Oregon Ducks

Oregon should make a run at Cal coach Justin Wilcox to replace Taggart

Oregon should make a run at Cal coach Justin Wilcox to replace Taggart

Florida State introduced Willie Taggart as its new head coach today in Tallahassee, Fla.

Taggart has returned to his home state to coach his favorite team growing up as a child in Palmetto, Fla. 

I know. It hurts. But all is not lost for the Oregon Ducks. 

A good team will return next season along with a recruiting class that ultimately will remain strong despite a handful of decommits. And, most importantly, a superstar quarterback is already in place. 

A 10-win season next year is a possibility regardless of who coaches the team. Remember that the team we saw on the field this year was not built by Taggart. Every starter on offense, including freshman receiver Johnny Johnson III, and every starter on defense other than defensive tackle Jordon Scott and cornerback Thomas Graham, but including freshman safety Nick Pickett, were recruited by Mark Helfrich and the previous staff.  That team, when quarterback Justin Herbert was healthy, looked like a potential 10-win team. Most of the starters will return in 2018. So, there's no reason to believe that another good coach couldn't lead this team to glory. 

My early vote for the man to be that coach is California's Justin Wilcox. 

First off, the former Oregon defensive back grew up in Oregon. His father, pro football hall of fame linebacker Dave Wilcox, brother Josh Wilcox and uncle John Wilcox, also played for the Ducks. He has stronger ties to Oregon than Taggart has to Florida State, where Taggart didn't play. 

Is Oregon Wilcox's dream job? I have no idea. But I imagine he likes money and I believe that he could be had quite easily by the Ducks. The contract he signed at Cal is worth just under $10 million over five years. That's chump change to Oregon, which offered Taggart at least $4 million per year before he took a six-year, $30 million deal from FSU.

Oregon could offer Wilcox $3 million to $3.5 million per year and he'd probably jump at the chance to coach the Ducks. Plus, if he were to have success at UO, Wilcox likely wouldn't look for the first escape route toward a bigger program as Taggart just did.

Wilcox is an inexperienced head coach, to be sure. But the former defensive coordinator at USC, Washington, Tennessee and Wisconsin appears to be on the rise. 

The Golden Bears went just 5-7. That's hardly sexy. But why wait for him to win big elsewhere? Have the vision to get him now, before he blows up.  

Cal lost three games by a field goal or less this season. The offense was the problem, but not from a coaching standpoint. The team lacked explosive talent on offense and had a young quarterback while averaging just 27.8 points per game, 10th in the Pac-12 Conference. Offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin, who could accompany Wilcox to Oregon unless Cal were to name him head coach, would do wonders with Oregon's offensive talent. Remember that it was Baldwin who developed Vernon Adams Jr. before he transferred to Oregon in 2015.

Defensively, Wilcox did for Cal what Oregon defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt did for the Ducks. Cal this season allowed 28.4 points per game compared to 28.2 for Oregon. Both allowed just over 40 points per game in 2016. 

Wilcox would make sure Oregon's defense continued to improve while the Ducks' offense is already ready to roll.  Give Wilcox 40 points per game to work with and he could easily win 10 games next season. 

Other viable options also exist that would keep Oregon on track toward greater success. Here are four other coaches that could very well already be on Oregon's radar listed in order of preference with the knowledge that Wilcox is No. 1:

2. Mario Cristobal: Oregon's co-offensive coordinator, who will serve as the team's interim coach during the Dec. 16 Las Vegas Bowl, would be a logical candidate in order to maintain continuity following Taggart's departure. Reports say that Leavitt will accompany Taggart to FSU, which leaves Cristobal as the best option already in house. Cristobal has head coaching experience, is considered to be a great recruiter and could help to keep the Ducks' promising 2018 recruiting class largely intact. Maybe Cristobal could convince co-offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo to remain on as the offensive coordinator if he isn't planning on joining Taggart to FSU. 

3. Kevin Sumlin: Sumlin was fired recently by Texas A&M where he went 51-26 over six seasons in the rugged SEC. He is an offensive guru that would likely get the most out of Herbert. Former Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy in 2012 while playing for Sumlin. He has the kind of big name that Oregon was after in 2016 before hiring Taggart. The problem with Sumlin is that if he had success at Oregon he could be the type of coach that immediately starts looking elsewhere for a better situation. 

