Coach’s analysis ducks smash bowling green, 58-24 fishduck

Quarterback Justin Herbert began to make his case for Heisman consideration, throwing for five touchdowns in 21 attempts. Herbert only completed 10 of his throws which is less than 50% but three drops on long balls in the first half tainted his completion percentage along with two interceptions in the fourth quarter. These two areas are normally strong suits for the strong-armed junior from Eugene.

Since Herbert broke his collarbone last season against Cal, Duck fans hold their collective breath every time Herbert runs the ball. In this case, with no one to cover him, Herbert sprints 37 yards and then alertly goes out of bounds without a hand laid on him. Upcoming opponents will see this and stress to the defense that the man responsible for the quarterback had better sit on that assignment and not try to be a hero somewhere else.

While at Oregon, Chip Kelly said he wanted the quarterback to “block” a defender in the running game. What he meant was that he would force the defense to assign a man to take the quarterback and this would take one defender from helping on the running back, the one Kelly really wanted to carry the ball. If Cristobal sees the defense neglecting to cover the quarterback, it is an easy call to make, especially for the quarterback to avoid a blind side hit.

Herbert did not just go for the first down, he put a rocket into Jaylon Redd’s hands between two defenders who could not stay with him. Despite the first-half drops, Herbert maintained his faith in his receivers and did not allow those drops to interfere with his concentration and passing fundamentals. This tells you a lot about his leadership and why he has become the leader of this football team.

Dye reacts to the quarterback’s running throw and sprints to the sideline where he makes an unbelievable interception, remembering to get a foot down inbounds while catching the ball before going out of bounds. With the dropped passes by the wide receivers, one might think that Dye would make a reliable pass catcher as well as a deadly defender.

There have been many years when an Oregon linebacker would never be seen around a pass; it takes instinct and a natural inclination and fierce desire to be around the football at all times. Dye has also been the Ducks’ leading tackler as a freshman and sophomore. There are not many players who could make this play, but Dye showed why he is among the elite linebackers in the nation. PORTLAND STATE STAGGERS INTO AUTZEN

Fresh off a 72-19 humiliation at the hands of Nevada, the Portland State Vikings wobble into Eugene for what everyone can expect to be another slaughter. The adjectives are harsh, but clearly define the mess the Vikings are in right now. They did not win a game last season, but had Oregon State on the ropes last year and battled Washington competitively and beat Washington State in recent years.

Portland State is trying to rebuild and it’s difficult in college football, because unlike basketball, you have to bring in a lot more than 2-3 players to turn a team around. Questions to consider: how will the concentration of the Ducks be sustained as this game goes on, how much improvement can you expect against a badly over-matched football team, and who is the backup quarterback?

Ken Woody is a former Fox Sports football commentator who played defensive back, receiver and kicker for Oregon from 1966 to 1970. He coached college football for 18 years, including stints as an assistant coach at Oregon, Washington, Washington State and Utah State, and was head coach at Whitman College and Washington University-St. Louis. He writes x’s and o’s, a weekly column in the Register-Guard, RG online coverage of Duck football and is the author of “After Further Review—an inside look at what’s really happening on the football field.” Woody is on KUGN (590 am) 2:45 before kickoff and 30 minutes after each game with coaching and game analysis.