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Week Three Oregon Ducks Report Card

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Well, it was a win

NCAA Football: South Carolina at Georgia Athens Banner-Herald-USA TODAY NETWORK via Imagn Content Services, LLC

You know the drill now— Offense, Defense, Special Teams, Coaching, Chef’s Choice. A through F.

This week: Oregon vs. Stony Brook


Offense

Let’s just get this out of the way off the top— someone stole Oregon’s offensive line and replaced it with a bunch of damn stiffs. Really tall, heavy-set stiffs.

This was NOT the same group that helped Oregon gain 269 yards rushing and kept anOSU without a sack last week. Like the entire team, the O-line looked disinterested for much of the first half, allowing two sacks of starting quarterback Anthony Brown, who was knocked out of the game following the second sack just before halftime. Hopefully Head Coach Mario Cristobal and Offensive Line Coach Alex Mirabal can sort out what ails the line in time for conference play which starts next week.

Statistically the offense looked about how you would expect considering the opponent: 48 points scored, 436 total yards— 263 passing, 173 rushing— 24 first downs, scores on 8 of 12 drives, ZERO turnovers. However, the Ducks only averaged 4.4 yards per rush, and were a terrible two for ten on third downs. NOT what you would expect against an FCS opponent. Anthony Brown had a good first half before leaving the game, going 14 for 18 for 159 yards passing and a touchdown, and his backup, true freshman Ty Thompson, filled in admirably in the third quarter, completing 6 of his 9 passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns in the first game action of his young career. Travis Dye provided a spark running the ball, with 87 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown.

Conclusion: the Ducks inexplicably played down to the level of their competition for much of the game, before pouring it on against a Stony Brook team that was obviously gassed in the fourth quarter. Post game comments from Cristobal indicated that Brown’s injury was not serious, but the offense appeared to be in capable hands with Thompson. The O-line must find some consistency if the Ducks have any hope of making a serious run at the College Football Playoffs.

Final Grade: B-


Defense

A solid defensive effort, overshadowed by Oregon’s offensive struggles. The Ducks only surrendered 7 points and 271 total yards— 131 passing and 140 rushing— they picked off Stony Brook quarterback Tyquell Fields three times, forced a fumble, and held the Seawolves scoreless for the final 45 minutes of the game. Stony Brook only managed three drives longer than six plays— and two of those ended in turnovers. Again, this is the result one would expect from playing an FCS-level team.

Individually, linebacker Noah Sewell had a standout game with 10 total tackles and one tackle for loss, and cornerback Verone McKinley III had another superb performance, with three total tackles and two of the Ducks’ three interceptions.

Conclusion: considering the players the Oregon defense was playing without, holding Stony Brook to only 7 points and 271 yards must be considered a plus. The defensive backfield, however, continues to give up big plays, and the front seven fails to put pressure on the opposing quarterback. Hopefully Kayvon Thibodeaux will be ready for Oregon’s conference opener next week against Arizona.

Final Grade: B+


Special Teams

Give placekicker Cam Lewis credit, this young man made even extra points an adventure back in 2019, but he has improved his kicking dramatically since winning the starting job back this season. Against Stony Brook Lewis was a perfect six for six on extra points, hit both of his field goals with a long of 40 yards, and allowed for only one Seawolves kick return. Punter Tom Snee had another solid game, averaging 46 yards per punt and placing all three of his kicks inside the 20 yard line. Oregon’s kick and punt coverage held Stony Brooks’ return men in check. The Ducks’ kick and punt return games continue to underwhelm.

Conclusion: Again, much like last week, no missed kicks, no blocked punts, no fumbles, no turnovers. Solid.

Final Grade: B+


Coaching

Oh, to have been a fly on the wall at halftime tonight. As was mentioned in the game thread today on numerous occasions, Oregon under Mario Cristobal has a tendency to play to the level of their competition, and this game was no exception. Fortunately Oregon was able to flip a switch and turn a surprisingly close game in the second quarter into a laugher by the end of the third. Special honorable mention for emptying the bench and getting most of the freshmen some meaningful game minutes.

Conclusion: If Oregon truly has National Championship aspirations, this unsettling trend MUST end. Conference play awaits.

Final Grade: C+


Miscellaneous

Oregon’s uniforms: well, they were a school color at least. Otherwise, I’ve never been a big fan of the hi-lighter kit, B-

Atmosphere: a weather delay? At Autzen? The thirty-seven minute delay made this game seem to go on FOREVER, D

The gameday broadcast: well, at least it wasn’t Gus Johnson, and we now know the answer to the burning question, whatever happened to Shane Vereen? C+

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