This was the report I did NOT want to write.
I did not want to believe that Oregon, thoroughly and completely humiliated two weeks ago in Salt Lake, could come out and repeat their same sorry performance again, and on a much larger stage to boot.
But indeed they did. The Ducks came out flat and uninspired, and Utah destroyed them. Again.
Oregon was outscored 76 to 17 in the two games against the Utes.
Let me repeat that— SEVENTY-SIX to SEVENTEEN.
These two games weren’t just losses— they were potentially program-defining setbacks.
Teams with playoff pretentions don’t get blown out by conference foes once, let alone TWICE in the same season.
This entire program— from head coach Mario Cristobal all the way down to little-used freshman safety Max Wysocki need to do some soul-searching and figure out what went wrong. This team has too much talent to have been manhandled the way they were Friday night. Yes, they’re dealing with injuries— but by this point in the season, all teams are. But the good teams find a way adapt and win.
And right now this is NOT a good team.
Something is very wrong with a team that would follow up a 38-7 shellacking with a 38-10 thumping at the hands of the same opponent. One item that needs to be addressed is Cristobal’s unflagging loyalty toward quarterback Anthony Brown. Now I am a big Brown fan— Oregon wouldn’t have 10 wins if it weren’t for him— but he struggled mightily at times this season, particularly against Utah. The Utes knew of his shortcomings in the vertical passing game and loaded the box, daring him to throw. And he couldn’t do it. His throws were wide and behind his receivers, or thrown directly at a defender in the case of the costly pick six he threw in the first quarter. Yet Cristobal stuck with him for
You know what, this is rambling and incoherent, and I’m not even sure what I’m wanting to say. I’m angry, I’m disappointed— I was planning on going to the Rose Bowl if Oregon won— and I’m sad and I’m fearful. Fearful that if Cristobal leaves— and I know some of you would be glad to see him go, I get that— we’re going to be stuck in another rebuilding cycle, we’re going to see our blue-chip recruits transfer out of the program, and we’re going to watch as U$C reclaims its mantle as the preeminent program in the conference. Maybe Mario C. isn’t the greatest coach x’s-and-o’s-wise in the conference, but be honest, after the disasters that were 2016 and 2017, did you expect Oregon to be vying for conference championships and Rose Bowl bids so quickly? I like Cristobal— I think he’s a good coach and a good man, and I hope he stays at Oregon, despite what happened tonight. This was supposed to be a rebuilding year of sorts, and I think winning at Columbus back in September set off some unrealistic expectations for this team. I still think that Oregon is on the cusp of greatness beyond what they’ve already accomplished, and I fear all that could disappear if he leaves for sunnier climes.
Anyway, this game sucked sweaty, salty balls, and the stink from Oregon’s lack of effort and desire won’t wash away anytime soon. About the only thing good that might come from this dumpster fire is that hopefully we won’t have to see those 101 Dalmatians tribute jerseys ever again.
As for the final grades, Offense, Defense, Special Teams, and Coaching, F grades across the board.
Good night, and Go Ducks.