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FishDuck Article

Cristobal Coaching: Should Oregon Continue to be “Tougher” or Play Smarter?

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The Mario Cristobal blocking priority is PHYSICALITY, drive blocking, or the “Mano-a-mano,” the I’m tougher than you emphasis as an offensive priority. “We’re blocking straight ahead we’re going to drive you backward!” Nothing says this more than the Plodding Pistol Plunge, as we fans have seen too much “tougher” and not enough “smarter.” Coach Cristobal wants to be physical, thus Oregon ...

 

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Smarter FASTER and tougher when required. 
 

The Ducks don’t confuse anyone, out tempo anyone, run away from anyone and don’t seem to be adept at forcing the issue against lesser teams. 
 

Speed kills in college particularly against inexperienced defenders. Ducks don’t have speed on offense and it shows. 

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Are we tougher?  We lose the first game of the season in every way except for turnover margin.  We got manhandled.  So we cannot be tougher.  Can we be smarter?  Not without risk.   Mario’s dream of making Oregon the Alabama of the pac 12 has been a complete failure.   Don’t believe me?   You will.     
 

 

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As I was watching college football on Saturday, I noticed quite a few short yardage situations, where the pistol plunge worked for other colleges.  However, that was their mix it up running play, instead of being the 10th time the team ran the play that day.

 

The sign of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result.  The best offensive game call this year was at Ohio State.  The Ducks running plays were extremely varied that day.  As has been said multiple times, do something the defense is expecting.  That is playing smarter.

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The last couple Saturdays, I realized I was having more fun watching games like Alabama-Texas A&M, Oklahoma-Texas, even watching ASU pound Stanford...and the contrast in offenses.  Oregon's old school attempt at smash-mouth football under MC has failed miserable.  Not quite as physical and beefy may have been the difference against Auburn in 2010, or tOSU in 2014.  In 2010 though, Chip's stubbornness may have been the difference...the 1st and goal at the 1 that went backwards for 3 plays?  The safety?  Is MC just too stubborn?  Even Alabama now uses up-tempo and spread.

 

I enjoyed those other games because of the diversity of play calling these teams used, as another commenter just stated, "we don't have speed and it shows."  And in today's games, speed is needed to win, look at Alabama today vs. 10 years ago when Saban was whining that a rule should be made slow the game down (because of OREGON!!!).  Alabama, Clemson (except this year) Oklahoma, tOSU...the perennial playoff teams and national champions (look at what Ed Orgeron did when he had the talent for one season!) have creative and diverse offenses.  Great article. 

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I want to really thank Coach Chuck Smith for his insight, his article and the time he is giving us as a volunteer moderator.  Can any of you spare some hours out of the 168 hours each week?  It is easy work, reading comments as you normally would...email me!

 

The Coach and I could not believe the timing of this article, as the Counter is his favorite play, and both Texas and the Chargers used it to win just this last weekend!  You rarely get recent examples of what you are trying to convey in an article like that very often. If you look at all the links--there are so many variations of the Counter can mess defenses up who try to stop it. 

 

But with the basics?  Who can forget Washington Redskins and the "Hogs" blocking for John Riggins in the famous "Counter Trey?"

 

John Riggins and Hogs.jpg

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Mr. FishDuck

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I think it comes down to the lens with which Mario sees the game of football. Does Mario see the game as a gladiator or a chess player? Mario definitely sees the game of football as a gladiator fight.

 

When the ball is hiked he wants it to be 'Mano-a-mano' as you stated. Lets see who is tougher and wins in the end, that fills him up.

 

The problem is the game of football has moved beyond the gladiator phase and it is now a chess game. The next move is based on the previous, setting up the next. It isn't just let's keep punching until the other gives up.

 

Even the game of chess has evolved into what is called 'blitz chess,' or speed chess. Few want to watch a chess game, but speed chess make it more enjoyable, much like football. No one wants to watch everyone line up, the other team knows what the gladiator is going to do and then it is Mano-a-mano, that game isn't marketable, nor sustainable in a competitive environment. 

