In No. 24 Oregon’s 58-24 victory over Bowling Green the good outweighed the bad. Coach Mario Cristobal opened up his first season as UO head coach 1-0.
Oregon's rushing attack is led by seven-headed monster: In the Ducks' 58-24 win over Bowling Green tonight, six running backs played and totaled 212 rushing yards with an average of five yards per rush. Who makes seven? Quarterback Justin Herbert who finished with 41 rushing yards on six attempts. Here is a breakdown of how each running back performed.
UO’s “penalty problem” showed improvement: In 2017, Oregon was the most penalized team in the nation, averaging 9.4 penalties for 88.3 penalty yards per game. Oregon finished with three penalties for 35 yards.
Cristobal focused on the Ducks’ sense of discipline, plus a culture of accountability and attention to detail, by bringing referees in to practice to call penalties and then watch film with the coaches and players to help correct those bad habits. “We are pleased with progress but we want to cut it down even more,” Cristobal said.
Safety Ugo Amadi poised to be a star: Amadi returned his fifth career interception 38 yards for a touchdown on Bowling Green’s first drive of the second half.
The senior finished sixth on the team in total tackles with five, but he was tied for the lead with four solo tackles. After his performance in the opener, the Ducks have moved him to the starting punt returner role.
Justin Herbert reaches two milestones: Herbert was 10-of-21 for 281 yards passing with five touchdowns and two interceptions. He surpassed 4,000 career passing yards, tying Marcus Mariota as the fastest UO quarterback to do so in 18 games. His five touchdown passes are the most by an Oregon quarterback in a season opener in program history, beating Akili Smith (1998) and Danny O'Neill (1994), who both tossed four touchdowns.
Injuries: Oregon tight end Cam McCormick broke his fibula during the Ducks' season opener against Bowling Green and is out for the rest of the 2018 season.
The only other injuries to come out of Saturday were concussions to linebacker La'Mar Winston Jr. and Deommodore Lenoir during strong collisions. Cristobal said they are both being "checked out" in Oregon's "strict and regimented" concussion protocol.
The cringe-worthy start: Both the offense and defense got off to a sloppy start. The duck defense missed tackles and misread plays. The offense dropped passes and mishandled snaps. Communication was off, the coaching staff had to call timeouts when the right players weren’t on the field. Bowling Green took a 10-0 lead over Oregon before the Ducks finally got a defensive stop and found their rhythm to rattle off 37 unanswered points.
Braxton Burmeister: The sophomore quarterback completed one of four passes. The offense came to a sudden halt and Cristobal made the decision to put Herbert back in the game. The backup quarterback position is still a giant question mark for the Ducks.