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FishDuck Article

Under Cristobal: No Promised Land Without Dramatic Changes

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I wrote those words up in the title in the first month of Mario Cristobal‘s first season in 2018, and wrote them again in an article last year, that you would think was written right after this last game with Stanford. Same issues, same underperformance and same game management. Steward Mandell quoted my final line of that article for one ...

 

Read the full article here...

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FishDuck: in the Top 1% in the World for 2020 (again) for pages read.  And All-Volunteer? An incredible community of Duck fans!

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Definitely agree that it's time to let TT start.  Now is the perfect time with a bye week and Cal coming to town....will give him 3 weeks before having to deal with the hyper-aggressive blitzing UCLA defense.  

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When do you move a player down?   ANSWER: When you are sure he isn't going to get better. 

 

Brown has had 5 games and this was his worst. 

Other players on the team have gotten better.  Some, I just don't think will be that great, but they still provide depth. 

 

The offense can change with a new QB.  The defense needs bigger changes.  Stanford drove 90 yds in 2 minutes.  All due to the wrong scheme. 

Helfrich did himself in when he hired Brady Hoke and stuck with him.  Why did they allow a first down on that 2nd and 15 or 20?  Just tackle them in bounds short of the chains and burn out the clock. 

 

Will Cristobal stick with Brown?   Will Cristobal stick with the defensive scheme that doesn't cover receivers?

------------------------------------------------

 

When Oregon used to lose 'big games' like  LSU and Ohio St before this year, they did it largely because their linemen couldn't compete.  But against Stanford, the Ducks had better linemen.  Oregon was taking over the game in the second half. 

 

Stanford won with a better QB and better offensive and defensive schemes.   Watching your favorite team underperform is hard.  All we want as fans is for this team to play up to their potential.  Then if they lose to Alabama or Georgia in the playoffs, we will say it was a good year just to get there. 

 

But this loss feels like the losses to Boise St.  We know we should be winning games like this. 

 

Just like my criticism with Brown, who isn't improving, Cristobal also isn't improving the schemes.  Many players are improving, which is very good. 

Dye and Verdell fought hard to break tackles and get extra yards - something missing from their game for a long time. 

 

There are still 7 games left plus another one or two, depending on how things go.  I want to see the schemes improve this year.  The defense took a downturn this year and the offense has been not good since Cristobal took over. 

 

This is a rebuilding year.  Not rebuilding the players, but rebuilding the identity of Oregon football and what the game plan is.  I just want to start seeing plays and schemes that make sense for modern college football. 

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Yeah, the adage about insanity, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, is playing out with Mario's Ducks. We were nervous before the game against Stanford and watched as our fears were realized. Oregon never looked smooth on offense, the lack of Morehead certainly accounted for some of that, but with him or without him, Brown was still the QB.

 

The defense wasn't much better, until the 2nd half when Stanford was out of gas. But then the Ducks got started going down the one way street the wrong way, and Stanford yanked another one from Oregon. As bad as the PI was at the end of the game, the Ducks fell behind at the start all on their own.

 

The timing is perfect for Thompson to start against Cal after the bye. 

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There has been a lot of coach speak about fundamentals, competition, physical dominance, elite talent levels, family culture always pointing to the amazing potential of this Ducks team. As of today, it is just talk. Smoke and mirrors. When all the ingredients are in place and the cake falls in the oven, don't blame the oven. Under Helfrich and then Taggart I used to say the team was a Ferrari. It was up on blocks in the coaches garage waiting for a new set of spark plugs. That seems to still be the case.

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I agree with your view that the Ty Thompson era should begin. The Ducks have only played to their potential in one game, the win in Columbus. Time to make the move to the future. If we play like we have since the Ohio State game, losses to UCLA, UW, and Oregon State are very possible. 

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I don't know if most have seen Ted Lasso, but Oregon is AFC Richmond if Ted actually coached. Ted isn't a soccer coach, just a great leader of men. He has no idea what a formation in soccer is or even how the game is played.

 

Mario is much like Ted Lasso. He is a great coach who is a leader of men. The difference is Ted knows he can't coach the sport. Until Mario steps aside and allows the coaches and the players he has put together to blend and mesh we will have the same outcomes Ted would have had if he wasn't so astute.

 

The great news is this is infinitely possible. Moorhead is a very good coach. I think DeRuyter is a good coach, we just need to see them coach. We also have the players they just have to be led on the field with the skill they deserve.