4. Les Miles: There is not an unemployed coach out there with a better resume. The former LSU coach almost always had great defenses with the Tigers in the SEC. Yes, his offenses struggled late during his tenure at LSU. But they were once good enough to get him a national title during the 2007 season and could be very good with Herbert running the show on the field. Miles went 114-34 over 12 seasons at LSU. That's a dynamic record given the competition he faced. Miles never won fewer than eight games and won 10 or more seven times. 

5. Bryan Harsin: The Boise State coach was on Oregon's radar last year and should be considered a viable candidate this time around. He is 41-12 over four seasons at Boise State and just won his second Mountain West Conference championship. 

10 numbers you need to know about Oregon vs. Cal

10 numbers you need to know about Oregon vs. Cal

Oregon's first road game of the season is this Saturday against the undefeated No. 24 Cal Bears. Could this be a trap game for No. 19 Oregon?

If you want to be the Duck fan with all the facts about the top 25 matchup, here are some numbers to know. 

Putting up points on the Bears: In seven-consecutive games against Cal, Oregon (3-1, 0-1 Pac-12) has scored more than 40 points.  The Ducks have won eight of the last nine meetings with Cal dating back to 2009.

 Oh, the memories: Junior quarterback Justin Herbert’s first career conference road start came at Cal in 2016. Herbert reached the program record with six touchdown passes, including five in the second half and overtime, in the double-overtime thriller (Oregon lost 52-49).

Where are the road wins at? Oregon is looking for its first conference road win since 2016 at No. 11 Utah. The Ducks went 0-4 in Pac-12 road games last season (Due to broken collarbone, quarterback Justin Herbert only played in one road contest).

Streaking on the road: Herbert has thrown 139 consecutive passes without an interception in Pac-12 road games.

A first time for everything: A win would give first year Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal his first career Pac-12 Conference victory.

Dependable Duck Defense: The Oregon defense is allowing just 2.13 yards per carry this season, which ranks third nationally. The Duck defense ranks fourth nationally in rushing yards allowed per game (75.5).

Wrecking ball Justin Hollins: Hollins is the only player in the nation with a full sack in four consecutive games to open the season. So far this season, he’s forced three fumbles (tied for the most by an FBS player) with four sacks (second in the Pac-12) and 7.5 tackles for loss (second in the Pac-12).

Jalen Jelks is leading the way: Jelks leads Pac-12 defensive linemen with 21 tackles. He also has a tackle for loss and at least half a sack in first three games.

The Bears go picking: Cal leads the Pac-12 with seven interceptions, even though most conference teams have played one more game because of bye week timing.

14: Cal was resting up on a bye week while the Ducks were slugging it out with the Cardinal and will have had 14 days to prepare for Oregon come kickoff.



Best and Worst from Oregon vs. Stanford

Oregon RB Taj Griffin tweets that he is looking to leave

Ducks can't allow meltdown against Stanford to destroy season

Despite loss, "Oregon football 2.0" has arrived

Week 3 ProDucks: Grasu lands a job, Mariota to the rescue, Freeman scores again

USA Today

Week 3 ProDucks: Grasu lands a job, Mariota to the rescue, Freeman scores again

Former Oregon center Hroniss Grasu spent three years with the Chicago and then three weeks without a job to start this season after being released by the Bears.

On Monday, Grasu landed back in the NFL with Baltimore after the Ravens signed him to help solve their depth issues along the offensive line.

Grasu, a the third-round by the Bears in 2015, was reportedly one of 10 offensive linemen who worked out for Baltimore. He also had a tryout with Minnesota.

On the other end of the business side of the NFL, former Oregon running back Kenjon Barner spent just one week with New England before being released last Friday. Rookie safety Tyree Robinson, who made Dallas' 53-man roster out of training camp, was waived last week. 

---Mariota in relief

Quarterback Marcus Mariota did not start Sunday at Jacksonville but he did finish. Mariota, still bothered by numbness in his right hand, was relegated to backup duty. But after Blaine Gabbert went down following a sack in the first quarter, Mariota entered the game and completed 12 of 18 passes for 100 yards and rushed seven times for 51 yards in a 9-6 win. He is expected to start this Sunday against Philadelphia. 

