Oregon vs Utah State Offensive Grades


Published: September 8, 2008


Offensive Line: A

The Ducks offensive line came in knowing that the offensive unit would have an easy time running the ball against the inferior Aggie defensive line. That however doesn’t mean its an automatic thing and the Ducks “big uglys” showed up and paved the way for Oregon running backs, quarterbacks, and wide receivers to rush for 408 yards on the ground. The staff only gave up one sack, which came on a Jeremiah Masoli play. The Ducks don’t get an A+ in my book because the offense seemed to stall for a bit running the ball but they did dominate easily. Utah got some surprising pressure on the Duck QBs but I really have to nit pick on the Oregon offensive line to find flaws. They played almost an entire game of perfect football. Had this game not been against Utah State I’d give them an A+. The group gave the team what was expected and walked away with a unit almost fully healthy as C.E. Kaiser was the only Duck to leave the game with a known injury as he hurt his ankle.

Tight Ends and Wide Recievers: A-

Much like the offensive line the wide outs and tight ends were expected to dominate, as they were bigger, faster, and stronger than the players lining up opposite them on defense. Terence Scott once again is the star of the group as he caught one touchdown pass down the sideline and had four catches for 44 yards and one rush for 51 yards and one score. Scott had a few drops, which so far seems to be a rare thing. Tight End Ed Dickson had his break out game as he caught six balls for 70 yards and was a monster whenever he had the ball in his hands. Jeff Maehl was another player who came out and had a solid game as Maehl caught four balls for 72 yards. The main group looks to be Seniors Jaison Williams and Scott with Sophomore Maehl as the third option at wide out. Mix in Dickson and the passing game should be set. Sophomore Aaron Pflugrad had some drops. Jamere Holland was once again another no show as he caught one ball for zero yards. The Ducks now have their main three at wide out it seems but the Ducks need to establish depth and production from that depth.

Quarterbacks: B+

You might be shocked to see I don’t have the QB’s in the A range but I thought I saw some things that brought them down a grade. It was close and I had a tough time putting the group in the B range but I eventually took my Duck blinders off and did my grading as best I could without being bias. Justin Roper looked sharp after he threw that pick on the first drive. That pick however was horrible. If Oregon is going to beat a team like USC Roper can’t continue to throw those bad passes. He needs to stay sharp and make the right reads. Roper did do well on his fakes when running the spread and even had a nice touchdown run in the third. Sophomore JC transfer Jeremiah Masoli was a big disappointment when compared to his play last weekend against UW. His first series was a total disaster as he struggled with the snap and eventually gave up a fumble into the endzone for a touchdown for the Aggies. It appeared that Masoli took a few steps back from where he was last week and seemed to rush things too much. Masoli also needs to learn that touch on his deep balls is a must. He missed Maehl twice on long passes where he over threw Maehl. Had Masoli been able to hit Maehl on either one the play would have produced a touchdown for over 50 yards each. Those plays must be made against Pac-10 teams. Freshman Chris Harper continued to show he has great vision when rushing the ball. Should Harper move to RB? I don’t think so but I’d be in favor of it if Johnson is going to be out for awhile of if the Ducks suffer another RB injury down the road. Also showed good poise when faced with pressure on passing plays. Had a play late in the third when no one deep was open and the pass rush was about to hit him. Instead of force a pass or try to out run the defense like most freshmen QBs would he quickly found his safety valve and hit Andre Crenshaw on a dump pass that turned into a very long play.

Running Backs: A+

Everything about the Oregon running backs was great, well, outside of Jeremiah Johnson’s shoulder injury. The group picked up as an entire unit 312 net yards rushing and four touchdowns. Blount got the most of the work as he ran the ball 18 times for a 132 yards and churned out 7.3 yards a carry for two of the four touchdowns by RBs. Crenshaw and Remene Alston also added 72 and 71 respectively and both did it in surprising fashion. Both produced long runs and also showed they too can provide the power. Very impressed by Alston who showed great poise and great vision. Has surprising speed for a back that’s 200 pounds and 5’8 at the most. If Alston is ever forced into a bigger role this year I’d be comfortable with him in the game. Can’t remember a time when the Ducks have been so deep at running back. Jeremiah Johnson looked poised for a big game as he took his first and only carry for 37 yards and showed that the Aggies had no match for his speed and vision. It’s a shame he had to go down with the separated shoulder as Johnson could have had a big game that could have launched him into the national scene.

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