just a weird game.

@JaRomney Grade: C

35 points? A tad over 400 yards? Against THAT defense? Woof. On Saturday Oregon ran an offense that makes the novice Madden player blush. Some teams “dink and dunk”, Oregon “chucked and trapped.” Throw it long, run it up the middle. Every single time. My dudes, ASU blitzes every play, mix in some easy quick passes underneath. Barf.

@GoDucksTroll Grade: D

The offensive game plan was confusing, but it could be a lack of execution. The offensive line couldn’t block in the first half, particularly in the middle, which led to a non-existent running game, which led to having third and long, which led to the Ducks throwing low percentage long-bomb passes. There were drops, hi Brenden Schooler, and it was ugly at times. They found some rhythm in the second half, but it wasn’t enough.

@JonathanAdams Grade: D-

1-for-11 on 3rd down. Barely 400 yards of offense. A comically bad turnover. One first down and 16 total plays on five drives in the middle of the first half. And all of this vs. a defense that is, outside of maybe Oregon State, the worst they will face in the Pac-12.

But they did come back from 17 down to take the lead in the second half, so that’s a dim light at the end of a dark tunnel.

@UODUCKGIRL Grade: B-

They got us in striking distance but the first half was so miserable. Also, the penalties were really frustrating to watch. 14/99 yards I think was the final count. Make it hard to get in an offensive grove, but they didn’t give up so I was pretty happy about that.

DEFENSE

@BigShaun Grade: C

We found maybe a new star on the D line! Jelks balled out. We’re now up to what, 2.5 – 3 standouts on the defensive side of the ball? No matter the outcome it is refreshing to see a defense constantly getting pressure in the backfield and getting some coveted TFLs and sacks.

The loss of Hotchkins is big considering the lack of size and depth at LB. Dye, while he’s a baller, isn’t the biggest LB we have seen. And Apelu, well, I think my 10-year-old son is about his size. I wish I were kidding, I am definitely not kidding. Plus, Apelu was a penalty machine on Saturday.

Oregon is just not deep enough in the front 7 yet to put together consistent performances on the defensive side of the ball. They are showing flashes of goodness, which is all we really could hope for at this point, but it’s a work in progress. With that said, the team was stopping a 3rd and 26 away from probably winning that game. But, these are the growing pains you (should) expect to see in the rebuilding process. If you don’t expect to see them, well, that’s a you problem.

@JaRomney Grade: B

Thirteen tackles for loss, Jelks with three sacks, and held ASU to 2.7 yards per rush. Oregon won, right? Easily! Oh…crap. This game showed Oregon’s deficiencies in the front 7 on the second level. Troy Dye is a middle linebacker amongst himself. Oregon has to bring safeties up just on the threat of Manny Wilkins keeping ball. When you do that, you leave the cornerbacks on an island all alone. It only takes a few of those battles to go the wrong way to tilt the game. Hello, third and 27!

@GoDucksTroll Grade: C

If you take out the inability to stop Arizona State’s stud WR N’Keal Harry it wasn’t THAT bad. Jalen Jelks delivered an incredibly performance with 5 TFLs and 3 sacks, and Arrion Springs and Thomas Graham did make some plays. There was pressure on Wilkins at times, but most of our linebackers played like 2016 Oregon linebackers. Allowing a completion on 3rd and 27, in single coverage on Harry is inexcusable.

@JonathanAdams Grade: D +

I guess I’m grading on a curve here, but if they had any help at all from the offense in the first half, Oregon wins this game. They started slow, allowing scores on ASU’s first three possessions, but then forced four straight punts…and the offense proceeded to contribute as much as I did, and I was sitting on the couch in my pajamas.

@UODUCKGIRL Grade: A

Jalen. Jelks. The End.

D did come through on some turn overs keeping them to field goals instead of 7pts so definitely a huge improvement over the last few years.

SPECIAL TEAMS

@BigShaun Grade: WTF

Nothing more to say here other than the special teams, other than the opening kickoff return of the season, have been mostly below average. I feel like that is as much a coaching issue as it is a specialist’s issue. Frankly, they need to put that fake WWE belt down for a while. None of them deserve it right now.

