Photo by Andrew Giesemann
Oregon Football

Grades: Arizona

November 20, 2017
1,988

It's a whole lot easier to do grades after a win. And boy did Oregon win on Saturday night.

When the team wins the fanbase is a lot easier to please. Admit it, you know you are.

The Ducks are now bowl eligible in Willie Taggart's first season. A potential 7 or 8 win season looms ahead for the Ducks.

But let's just stick to the now. Oregon beat Arizona 48-28 behind a lot of big performances.

Let's grade those now.

Quarterback: A+++

Ok, it really wasn't an A+ performance. But we're just going to grade this one on a curve. 

Justin Herbert was effective enough to open things up for Royce Freeman and the rest of the offense. When Willie Taggart decided he wanted to throw the ball, he could call that play.

The return of No. 10 was good. Not A+ good, but probably A- or B++ good. But they're my grades and I can do what I want so enjoy the A+ Herbie.

Running Back: A+

This one was an easy grade. Normally I wouldn't give an A+ for 135 yard performance from Royce Freeman but I did. The reason I did was the 124 yards Tony Brooks-James chipped in which helped get Oregon to 353 rush yards against Arizona.

Both backs averaged over 6.5 yards a carry, which means these weren't just volume yards, it was effective running.

Wide Receiver: B-

I suppose I'm being harsh here but I'm just not that impressed with Oregon's receivers. They are serviceable, but by no means are they going to ever carry this team.

From a production standpoint they aren't exceptional. But in terms of the unselfish play and effort these guys give maximum effort. I bump them up nearly every week because of that effort and unselfishness.

Tight End: B

As with receiver, I can't award an A. The production doesn't align for that grade. (3 rec 86 yds, 1 TD)

But just like the receivers, these guys get a bump because of how they block play after play. They are an integral part of what the team is doing. They might not rack up the receiving yards, but they get credit for some of the rush yards the team compiles.

I like seeing the emergence of Cam McCormick who seems to get better and better each week.

Offensive Line: B+

I had to deduct a partial grade here because of the penalties. I love the lanes these guys made for Royce and Tony to run through, and how they kept Herbert's jersey clean.

If they didn't commit so many false starts and various penalties they get an A+ from me all day long.

BTW, Tyrell Crosby is an absolute treat to watch this season.


Defensive Line: A+

Maximum effort each and every week. These guys were tasked with keeping the running lanes for Khalil Tate minimal and they did just that. 

I understand the middle was open for Nick Wilson and the other backs to run through but if that meant guarding the edges to contain Tate, it worked.

These guys were disruptive and the occasions Tate needed to drop back and pass, he was forced from the pocket pretty often.

Linebackers: A+

I could not in good conscience give the D-line an A+ and not give the linebackers the same grade.

Look Troy Dye is a baller. Perhaps the best pure linebacker Oregon has ever had. Yeah you read that right, the kid is just so complete and a natural backer it's insane.

This was an easy grade for me. These guys were tasked with covering a lot of ground and they did.

You could argue I'm being generous here, but I just can't see any other grade for a unit that helped keep Khalil Tate to 32 rush yards.

Defensive Back: A

This unit took a few lumps here and there, but not many. With the defense up in the box keeping Tate in check, Amadi, Springs and others were left on an island. And if they had not performed, Oregon would have given up big yardage. 

For the most part, they did not. Open field tackles were made, these guys defended well and it was one heck of a performance for this entire defense.


Coaching: B+

Okay so I'm being a bit harsh I suppose. Here's the deal, I can not forgive 12 penalties for 117 yards. As bad as some of them were, this has been an issue all year long.

Ultimately Oregon was able to get past this hurdle so I could give a B+, instead of a D. But I'm not going to give an A because of the penalty issue, which is on the coaches just like it is on the players.

 
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