Duck Stops Here is a fan blog devoted to opinions, commentary and analysis of Duck football. The opinions expressed are entirely mine. We welcome reader feedback, positive or critical. You can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
@ducksninersgiants Fumbles have a way of evening out, and some advanced stats models conclude that they are merely luck, but I say there was nothing lucky about the pursuit of Tony Washington and Christian French, and the hustle of Tua Talia, quick and persistent. Ducks so far have done a great job of converting turnovers into touchdowns, and they gained an early advantage by holding both UCLA and Washington to field goals on early possessions.
16 hours, 14 minutes ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/uncategorized/ducks-care-with-the-football-is-vital-part-of-their-6-1-start.html
@totalDuck Oregon's pass down linebackers and their nickle package defensive backs will get a serious test against the Bears, who have five receivers with 300 yards or more. The Ducks have had a lot of success lately lining up Erick Dargan on the third receiver as a cornerback, leaving Tyree Robinson and Reggie Daniels at safety.
16 hours, 19 minutes ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/uncategorized/steady-improvement-in-the-oregon-defense-a-great-sign-for-conference-title-push.html
@rgyle The extra day is the flip side benefit of the short week, something that will benefit the coaches greatly in preparing for a Stanford team with a contrasting style that's given the Ducks a lot of trouble. I still expect Stanford's best, most complete effort of the year against the Ducks, and tomorrow's game will be no walkover--Cal runs an offense similar to Washington State's, but with a much better running attack.
16 hours, 22 minutes ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/uncategorized/steady-improvement-in-the-oregon-defense-a-great-sign-for-conference-title-push.html
@ducksninersgiants Coaches are evaluated by their results, and initially the results weren't very good. Oregon's defense ranked 120th in the country, narrowly escaped against Washington State and lost to Arizona. The concern was justified at that point.
16 hours, 32 minutes ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/uncategorized/steady-improvement-in-the-oregon-defense-a-great-sign-for-conference-title-push.html
@DryDuckin SB @sanclementeduck Freeman's combination of power and explosiveness is really fun to watch. What a great career he'll have here.
2 days, 20 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/
@FunkyDucky No, but I wish I'd seen that. I think it probably falls under the heading "kids will be kids." It's football, not brain surgery or international terrorism. They're allowed to have fun, even if the PAC-12 refs won't allow it.
@DonealDuck Okay thanks.
@SonomaDuck @duckified The "Football in 60" feature is a terrific way to review the game, missing out on a lot of the fluff and blather. Tape it on the DVR and you can cut it to 45 minutes running time.
@zduckfan @DryDuckin SB @AnthonyK @hoboduck Very interesting race for the Oregon quarterback job next year. Mahalak is a terrific passer with tremendous fundamentals, and Lockie has an edge in experience. 2015 recruit Travis Waller is smart and talented also. Very little chance Mariota returns for his senior year as he's already earned his degree and is poised to earn millions.
@hoboduck If Oregon had stopped one of those last two drives either against UCLA or Washington, I think we would have seen Lockie. It's a mild disappointment that the Ducks have yet to control the last quarter of a game to the point he could get some snaps outside of the blowouts over South Dakota and Wyoming. He's completing 85% of his passes this year, 17-20 185 yards and a touchdown.
At the same, the Ducks have a strong commitment to showcasing Mariota, understandably.
@zduckfan @duckified They're not completely irrelevant, because they shape perception. I do believe the committee has a strong commitment to being thorough and independent.
2 days, 21 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/
@duckified @zduckfan @SonomaDuck I don't think Florida State or Notre Dame is as strong as they were in their BCS final seasons, but as you say, Z, this will be proved out in the coming weeks, with many opportunities to cry havoc.
@SonomaDuck @duckified Florida State has the easiest route to the Final Four, and the SEC will make a strong bid for two slots unless Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Mississippi, Mississippi State each have another loss. Notre Dame needs to lose again also, ideally.
@duckified The best-case scenario would be the SEC with only one one-loss team, but we'll see how it shakes out. The Ducks have to focus on California and their explosive passing attack in a short week of practice. That;s challenge enough for now.
@Denverduck07 Ironic that one of the hot coaches that Helfrich is occasionally compared to, Kevin Sumlin of Texas A&M, has just lost three conference games in a row.
Helfrich and his staff have impressed Oregon fans with the turnaround since Washington State and Arizona, putting together two decisive wins where the team looked organized, executed beautifully and showed great motivation and preparation.
The key now is if they can complete the job, avoid a slip-up in the 5-game road to the conference championship game. Avoiding a letdown and sustaining focus over a long season is the biggest challenge in coaching.
@deep south duck And Georgia comes in at #9. Part of this will shake out in the coming weeks with several of those schools having to play each other.
@DryDuckin SB @atvinton Brown might be faster and more athletic than Ertz, but absolutely it would be good to see him have the same kind of impact on that game.
@atvinton The Ducks list him at 6-6, 250, but yeah, he's really emerged as a weapon in the last few weeks. Very athletic, good hands, dangerous after the catch, with that basketball agility. The Ducks offense is so potent because there are so many weapons, with Marshall, Freeman, Allen. Brown and Mariota. Marshall's versatility keeps defenses guessing about what's coming. Pharaoh's really improved as a blocker also.
@DryDuckin SB After Cyler Miles left the game with concussion symptoms, Troy Williams did a good job, leading a touchdown drive, scrambling in himself on 4th and goal from the 7.
2 days, 21 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/uncategorized/voice-of-the-fan-any-day-is-a-good-day-to-beat-the-dawgs.html
@Ducko30 Jude's a good reporter, and the Husky beat was his dream job. If Oregon does fall next year to the Dawgs, or if they stumble this year in their bid for a playoff spot, they'll get little sympathy around the league. The reputation as "Nike U" with "arrogant fans" follows the Ducks around the conference.