--- Mitchell strikes again

Mitchell started and had five tackles, four solo, with one interception in a win over the New York Jets. Last week in a loss at New Orleans, Mitchell forced two fumbles while recovering one. 

--- All-Pro Alonso

Miami linebacker Kiko Alonso had yet another dominant performance for the 3-0 Dolphins. Alonso led the team with 15 tackles during a win over Oakland with seven solo. Last week he had 13 tackles against the New York Jets. Alonso's 34 tackles this season rank second in the NFL. 

There are 20 former Ducks currently on NFL rosters and practice squads. Scroll below to find out how they performed over the weekend. 

Below is a team-by-team list of former Ducks, Beavers and others from around the state, currently on NFL rosters If we've missed anyone, please let us know with an email to AaronFentress@CSNNW.com:







Score: Lost 43-37 in overtime to New Orleans. 

  • Andy Levitre, Oregon State, guard: Out for the season with a torn triceps. 
  • Rocky Ortiz, Oregon State, running back: Started at fullback and appeared in nine plays on offense and eight on special teams. 



Score: Won 27-14 over Denver.

  • Randin Crecelius, Portland State, guard: The undrafted rookie free agent is on the practice squad. 
  • Hroniss Grasu, Oregon Ducks, center: Signed to the team on Monday. 
  • Patrick Onwuasor, Portland State, linebacker: The backup had two tackles and an interception.




Score: Won 27-6 at Minnesota. 

  • Kyle Peko, Oregon State, nose tackle: Is on the team's practice squad.  
  • Jordan Poyer, Oregon State, safety: Had five tackles, two solo. 



Score: Won 31-21 over Cincinnati. 

  • David Mayo, Texas State (Scappoose H.S.), linebacker: Had two assisted tackles in 29 snaps on defense, also played 20 snaps on special teams. 




Score: Won 16-14 at Arizona. 

  • Kyle Long, Oregon Ducks, guard: Started at right guard. 
  • Ryan Nall, Oregon State (Central Catholic H.S., Portland), running back: Is on the team's practice squad. 





Score: Lost 31-21 at Carolina. 

  • Jake Fisher, Oregon Ducks, offensive tackle: Appeared in three offensive snaps.





Score: Won 21-17 over the New York Jets.  

  • Terrance Mitchell, Oregon Ducks, defensive back: Started and had five tackles, four solo, with one interception. 




Score: Lost 24-13 at Seattle. 



Score: Lost 27-14 at Baltimore. 

  • Royce Freeman, Oregon Ducks, running back: Scored his second NFL touchdown from six yards out in the first quarter. Finished the game with 53 yards on 13 carries. 




Score: Won 26-10 over New England.  

  • LeGarrette Blount, Oregon Ducks, running back: Started and had 16 carries for 48 yards, and he caught two passes for 17 yards. 
  • Tyrell Crosby, Oregon, offensive tackle: Did not play. 








Score: Lost 27-22 to the New York Giants.

  • Brennan Scarlett, California and Stanford (Central Catholic H.S., Portland): Played 18 snaps on special teams. 













Score: Won 38-27 over San Francisco. 

  • Steven Nelson, Oregon State, defensive back: Started at right cornerback and had four tackles, three solo, and one tackle for loss. 
  • De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon Ducks, wide receiver: Had one kickoff return for 25 yards. 




Score: Lost 35-23 at the Los Angeles Rams. 

  • Tyrell Williams, Western Oregon (Cascade H.S., Turner), wide receiver: Started and caught two passes for 22 yards and carried the ball once for 14 yards.  





Score: Won 35-23 over the Los Angeles Chargers. 

  • Brandin Cooks, Oregon State, wide receiver: Caught seven passes for 90 yards. 
  • Johnny Hekker, Oregon State, punter: Punted once for 49 yards. 
  • Troy Hill, Oregon Ducks, defensive back: Had one assisted tackle.  
  • Sean Mannion, Oregon State, quarterback: Did not play. 
  • Johnny Mundt, Oregon Ducks, tight end: Appeared in 12 special teams plays and two on offense. 
  • Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska (Grant H.S.), defensive tackle: Had three tackles, two solo, and one sack with two quarterback hurries, a pass defended and a fumble recovery. 





