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November 28, 2011
He said. She said. That's a wrap
I don't even know where to begin since I feel like I've beat this drum to death already this year. I will say that I was sad that James Rodgers wasn't able to play in his final collegiate game. Not only do I know he wanted it, he could have added that missing spark.
Once again we saw an offense that couldn't get anything accomplished. Without Rodgers, Markus Wheaton was being double teamed and the Beavers didn't have many options.
The Ducks defensive front is strong, but the offensive gameplan didn't give them much to worry about. They knew the Beavers would abandon the run at the first sign of adversity (which they did on cue) and that gave the Ducks a big advantage.
Take out Mannion's six sacks (for -41 yards) and the Beavers ran the ball 15 times for 57 yards (or 3.8 yards per carry). That's not spectacular, but is 15 attempts really trying to establish the run?
The defense did all they could in the first half to keep the Beavers in it. All the offense had to do was score some points, which they were unable to do.
I will say that this team never gave up and that is the bright spot on the year.
Riley's offense is predicated on balance. When it is in balance and the run and passing game are clicking it is a thing of beauty. Watch it go one dimensional and it stinks. Let's hope the staff figures some things out in the offseason as this drum has been beat to death.
SHE SAYS-GRADE: F
Early on, the play calling started with thirteen called passes to eight called rushes. At that point, it was a 7-7 ball game in the second quarter. From then on, there were seven more called rushes and thirty-seven more called passes. Final game score: 49-21.
Mannion was off his game at the start. He did seem to improve as the game wore on. However, by that time, the game was out of hand and the Ducks second and third stringers were in the game.
As Angie pointed out above, it was pretty disappointing to not see James Rodgers play in his final game as a Beaver. Tough, tough way for him to go out. Beaver Nation will forever remember his fly sweep scamper into the endzone to win the 2007 Civil War, Oregon State's last victory in the series.
Jovan Stevenson had one of the nicer plays of the year, and the offensive highlight of the day, on his 58 yard catch for a touchdown. He did a nice job weaving his way down the field to the end zone.
The other offensive highlights were in garbage time.
HE SAYS-GRADE: F
Looking at the defensive stats things look more than bleak, but the Ducks are going to rack up yards and lots of them.
The first quarter and a half I thought the Beaver defense played about as well as any team could against them. Chip Kelly was gambling on fourth downs and the Beavers stuffed them on all four occasions.
It has to be demoralizing for a defense however when time and time again you're able to stop the opposition only to have your on offense come out and turn the ball over or go three and out. It is especially detrimental against a team like Oregon since they needed the offense to sustain a drive and score points in order to give them a breather.
The Ducks ran 102 plays (37 more than the Beavers offense). Looking back at the Beavers other 11 opponents, they averaged 67 plays per game. Based on that average, the Ducks ran 35 more plays - equivalent to an entire half of football. No wonder the defense was exhausted. They played a game and a half.
SHE SAYS-GRADE: C-
The matchup: The worst rushing defense in the Pac-12 vs. the best rushing offense in the Pac-12.
The winner? The rushing offense.
Yes, the Beaver defense played well early. Yes, the Beaver defense got zero help from their offense. But no, the Beaver defense did not play even up to statistical average.
The Ducks scored more points than their normal average, rushed for more yards than their normal average, and passed for more yards than their normal average.
Scott Crichton was the player of the game on defense. Ten solo tackles, twelve total tackels in all, one tackle for loss, and a forced fumble. A real nice day at the office.
A positive? Crichton has three more years of eligibility.
HE SAYS-GRADE: D
Besides Johnny Hekker's 10 yard punt at the start of the game (we'll call it jitters), he and the rest of the special teams did a good job. There were some nice returns, and while the Ducks had two big returns, they didn't take any to the house (which they've been known to do).
Biggest moment…forced fumble on the kick-off with kicker Trevor Romaine making the tackle. The kid can hit!
SHE SAYS-GRADE: B
Not much to add. A solid day from this group with no lapses.
HE SAYS-GRADE: B
I feel like a broken record at times, but the offense is broken. Either the coaches aren't doing a good enough job preparing the players for PAC 12 action or they aren't recruiting at a high enough level to make their system work. Both issues are on the coaching staff.
Watching USC run their pro-style offense (granted their offense is filled with future 'pros') you see hitches, slants, and fades. Three step drops and quick hits. Things that actually could help a young quarterback be successful and still play within a 'pro set' offense.
Don't get me started on the lack of utilization of the fly sweep. The Beavers use the fly sweep as a trick play, where in reality they should be looking at ways to incorporate it into the general offense.
Fakes off the fly? Play action off the fly? So many other ways to really add it to the offense, but instead it is used a couple times a game as a gimmick.
While the defense isn't perfect, they aren't doing half bad given the fact that they are paper thin at defensive tackle and they haven't had great production from the linebackers.
Interesting really since the offense has five dedicated coaches to the defense's three.
SHE SAYS- COACHING GRADE: F (offense); C- (defense)
Coming into the year, the offense was the experienced unit and the defense was the question mark.
Well, the defense played about to their lowered expectations, but the offense was a train wreck from Game 1.
And the Civil War game was basically a microcosm of the entire season.
The offense continued its dismal play and the defense tried, but eventually was overcome by better athletes and schemes.
We saw nothing new on the offensive side of the ball for this game. With absolutely nothing on the line, they coached just like every other game this year - boringly predictable.
At least the defense tried to shake some things up a bit with some 3-4 looks. It worked for a quarter, but they wore down quickly as as the game progressed. Young and undersized is no way to play the Ducks.
I'll save some of the bigger coaching issues for a later time, but suffice to say, this outcome was written long ago.
HE SAYS-COACHING GRADE: F