Oregon Ducks

Oregon Ducks

Is your brain still reeling from Oregon’s almost upset over No. 7 Stanford turned overtime heartbreaking loss? The No. 19 Ducks’ defeat yielded plenty to be happy and sad about.

Before moving on to Oregon’s (3-1, 0-1 Pac-12) next game (another Top 25 matchup vs. the undefeated No. 24 Cal Bears in Berkeley, Calif.) did the good outweigh the bad against Stanford? You decide.

 

THE BEST:

Rising in Top 25: Did you think Oregon would drop in the AP Top 25 poll with its loss to Stanford? Think again. Oregon’s overall performance impressed voters and the Ducks moved up from No. 20 to No. 19 in the most recent poll.

Dillon Mitchell makes a statement: Mitchell had one of the best games in the history of the Oregon program. His career-high 239 receiving yards and 14 catches are the 2nd most in UO history. The connection between him and quarterback Justin Herbert was unstoppable; more than half of Herbert’s 26 completions went to Mitchell.

"I feel I can be one of the best receivers in the country," Mitchell said. "I'm not satisfied with my play, most definitely. I'm looking to come back much harder next week."

Healthy Ducks: Oregon did not sustain any serious injuries in the game against Stanford.

All aboard the Herbert for Heisman train: Herbert put on a show, his Heisman Trophy campaign was trending on Twitter, and he was a perfect 7-7 in the first quarter.

 

“The first NFL draft pick,” Mitchell said after one of Herbert’s best performances of his career. “That’s basically the only way I can say it. He’s going to come out there and do what he does every night.”

The junior completed 92.6 of his throws in regulation, passed for 346 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for 35 net yards against a Stanford defense that was allowing 7.7 points per game.

Hello, Oregon football 2.0: A once “speedy” team, Oregon coach Cristobal has changed UO’s style of football to be disciplined and physical. Winning the battle in the trenches is priority number one and Oregon did that versus the powerful Cardinal. 

The Ducks held 2017 Heisman Trophy runner-up Bryce Love to 89 yards on 19 carries. Oregon’s defense is allowing just 75.5 rushing yards per game through four weeks of the season, a 4th best in the nation.

Oregon finished with 178 yards rushing and held Stanford to 71 net rushing yards.

[That isn't a consolation prize but it does give reason to be optimistic that the Ducks physicality is helping close the gap on the top teams in the conference.]

What’s a field goal? The Ducks special teams was very dependable. After missing the first three games due to injury, sophomore Adam Stack made his debut as placekicker and made a 38-yard field goal that put Oregon up 24-7 just before halftime. Stack was the Ducks' punter as a true freshman in 2017.

 

THE WORST:

A myriad of mistakes that lead to defeat: It started with Oregon’s chance to take a 31-7 lead. With a first-and-goal at the 1, running back Cyrus Habibi-Likio fumbled for a 9-yard loss.  

Then, center Jake Hanson’s high snap to Herbert became a 89-yard Stanford touchdown.

Two yards and 51 seconds away from victory, redshirt freshman running back CJ Verdell (who led the team with 115 yards rushing and a touchdown) fumbled the ball, leading to a tying field goal.

Herbert’s nearly flawless game ended with an interception in the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 10 in overtime, sealing the victory for Stanford.

Taj Griffin: Senior running back Taj Griffin, buried on the Ducks' depth chart, tweeted after the loss to Stanford that he is looking to leave the program

https://twitter.com/taj_griffin/status/1043742160535736320

Griffin has six carries for 31 yards and two receptions for 89 yards for the 3-1 Ducks. He entered the season wtih 848 career rushing yards.