Oregon Ducks Visit Colorado Buffaloes With A Major Identity Issue


The Oregon Ducks and their fans appeared stunned on Saturday night and why shouldn’t they. It was one of the most lopsided losses ever at Autzen Stadium where the Defense was dominated by Utah Quarterback Travis Wilson and the Offense was pretty inempt when it came to doing much of anything. Oregon went through two Quarterbacks on the night starting with Vernon Adams who was ineffective from the start, Jeff Lockie performed a little better but threw two interceptions on the night before handing over the reigns to Taylor Allie.

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The evening had a snowball effect and it did not go well for Oregon from the opening kickoff. The Ducks also lost Wide Receiver/Running Back Byron Marshall to what appeared to be an ankle injury for an undisclosed amount of time. After so many good games the last few seasons with Quarterback Marcus Mariota, Oregon is beginning to show some cracks that we will have to watch likely grow a little bigger before the patchwork can begin or the tear out and rebuild starts. I don’t expect the latter to occur anytime soon.

The uniqueness of Mariota at the helm for three seasons was he kept the Ducks on such a fast pace on Offense, the Defensive mistakes were always there, but not as noticable. I mean no knock on Cornerbacks like Troy Hill or Ifo Ekpre Olomu who kept Wide Receivers in check, most of the time, but now you have new young talentback there who are learning on the job. Ugo Amadi has the talent, but he needs to grow into the role that Oregon has planned for him.

It does not help that Oregon seems to have taken a step back at the Quarterback position. Even with the talent that Vernon Adams has, his ability has been hampered by an injured finger that was clearly noticable in his two interceptions against Michigan State that resulted in the first loss of the season. He was also ineffective against Utah last weekend paving the way for Jeff Lockie, who had a solid drive down the field to start before he threw two interceptions as Oregon tried to catch up for most of the game.

The word ‘fix’ has been thrown around a lot following the game from coaches and players, but I will need some convincing that the word is being used correctly in this case. You can’t simply ‘fix’ this issue. The Defense is the bigger of the two problems and has led to three losses in the last five games.

Much has been said about the Oregon Ducks D including a Pac-12 Coach stating recently, “They’re not very good in the secondary”, another called their Defensive Scheme ‘really unsound’ according to Sports Illustrated.

With the Pac-12 being a solid passing league, the predictions for the rest of the season do not appear good for Oregon, especially with the uncertainty at the Quarterback position. Time will tell if the team can ‘fix’ it, but right now they need a quick fix and I’m not sure there is one in sight.

Oregon visits Colorado this weekend to take on Nelson Spruce and the Buffaloes on Saturday at 7:30pm Pacific Time on ESPN.

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