Score: Won 28-20 over Oakland.

  • Kiko Alonso, Oregon Ducks, linebacker: Led the team with 15 tackles, seven solo. He is now second in the NFL with 34 tackles. 





Score: Lost 27-6 to Buffalo.  

  • Mike Remmers, Oregon State, offensive tackle: Started at right tackle and had one tackle following a turnover.  




Score: Lost 26-10 at Detroit.  

  • Ryan Allen, Louisiana Tech (West Salem H.S.), punter: Punted five times for 217 yards, an average of 43.4 yards per punt. 
  • Patrick Chung, Oregon Ducks, safety: Did not play due to a concussion.  





Score: Won 43-37 in overtime at Atlanta. 

Max Unger, Oregon Ducks, center: Started and played the entire game.




Score: Won 27-22 at Houston. 

  • Jonathan Stewart, Oregon Ducks, running back: The backup carried the ball twice for eight yards.  
  • Aldrick Rosas, Southern Oregon, kicker: Made two field goals of 44 and 30 yards.   













Score: Won 20-16 over Indianapolis. 

  • D.J. Alexander, Oregon State, linebacker: Had one assisted tackle on special teams.  
  • Haloti Ngata, Oregon Ducks, defensive tackle: Has one tackle in 27 snaps.
  • Isaac Seumalo, Oregon State, guard: Appeared in two offensive snaps.





Score: Won 30-27 at Tampa Bay.    





Score: Lost 38-27 at Kansas City. 

  • Arik Armstead, Oregon Ducks, defensive end: Started at right defensive end. Had two solo tackles with one sack.
  • Victor Bolden Jr., Oregon State, wide receiver:  Did not play. Serving four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances. 
  • DeForest Buckner, Oregon Ducks, defensive end: Started at left defensive end. Had three tackles, two solo, and one quarterback hurry. 





Score: Won 24-13 over Dallas. 

  • Ed Dickson, Oregon Ducks, tight end: Out with an injury.  
  • Dion Jordan, Oregon Ducks, defensive end: Had one tackle.  





Score: Lost 30-27 to Pittsburgh. 

  • Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State, running back: Had two carries for negative one yard and caught two passes for 18 yards. 




Score: Won 9-6 at Jacksonville.  

  • Marcus Mariota, Oregon Ducks, quarterback: Came off the bench for an injured Blaine Gabbert and completed 12 of 18 passes for 100 yards and rushed seven times for 51 yards. 



Score: Won 31-17 over Green Bay.  

  • Byron Marshall, Oregon Ducks, running back: Has been played on injured reserve with an ankle injury. He could return midway through the season.  


Best and Worst from Oregon vs. Stanford

Best and Worst from Oregon vs. Stanford

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.



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.



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

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. 

Marcus Mariota returns, leads Tennessee over Jacksonville

USA Today

Marcus Mariota returns, leads Tennessee over Jacksonville

Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota came off the bench to help lead the Titans to a 9-6 upset win at Jacksonville. 

Blaine Gabbert started in place of the injured Mariota but got knocked out of the game in the first quarter by the Jaguars' fierce pass rush. That forced the Titans to turn to Maritoa, who missed last week's game and didn't start today because of an elbow injury he suffered in the season opener that created numbness in his right hand preventing him from properly gripping the football.

The former Oregon star didn't produce a touchdown drive but did help the team score three field goals by going 12 of 18 for 100 yards and rushing seven times for 51 yards.  

Tennessee (2-1) is now tied with Jacksonville (2-1) for first place in the AFC South. 


Ducks move up in AP poll with OT loss to Stanford

Ducks move up in AP poll with OT loss to Stanford

The Ducks (3-1, 0-1 Pac-12) moved up from No. 20 to No. 19 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll, after losing to Stanford in overtime. The Cardinal remains at No. 7. 

For almost the entire game, it looked like Oregon would upset Stanford but the Ducks lost in heartbreaking fashion in overtime, 38-31.

[After losing to Stanford, here is a reason to be optimistic that the Ducks physicality is helping close the gap on the top teams in the conference.]

Also very notable, the undfeated Cal Bears snuck into the Top 25 at No. 24. Oregon plays at Berkeley on Saturday. 

The only other Pac-12 team in the AP Top 25 is No. 11 Washington. 