 

No one waits for the other to get set and think about all the options and then wait for the other to be ready. The game of chess has even evolved, time for Mario to evolve. 

 

He can keep his gladiator helmet on and enjoy the battle, but he needs to see the chess game happening on the field!

 

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Moorehead’s offense could certainly be more effective with a better QB.  AB has played for about a decade, but not with Oregon. He is an average QB at best, at least by Oregon’s standard. Even our teams that barely made it to the lawnmower bowl games had better QB’s. 
 

I know that I don’t have any confidence in AB to get a first down at a critical part of the game. That really shouldn’t be a huge concern with a legitimate top 10 team. With him at QB, we really are not a great team. 
 

I don’t think our offense would be that much better with a different scheme with an average QB.  Look at what happened to our old offense when our starting QB was injured. We struggled. Helfrich was even fired with his potent offensive scheme

 

The offensive scheme helps, but the players are the ones to make it happen.

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On 10/13/2021 at 9:01 AM, Haywarduck said:

Mario definitely sees the game of football as a gladiator fight.

 

GREAT post, and you are killing-it these days.  We gotta show others how to create those memes as you do...

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Mr. FishDuck

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Thanks Coach.

 

Glad you mentioned Lincoln Riley along with Coach Swinney and others. 

 

Kennedy Brooks broke Texas back on counter plays in the 2nd half of the RR Shootout. The play was not working in the 1st half.

 

Why, because Spencer Rattler is nowhere near the run threat that is Caleb Williams. Williams ability to effectively run the ball opened everything else up for the OK O to make a historic comeback.

 

Brown has nowhere near the athleticism of Williams but Oregon runs AB like he was the 2nd coming of Lamar Jackson at Louisville.

 

Good call on the Oregon play calling not getting proper angles for the OL.  Oregon is playing in a phone booth. 

 

I thought that with Moorhead on board the O would get smarter? What I am seeing on the field is not the O JM ran at Penn St and at MS ST. 

 

Mario, bless him, has to get out of his own way and get the Oregon O into the 21st century.

 

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On 10/13/2021 at 10:12 AM, Jon Joseph said:

Brown has nowhere near the athleticism of Williams but Oregon runs AB like he was the 2nd coming of Lamar Jackson at Louisville

I don't believe that the coaches are actually running AB. I think he is making the RPO decision to keep the ball. There have been several plays this season where AB could have easily pitched the ball but keeps it and is stuffed. Other plays where he keeps it and scores but could have pitched the ball to the RBs and they would have scored. To me AB is trying to finish his college career with more stats. He is, in basketball terms, a ball hog. "Look at what I can do!"

 

The team will NOT win, IMHO, with a selfish and stubborn QB compounded with a stubborn head coach. Chip was stubborn here at Oregon, would have won a NC had he not been, but he was innovative and won more than he lost.

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On 10/13/2021 at 1:02 PM, criticalduck said:

The team will NOT win, IMHO, with a selfish and stubborn QB compounded with a stubborn head coach.

 

criticalduck!  Great to see you here, and great post.  I sadly agree with your opinion about Brown, as I saw way too many bad decisions that hurt Oregon.  Keep posting!

 

giphy.gif

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Mr. FishDuck

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On 10/13/2021 at 6:28 AM, Vandownbytheriverduck said:

Smarter FASTER and tougher when required. 
 

The Ducks don’t confuse anyone, out tempo anyone, run away from anyone and don’t seem to be adept at forcing the issue against lesser teams. 
 

Speed kills in college particularly against inexperienced defenders. Ducks don’t have speed on offense and it shows. 

 

That was pretty much my main complaintwhen Chip was here... Oregon lack the ability to play tough when that was the needed factor. 

Smarter or faster? Those were Oregon's hallmark.

 

Tougher, especially along the both lines might have given the Ducks a better opportunity to get the job done in the few games where speed was simply not enough.

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