@JaRomney Grade: D

A complete non-factor. I’m not giving too much credit for the Sun Devil punt returner vomiting on himself to end the second quarter.

@GoDucksTroll Grade: D

He recovered muffed punt return keeps this from being an F, but it’s embarrassing to be beaten by a Todd Graham onside kick in the first quarter. After they couldn’t protect the punter earlier, a swing of 10 points. Adam Stack did punt well later. The questionable hold on Apelu on the last kick return was painful, robbing the Ducks of excellent field position and a chance to win it.

@JonathanAdams Grade: C-

Giving up the onside kick was god-awful, but they did force a turnover that led to a score. Averaging 40+ yards per punt was good to see, and Dillon Mitchell had nice night returning punts (9.7 yards per return, no fumbles).

@UODUCKGIRL Grade: A

Mr. Aidan Schneider. I don’t know if it’s the pornstache or what but he’s got those PATs down to a science. Missing Charles Nelson though, badly, and hope he is back for Cal.

COACHES

@BigShaun Grade: D

Alert: Hot Take Coming in, ummmm, Hot

I think that loss was the coaching staff’s fault. The team was horribly undisciplined in their play this week which manifested itself in 12232423 penalized yards on more than a baker’s dozen penalties. That has got to stop if this team is to have any success. And that is 95.834% on the coaches to make that happen. The offense seems ill-equipped or ill-prepared to deal with a team that blitzes a lot. It’s not some trade secret that Todd Graham teams blitz a lot. Tempe is not Pyongyang. Cameras and the media are allowed there. The play calling was not what you would expect to see against a blitzing team and that troubled me a bit. There were not very many hot routes, quick passes in the middle, bubble screens, etc.

Another complaint I have with the play calling. I have after 4 weeks now is the reliance on the RB screen on 3rd and long. It has been called multiple times this season now. It feels like it’s a safety valve to be able to punt just a few yards closer instead of a real attempt to get the 15 yards needed.

I know, I’m just a guy writing this from my very comfy desk chair and what do I know – blah blah. Well this here is the interwebz, and that means I’m an expert

@JaRomney Grade: C

Choppy and predictable offense, special teams showing up like it’s their last day on the job and just surfing the net all day. Without the defense getting after Wilkins, the grade isn’t even a C. By the way, perhaps this penalty thing should be addressed?

@GoDucksTroll Grade: D

The team came out flat, but the coaches made excellent adjustments. The execution was questionable, but the defensive adjustments give me hope for the future. Getting out coached by Todd Graham is embarrassing, there’s no other way to describe it. This isn’t a team that can afford 14(!!!) penalties. Two of which were for too many men on the field, which is solely on the coaches. I did enjoy seeing Willie chew out TBJ for his excessive celebration, accountability is something we’ve been lacking.

@JonathanAdams Grade: F

You can’t lose to Todd Graham. You just can’t. And the dude even tried to give you the game on a damn silver platter and you still lost. Like, who says “No thank you” to Todd Graham when he’s Todd Graham-ing a game? Brutal.

@UODUCKGIRL Grade: B

I say this a lot I am not a coach so I don’t know any better but some of the play calling seemed a bit odd especially at the very end. We will see how they respond at Cal. I think that will show what kind of team they are.

OVERALL

@BigShaun Grade: D+

That was a very winnable game that we found every possible thing we had to do to lose. It was a fire. It’s like the Gorge Fire. It hurts to watch it happen but is a natural part of the process. Soon new flowers and trees will spring from the ashes. Or whatever.

@JaRomney Grade: C-

Oregon lost to ASU. The grade should be lower, but I’m grading off a Bhellf Curve.

@GoDucksTroll Grade: F

They shouldn’t have lost this game, it was the best non-OSU match-up on the schedule. Tons of penalties, uninspired third down conversion attempts, defensive breakdowns. I was predicting an 8-win season, and I’m sticking with that. But that won’t happen if they continue to play below their talent level like this. We’re young, I’m expecting huge improvements game-to-game, but this was painful to watch.

@JonathanAdams Grade: F

I see nothing positive about this. They lost to a crap team with a crap coach. For god’s sake, they got flagged for lining up in the neutral zone on a punt. That’s the dude Willie should have been yelling at on the sideline. Hashtag TBJ did nothing wrong.

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