 

Mario needs to take a lesson from Ted and let the players play and the coaches who know what is going on coach. He needs to become that shrewd coach, or we are a bunch of screwed fans. Right now it's not looking good, Mario is the Peter principle in spades, but it doesn't have to stay that way.

 

When I was watching the end of the dawg, beav game I saw two coaches playing chess. Oh how I yearn for that type of thinking and those type of thought processes happening on our sideline, and that was one of the hardest statements to make so far on FD.

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I'm hearing the announcers voice at the end of a Batman TV episode in my head...

 

"After another disappointing season at UCLA,  Chip Kelly might be looking for a new job!!!

 

Did he burn some bridges when he left Eugene with sanctions left in his wake?

 

Would he be able to Win The Day years later with a new Ducks team?

 

Would MC players enter the portal and would we see decommits? 

 

Would Helfrich and Scott Frost re-join Kelly for a remake of Batman, Robin, and Alfred? 

 

Stay tuned. Same Duck time. Same Duck channel."

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Count me in for the switch to the Ty Thompson era. Oregon has not played well since the win in Columbus. As Duck loyalists we are used to having our dreams shattered, but yesterday's loss was as painful as I can remember. Inexcusable. If we play like we have been since returning from Ohio, it is likely that we could lose to UCLA, UW and OSU. It shouldn't be so, but it is a real possibility.

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On AB it is only going to get worse. When you have those kind of glaring holes in your game any defensive coordinator worth his salt is going to destroy Oregon's offense. AB was almost picked by the same guy on the same play twice, and that will only be the beginning of his downfall.

 

Much like a pitcher who fools teams when he first plays them. Teams start to figure out his game, and unless he is extremely wily the honeymoon is over and the pitcher is doomed. Anthony Brown's game isn't dynamic and he isn't crafty at all. 

 

Many were impressed with Shough's ability to run last year, I was one of them. It then became clear he was just panicking. The game was way too fast for him, and maybe he was just put in too fast.

 

It is becoming evident AB is also panicking, not making reads and just running. He has gotten lucky, but he is also down to less than 3 yds a run, teams are figuring him out.

 

We may have the same experience with one of the young guns, but we are going to have to work through the angst. It is time for the future, even if it is like Kellen Clemens first pass straight to a linebacker.  We can't have anymore 1-6 starts with an interception without an expected upside down the road. 

 

With AB there is no upside next year. He has given us, luckily, a good start, but it is time to move on to our future.

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Once again, the perfect storm on a cloudless day down on the farm.

 

I agree, time for new blood at QB. a sixth year QB:

1) shouldn't be missing also most every long ball and where are the vertical calls?

2) mis-reading the D and getting stuffed at the goal line when Verdell would have walked in.

3) consistently throwing behind receivers over the middle.

 

With Moorehead, I think we win, but I still want to see more of a vertical game. Big time WR recruits must be re thinking their decisions.

 

But, we did have our Defensive coordinator, at least I think we did or was he on chicken soup duty for Moorehead?

 

The silver lining, uw can't pin the first L on us!

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On 10/3/2021 at 3:16 AM, oregon112 said:

When Oregon used to lose 'big games' like  LSU and Ohio St before this year, they did it largely because their linemen couldn't compete.  But against Stanford, the Ducks had better linemen.  Oregon was taking over the game in the second half. 

 

Stanford won with a better QB and better offensive and defensive schemes. 

 

This is a GREAT observation that I was going to write about later, but you beat me to it.  "We will never win the big one with Chip because he cannot recruit the stud linemen needed."  Now it is, "we have the talent, but not the scheme, the coaching to go with it."  

 

giphy.gif

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Mr. FishDuck

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On 10/3/2021 at 6:30 AM, duckncover said:

There has been a lot of coach speak about fundamentals, competition, physical dominance, elite talent levels, family culture always pointing to the amazing potential of this Ducks team. As of today, it is just talk.

 

Yes, the percentage of fans becoming less forgiving and seeing through the coach-speak is growing...

 

And duckncover....you are new, and do keep giving us your thoughts, post often and WELCOME!

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Mr. FishDuck

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On 10/3/2021 at 6:59 AM, Haywarduck said:

Mario needs to take a lesson from Ted and let the players play and the coaches who know what is going on coach. He needs to become that shrewd coach, or we are a bunch of screwed fans

 

Haywarduck...you are killing it with incredible comments.  Great insight that I agree with...whew!

