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Mic

Give Utah Credit - They 'Solved' the Oregon Running Puzzle

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Not sure the exact number of yards O posted on the running side of the ledger last night, I'm sure it's on the board here somewhere.  But Whittingham and Utah certainly game OSU (and everyone else) the blueprint on how to stop O from running the ball like they did against UW and just about everyone else this year.

 

That's the 'good' news for other teams.  The bad news is Oregon still found a way to win and the beauty (and sweetness) of it was it involved the Defense!

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Gotta disagree, MIc. I think the problems with Oregon's run game were due to the limitations of Nix and the injury to Forsyth.

 

With Nix not being able to throw well off his bad leg, Ducks couldn't establish the short passing game, which let Utah load the box against the run. And of course, they didn't have to worry about Nix running himself.

 

Plus, with Forsyth out, the shuffling of players on the O-line meant a less than crisp performance.

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The huge holes for the running backs were not there as the Oline had several injuries and was disrupted from their normal game. 

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On 11/20/2022 at 8:53 AM, TheRunningDuck said:

The huge holes for the running backs were not there as the Oline had several injuries and was disrupted from their normal game. 

And, it wasn't just the running game that Utah had figured out (yes, they knew Nix was hobbled but he'll be hobbled next week too, somewhat).  It was those formerly productive slant screens and RB passes out to the flat as well.  Everything was tough for Oregon last night and nothing was working like it had before (also due to Nix's injury) as Oregon was under 400 yards of offense where they had been pushing 600+ each game.

 

Give Utah a lot of credit - they're a tough, physical opponent, well-coached and without some uncharacteristically bad play from Cam Rising last night (give Oregon's Defense credit here)  well - let's just say that Oregon finally caught a few breaks last night that they hadn't been catching all season.

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Not sure "solved" is the right nomenclature here.

 

Nix has a special skill set which we saw on display most of this season.

 

Yesterday Utah entered the game, shall we say, "unprepared", for the Oregon  game plan.

 

The attacking adjustments their D made at half time were sufficient, as somewhat showed in the second half Oregon offensive stats.

 

What the UTEs, and the rest of the college world witnessed, pretty much their surprise (or chagrine, depending on your perspective), was the emergence of a ren-energize DuckD, who was determined and motivate to overcome Utah and  understood it was time to Do Their Job.

 

It showed a grit and determination  unseen this season.

 

I think the words that best described what we witnessed were " PRIDE and Family".

 

Amazing result, don't you think?

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On 11/20/2022 at 9:18 AM, woundedknees said:

Not sure "solved" is the right nomenclature here.

 

Nix has a special skill set which we saw on display most of this season.

The reason I used the word 'solved' was because O (which had been averaging >200 yds/game ended up with about 65-70, give or take.  Bo's clipped wing took about 45 off the board but there were plenty of tackles made by Utah for loss or little gain.  I think I heard Bucky ended up with 10 rushes for 20 yards or 2/carry.  He had a few longer but the tackles for a loss subtracted from that. All-in-all, I think the yardage given up by Utah was what Whittingham was hoping for and Utah very nearly won it.  OSU will prove to be just as difficult, I think, to run against.

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I think a hobbled Nix forced the Ducks to do just enough to win and gave Utah the confidence to be aggressive without the danger of Nix running wiled to make them pay.

 

Glad to see the D show up and save this one.

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On 11/20/2022 at 10:26 AM, The Kamikaze Kid said:

Glad to see the D show up and save this one.

They did, indeed.  And how refreshing was that to see, where the D gets the win instead of O outscoring the opponent a gazillion + one to a gazillion?

Gotta be able to win both types of games.

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If I had Dilly's ear, I would tell him that if he really wants to surprise OSU, he should have a backup QB come into the game and try a reverse toss to a wide receiver..nobody will see that coming and what could go wrong??

Edited by Ktmguy2018
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On 11/20/2022 at 11:21 AM, Mic said:

OSU will prove to be just as difficult, I think, to run against.

Nix not running the ball or him being able to sling the ball with his normal velocity makes the offense one dimensional. Nix's deep balls were floaters and his short passes were very slow allowing coverage more time to converge on the ball.

 

All of this combined frees up extra people at the line for run support. Seem to me there was five or six  blitzing most plays either to crash on the running back or to put pressure a non-mobile Nix. Try to do that to Nix when healthy and he will shred a defense.

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On 11/20/2022 at 10:48 AM, Dave23 said:

Try to do that to Nix when healthy and he will shred a defense.

Good points.  And one extra week will not likely make much of a difference in how his leg feels.  Did you notice how hard it was for him to get back up after that QB run at the end of the game?  It hurt and he knew it was gonna hurt when he did it - but he did it anyway.  That's the competitive spark that he has that, alas, that seems to be missing in the rest of the QB stable.

 

OSU is scheming as we write to take advantage of this injury and it's not like they weren't already going to be a tough opponent with the way they can cover WR's and TE's. 

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A very big element of Oregon's success running the ball this season has been the surprises popped on the opposing defenses.  The Jumbo package, the "I" formation, and the Twin-Backs are examples.  We had no surprises in the run game vs Utah, as I imagine the game-plan was centered around the basics for Ty getting ready, and the focusing upon the short passing game that we saw in the first half.

 

So no practice time for running game surprises that were unleashed on other teams, and when we play a vanilla running game?  It is certainly easier on any defense.

 

Noah Whittington by Eric Evans of Oregon Football Twitter.jpg

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Mr. FishDuck

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I think they only solved the Nix can't hurt us with his legs offense.

 

As for our D, got the win, only gave up 10 points.

 

But also lucky on 4th down passes to the feet of Kincaid and the later slant over the middle that Thorton or Bucky would have caught.  Of course, kudos for creating those 4th downs with GREAT 3rd downs.

 

On a night where our O was playing Mari-ball score wise, better to be lucky than good.

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