Photo by Troy Babbitt / USA Today
Oregon Football

Mid-Season Grades

October 9, 2017

At the halfway point Oregon has won twice as many as they have lost. So that's a good sign.

With Oregon sitting at 4-2, it's going to be interesting to see the rest of the season play out.

Injuries and an uptick in talent will make the remaning games for Oregon very interesting. Still Willie Taggart seems to have this team pointed in the right direction.

With six games in the books, and six ahead, we take a look at what Oregon has accomplished so far and assign grades from this year's performance.

Once again this has no reflection on what lies ahead.


Jhop: B

While I like what Justin Herbert has done on occasion, I have to deduct a little bit because of the Burmeister start. And even though I think there are things Herbert can improve on, he has done a good job taking care of the ball when he's played. I'm also hoping to see Burmeister take a major step forward this week.

Corpatty: B+

If it weren’t for Herbert’s injury this would probably have been an A from me.  While he wasn’t perfect, I think Herbert is a top-10 QB nationally and played at a very high level helping Oregon be the highest scoring team in the nation through the 5 games he played in.  It’s really unfair to judge true freshman Braxton Burmeister after 1 game against a top-15 team.

Running Back:

Jhop: A-

I love what this group does. Unfortunately their success is tied to the offensive line, but they still get it done. Freeman has looked good in every game but Wazzu. Benoit and Brooks-James are coming along and don't discount Darrian Felix. 

Corpatty: B

This group has been good and steady.  Freeman has been back to his pre-injury production form and has kept the chains moving for sustained drives.  Benoit has been Oregon’s most efficient running back scoring 8 TDs on only 45 carries and averaging an other-worldly 7.3 yards per carry.  Tony Brooks-James has yet to find his explosive form from a year ago.  The only negative I have for this group is that I would have liked to have seen more explosive plays from the group as a whole.  As hard as it may be to believe, Oregon has only had 2 TD runs of more than 16 yards this year (both by Benoit), one of which was against Southern Utah.   

Wide Receiver:

Jhop: C

If this group had Charles Nelson all season it might be different. And while I think there is some potential in this group, that doesn't equal production. 

It hasn't been terrible, but it also hasn't been great. I love what they are doing from a blocking standpoint. I would just like to see a little more consistency from this group.

Corpatty: C-

With a healthy Charles Nelson this group likely rates higher.  This is a very young and inexperienced group and it’s shown with their inconsistent play.  Since Nelson’s injury the WR corps has struggled to create separation and throwing windows.  Drops have also been an issue.  On the positive side, Dillon Mitchell has shown flashes of promise and Brendan Schooler has been pretty good in his transition from safety.

Tight End:

Jhop: C-

Based on production alone this group grades significantly lower. But they are doing a great job in the run game and deserve some recognition for that success. 

We knew this was going to be a shallow group when the season started and it's at least been consistent.

Corpatty: C

Not a ton of production here, although Jacob Breeland has been pretty good when healthy.

Offensive Line

Jhop: B

We've seen terrific O-line performances. And we've seen some 'meh' performances. To the left, Oregon is wildly successful. To the right it's a mixed bag. So we have to grade them all together and this group has a chance to really keep Oregon in some of these tight ones the rest of the way.

Corpatty: C+

This has been the most schizophrenic group on the entire team.  They've shown flashes of dominance yet have been plagued by inconsistency. They racked up entirely too many penalties and at critical times have been unable to open running lanes.  The potential to be an elite offensive line is clearly there, they just need to clean up the penalties and be much more consistent.

Defensive Line

Jhop: A-

I know, it's crazy to think this is Oregon's best position group on the team. But really, it's not. These guys work their tails off, as all do, each and every week. Jordon Scott and Henry Mondeaux are two of my favorite players on this team. 

I just don't think you could ask for much more production from this group than they have given in the past six weeks.

Corpatty: A

Perhaps the most surprising unit on the team given that 2 true freshman play significant minutes.  The defensive line has been nothing short of a revelation.  Mondeaux is playing his best football during his time at Oregon.  Jordon Scott and Austin Faoliu have anchored the middle of the line and effectively stuffed the run. They've also gotten surprising push in the pass rush.  While Jalen Jelks struggles to hold up on the interior against the run due to his size, he has been nothing short of brilliant pressuring the quarterback and being disruptive in the backfield.  Carlberg and George have also done a solid job in back up roles.


Jhop: C

I love me some Troy Dye and alone he deserves an A+. But he's not alone. 

Justin Hollins is having some solid games as we get through the season. Jonah Moi has moments. Apelu is out but I'm not sure Oregon can't fill that hole. If I add La'Mar Winston to this group I like where it's headed. Still they need to be a little better each week and I'm happy to bump this grade.

Corpatty: C+

Troy Dye has made the transition to the middle seamlessly and continues to be Oregon’s most consistent defensive player.  Lamar Winston has played surprisingly well during his sophomore campaign.  Jonah Moi and Justin Hollins have generally done a good job on the outside causing problems in the backfield.  But as we all know, Oregon has struggled getting production from the Mike LB spot, which brings this grade down.

Defensive Back:

Jhop: B+

Arrion Springs might be the 2nd best player on Oregon after Troy Dye. No seriously. He's having a remarkable season for Oregon.

But Thomas Graham is playing strong as is Amadi. 

Not to mention we've seen some great Tyree Robinson and another emerging star in Nick Pickett. 

When healthy, this group is about as good as it gets for Oregon.

Corpatty: B+

Arrion Springs is having his best season at Oregon. He's playing at such a high-level that opposing quarterbacks rarely challenge him or throw in his direction.  Thomas Graham has generally done a good job as a true freshman.  Nick Pickett has also done well as a true freshman when healthy.  Ugo Amadi has made some plays but been inconsistent.  While this group has given up some big plays, they've generally done a great job and have been vastly improved from last year.



Tags: Football, Oregon
Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.