Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Wrap Up

Much has been made of the defensive performance yesterday. Lost in the talk, however, are some key elements to what happened.

I do not think there is anyone will will debate this: the defense just flat out came out unprepared; there was no reason for the Bears to march down the field in 7 plays covering 84 yards to score and take the early lead. That being said, the defensive performance, while not as dominant as some would like was NOT as bad as many have projected. Look at the numbers for a moment.

After the first drive, Missouri State gained a total of 205 yards... and 32 of that was on their own version of "the immaculate reception." The defense held Missouri State to 172 yards without that play after the first drive. This is not the "horrible" defensive performance some have expressed. Was it their best performance as a defense? No. But, that is to be expected with arguably the two best defensive players not playing (Boyett, Clay) while a third (Cliff Harris) attempts to work his way back in to the starting rotation.

As I said in my thoughts leading up to the game, this would be an opportunity for coaches to have game tape on some players that did not previously get much experience on the field. Guys like Rodney Hardrick, Derrick Malone on defense and Eric Dungy and a few others on offense.

For those that did not notice, Missouri State appeared to have picked up a couple of tricks from film study. More than once I saw them line up in a "pistol" formation. Inevitably, the plays run from this formation were good plays with positive yardage gained by the Bears. This was not something they had done before and the Ducks were not prepared for them to run formations they had not seen Missouri State use... it was a good move by the Bears coaching staff.

Given the nature of football, the fact that the Ducks left the game without sustaining any additional major injuries; and given the fact that the Ducks still rolled up 681 yards of total offense while holding the Bears to 72 total second half yards, it looks like a mission accomplished.

This team was not likely to repeat last season's National Championship run. However, there is still much to play for this season and this is a BUILDING block as almost all of the key pieces this season will be back next year. Next year the Ducks have a legitimate shot at running the table again. This year? Well, the Ducks are still well positioned for a spot in the inaugural (and maybe only?) Pac-12 Championship game.


The tailgating yesterday was great! We had a ton of people show up and hang out with us; some old timers to the tailgates and some newbies... but, from all appearances, everyone had a great time! The bacon-wrapped BBQ shrimp were devoured in a hurry.

We did have someone taking pictures this time... so as soon as I get a copy, I will post some right here!

Thank you to all who showed. We had a great time as always! And, the drive home is SO much easier on Sunday Morning!

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