Pac-10 Week 2 Notes and Observations: Oregon Ducks
Oregon Ducks 1-1 Overall (0-0 Conference)
This Week’s Score: Oregon 38 – Purdue 36
Next Week’s Opponent: Utah
A good win for the Ducks, and they needed it badly. But I had a lot of questions about this team coming into the game, and honestly, I still do. While it was encouraging to see Jeremiah Masoli running around and making plays again, where were the wide receivers?
I fear that Jamere Holland is going down the Jaison Williams path, but hopefully the dropped balls do not continue to be an issue. Otherwise, will Holland be considered 50/50 part two? Also, I am very confused as to why Ed Dickson isn’t a bigger part of the offense (one catch against Purdue). Only two wideouts (Holland, Maehl) and two tight ends (Paulson and Dickson) made catches against Purdue, and I am sure Chip Kelly is not happy about that.
The running game was more encouraging, as the Ducks ran for 193 yards, led by Masoli with 84. Both James and Barner continued to display their explosive potential, but the two were only given a combined 14 carries (90 yards between the two). I will say that James worries me with his ball security issues, and that may be a reason for his limited touches. Crenshaw didn’t do much (23 yards, 1 TD, 2.1 ypc) but he should be productive as the season progresses. It is critical that the misdirection and option plays continue to keep defenses off-guard, because Oregon does not have an overly physical group of tailbacks; not anymore at least.
I thought the defense did some really good things against Purdue, but the Boilermakers certainly got their fair share of offensive production (PUR out gained ORE 451-356). Obviously, the Ducks D came up with two huge touchdowns and a pivotal blocked PAT. When Walter Thurmond scores a TD, the Ducks normally come up with a win so that was fun to see. I still see no real pass rush, and that looks like it may continue to plague this unit, but the pass defense was solid nonetheless.
Now the Ducks will face another BCS-busting power that is full of confidence. The game against Utah will be tough, but it is also a great opportunity for Oregon to regain some respect nationally.