Are The Oregon Ducks Are In A Rebuilding Year?


On Saturday night Utah ran all over the Ducks, in the process, they crushed the Ducks’ dream of returning to the College Playoff. The Utes also scored the most points a visiting team at Auzten ever has in their 62-20 rout. It was something that Duck fans were used to seeing happen to the opponent, not their team. Oregon was flat all game, it’s not that head coach Mike Helfrich isn’t good at his job, or that Oregon is that bad, it’s the fact that Marcus Mariota was, yes, really that good.

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Mariota, the only Duck to win a Heisman, and arguably the best quarterback to ever play for the Ducks, left for the last year’s NFL draft. He is currently showing he can play in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans. Now that Mariota is gone, the Oregon Ducks appear to be lost and without a leader.

Vernon Adams, the transfer from Eastern Washington, showed promise in the first month of the season, but he is not just playing one bad Pac-12 team a year anymore. He is quickly finding out the harsh reality of playing in the Pac-12 full-time. Against Utah, he was taken out early as he was having trouble moving the ball. Jeff Lockie then came in, scoring a touchdown on his first drive, along with a 20 yard run. It looked like Lockie was going to turn things around for Oregon, but he quickly turned back to his normal self, throwing two interceptions. He has always looked like he doesn’t quite fit in with the Oregon Ducks offense. His style seems more suited in a pro-style system like Cal or Washington State.

The entire blame can’t all rest on Adams’ or Lockie’s shoulders, it’s hard to replace a player of Mariota’s caliber. Along with the fact that the Ducks’ secondary is getting shredded every game. Oregon has tremendous talent in the secondary, but they don’t have any experience and that will improve as time comes.

Sep 26, 2015; Eugene, OR, USA; Utah Utes defensive end Kylie Fitts (11) atempts to tackle Oregon Ducks quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. (3) at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

In losing a Heisman winner behind center, it might be time for Duck fans to accept that Oregon is in the process of rebuilding this year. Adams and Lockie look lost behind center in their four games they have shared playing. It is time to take drastic measures this season to improve for next. Oregon’s Taylor Alie, has shown he has the speed to run the offense. It might be time to put him behind center, as he has three years left with the Ducks and can learn the system this year.

It really feels like the Ducks should be rebuilding this year. As Oregon is 2-2 and faces a 3-1 Colorado this Saturday. There’s a very real chance that the Ducks could lose this one as the Buffaloes have a great passing game they rely on with speedy receivers. To go along with the fact that the AP Top 25 doesn’t have the Ducks ranked, and that Oregon will probably lose four to five games this year if the current trend continues.

It’s not all bad, the Ducks can use this as a rebuilding year as mentioned above, to get back into the mix next year. They can get all of their very talented but youthful players experience in games, and in the process come back better for next season. It will be interesting to see how many people will jump off the bandwagon this season as the Ducks continue to struggle to find an idenity and a new leader. In the past, the Ducks have had Masoli, Thomas, and then Mariota to lead them. Hopefully Oregon can find their new man behind center soon.

Next: Oregon Visits Colorado With A Major Identity Issue