Oregon RB Taj Griffin tweets that he is looking to leave

USA Today

Oregon RB Taj Griffin tweets that he is looking to leave

Senior running back Taj Griffin, buried on the Ducks' depth chart, tweeted tonight following No. 20 Oregon's 38-31 overtime loss to No. 7 Stanford, that he is looking to leave the program. 

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. 




Ducks can't allow meltdown against Stanford to destroy season

Ducks can't allow meltdown against Stanford to destroy season

EUGENE - The door to Oregon's locker room slammed shut while a player let lose an F-bomb loud enough to be heard throughout the third floor of the Hattfield-Dowlin Complex. 

Oregon had just lost a game that it won in every way but on the scoreboard.  

It read: 38-31, Stanford, in overtime. But it didn't tell the entire tale.

The Ducks (3-1, 0-1 Pac-12) let this one slip away in mind-numbing fashion. A potential game-cementing touchdown erased by a pylon rule few understood. There was a bad snap that became an 89-yard touchdown for Stanford. A late fumble led to a tying field goal. A tipped pass for a touchdown in overtime won the game for Stanford.

It's the type of loss that could demoralize a team and send it spiraling into the abyss. Avoiding that is the first major challenge of new coach Mario Cristobal's tenure. 

"You've got to get right back on it and shake it off," Cristobal said. "Shake it off fast. You can't let this thing beat you twice."

Next up is a 3-0 California team that had this weekend off and certainly watched what transpired on national television. If you're Cal, you should be worried. The Ducks looked formidable against a top 10 team. Oregon met head on with a seemingly immovable object in No. 7 Stanford's defense and bullied the Cardinal all over the field Saturday night while the defense rocked one of the most consistently devastating rushing attacks of the past 10 years. Quarterback Justin Herbert looked like a future first-round NFL Draft pick. The front seven appeared to be the best in the Pac-12 Conference. Wide receiver Dillon Mitchell put on one of the best pass catching shows in Autzen Stadium with 14 receptions for 239 yards. 

Oregon led 24-7 in the third quarter with the ball deep in Stanford's territory. From that point on, Oregon seemingly won the game several times but ultimately lost it and a chance to make a national statement. 

So where do the Ducks go from here? That's up to them. This is a relatively young team with just six senior starters. They must lead the team back to a better place mentally, or this loss to lead to another at Cal with No. 10 Washington visiting Autzen on Oct. 13. Just like that, Oregon could be 3-3 and 0-3 in conference if the Ducks don't find a way to put this loss behind them. 

Oregon didn't simply lose a game. It most likely lost its best shot at winning the North Division and thus the Pac-12

"That to me is the biggest part that you have to address and you have to make sure you do your best work at as a coach," Cristobal said. "It could be very difficult and devastating for a lot. I know certainly that we all feel it. But, like we talked about in there, there is nobody feeling sorry for us on the other side of the conference and the other side over there in California. We are going to have to immediately get back to work at this."

The faces of each player that exited the locker room on their way down stairs to see family expressed sadness, frustration anger.

"We were up 24-7," one player mumbled to another, who just shook, his head. 

In the interview room, solemn faces put forth a positive spin. A sense that this team is equipped to recover within 24 hours. 

"Tomorrow's practice will show the true leaders of the team and the core of the team will come together," sophomore defensive lineman Jordon Scott said. "And once we go through meetings and watch the film we're going to flush it as a team and that's when we'll start preparing for Cal. The rebound is not going to be easy but by the end of the day tomorrow, everybody is going to be focused on Cal and this will be behind us."

That's the correct mentality. It's up to Cristobal to make sure the team follows through. 

"I feel like we have an outstanding team that knows how to rebound," Mitchell said. "We've got guys that can do the job. So that's not even a question. I already know everybody is going to come to work tomorrow and start preparing for Cal."

Despite loss, "Oregon football 2.0" has arrived

Despite loss, "Oregon football 2.0" has arrived

EUGENE - The nation turned to Eugene Saturday night for a battle of two Pac-12 teams with conference title aspirations.

The winner presumed to be the favorite to compete with Washington to win the North Division and a possible college football playoff contender.