Mr. FishDuck

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On 10/3/2021 at 7:05 AM, Duck 68 said:

Oregon has not played well since the win in Columbus.

 

You are new Duck 68, and I wish to welcome you and invite you to post often.

Mr. FishDuck

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Also there was more than one positive, but how about Nate Heaukulani, 8 tackles!

 

A young man who could't get a look from any college out of high school, but worked, worked some more, then kept working and is now getting it done for Oregon, love, love this story!

 

CJ Verdell, just a warrior, I hope he gets back soon! I haven't been his biggest fan, but how can you not respect his work ethic, and just bleeding green and yellow!

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Charles, thanks for the tough to write 'mo(u)rning after observations.

 

I believe this statistic speaks for itself. I n the last 12 conference road games Mario Cristobal is 6-6.  This is generally in line with his overall record as G5/P5 head coach.

 

Something is not 'meshing.' The game plan is not being properly communicated to and executed by, the players.

 

Will 'this' change with another year of HC experience for Mario? Change due to the guys on the roster being a year older, but missing a guy like KT?

 

I'm not holding my breath. 

 

The problems are systemic. At the end of the day one person is responsible for systemic issues. That is the person in charge of the operation.

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Some observations / thoughts:

 

1) Oregon was ranked in the top 3 nationally and undefeated going into this game against Stanford. Historically speaking, were any of us really surprised by the result?

 

2) MC has managed to create an inverse relationship between recruiting class rankings and team performance/output.

 

3) I’ve seen a lot of “game management” comments. The second half of the game was dominated by Oregon. The two consecutive false start penalties committed by the offense on their “game winning” drive are not MC’s fault.

 

4) RE: overall game/team management, the offensive philosophy of grinding out wins with physicality and toughness generally means closer games with less margin for error. That is all on MC. I’d rather an opponent be mentally and emotionally defeated in the first half because they’re down by three scores, than be physically exhausted at the end, but have hope because it’s still only a one-score game.

 

5) KT did not commit a targeting foul. Refs had an outsized impact on the game when they kicked him out.

 

6) As long as MC continues to recruit lights out, this is the best way. Less planets have to align to win a NC for a team with stellar recruits and subpar system/philosophy than a team with the opposite scenario. Eventually, enough good players and good assistants will overcome MC and his Jurassic-Era brand of football. Think Ed Orgeron with LSU; good recruiter with old school philosophy. Eventually his players and assistants were good enough to overcome him.

Edited by cartm25
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On 10/3/2021 at 6:16 AM, oregon112 said:

When do you move a player down?   ANSWER: When you are sure he isn't going to get better. 

 

Brown has had 5 games and this was his worst. 

Other players on the team have gotten better.  Some, I just don't think will be that great, but they still provide depth. 

 

The offense can change with a new QB.  The defense needs bigger changes.  Stanford drove 90 yds in 2 minutes.  All due to the wrong scheme. 

Helfrich did himself in when he hired Brady Hoke and stuck with him.  Why did they allow a first down on that 2nd and 15 or 20?  Just tackle them in bounds short of the chains and burn out the clock. 

 

Will Cristobal stick with Brown?   Will Cristobal stick with the defensive scheme that doesn't cover receivers?

------------------------------------------------

 

When Oregon used to lose 'big games' like  LSU and Ohio St before this year, they did it largely because their linemen couldn't compete.  But against Stanford, the Ducks had better linemen.  Oregon was taking over the game in the second half. 

 

Stanford won with a better QB and better offensive and defensive schemes.   Watching your favorite team underperform is hard.  All we want as fans is for this team to play up to their potential.  Then if they lose to Alabama or Georgia in the playoffs, we will say it was a good year just to get there. 

 

But this loss feels like the losses to Boise St.  We know we should be winning games like this. 

 

Just like my criticism with Brown, who isn't improving, Cristobal also isn't improving the schemes.  Many players are improving, which is very good. 

Dye and Verdell fought hard to break tackles and get extra yards - something missing from their game for a long time. 

 

There are still 7 games left plus another one or two, depending on how things go.  I want to see the schemes improve this year.  The defense took a downturn this year and the offense has been not good since Cristobal took over. 

 

This is a rebuilding year.  Not rebuilding the players, but rebuilding the identity of Oregon football and what the game plan is.  I just want to start seeing plays and schemes that make sense for modern college football. 

