Some thoughts on Oregon's harrowing win over Nebraska Saturday:
- Why is it that every fan in America can see when his or her team is playing too conservatively while trying to hold onto a lead, but the coach of said team just doesn't seem to get it? Willie Taggart got so worried about losing that game that he almost lost it. Justin Herbert was passing the Cornhuskers silly in the first half but the Ducks pretty much shut down the vertical passing game and tightened their shirt collars. It was a classic example of getting away from what got you a big lead and just trying to run out the clock.
- The Ducks are an offensive juggernaut and should not idle that machine until very late in a game.
- I do not blame the second-half Nebraska comeback on the Oregon defense. The offense put too much pressure on the defense.
- To me, this game reinforced every reason the Ducks' athletic administration had for bringing in a new coaching staff. Coaching matters and coordinators matter. Oregon's defense is much more sound. It tackles much more reliably. Night and day. If nobody else but me says it -- good job, Rob Mullens. You made the right move when you cleaned house.
- And speaking of that, when people talk about Taggart "rebuilding" the Oregon program, I smile. Folks, this team wasn't down and out. It was just unmotivated last season. I'm not saying they were bad coaches, but I am saying it was time for a change.
- With a little better quarterbacking, Nebraska would have won that game. There were a lot of open receivers to hit and a lot of the time, they weren't hit.
- The Ducks won't get shut out in a half the rest of the season. Unless they decide to go into their conservative mode again.