Through 4 Games the Ducks have Been Good, but a Better Rushing Attack Can Make Them Great

cameronlindsey

Four weeks into the season, Oregon appears poised to make a run for the Pac-12 championship and potentially a chance at the Rose Bowl, or even better: the College Football Playoff.

The defense has been the key, as the Ducks have gone three straight games without allowing a touchdown. The offense, on the other hand, has looked above average, yet inconsistent — their inability to get the run game going has held the team back from all-around dominance.

If the Ducks want to contend for the Pac-12 title and more, they’re going to have to do better on the ground than they did last week against Stanford (25 carries for 85 yards). No team wants to rely on just one side of the ball to win games, and with a veteran offensive line, the team knows they can do better. 

Mario Cristobal spoke briefly on Wednesday to address problems with the run-game.

“We’re off, we’re out of synch a little bit," he admitted, according to 247Sports. "It starts with making sure we’re on the same page. We are. So that’s not an issue. Technique and fundamentals come into play. If the box is loaded we still got to find a way to make some yards.

“We know it’s not good enough. We take a lot of pride in it. That’s what we’re working on in the bye week. We expect to have better results going forward."

The Ducks, who have been known as “Running Back U” since the early 2000s, have looked like everything but that in the past couple of seasons. When the team faces tougher offense opponents this season, the defense is going to need some help; and if Oregon can establish a healthy run attack, they should be able to provide just that. 

Comments (3)
No. 1-3
zacharycneel
zacharycneel

Editor

To be completely honest, I was feeling pretty great about Verdell coming into this season. I thought he had the chance to be one of the better backs in this century for Oregon. That has definitely not been the case. It makes me wonder....do we really miss Gary Campbell??

Emoon23
Emoon23

Editor

I think the run game will improve once the Ducks have some of their weapons back in the passing game. Defenses have been able to walk safeties down closer to the line and stack the box to clog running lanes. Also, Herbert keeping it on a read option at least ONCE this season would help.

DonealDuck
DonealDuck

Of course there are several reasons why Oregon's running game is not being effective, but you can start by looking at the RB's themselves. Would Verdell or Dye have started ahead of any other Oregon running backs this millennium? What truly identifiably strong characteristic do they have to have started above Oregon's historical running backs?... Size? Vision? Moves? Speed? Tackle breaking? Stiffarm? ..... As an example, they would have been more likely competing with Kenny Basset for 3rd and 4th string carries....


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