College Football Playoff

Ducks’ Struggles Could Cost Huskies a Playoff Spot

For more than a decade, the Washington Huskies watched their hated rivals to the south rise to the upper echelon of college football. This rise was accompanied by the annual beating the Ducks put on the Huskies each fall for 12 straight years....

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College Football Playoff: Would You Rather …

Let’s play a game of hypotheticals. Say you were Dabo Swinney, head coach of the Clemson Tigers. The Tigers have to be considered the top power in College Football this year, as they have looked impressive during their undefeated run....

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College Football Nation: Wacky Week 8

Bringing you noteworthy news in college football from around the nation each week. B1G In case you missed it, Michigan State faced Michigan in the Big House last weekend in an intriguing matchup that could potentially factor heavily into the...

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College Football: Who to Root for — and Against — in Week 5

It’s do-or-die time in Eugene; but don’t worry Duck fans, we have been here before. While the College Football Playoff is now most likely out of the equation, the season still has potential to end on a high note. The…

College Football: Who to Root For — and Against — in Week 4

Fans were treated to the first major upsets of the college football season this past weekend. After an easy first two weeks, the third week of college football proved to be much more difficult for top teams across the nation….

College Football: Who to Root For — and Against — in Week 3

By now, most of you know what happened this past weekend. The heartbreak I felt after the first loss was quickly replaced with optimism for the future — because you can’t win every game, and the college football season has…

How Vernon Adams Can Improve Moving Forward

Saturday night stung. A loss by three on the road to a top-5 team shouldn’t eliminate Oregon from the College Football Playoff hunt (though it makes the road significantly more difficult), but it sure feels like this was a missed opportunity.

Duck Sports Authority’s AJ Jacobson wrote a recap of the game published this Sunday detailing exactly how the Spartans felled the Ducks in this early-season marquee matchup.

Oregon struggled through offensive lulls after a quick start. On the game’s opening possession, the Ducks put together an impressively balanced 13-play drive capped by a touchdown run from Royce Freeman. After that, the offense struggled to get going, failing to score until the beginning of the third quarter.

It should be noted that the Ducks were stopped on a 4th-and-goal from the MSU one-yard line in the second quarter, but this offense struggled in ways Duck fans aren’t particularly familiar with.

Adams will improve at getting the ball to his potent weapons quickly as he becomes more comfortable with the offensive playbook

Poor decisions by Adams hurt the Ducks against a talented Michigan State defense.

The player manning the offensive helm, Vernon Adams, showed his promise of future stardom but also showed areas that needed improvement.

Adams’ biggest issue in this game was pressing and trying to do too much. Of course this is understandable given the environment, which was unlike any Adams had ever experienced. But he needs to use this opportunity to learn from his mistakes and show those corrections against Georgia State.

He held onto the ball too long and forced some throws to receivers that simply weren’t open, resulting in two costly interceptions. Adams will need to learn that at this level, defenses like Sparty’s will make you pay more often than not for mental mistakes.

Another example came on the final drive of the game, one play after Adams missed a wide-open Byron Marshall, who would have walked into the end zone had the pass been on target.

After missing this throw on second down, facing a third-and-six on the edge of field goal range, Adams made two crucial mistakes and yet his overall play leaves a lot to both admire and desire.

Vernon Adams often looked like he was trying to do too much with the football, something he can't do in order for Oregon to be successful this season

Adams will have to settle down over the next few weeks before heading into the difficult stretch in November.

However, and this is crucial, credit must go to Michigan State’s defense for the aggressive play call on third down, but this was yet another missed opportunity by the Ducks in a game full of plays that were there for the taking.

This is not meant to be a post mortem on the season or the Vernon Adams era of Duck football. I fully expect Adams to recover over the next five weeks, in which Oregon faces favorable matchups.

His issues with pressing should wane going forward as Adams becomes more comfortable with the playbook and his weapons. He will learn to feed Charles Nelson, Bralon Addison, and Freeman (all of whom stood out on Saturday) and to get the ball out of his hands quicker.

As for his ability to stretch the field with the deep ball, Adams will improve in that area as his index finger on his throwing hand heals. As former Ohio State QB and ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit pointed out, the index finger is the “rudder” while throwing the football, as it is the last finger to leave the ball.

If the index finger is injured, velocity, accuracy and spin are all affected. This was evident Saturday, as several of Adams’ passes were wobbly and under thrown.

Moving forward, I expect Adams to improve his accuracy as the finger heels and also improve his comfort level in the pocket. This was by no means a bad performance, but instead something to learn from. His starting spot should not be questioned, especially if he continues to make plays like this.

Oregon faces the Panthers, Sun Belt Conference bottom-feeders, this Saturday in a game that should be little more than a formality for the Ducks.

Look for Adams to return to form (provided the finger does the same), put up a ton of points early, and get some much needed rest prior to the Pac-12 opener against Utah on September 26 in Eugene.

Top Photo by Tom Corno

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ESPN Experts Favor USC Over Oregon Ducks For 2015 Pac-12 Title

The good folks of ESPN have spoken and once again the Oregon Ducks appear to be holding the short end of the stick. The 2015 season will be a great one in the Pac-12 and the USC Trojans are the Network of Champions pick to win the Conference by close to twice the ‘experts’, by […]

ESPN Experts Favor USC Over Oregon Ducks For 2015 Pac-12 Title – Autzen Zoo – Autzen Zoo – An Oregon Ducks Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and more.

College Football: Who to Root For — and Against — in Week 1

College football is officially back. Now we can begin to look ahead to the weekend and speculate on all the chaos that is sure to unfold as this football season gets underway. Things seldom go as planned when it comes...

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