@DryDuckin SB @zduckfan It was Indigo Montoya who said, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
@zduckfan Oregon's offensive line did a great job against Shelton and Kikaha. Shaq Thompson had just 7 tackles and wasn't a big factor after the first series.
@duckified In my mind it's still a rivalry because of all the history, even though the Ducks have dominated it for a decade. It will be closer and more of a challenge in the coming years. Petersen is one of college football's best coaches, although he'll have to adjust his recruiting philosophy a little. "Our kind of guys" won't quite cut it in the talent-laden PAC-12.
@atvinton @Ducko30 With that running game they'll be a tough playoff matchup for anyone, and a challenge for the Ducks.
2 days, 21 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/uncategorized/playoff-picture-muddled-one-week-before-first-vote.html
@RodWirtz @DryDuckin SB @SonomaDuck @Ducko30 Rod--that would have been a decidedly better word choice.
@atvinton @DryDuckin SB @SonomaDuck @Ducko30 You could argue that they already have, ATV. Credit Alabama and LSU for scheduling early games against West Virginia and Wisconsin, but overall, SEC nonconference scheduling is a joke, and their 8-game conference schedule is a decided record-inflater.
@SonomaDuck @Ducko30 The Committee just lost Manning, an SEC vote, but wow, that'd be one boring playoff and a shot in the foot for college football.
There's a decent chance the outcome of this year's playoff race will hasten the move to an 8-team playoff with the Big 5 Conference Champions plus 3 at-large choices.
@Ducko30 Georgia is very much alive in this eliminator race--currently 9th in the AP at 6-1, they have 4 of their 5 remaining games at home, including #5 Auburn. They don't face any other ranked teams and host Charleston Southern on November 22nd, and they're likely to get a resume opportunity at the end with a likely berth in the SEC Championship Game in the Georgia Dome.
@atvinton LSU is a strong possibility this weekend, and to me Florida State doesn't look as invincible as they did last year. I don't think Notre Dame will lose to Navy but I think they will stumble eventually. And the Ducks simply have to be ready every week. The PAC-12 have proven to be dangerous and unpredictable. Reputation isn't going to win any of their remaining games.
2 days, 22 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/uncategorized/playoff-picture-muddled-one-week-before-first-vote.html
@sherrybb The SEC can point to the scoreboard in their lobbying efforts after winning 7 of the the last 8 BCS Championships, but it does get a little grating when they do so incessantly, particularly when member schools are playing October and November games against Furman, Georgia Southern and Presbyterian to protect their records. I agree with you that it seems unlikely a 2-loss PAC-12 Champion would make it, although the Ducks have a strong case if they win out.
@deep south duck This was a thorough dismantling of the Dawgs, one that taught them how far they had to go to match up against Oregon.
5 days, 4 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/uncategorized/a-lesson-from-history-on-revenge-in-full-measure.html
@duckahead.com guy That was a really nice run for his fifth, but Pisarcik got his hands outside the shoulder pads. Too bad, because Freeman had the defense beat to the edge. Running with more confidence and assertiveness with every game. Can you imagine the 3-year career he'll have here?
Meanwhile, Thomas Tyner's sophomore slump continues, and you wonder what his mindset might be now. Left the game early with an injury.
5 days, 6 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/uncategorized/washington-at-oregon-game-thread.html
@duckahead.com guy It will be interesting to see how the coaches and AP vote--ND might not fall that far, losing by 4 to the #2 team on the road. I think both FSU and ND are overrated this year, benefiting from soft schedules. Talented but inconsistent squads, in my opinion. FSU plays two ranked teams all season, and struggled with both. Have a relative cakewalk the rest of the way. Notre Dame is at ASU and USC and should lose one more time.
@dddupree Defense turned in their best performance, stout in the red zone, forcing two turnovers, holding UW to 317 yards as the Ducks built a 35-6 lead.
@sherrybb With Fisher back the running game is stronger and Mariota has time to go through progressions in the pocket. 554 yards of offense tonight, with Royce Freeman running for 169 yards and 4 touchdowns and Mariota hitting 8 different receivers.
A fast start is huge against Stanfraud. They are just not built to come back in games.
5 days, 7 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/uncategorized/washington-at-oregon-game-thread.html
Stanford losing 23-10 in Tempe, just fumbled the kickoff, setting up ASU at the 22.
Florida State leading Notre Dame 31-27 in the 4th quarter. How far do the #5 Irish drop if they lose?
5 days, 9 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/uncategorized/washington-at-oregon-game-thread.html
Wogan adds a field goal and the Ducks lead 45-20.
Oregon 42, UW 20 with 5:22 left. UW goes 75 yards in 17 plays. Three missed tackles on 4th down as freshman quarterback Troy Miles weaves through the defense for a 7-yard touchdown. 2nd great one half performance by the Oregon defense, fading badly with a lead.
Royce Freeman's fourth TD run gives Ducks a 41-13 lead after two nice catches by Darren Carrington.
Miles fumbles at midfield ... Oregon recovers. Forced by Christian French.
5 days, 10 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/uncategorized/washington-at-oregon-game-thread.html
Oregon drive stalls, and Washington is driving again. Ducks can't contain Miles in the pocket and can't get off the field on third down.
Oregon defense goes into UCLA prevent mode, and Washington easily drives down to the 4. 3rd and 2.
Mariota hits Dwayne Stanford on the fake bubble screen, great catch by Stanford. Ducks lead 34-6 with point pending. Freeman is over 100 yards, 19-111.
First series of second half, Ducks get two good linebacker plays by Hardrick and Walker, bad snap on 3rd down, three and out, shank.