For almost the entire game, it looks like that team would be the Ducks but No. 20 Oregon lost in heartbreaking fashion to No. 7 Stanford in overtime, 38-31. In a game where two fumbles and a strange pylon rule changed everything, one thing is clear: Oregon Football 2.0 has arrived. 

What is Oregon Football 2.0?

The Ducks (3-1, 0-1 Pac-12) showed glimpses tonight. It started with gains in the weight room in the offseason, led by strength and conditioning coach Aaron Feld who is so full of energy, his handlebar mustache may emit electricity. The linemen beefed up, quarterback Justin Herbert added 20 pounds, and winning the battle in the trenches became priority number one. A team once known for it's speed, changed its style of football to be disciplined and physical.
Did Oregon coach Mario Cristobal feel the Ducks gave a good showing of his smash mouth approach against the Cardinal?

"In a lot of ways we did,” said Cristobal. “At the line of scrimmage, particularly in the first half and then moments in the fourth quarter, we did a really nice job up front on both sides of the ball.”

To say Oregon has improved its rushing defense would be an understatement.

Last season Stanford squashed Oregon, 49-7. In that game, Heisman Trophy runnerup Bryce Love rushed for over 100 yards in the first five minutes. The Cardinal rushed for 248 yards and averaged six yards per carry. In short, the Ducks' defense was not a factor.

Fast forward a year and that was not the case on Saturday. The Ducks' defense held Love to 89 rushing yards and the team to net rushing yards of 71 after factoring in 19 total yards of sacks.

In 2017, the Cardinal rushed for an average of six yards per carry against Oregon, in 2018 the Ducks held them to three yards per carry.

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.

“Yea, I think today was a really good test of physicality and I think we won up front,” said left guard Shane Lemieux. “Obviously it wasn’t enough to win the game but I think we did a really good job of time of possession.”

It wasn't surprising the Ducks controlled the line of scrimmage in their three non-conference games. But Stanford and coach David Shaw’s physical approach is a different animal. Before coming to Autzen Stadium, the Cardinal defense allowed an average of 7.7 points per game, a nation’s best. 

The Ducks scored 31 points and their 178 rushing yards topped Stanford’s 71 rushing yards.

Herbert put on a show, his Heisman Trophy campaign was trending on Twitter, and he was a perfect 7-7 in the first quarter. He finished with 346 passing yards, completing 26 of 33, with one interception.

Of his 26 completions, 14 went to junior wide receiver Dillon Mitchell. 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.
A spectacular night from Mitchell was not enough for the Ducks to upset the Cardinal.
As the schedule has it, Oregon will have another shot at a signature win in a few weeks against Washington at home. All is not lost for the Ducks, as they put on a good showing against the seventh best team in the nation.
“This conference is wide open, and you've got to get back on it right way,” said Cristobal. “You’ve got to shake it off, and shake if off fast. We ended up giving it up today, and you can’t let that beat you next week.”
Next Saturday is Oregon’s first road test at California (3-0). The Bears are undefeated and snuck into the latest Top 25 poll at No. 24. Oregon moved up from No. 20 to No. 19, despite the loss to Stanford. It'll be another Top 25 showdown for the Ducks at Berkeley. 

Former Oregon WR Jalen Hall could face life in prison following arrest

Former Oregon WR Jalen Hall could face life in prison following arrest

Jalen Hall, a former Oregon wide receiver, could face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted of charges that he and a friend committed a home invasion robbery on Sept. 10. 

Hall, and Millard Lefanus Hill are are accused of breaking into a home in Southern California on the afternoon of Sept. 10. According to the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office, Hall had a semi-automatic handgun and threatened three people inside the home while stealing jewelry and other valuables. 

Both men face charges of home invasion robbery, kidnapping to commit robbery and first-degree burglary. Hall and Hill are each being held on $2 million bail and the arraignment is scheduled for Friday (today). 

Earlier this month, Oregon coach Mario Cristobal officially said that Jalen Hall was no longer on the team

"Well he hasn’t been on the roster for a pretty long time now," Cristobal said. "We’re moving on and certainly it is what it is."

Hall, a 6-foot-3 receiver from Long Beach, California, who was rated the ninth-best player at his position in the 2018 class. He enrolled early for spring football, but only took part in one practice before leaving for what were called "personal reasons".

When he left, Cristobal expected Hall to return.