 

Great observations. It is concerning that we saw a talented young QB retrogress last season. Seems  that we are witnessing the same with a CFB QB who is about as mature as one can get.

 

I thought from game 1 that Ty needed to see the field. I have seen nothing to change my mind. I just hope that TY will be coached up?

 

I am starting to think that Moorhead is more the OC he was at MS ST and not at Penn St when he had Barkley in the backfield?

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On 10/3/2021 at 7:23 AM, Haywarduck said:

It is becoming evident AB is also panicking, not making reads

 

 The interception wasn't even a missed read, he just didn't see the player in the red shirt, and later he didn't see another one, but the pass was so badly thrown the defender couldn't catch it either. 

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I understand the angst and frustration and feel it myself but my emotions are directed in a different direction.

 

Would we still be this upset had the official kept his damn flag in his pocket when time expired on the game, as he clearly should have? It was obvious what happened if you watch the replay.

 

Possibly.......... but not having watched the first half probably did wonders for my point of view of the game. 

 

I saw a Ducks team come roaring back and look pretty good on O and D. Then I saw the referees make insanely suspect calls on KT's targeting and a PI call that decided the game. 

 

Therefore I am having a hard time finding ways to blame this loss on poor coaching or the players. My angst and frustration is directed at one thing and one thing only and that is the delegitimizing of college football by very poor officiating. The players and the coaches did their job and won the game......one jacka$$ decided it was his day to be a big man.....to be important.

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On 10/3/2021 at 8:15 AM, cartm25 said:

Some observations / thoughts:

 

1) Oregon was ranked in the top 3 nationally and undefeated going into this game against Stanford. Historically speaking, were any of us really surprised by the result?

 

2) MC has managed to create an inverse relationship between recruiting class rankings and team performance/output.

 

3) I’ve seen a lot of “game management” comments. The second half of the game was dominated by Oregon. The two consecutive false start penalties committed by the offense on their “game winning” drive are not MC’s fault.

 

4) RE: overall game/team management, the offensive philosophy of grinding out wins with physicality and toughness generally means closer games with less margin for error. That is all on MC. I’d rather an opponent be mentally and emotionally defeated in the first half because they’re down by three scores, than be physically exhausted at the end, but have hope because it’s still only a one-score game.

 

5) KT did not commit a targeting foul. Refs had an outsized impact on the game when they kicked him out.

 

6) As long as MC continues to recruit lights out, this is the best way. Less planets have to align to win a NC for a team with stellar recruits and subpar system/philosophy than a team with the opposite scenario. Eventually, enough good players and good assistants will overcome MC and his Jurassic-Era brand of football. Think Ed Orgeron with LSU; good recruiter with old school philosophy. Eventually his players and assistants were good enough to overcome him.

You can’t recruit your way out of this mess because Cristobal will alway run up against a coach who can coach, strategize, and recruit.  As of now, we will be the SC of the north until the memory of the blur offense fades and more people see through Mario’s promise of “keeping of the Oregon offense tradition but tougher”.   When people catch on the ratings, sales, and recruits will dry up.  One caveat, I believe that he will be able to recruit defensive talent for the foreseeable future.

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On 10/3/2021 at 9:15 AM, Pocketchange said:

One caveat, I believe that he will be able to recruit defensive talent for the foreseeable future.

 

Ouch!  Pocketchange...that is superb gallows humor!

giphy.gif

Mr. FishDuck

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On 10/3/2021 at 9:13 AM, C J said:

The players and the coaches did their job and won the game......one jacka$$ decided it was his day to be a big man.....to be important.

 

I understand what you're saying. If the Ref hadn't made the call, the Ducks would have won. But it would have been the ugliest of the 5 this season. The Ducks got called for targeting on the opening kickoff! Scored 7 in the first half. On the Ducks final drive, Brown threw a pass when an incompletion stops the clock. When Stanford had to go 95 yards in the final minutes, the Ducks gave them 30 of them with penalties.

It was a bad call by the Ref, but I feel like the Ducks made more bad moves before that.

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Now that the playoff bubble has popped, does this team have the character to play hard the rest of the season?

 

Why have highly-rated wide receivers if the ball is never thrown?

 

How can Mario justify not starting Thompson now?

 

What is up with Moorhead and this "non-covid-related illness"?

 

How much of this loss is on the players?

 

Was the Ohio State game Oregon's true potential or a fluke?

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